Finished Gamers! The second half sucked

This is why I try to finish a whole season before commenting. The first half of a show might be promising, but that doesn’t mean the whole thing won’t fall apart once they’ve successfully reeled in the viewers. Gamers! didn’t exactly fall apart, but it lost direction and humor and just meandered around for the last few episodes. The last good episode was episode 8, everything after that was all downhill.

To its credit stuff did happen in Gamers! The main character, despite his wishy-washy initial appearance, is able to convey his feelings to those who matter to him and they’re able to respond the same way. Unlike most “everyday-protagonist with a harem of ladies who like him” shows, concrete progress is made in key relationships and that progress actually sticks and doesn’t revert at the end of the episode/show. It’s very satisfying in that sense.

The problem is, that satisfaction happens about 60% of the way through the show. After that the writers couldn’t figure out how to keep the show entertaining. It’s a show built around wacky misunderstandings but when those misunderstandings are cleared up, what’s a writer to do? Why, make more misunderstandings, no matter how far-fetched or contrived! And when those run out? Do nothing! The last three episodes were particularly meaningless. I am told episode 11 is almost entirely filler, which really shouldn’t happen in a 12-episode show based on a light novel.

Summary of the good points and bad points of Gamers!

Good

  • The bait-and-switch premise grabs your interest. I thought it would be about a gaming club but…
  • The first half is quite unpredictable. The development at the end of episode 6 was especially surprising.
  • The misunderstandings are entertaining at first. Some of the internal monologues and the way characters interpret innocent comments in the craziest of ways are pretty funny.
  • The many video game references are a cool bonus if you are into video games. But it’s not so video game heavy that non-gamers can’t understand it.

Bad

  • The characters go up and down in likeability and may annoy you in one episode and delight you the next.
  • A new character was introduced around episode 8 just keep keep the misunderstandings going. She serves no purpose otherwise and is actively annoying.
  • Uehara is a jerk.
  • Chiaki was cuter with the seaweed hair.
  • Sometimes the characters act hypocritically. E.g. character A hangs out with character B and his girlfriend even though she mistakenly thinks B has the hots for her. Or character B is all buddy-buddy with character C even though he’s planning to ruin her relationship and hook her boyfriend up with character A.
  • Even though the show is called Gamers! the bulk of the last episode is devoted to having the only non-gamer character (Aguri) bash video games for 20 minutes straight. Why would you go on a Gamers’ Meetup trip if you think they’re such a waste of time? And why would you keep harping on it? We call that trolling in real life, miss. All the goodwill I had built up for her went out the window.
  • The show avoided fanservice for 11 episodes then let loose in the last episode. What for??? Anyone who came to Gamers! for the fanservice must have left by then.
  • You can quit after episode 8 and be perfectly fine. In fact you should quit after episode 8.
  • Some threads are left hanging at the end. Like the implications of Uehara’s “I choose you!” statement. And the lie between Chiaki, Konoha and Amano. I got flack for calling the show an advert for the light novel, but the results speak for themselves.

Do I recommend it?

Eh. Sure. It’s one of the more rewarding romance shows I’ve seen in a while. By which I mean the main romance actually goes somewhere, and quickly too. Those who followed Hayate no Gotoku for years only to get Butler End know my pain. The show peaks too early and loses focus for the last few episodes, but if you watch it in one go instead of weekly you won’t mind too much. It’s worth a watch if you have time to kill and don’t mind high-school romance hijinks and people who just can’t communicate.

 

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