Review: Hi-Score Girl Season 2

Two linked industries that have been gradually making their way to mainstream pop culture are video games and anime. The so-called Otaku culture is now becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Thus, more often than not, the inspiration behind many anime can be traced back to MMORPG classics. While most anime shows like ‘Sword Art Online‘ and ‘Overlord‘ are more about characters getting summoned into gaming worlds, ‘High Score Girl’ embraces the gaming culture by creating a very personal experience for its viewers. I wouldn’t say that it’s an anime for everyone, but if you’ve played your share of arcade classics like ‘Street Fighter’, you’ll find yourself falling in love with everything this anime has to offer.

High Score Girl Season 2 Plot Summary

In the first season, ‘High Score Girl’ started off more like a rivalry between its two pivotal characters—Harou and Akira. Harou, an avid gamer, is extremely passionate about gaming arcades and is also known as “beastly fingers” for his impeccable skills. On the other hand, there’s Akira, the complete opposite of Harou. She barely speaks a word but allows her hands to do all the talking and almost every game she gets her hands on, she ends up mastering it. Soon, because of their passion for gaming, their rivalry turns into something a lot more genuine and deep. The second season of ‘High Score Girl’ plays a key role in subtly building up their relationship to a point where they realize that they mean a lot more to each other than they had initially imagined.

High Score Girl Season 2 Review

Apart from all the rom-com elements that ‘High Score Girl’ uses to slowly build-up to its final moments, time and again, it also instills some classic gaming references and perfectly connects them to the overarching plot. There are moments in its storyline where it takes little detours to bring in other entertaining sub-plots. These sub-plots not only add a layer of comedy to its overall narrative but are eventually also linked to the development of characters. A good example of this the video game gang warfare Haru gets himself involved in.

Haru and Akira are, of course, the main drivers of its narrative but there are moments where their comical gimmicks get a little stale. This is where Koharu Hidaka’s involvement gets you more invested in the comedy aspect of the show. The involvement of love triangles is a tried and true concept used in almost every mainstream rom-com. Even so, the way ‘High Score Girl’ involves it feels a lot more genuine and natural. That’s probably because of how likable Koharu’s character is and also because of how genuine her character feels. All of this combined makes ‘High Score Girl’ a fascinating ride that balances comedy, drama, and romance.

When it comes to its production value, I wouldn’t say that J.C Staff has outdone itself in any way. Even from an animation standpoint, the Studio has created some epic shows like ‘Food Wars‘ and ‘Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?‘ Nonetheless, ‘High Score Girl’ is surprisingly good considering how it uses excessive CGI. The character designs are also pretty unique and their movements seem fluid for the most part.

Its very core relies on spelling out “nostalgia” for its viewers and then ubiquitously bringing that sensation using its plot, its gaming references, and its animation style. That’s the reason why its simple and classic style of animation perfectly melds well with its themes. Overall, ‘High Score Girl’ serves more as a lesson for other modern anime that belong to the gaming and romance genre. Not to mention, its paramount wholesome ending makes your journey, as a viewer, completely worth it and you can’t help but shed a tear or two.

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