My impression after watching episode 1: this is an interesting premise I want to see more of with the most annoying characters I would like to see all struck from the face of the earth. My impression after watching episode 2: I will put up with obnoxious high school girls only so I can see more cool board games. Premise is simple: two 10th graders discover their classmate works at a small board game store she teaches them to play a game and they are introduced to the amazing world of board games which apparently are not super popular in Japan or so this should would lead you to believe no idea if thats correct or just convenient for the plot. One of the first things youll notice when the game shop is shown for the first time is theyre not just drawing generic boxes. No theyre beautifully illustrated actual reallife games you could play right now. A game gets played in every episodeI can honestly say I now want a chance to play Marrakech a game in episode one that involves strategically moving a rug merchant around and trying to cover more of the board with your rugs than another players. The games are the reason to watch. Each episode is a different game and no game is played in more than one episode. Also going on my list of games to obtain is Kaker Laken Poker/Cockroach Poker a card bluffing game and Im also interested in playing Incan Gold a strategy game and The Island/Survive: Escape from Atlantis where players try to move pieces off a sinking island. The games get a basic explanationprobably not enough that I could play right away but enough that I think I got a decent understanding of whether Id enjoy the game at least. It was also fun spotting games in the shop and wondering if theyd make an appearance after yelling PLAY BLOKUS PLAY BLOKUS PLAY THE FRIKKIN BLOKUS at the beginning of every episode they did in fact finally play the Blokus game Id seen sitting in the background at the beginning in episode 10. I own Blokus. Good game. The downside of the show isthe main characters. Bluehaired Miki is terminally shy and I just cant like her as a character. Pigtailed Aya is a Manic Pixie Childish Girl. Rulesloving Midori is pretty inflexible but is mostly a nice character actually. But my gosh are the first two annoying. Later a partGerman girl shows up and I was like is there an epidemic of bad German accents going around this season because FIRST MOMIJI SOHMA and NOW THIS but it turns out theyre voiced by the same American voice actress so that explains it. But it certainly didnt help. Her dad also has a notsupergreat German accent so. Verdict English dub? Yes and its OK. Actually most of the voices are fine but bluehaired Miki has a thin highpitched voice that fits her character but her character is wimpy and partGerman Emmy has the same pseudoGerman accent that drove me nuts with Momiji in Fruits Basket. How nuts? I spent half an hour searching Youtube for actual Germans speaking English just to remind me what it actually sounds like. Visuals: Characters a fine nothing flashy. But the backgrounds are beautiful and show many real spots around Kyoto where its set Crunchyroll has a blog post HERE comparing the anime visuals with real spots and as noted above the games themselves get beautifully illustrated. Worth watching? Yes if interested in board games and you can stand a really whiny wimpy 10th grader. Miki does improve for at least half the episodes but shes often plagued by selfdoubt or bad memories that slow everything down. Even with the obnoxious characters I dont regret watching. Plus its only 12 episodes.
65 /100
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