High Score Girl
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School, Video Games
First Aired: Summer 2018, 12 episodes
Summary: The year is 1991. Yaguchi Haruo is a seemingly average 6th grader. He doesn’t have many friends, he’s not doing well in school, and he doesn’t really care. His favorite part of every day is when he is able to go to the local arcade and play video games. He loves every type of game and is always going for the high score. He studies the best strategies by watching the best players and emulating their moves. One day at the arcade he plays Street Fighter II against his classmate Oono Akira, who is a smart, pretty, rich girl you would not expect to see at the arcade. Haruo expects to pick up an easy win but is destroyed by Akira. He then proceeds to lose to her 30 days in a row! He can’t beat her at any game! Through the rigmarole of challenging Akira to video games every day, the two develop a friendship.
The strength of High Score Girl comes through its characters and references to video game culture. The nostalgia ran deep for me as I was watching this series, seeing the games they played and their takes on different game characters and scenarios. The most in-depth game they feature is Street Fighter II, showing actual game footage in the show. Showing Final Fight was another one that brought back memories. The contrasting personalities were fun to watch, with Haruo being an outgoing and loud boy compared to the quiet and calculating Akira.
You might enjoy this if: You grew up playing video games in the 90s or just want to watch a friendship bloom between some geeky youth.
You might not like it if: You live in the present and don’t ever want to look back at the past.
Note to the Viewer: In 2014 SNK Playmore claimed an IP violation against Square Enix for the use of some of its characters in the High Score Girl manga. In 2015 the two companies reached a settlement.
AMV – Wonderwall by Planet AMV
High School Girl Opening
(If anything, just watch the opening and see how many of the video game references you get)