Hi Score Girl

I checked out Hi Score Girl this weekend on Netflix. I gotta say, I wasn't expecting a cute little romantic comedy from the little I heard about it.

Basically it follows a grade school kid in the early 90s who's obsessed with video games, mostly arcade games. He develops a rivalry against a quiet rich girl who happens to be super awesome at video games, even moreso than him, and eventually developing into a love triangle with a girl he meets in middle school who develops a crush on him.

There's a lot of callbacks and references to old school video games, usually with quick descriptions and a surprisingly large amount of unique recorded footage. If you saw the first season of Genshiken you might recall how they milked the same footage of Guilty Gear for all it was worth. Hi Score Girl instead uses unique footage for every scene it's used, or at least from what I could tell. Since the plot sometimes heavily refers back to what's going on on-screen, it makes sense.

One caveat with the show is that it's 3DCG. It has a cel shaded look, which helps, but sometimes it can't quite escape the awkwardness of Japanese style CG animation. They cut frames to make it appear more "anime like," but I always think it looks like garbage whenever they do that. Thankfully there isn't much action in the show proper, so it gets away with it most of the time. When characters are standing around talking it's not noticeable.

I watched it dubbed, which I found to be done well. The dub script flowed naturally and the voice actors did a good job. Biggest complaint was the mom character adding an (s) to the end of manga. I'm in the camp where you shouldn't put an (s) at the end of anime or manga when referring to multiple. It sounds awful when people do that.

"Look at all this manga!" - okay

"Look at all these mangas!" - not okay

Whenever I hear it I think back to that Vice and Luna page from Anime News Network. 

Anywho, I recommend it. It's a nice afternoon killer.