Nana Maru San Batsu, retitled Fastest Finger First for its English-language run, is more literally translated “Seven Right, Three Wrong,” which is noted at the end of episode one as being a common device in quiz bowl shows where a competitor needs at seven right answers to win, but loses with three wrong ones. That’s just one thing we discover about the world of quiz bowls in the opening episode for the show, which follows the meek Shiki Koshiyama in his first couple of weeks of freshman year as he discovers his school’s quiz bowl group. Koshiyama picks up a quiz form from hyped-up circle leader Sasajima, and though he’s very good at answering the questions, he discovers he may have an even better talent when brought up on stage to answer in the proper format format with buzzers, while next to classmate and quiz bowl aficionado, Fukami.
So…I was in my high school’s quiz bowl team. We called it High-Q, and matches were aired on television locally through our PBS station. I never made it on air, joining only in my senior year and really acting as part of the “B” team to train our top players, but it was fun nonetheless. That experience isn’t enough to make me stream a series all season through, but you know what might? Interesting characters, a good premise, and a fun tone, and episode one of Nana Maru San Batsu had all of that. I don’t have a good beat on how I think the season will go (the continual pantsu joke was troublesome…why do you need to rely on that for your comedy?), but I’m intrigued enough to tune in another episode. I do know that if I start pretending to buzz in while watching, though, I’m in trouble.
Fastest Finger First is available to stream on Crunchyroll.