Gamers! – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: “Would you like to be with me… in the Gamers Club?” Amano Keita is a perfectly mediocre loner with no particular distinguishing features other than his love for games. One day, his school’s prettiest girl and Gamer Club President Tendo Karen suddenly calls out to him. That moment changes Keita’s life forever, as he now finds himself in the midst of a romcom with beautiful girl gamers… or, well, that’s how it usually goes. Not with him, however. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Gamers! title could feel a little misleading if you pick it up assuming it is going to involve a lot of actual gaming. While the show does contain a fair amount of game related activities and locations, they’re more of a supporting element rather than the main attraction. Almost all of the characters are avid gamers but their gaming is just part of their personalities, more a hobby or something to kick off events and not their defining trait.
Tom: Gamers! starts slow. The first episode drags and is only saved by the hints of its more quirky style that’ll grow as you continue on through the season. The series gradually ramps up its antics and absurdity. By episode 4 Gamers! becomes a series built upon a wealth of hilarious misunderstandings that catapult it from a merely enjoyable romp to a rib tickling romantic comedy that stands out amongst a season otherwise filled disappointments and mediocrity.
Linny: Once the comedy really kicks in, Gamers! turns into a really hilarious romance comedy of errors, where misunderstandings lead to tons of drama and comedy forming the likes of a love pentagon. Watching our characters each get the most ridiculous wrong impressions or unintentionally make their own situations worse is bound to elicit plenty of laughs and face palms.
Tom: Gamers offers a handful of wonderfully quirky individuals. First is Amano Keita, the series’ meek, gamer lead. He’s a relatable, if naive and sometimes pig-headed main character and makes for an excellent starting point as the series gradually ramps up the mayhem. Then there’s Tendou Karen, the seemingly perfect secret and popular gamer girl. Watching her gradual descent from composed popular girl to love-struck and befuddled is a delight. From there the cast expands, offering an increasing number of screwed up personalities. Hoshinomori, the shy and opinionated gamer girl, Uehara Tasuku, the shy gamer turned ‘normie’ and Aguri, his pseudo-girlfriend and airhead. But it’s not so much the characters personas that make them appealing, but rather the ever increasing madness of the love pentagon they all become a part of. It’s incredible to watch as each of these individuals just get further and further mixed up.
Linny: The one thing that irks me is how Gamers! fails to sell exactly why Karen falls so hard for Keita in the first place. It’s an issue that tends to plague a fair number of anime romances, especially ones with harem settings. It’s frustrating that Gamers! fails to show exactly how and why Karen seems to have a thing for Keita. Some might argue that it is because he’s the first and maybe only guy to refuse her when she offers him a place in her exclusive club, but that still seems like a flimsy explanation to me.
Tom: Outside of a slow start, Gamers! also isn’t the most visually impressive series. It’s competent, but periodically suffers from hilarious animation mistakes. Such as a brief shot in episode six where ‘background’ characters are animated far smaller than they should be, making for an almost attack on titan sense of scaling. These mistakes, assuming they are, are few and far between however at times more a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ quirk than major detraction.
Linny: Gamers! has a rather mixed ambience when it comes to fan service oriented content. During the episodes themselves, our main female characters are pretty much treated with complete respect and decency. I struggle to recall any scenes that tried to exploit their physical assets. There is ONE female side character, a member of the gamers club, that keeps the buttons on her shirt undone but otherwise, there’s rarely any female character objectification. But then there’s the matter of the mid episode eye catches and after credit images which either hint at or fall squarely into fan service as they feature suggestive angles or skimpily clad female bodies and cast members.
Tom: Gamers! is a real surprise for the season. It aired late compared to the rest of this Summer’s offerings and opened with what is a fairly slow and plodding episode by comparison. But the show exhibited charm and quirk, only building upon those meager offerings episode to episode. By this point, the series has become an absolute juggernaut as a misunderstanding laden, romantic comedy that keeps getting crazier.
Linny: If you enjoy the so called ‘comedy of errors’ type of humour, especially in relation to romance and relationships, Gamers! could potentially end up as one of your favourites of this season. Even if the characters themselves might not initially stand out or grab your attention, their facial expressions and reactions, especially once the hijinks kick off, are bound to have you in stitches. Just keep in mind that the title refers more to the hobby that ends up bringing them together, rather than the central theme of the show.