My Review of "Hi Score Girl: Season One"
An anime that kind of reminds me of an Archie comic but with lots of 90s Japanese arcade culture added in.
Hi Score Girl is very much like an Archie comic from what I remember back in the day. It even has all of the old comic book characters renamed but very reminiscent of the comic. I haven't seen an anime TV series in a long time and this kind of reminded me why I don't generally watch them that often. It's not my type of thing to watch but it was somewhat entertaining because I do love the 90s references that they talk about.
This season starts out with the main character Haruo and his explanation of how he's so into video games. I can really relate to him because I remember the exact things that he was talking about at the time. I loved the same games but didn't have the opportunities. You see Haruo lives in Japan and I'm not sure how it is now but they had arcades cabinets everywhere. He's able to play pretty much anywhere he wants.
One day he meets this girl that seems to be some Street Fighter prodigy. She's killing everyone at the arcade and he wants to take her down. They do add the proper atmosphere of how it really was at the arcade. The competitiveness of each of the players and the legendary status people would get when they'd get streaks. He was able to ultimately beat this little girl only to get beaten up by her right after.
This girl turns out to be a girl at his school named Ono. She's a rich girl that lives in a strict household. It so happens that all the boys are chasing after her as well. She also doesn't speak a word throughout the whole season. It kind of drove me nuts for a little while and then it became a running joke that I kind of understood.
Due to her strict upbringing she needs an outlet to let loose and it turns out that playing video games is kind of her thing to do. She's also happens to be a prodigy at video games. Whatever game she chooses to play she's just naturally good at it. This kind of drives Haruo up the wall since he has to work so hard to get to the same level. So their rivalry starts from the very beginning with street fighter but they build a friendship because of their love of video games.
As Ono is often under strict house restrictions there are times when she's isolated in her house so that she can study. She's got a really strict tutor that she hates. So we kind of have to add a few more characters to the mix. The biggest of those characters is a girl named Koharu. This girl has been in love with Haruo from the very beginning of their encounters. She follows Haruo like a loving puppy all the time.
The thing is Haruo has no idea. He's so stuck in his video games that he doesn't realize anything else happening around him. This clueless geek doesn't realize all of the opportunities that surround him but I guess that makes sense because it's not really his priority at the time.
Due to Haruo's love of video games he kind of gets Koharu to start getting into video games as well. It's kind of a nice thing for her to get into but it's ultimately not what she's after.
What I love about this series is that they accurately talk about a lot of the video game culture of the 90s that I loved so much. All of the game consoles that came out and the arcade games that were really popular were emphasized. They even mention some of the little known games and systems that not too many people were aware of. It was really a blast from the past with some of the references. They even got all of the game licenses for cameos throughout the show.
The thing is these types of animes aren't really only about the games. They have to have a relationship and this relationship really feels like an Archie comic. Archie of course is Haruo and the two girls that are after him are Ono and Koharu. Ono is pretty similar to Veronica in that she's the rich girl that's kind of posh but slums it to be with Haruo. She's even got black hair. Before you get at me about the hair color. Koharu is supposed to be Betty and she's got blond hair. She's also the poor girl that is after Haruo. Haruo is definitely more interested in Ono but yet Koharu still chases after Haruo. The similarities are uncanny.
There are some nice funny characters in this series like Haruo's mother, Ono's sister and man servant. There's even this female classmate that's totally sex crazed and her comments are absolutely a riot. Her lines are said in such an innocent way that you can understand how a child could think of saying such a thing.
Overall, this was an entertaining show but there are a ton of cheesy emo and predictable moments that kind of ruin some scenes for me. Still it was enjoyable even though I don't normally watch these type of series. I have to give this series a 6.5 out of 10. It's a little above average to all of those other romantic animes out there.