The year is 1991, and arcade video games are the latest craze. Becoming a professional gamer is a far-fetched dream in an industry that has yet to spread its influence. Yet, that is the path sixth-grader Haruo Yaguchi wants to pursue. His aptitude for video games has earned him respect in local arcades and bestowed him with confidence and pride, both of which are shattered when fellow classmate Akira Oono easily defeats him in Street Fighter 2.
Akira is rich, pretty, and smart—as close as can be to a perfect girl. But Haruo had never cared about these things as, despite his multiple shortcomings as a person, his supremacy in video games was, in his mind, undisputed. So, now that someone has appeared who can rival him, part of Haruo cannot help but loathe her. Another part, however, itches for somebody who can compete with him on equal terms, and Akira is more than capable.
Synopsis of High Score Girl
The world of the 90s arcade gaming scene is alive and pulling at your nostalgic heartstrings in Rensuke Oshikiri’s ever-popular gaming anime series, High Score Girl. It follows a socially-awkward, gaming-obsessed boy, Haruo Yaguchi, who can’t quite grasp the concept of reality until he meets his antithesis in a fellow gamer, the intelligent, rich, and seemingly perfect Akira Ono. Other than their gaming bond, they have nothing in common. Nevertheless, a unique and heartwarming friendship unfolds between them through their shared love for video games.
As their relationship blossoms amidst the challenges of school and parental expectations, they start quelling both societal norms and personal barriers in a society that can’t keep up with their growing love for arcade games. Follow their journey woven with classic 90s video games, humor, sweet moments, and irrevocable life lessons.
Review: High Score Girl
Let me start by saying this – High Score Girl is an absolute gem for gamers and anime lovers alike out there. The humorous and romantic world of old-time arcade gaming hits home for both aficionados and amateurs!
The character building is remarkable. We initially meet Haruo, an average student with a lower than average social status indulged in the world of games to escape his reality. Akira serves as his polar opposite being the ideal persona of perfectionism yet caught up in her struggles. Their connection through gaming feels authentic and offers a delightful getaway for our protagonists from their distressing realities.
The anime ends its chapters in cliffhangers making us want to crave the next episode. The integration of classic game titles like Street Fighter II and Final Fantasy hits you square in the nostalgia and makes the series a brilliant homage to 90s arcade gaming culture. Even if you’re not a seasoned gamer, the series beautifully illustrates the dynamics and the lexicon of the gaming world, so everyone feels at home.
As for the visuals, JC Staff nailed it with their blending of 3D designs and traditional 2D animation. It’s smooth, engaging, and remarkably in tune with the gaming theme, bringing to life the pixelated 90s arcade world. A few awkward CGI moments here and then are but minor drawbacks in this brilliantly animated series.
Music complements the show brilliantly. Composed by Yūsuke Kobayashi, the tracks manage to capture the fun, intensity, and at times, the sweet atmosphere of our character’s world. The OST is a curated blend of rock beats, jazz tunes, and lighthearted melodies that synchronizes with the dynamic rhythm of the series.
In conclusion, High Score Girl brilliantly merges romance, humor, nostalgia, and relatable characters in a fun-packed gaming universe. It’s a love letter to arcade gaming and a must-watch whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just someone in the mood for a good-old-school anime. So, to rent, buy, or stream? Me being The Anime Critic, I’d unquestionably recommend you to buy or stream it TODAY! It’s an indispensable addition to your anime collection. Trust me; you wouldn’t be disappointed!
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