Love and Arcade Games
- Episodes : 9
- Genre : Comedy, Game, Romance, School, Seinen
- Airing Date : October 26, 2019 – December 21, 2019
- Producers : JC Staff
High Score Girl II Introduction
Continuing where the previous season of High Score Girl leaves off, Haruo is becoming more conscious of his conflicting feelings for Akira and Koharu, who are also his rivals at Street Fighter. Koharu has made it clear that she likes Haruo and knowing Akira, though she never speaks, her actions are enough to indicate she feels the same way. Only through their common passions for arcade gaming can Haruo find who his true love is!
1. The Portrayal of Tokyo’s Pop Culture
The second installment of High Score Girl takes place in the middle of the 1990s, so it does an amazing job of portraying not just the games that were popular in Japan during that time, but many of Tokyo’s evolving trends. While Shibuya today might not be a hub for gaming culture, 20 years ago, that was the case. However, High Score Girl effectively demonstrates that the Shibuya district has always been a center for youth culture and that tradition continues to this very day. In the first half of the series, viewers get to see the beginning of the bizarre trend of ganguro (please google it if you want to know more about it). In the early part of High Score Girl II, Haruo hangs out at Shibuya’s arcades and even adopts its fashion trends!
2. Focuses on Character Development
What we enjoyed most about High Score Girl II is that it focuses on Haruo’s individual development in addition to his relationships with Koharu and Akira. While the contrasts between Koharu and Akira are straight to the point, the story does a great job of exploiting them in order to make Haruo choose who his destiny lies with. Haruo is still that socially awkward child, but through the common passions he shares with his friends, he learns to value them as he slowly comes to terms with his true feelings.
Like its predecessor, what High Score Girl II does best is using actual footage of video games when portraying them. Meaning when the show shows Super Street Fighter II X in action, it uses actual footage from the game. It also includes other hit arcade titles such as Street Fighter Zero 2, Night Warriors, and Virtua Fighter 2. So if you’re a passionate retro arcade lover, High Score Girl is the anime for you. For some of you older readers out there (as in older millennials and up), it may bring back some memories of when you went to the arcade. For some of you younger readers that never had the chance to experience the arcade, High Score Girl will give you an idea of what arcades were like.
1. You Have to See the First Series
In order to enjoy and follow this season, you have to watch the first season of High Score Girl. While the present season does a good job of recapping and reestablishing the characters and their relationships, it’s best to start with the first season so you have an idea of how they progress to where they are by the end of season 2. In addition to the love triangle, watching the series as a whole is best for viewers to also see how Haruo develops.
2. Simple Art
For viewers that want something very sophisticated in their visuals, High Score Girl is probably not the series for you. The designs and the animation are very simple, to the point that you’d probably think that this series is a high school project. If you can get past its simplistic style, you’ll probably get a kick out of the series. If you can’t, then as we said before, we recommend you watch something that fits your standards and/or tastes.
3. No Street Fighter III
A joke that is somewhat used a few times in High Score Girl is when Street Fighter III is going to come out. Between the first and second seasons, viewers and characters are treated to the first Street Fighter, all versions of Street Fighter II, and the first two Street Fighter Zero games. In some scenes, some characters ask when Street Fighter III is coming out. For those that wanted to see Street Fighter III in High Score Girl II, unfortunately, the series doesn’t progress that far in the timeline in order to portray its real-life release.
If you’re looking for something serious and insightful like Evangelion, you’re not going to get that with High Score Girl II. If you’re looking for something fun and simple, then High Score Girl II is the right anime for you. While love triangles can be common in just about any teenage situation in media, High Score Girl makes it very relatable to its core audience. Maybe we can find true love at the arcade, or through any other form of gaming. For Westerners, for whom arcades in their respective countries have gone the way of the dodo, this is a great opportunity to relive their memories or to learn more about the retro scene.
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