After School Dice Club – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

I confess: as far as cute girls doing cute things anime goes right now, I just want it to be January already. I need my Laid-Back Camp short anime damn it…and the movie…and the second season…

Still, I need my CGDCT fix for this Fall season so first off, we have After School Dice Club. It pretty much follows the tried and true formula of “anime girls forming a club together, hijinks ensue” but to its credit, the tabletop gaming theme is refreshing to see. On top of that, the show is focusing on “lesser-known” games and not the super icons such as Monopolyor Scramble. While I would be kind of game for, say, an 8-part Monopoly episode (think of the friendship drama you could have), this approach is bound to be more appealing or exciting to board game aficionados as well as people who aren’t too familiar with the hobby. I personally fall in the latter so and I won’t lie, the game featured in this premiere, Marrakech looked pretty fun. I wouldn’t mind giving it a try (provided that it’s available here in the States).

Of course, you still need characters to keep things engaging. Three of the four main girls have been introduced and their chemistry with each other is actually pretty solid. Miki (Saki Miyashita) is the shy one who wants to take a little more initiative in her activities. Midori (Miyu Tomita) is the smart but socially reserved student council president. The round of Marrakech makes it evident that each girl brings out what the other is lacking. Miki feels more courageous playing the game with Midori helping her out and Midori seems livelier and invested when she’s playing with Miki. Meanwhile, you have Aya (Marika Takano) who doesn’t seem to have a flaw at the moment but where she comes into play is that she’s the one who gets the gang together. She encourages Miki to go a detour around Kyoto with her and her following Midori to the game store she works at leads into her classmates playing a game together. Suffice to say, she has a pretty important role to play in this show.

We’ll see how the CGDCT competition fares this season but honestly, if After School Dice Club turns out to be the only decent one out of the bunch, I’d be okay with that. It has a distinct and refreshing subject going for it and the characters seem likable enough to make the show more than just a moefied look at board games. Unless the watch list is crowded and the competition is so much better or After School Dice Club jumps the shark (and really, this kind of show has to try to do that), I can see myself sticking with this show.


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8 thoughts on “After School Dice Club – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

  1. “On top of that, the show is focusing on European board games which I personally find exciting as that’s not something I’m not too familiar with.” Based on the games on the shelves in the store, this statement isn’t actually entirely correct based on how games are categorized in the hobby space. Euro games have a very specific meaning, this is more a “for your information” than a criticism in your writing.

    The game, Marrakech, is actually a pretty bad example of what a Euro game looks like. It’s way too light. It’s an excellent gateway or family weight game, which is why it was probably picked for this first episode. Easy to explain rules that aren’t difficult to grasp in just a few minutes. That doesn’t mean the game is bad, far from it!

    I know a LOT about board games (coming from a guy with 200+ of them) so this game is tailor made to me. Every game in the show seems to be 100% real, with the actual titles (in German typically, which actually isn’t that accurate for stores like this in Japan, they’d more likely be in English or Japanese from what I’ve seen/heard about). If you ever want to learn more about games, get recommendations, or ask about something from the show, please just ask 🙂

    Anyway, sorry this was kind of monster comment/lecture lol. I hope you enjoy the show all the way through, I’m really looking forward to watching more myself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Got ya, I’m glad that didn’t come off as super condescending lol. Text is not always the best medium for conveying tone alongside thoughts. I’ll get to your other response in a second.

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      • Really just “board games”, but since you want to specifically distance them from “traditional games” (think Monopoly, Scrabble, Uno, etc… which isn’t to say they are bad game necessarily), just say “modern games”.

        The truth is, games don’t look like traditional games anymore, you can go to almost any major retailer, like a Target or Walmart, and find a fair number of modern games. Traditional games really only live from nostalgia and the constant cultural pressure since everybody knows what they are, and seemingly has them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I ended up going with “lesser-known”; felt like the best phrasing I could use though I did leave it in quotation marks to better reflect that I’m saying this as someone who isn’t in the know.

          I think I said “European” because the shop owner said the store specializes in games from that region. But judging from your elaboration, I’m thinking that was put in the script to make the subject more digestible for people like me.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sounds good, I’m sure that the show will teach more about the hobby and you’ll discover a lot of neat stuff 🙂

            Yeah, that’s entirely likely. I mean, it is still /correct/ in the geographical sense, I just was letting you know that “Euro” had a very specific meaning in the hobby itself. There’s a term for “American” style games too, “Ameritrash/Amerithrash”. The difference typically denotes the amount of randomness and player interaction. They both seem like broad terms, but they are actually pretty specific (most of the time). There are a lot of little genre tags for games.

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