Lightning Round (8/6/17) – New Game!! | Fastest Finger First | Gamers! | Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun

New Game!! – Ep. 4 

Good grief, that new project looks messed up….and I’d probably play the hell out of it.

This episode was largely about Hifumi which is great since she’s one of my favorite characters in the show. As someone who used to be extremely shy and socially awkward, I relate a lot to Hifumi and her growth.

I can imagine some people will look at the Moon Ranger concert scene as another antic but I actually found a big takeaway out of that scene. Hifumi really has been becoming more outgoing. Honestly, if this was S1 Hifumi, I think she’d be too embarrassed to publicly do that heart shoot thing with her friends. When Aoba recognized how much fun Hifumi was having at that event, I think we are supposed to recognize that as a change in Hifumi’s character. Yagami also recognizes that Hifumi has become more expressive as of late.

There is also the big moment at the episode where Hifumi gets promoted to the leader of the character team so that Yagami can better manage her art director duties. It makes sense since Hifumi is the most experienced member of the team after Yagami and this will be a huge opportunity for her to become more assertive. But this might be a obstacle for her and Aoba. They are great friends but since Aoba is the one designing the characters, I’m concerned how well Hifumi will be able to critique Aoba’s work (especially after their talk last episode).

Fastest Finger First – Ep. 5

Team Buzou plays against Team Miyaura in a practice match this episode. I kind of figured that Team Buzou would lose (Team Miyaura are clearly way better at buzzing) but that was a pretty close match. Shiki still shows serious potential; he’s slowly getting better at recognizing patterns and parallels and his wealth of knowledge is still unrivaled. I was surprised to find out that Daisuke is extremely good at math but that makes him a way more valuable asset than a pop culture otaku. As for Mari, she’s clearly the most bummed about losing the match but Shiki and Daisuke are able to help her enjoy the match a bit. I suppose Mari’s fixation on winning is what her arc will center on.

We also get a more proper introduction for that hungry library girl from last episode. Apparently, she’s Gakuto’s sister Jinko and I’m with Shiki and the others, who could’ve seen that coming? There’s definitely a story as to why Jinko has a Kansai accent but Gakuto doesn’t. At the very least, Team Buzou are finally getting their buzzers! Rest in peace, practice calculator.

Gamers! – Ep. 4 

Okay, that was funny! I’m a little surprised that this episode doesn’t continue off from last episode’s cliffhanger but I ended up looking past it because Karen is easily the best character in the show. The girl needs some serious help with her Amano-kun obsession but boy does it serve as some solid comedy. It’s just funny how the seemingly popular Karen acts so flustered around someone as socially awkward and geeky as Keita. I love how she switches between recomposing herself to getting flustered around Keita. I especially lost it when the show shows Karen’s daily life pre-Keita and post-Keita. It’s even funnier because Karen’s narration is largely the same but post-Keita, it gets interrupted and faded out by noise and the music is appropriately distorted.

It’s interesting and funny that Karen is getting progressively worse at games because her mind is so fixated on Keita and his preference to just have fun with games. I guess love will do that to you. But you know, Keita’s view on gaming and winning was quite on point. Part of the joy of gaming is success and becoming good at gaming for that success can be very admirable. Keita certainly understands that which is why he respects the Gaming Club but no one can blame him for lacking that drive to git gud. Not everyone can dedicate themselves to constant practice and competition and some people just want to have fun with games.

Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun – Eps. 5 & 6 

Aoyama-kun occasionally surprises me with how serious it can get. This is notably the case in Episode 5 where it’s revealed that Tsukamoto’s gimmick of playing soccer with his butt got him bullied in junior high. That’s a remarkably dark backstory, especially for a comic relief side character. Social ridicule was also the theme of Episode 4 (Narita was afraid of people knowing he’s a germaphobe) and I wonder if that theme will carry from time to time. Frankly, I’m impressed that a comedy like this is willing to explore such territory. That said, the payoff was pretty funny. The fact that Aoyama risked a victory so that Tsukamoto could land a shot with his but is just glorious.

Episode 6 is a lot more comedic but it’s neat that this anime showed how someone who doesn’t know about the phobia would perceive Aoyama as a person. It’s even funnier that Ozaki is a mangaka so when he views Aoyama as an evil person, he turns him as this evil “Wizard” in his manga. But what elevates that scenario even more is that, to Ozaki’s surprise, Wizard becomes the most popular character of the manga. As a result, he attempts to defame Wizard until his publisher demands that he address it. It’s funny how Ozaki’s attempts all rely on manga tropes and that ends up backfiring on him. I don’t know if the message is that life is the best source for artistry but it does kind of come across like that. And the best part of this scenario? Ozaki finds out that Aoyama doesn’t even read his manga. What a solid punchline that was.

Thanks for reading!

Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun is officially available on Crunchyroll.

Gamers! is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

Fastest Fingers First is officially available on Crunchyroll.

New Game!! is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

For all of my Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!

For all of my Gamers! Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!

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