Cool. Calm. Collected.
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Game, School, Seinen
- Airing Date: Jul. 2017 - Ongoing
- Producers: TMS Entertainment
Nana Maru San Batsu Preview (No Spoilers)
Anime Preview (No Spoilers)
The bookish Koshiyama Shiki was hoping to have a quiet, uneventful first year of high school when he arrived at Buzou High School. Perplexed at which school club to join, he had a chance encounter with Sasajima Gakuto that would make his school life a little more exciting than he would have liked. After coming to see a live demonstration of Gakuto’s Quiz Club for himself, he finds himself intrigued at the prospect of joining. There, Shiki puts all his years of book knowledge to good use and starts his journey to become an ace at quiz games.
Gakuto Sasajima Bio
Seiyuu Name: Satou Takuya
Sasajima Gakuto is an ace buzzer-beater and quiz game genius. To call him an eccentric would be putting it mildly, as he is passionate enough to carry around a defunct buzzer with him to practice his timing. Formerly from the quiz game champion Kaijou Middle School, he opted to switch schools to Buzou Prefectural High School for mysterious reasons. Establishing his own quiz club, he leads the members in growing better at the various games, and demonstrates his prowess often.
Gakuto Sasajima Highlights
1. Glasses Make The Man
There have been many bespectacled heroes in anime. Dating sim expert Katsuragi Keima from The World God Only Knows, as well as fellow “Gakuto” Takehito Morokuzu from Prison School, an expert of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Sasajima Gakuto enters the ranks of such legendary glasses-wearing characters, and utilizes the trademark “dramatic glasses push” like a pro.
When other characters might grow restless and nervous, he instead smiles and collects himself. In his very first scene, Sasajima Gakuto established himself as “the” glasses-wearing badass of the series. The protagonist Koshiyama Shiki may wear glasses as well, but in the world of Fastest Finger First, Shiki is a glasses boy whereas Gakuto is a glasses man.
In the first episode, Shiki was drawn to the perplexed crowd surrounding Gakuto as he explained his passion for quiz games. The very idea of a quiz club had many scratching their heads, and others even laughing at the very notion of such a waste of time. However, Sasajima Gakuto was unperturbed. He relishes the limelight, even if it paints him as a strange individual.
For him, every opportunity others give him to speak is a chance for him to win them over to the new and fledgling club. In a quiz game, you take every opportunity that comes, and Gakuto treats recruitment with the same mindset. Whenever he notices an exceptional strategy or quick-witted answer, he tends to smile and push his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. Answer well, quiz club members. Senpai has noticed you!
2. A Consummate Pro
As a former member of the Kaijou Middle School quiz club, Sasajima Gakuto has built up a reputation equally as decorated as the school’s club itself. He’s well known by all the other clubs for being clever and quick-witted. What’s more, he even understands the soul of the game itself.
Sasajima Gakuto can also recognize what is considered good etiquette and what isn’t. For example, when quiz club member Koshiyama Shiki blurted out an answer, voiding a round in episode 3, he took full responsibility himself and left with him. Later in the series, he also recognized what Sonohara Akira was doing and frowned upon it, despite it being within the rules.
No matter what the situation, he always conducts himself like a professional in regards to quiz club activities. More than anything, that might be why veterans like Fukami Seiji, the former captain of Kaijou’s quiz club, held him in such regard. Despite being more than a little eccentric 99% of the time, as well as having a mysterious background, he has never done anything to cause him or his club to lose face.
3. A True Leader
All the members of the Buzou quiz club admire and respect Sasajima Gakuto. He’s always done his best to prepare and instruct them in various ways to succeed at quiz games. Even if his methods might seem a little outlandish at first, they’ve always been to each of the members’ benefit. For example, during a mock quiz battle, he used a calculator as a makeshift quiz buzz system, given that the club didn’t have the funds to purchase their own. By assigning each member to a number, they were able to see whose reflexes were the fastest when it came time to answer.
He sees a promising future for the shy and unconfident Koshiyama Shiki and has paid him special attention to nurture his talent. While Shiki was at first reluctant to join, and was more convinced by his crush on Fukami Mari to eventually participate, further encounters with Gakuto convinced him that he was a trustworthy senpai. Showing Shiki how to best use his massive backlog of trivia and knowledge, Gakuto has impressed upon the young man that he does have talent for quizzes.
Even though they all belong to the same club, they don’t always play side by side. When it came time for them to compete at Asagaoka’s all-girl school at the invitation of Sonohara Chiaki, they realized just how talented Gakuto was. He led them as the first into the next round. When the questions seemed difficult, he answered them easily, showing Shiki and the rest that they did, in fact, study enough to continue in the unorthodox quiz game, they just needed to retrain their thought process. He’s always leading the charge, even if it doesn’t always appear that way initially.
4. A Caring Brother
In episode 4, Gakuto’s arrival with a mysterious bishoujo caused the other club members to be confused. Seeing the club captain riding to school so casually with a pretty girl might have been a distraction, but the explanation was less exciting than they imagined. It turns out that the girl was none other than Sasajima Jinko, Gakuto’s younger sister. Although they look nothing alike and Jinko has a country accent, they are apparently very close.
Jinko is very much into electronics and tinkering, as she took apart a fully working quiz game buzz system and put it back together, causing a bit of drama in the process. She also misplaced her electronics book, requiring Shiki to retrieve and return it to her. Shiki being forced to share half his lunch with her previously caused him a bit of drama as well.
Jinko had been studying how to create a lower-cost quiz buzz system so that Gakuto’s club could finally have one. She and Gakuto went to Akihabara to buy electronic components to build the device, and Gakuto was insistent that they spend as little as possible. An older brother who gives his imouto a ride to school despite getting strange looks and who tries to keep their finances in order is very caring indeed.
5 Always Prepared
After extensive practicing, the members of Buzou High School’s quiz club proceeded to Asagaoka’s quiz meet. The competition would prove to be a challenge even for veteran quiz gamers, but it was nothing out of the realm of what Sasajima Gakuto had prepared. At the opening question, he answered correctly, scoring a whopping 47 out of 50 points to place in the lead. Taking the time to visit Asagaoka’s school website scored him the tiebreaker answer and allowed him to take first place against Kaijou’s High School’s captain Ookura Kunimitsu.
When it comes down to it, Sasajima Gakuto always goes above and beyond the expected to secure a guaranteed win. He has tried to instill this mindset in the younger first year members of the club in order to get them accustomed to competitive quiz games early on. By giving out questionnaires containing popular questions that constantly reappear in quiz games, he taught them how to recognize and quickly answer the easy ones first. Of course, he himself has had all these memorized, most likely since he was in middle school. Such a terrifying zeal for quiz games can never be matched unprepared!
Nana Maru San Batsu is an odd sports shounen where everything is dramatic despite the most heated events coming from the push of a button. Of all the strange occurrences within the series, perhaps the shrewd intellect of Sasajima Gakuto is the most surprising. A mysterious individual with an almost too perfect grasp of quiz games who sets up shop at an unknown school that has little to no experience in quiz game competitions seems a bit odd in retrospect. Perhaps he went there seeking a challenge, but not even his friends and former allies know for sure. Whatever the case, Sasajima Gakuto is one cool character within the show.
Do you have any favorite Gakuto moments from Nana Maru San Batsu? Any other characters that happen to be your favorites? Have you ever answered any of the questions in the show faster than Gakuto himself?? Let us know in the comments section! We’d love to hear your thoughts!