Should You Watch, Hi-Score Girl?

Netflix Original: Hi Score Girl

At the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic, while we were all safely quarantining in our own homes, I, like many others, was searching the streaming platforms for something to watch to help pass the time. Scrolling mindlessly through Netflix, I came across a captivating title card which featured two characters on the foreground and a bunch of arcade machines in the back. Since I had paused over the title card for longer than 10 seconds, the trailer for show began to auto-play, and I was immediately intrigued when I saw a kid playing an old school arcade game known as Street Fighters. The image of the retro sprites on the screen was nostalgic punch to the gut, and as I gasped for air, I clicked on the title and proceeded to watch the first episode, then the second, and then the third. The show successfully pulled at my gamer heart strings.

Hi-Score girl is a “slice of life” anime based on a manga written by Rensuke Oshikiri. It centers around the main protagonist Haruo Yaguchi a young, under achieving, middle school student, who happens to be an avid gamer in the early 90’s arcade scene, and his oblivious nature to puppy love. He then meets Akira Ono, who is wealthy young affluent girl who is also into the gaming scene and gives him a run for his money in a Street Fighters challenge. By fourth episode we are presented with Koharu Hidaka, a girl who happens to be incredibly intelligent and falls for Haruo intense passion for arcade gaming.

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From the start, the show quickly made me fall in love with its characters and develop an attachment to them. I was so intrigued by them that I felt their pains and struggles as problems came into their lives. The voice actors did a great job in making me believe the emotional state each character found themselves in. The music, although not the best, does help making the scene that much more enchanting. At times, the show cuts away from the story to provide an exposition on the gaming scene in that era, like character inputs or stats, which to me, were like sparkles on an ice cream cone.

The CRT filter on the retro games were a magical touch

As far as the animation is concerned, it’s nothing overly impressive and it takes a cell shaded approach, which for me, only works on the Fire Emblem Games. The opening song to the show is upbeat and charming but again nothing spectacular. The closing song however, perfectly encapsulates the charm of the show and have added it to my ever growing playlist of Japanese bops.

Should you watch Hi Score Girl?
-If you like retro games
-Are into love triangle conflicts
-Are willing to have your feelings punched

Then the answer is YES

One thought

  1. I really liked the first season of this anime, while I liked the second one a bit less… Hopefully the third one would be as good as the previous ones

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