Keita Amano is an ordinary guy who likes playing video games and has no friends other than those he plays with online. As far as he’s concerned, some people, like the super-popular Karen Tendou, are only to be admired from afar, which is why when Karen approaches him one day at a video game store, he is thrown for a loop. Not only that, but she actually belongs to the school’s Game Club, and recruits Keita to join the club. There, he meets other members of the gaming club, one who’s won major first-person shooter competitions and another who dominates in fighting games, as well as another guy Karen invited who specializes in block puzzles. He gets to play some games with the group and despite getting completely destroyed by the others, he has a fun time. Overall, Keita finally has made some gaming friends and even gets to know a beautiful girl in the process, and everything looks like the start of shining high school days, so naturally he refuses to join the club. Wait, what?
Up until the end, Gamers! was a fairly standard, albeit well-executed and funny light-novel-adapted romantic comedy. The premise is fairly standard, elevated with some nice humor, especially with some top-notch reaction faces, and some interesting moments of foreshadowing. However, it’s the end of the episode that throws a wrench in the usual works and takes the show in a very interesting direction. It’s pretty clear that the Game Club is full of very competitive gamers who are all playing to be the best. However, Keita would rather play video games for fun, and feels out of place in the super-competitive atmosphere of the club. This makes Keita much more interesting of a protagonist, as he actually has a defined trait about his gaming that puts him in conflict with Karen and the others in the club. It also sets the show up well for a story that explores the ages-long conflict between competitive and “casual” gamers, something that definitely interests me a lot. There’s enough on this subject that I could write an entire blog post about it (hmm…) but needless to say, this show has caught my interest much more than I thought it would.
Gamers! is streaming on Crunchyroll.