After School Dice Club – Anime Preview
Synopsis: During a beautiful spring day in Kyoto, Aya and Miki follow the student council president Midori to a board game shop. The three students end up discovering a German board game that causes them to realize their shared passion for games. In the coming days, many more board games will be found and played! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: After School Dice Club is, in actuality, part of the growing pantheon of informative anime. The series seeks to provide informative instructions on how to play real world board games wrapped up in a veil of comedy and heartwarming shenanigans. While Dumbbells was an outrageous success at this formula, blending helpful exercise info dumps and fun, silly characters, After School Dice Club sits on the opposite end of the spectrum. A large part of the problem stems from just how long it takes to get to the entire point of the show: Girls playing board games and how impressively dull and uninteresting its lead characters are.
Linny: The episode kicks things off with our ‘not like other girls’ introvert lead, who seems to be an introvert by choice, actively turning down an invitation to go to karaoke from her class president because as she explains, she apparently simply does not enjoy things other people do…which by that logic makes me want to say that then shouldn’t she hate board games since everyone else was enjoying it? But let’s not think too hard and glaze over it as simply the show wanting a reason for its introvert to be an introvert who then gets to see the world in colour and come out of her shell thanks to the magic of board games and friendship. Heck, the show then immediately leads into the good ol’ trusty classic set up of loner introvert gets roped into crazy shenanigans by quirky extroverted character making it clear that, beyond its unusual board game premise, the show isn’t that bothered about working hard to present unique characters as well.
Tom: Informative anime are a bit tough to judge since entertaining drama is only half the battle. The other half lies in finding whatever topic it’s explaining interesting. I will say that as someone who enjoys board games my interest picked up a little bit when the girls began to play, but even then After School Dice Club feels like it would be more of a struggle to watch since all I care about is being introduced to board games I’ve never heard of. Unless you’re dying for that knowledge to be imparted through anime exclusively, rather than a more direct review, I think it’s safe to pass on After School Dice Club as one of the information ‘genre’s’ less capable titles.
Linny: Once the girls find themselves in a Board Game store/club, the show definitely gets all that more lively, in part thanks to the rather burly manager of the club. But of course there’s no denying that the main appeal of After School Dice Club is spreading awareness about board games through its kinda typical set up and cast of ‘cute high school girls’. As touched upon earlier, the girls all have pretty predictable and basic personalities, from the awkward introvert meant to elicit sympathy, the quirky extrovert to be the catalyst and main source of comedy source and the ‘nerdy’, law abiding class president to be the expert and secret ‘heart’ of the show. It’s ultimately yet another series that pairs ‘x’ hobby/activity with a group of high school girls and tries to be edutainment. In this case, it needs a lot more polish to actually work. With bland animation and cookie cutter designs and cast, After School Dice Club will really need to step up its game to be on someone’s watchlist, especially if they have no interest in board games.
After School Dice Club is available for streaming via Funimation.