Hi-Score Girl Seasons One and Two Review: The Perfect Love Story for Gamers

Ah, the 90s, the Golden Era of Cartoons ( such as the Disney Afternoon, Nintendo’s Super Mario: Super Show, Sonic the Hedgehog,) and the beginning of Cult Fighting Arcade Video Game Fandoms such as Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken. In Netflix’s Hi-Score Girl, we meet Haruo Yaguchi who dedicated his life to become one of the Greatest Video Gamers in the World, that was until he met Akira Ono, a quiet rich girl who has the Gaming Skill that Haruo cannot match. She’s confident and bold, an intense rivalry forms as something more begins to bloom in the background; meanwhile, a new challenger entered the battle and her name was Koharu Hidaka! Can Haruo balance his gaming skills and learn how to master the proper skills in the game of life? Insert your Coins and Press Start! Time for the review!

Hi-Score Girl Teaser Promotional Video

Adapted from the Manga, Hi-Score Girl is written and illustrated by Mangaka Rensuke Oshikiri, this anime has set itself apart from other CG anime but with it being the first season, there are some issues with choppy movement but with it being the beginning of the series it is always crucial to experiment first when approaching a new series and new characters. J.C. Staff isn’t a stranger to this approach, the Company is not only using 3-D but also using 2-D to make this series animation not only consistent but fluid as well; the studio’s approach to the Character designs and their emotions work well and stay true to Rensuke Oshikiri’s material especially when approaching a character that is not only mysterious but never really speaks, the character that I’m referring to is Akira Ono. Another thing that fans would love about the series is its love for Arcade gaming, but what makes this series work, even more, is how it emphasizes the passing of time and the growth of the characters throughout the years of their lives, from when they are finishing Elementary School, up to when she had to leave to go overseas the first time (One of the most tearful moments of the first season I assure you, there were tears when this reviewer first watched this!) The first season had around 12 episodes but also 3 OVAs that were included on Netflix, some viewers might be confused when they see Akira randomly punching or kicking Haruo but the series has a cartoony, comedic tone (a bit of a Slice-of-life tone to it). At some point, viewers come to the realization that poor Haruo is a bit of a doofus at times but does break away from it when it comes to his rivalry with Akira.

We begin to venture 5 years after Akira left for overseas, Haruo is still gaming and improving his skills but the ‘apprentice’ he thought that he was training has started to develop feelings for him too, Koharu knew nothing about the outside world, her nose was always in a book, studying away until she met ‘Beastly Fingers’ Haruo, he began to show her how to play video games and it started a friendship that would begin to turn into a different rivalry, only this time it leads into a love-triangle! A character that stood out the most in this series was Haruo’s mother, she was strange, had weird jokes and made sure she got her point across with her son if he acted out of line but it was Comedy Gold whenever she was involved, including with Akira’s older sister Makoto. Other than the romance and the comedy involved in this Anime there is also love for the Video Games that made our lives so memorable, whether you were a Console Gamer or Arcade Gamer.

Final Grade:

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

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