Cool Game-Related Anime

What do you think about game situation analyses in media like Hunter x Hunter and No Game No Life? I personally think they’re kind of cool, but do you think they misrepresent how games are actually played?

I ended up watching NGNL because my brother was really into it. On reflection, it didn’t really have anything to do with games, and kind of made up the rules of every game as it went.

I still haven’t seen HxH, but it’s on the list.

As for good games anime, I learned the rules of Japanese Mahjong (different from normal mahjong, way more complicated) to follow what the hell was going on in Akagi, and that was pretty impressive.

Kaiji is also pretty great for its nutso death Gambles, as well as Gambling Emperor Zero, both invent a number of great death gambles and have clever solutions to them.I also saw Yugioh Season 0, which was pretty bad, but kinda cute (and later seasons which were a big part of everyone’s childhood and also pretty bad).

I watched all of The Genius season 1 with my discord server:

Another good one is The Liar Game, a manga about zero-sum games involving stealing all the money from your opponents.

I feel like they add a fair amount of extra exposition time to create clever strategies that normal people probably wouldn’t think up, but given The Genius, a live action game show with real contestants, had much of the same plot arcs, I don’t think they’re that misrepresentative.

With turn based games where the players have time to deliberate it works pretty well, it just gets kinda weird when it’s about real-time games. It’s difficult to simultaneously show and explain action in real-time games, either in anime or manga, though there are 3 fighting game manga making a pretty good run of it lately, Umehara – Fighting Gamers!, High Score Girl, and Someday We’ll Get There. Of these, High Score Girl is definitely my favorite, very charismatic characters, and it’s like a trip through the japanese arcade scene of the 90s, with the characters actively growing up and experiencing a range of different games, but primarily fighting games, and getting very in touch with real strategies and cultural practices players actually did. Also, it’s funny how Daigo is the villain of his own manga.

I saw Ping Pong and didn’t actually like it that much. The message seemed to be a lot about talent and what you do or don’t do with it, and that just doesn’t resonate with me at all. Pacing was slow too. Animation was nice.

Meanwhile, I friggen loved Baby Steps and there will never be a continuation of it, so I’ve gotta read the manga now. Watching that was like reliving my trip into the competitive smash scene. I feel like it really nailed the competitive mentality like nothing else.

Btooom! is closer to isekai + battle royale than game manga, but it’s still sorta game-ish, and I kinda liked it because the tactics were nice, except for the creepy rape shit, and there’ll never be another season.

SAO WAS SHIT. SHIIIIIIIT! The first episode had a decent setup, and the concept of an MMO where you learned sword skills through practice and activated them with sorta gestural motions in a virtual body, that’s all pretty cool, but the characters are horrible, and the plot of almost every episode is terrible, and it forgets the overarching plot constantly, and aborts its original arc before its conclusion. Also it’s like, a super generic MMO, as far as MMOs go. I could write so much about how shit it was, how nonsensical all the plot elements were, and how Kirito is a marty stu piece of shit. It had a half-decent setup, a couple clever plays on people abusing the MMO mechanics, like the fake murder, and the rest was hot garbage.

Log Horizon was alright, it did some neat playing around and exploration of how an MMO society could work, and a lot of the episodes played off facets of the economic and skill systems that were fairly cool. Got way too caught up in harem crap and filler episodes, especially in season 2, and there will never be a season 3. Also the combat is like actual MMO combat, so the action scenes are pretty boring unfortunately. Had a good underlying mystery, as seems to be common to MMO Isekai series, like the concept of the worlds combining, the interlopers, world magic that could alter the world, the origin of all the gold, but we’ll never get answers to those.

.hack//SIGN was okay, had a good mystery, player who can’t seem to log out, plot moved too slow. Had a world with an interesting aesthetic, as did the character designs. The concept of Aura being the god of the virtual world was pretty cool, as was being attacked in ways that put you in a coma in real life. The pacing sucked though, took way too long to get anything done and the ultimate pay-off was lame. .hack//ROOTS wasn’t much different.

Dennou Coil isn’t technically games, but it’s close, and it had a number of great Augmented Reality concepts and tools that were played around with, and the underlying mystery was brilliant, even if not all the pieces fit together, and many parts were too slow. The fights felt a bit too much like kids playing imagination instead of like they had a clearly defined logic to them. Also it’s really irritating that nobody explained the shit they knew to each other, and they had a few too many factions screwing each other over for no reason.

The D’arby episode in the Jojo OVA is a masterpiece.

If you know any other cool Game-Related Anime, please suggest it below:

7 thoughts on “Cool Game-Related Anime

  1. C.J.Geringer October 24, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    My wife liked “Kakegurui”, though it seem to be more about tricks/cheating and gambling addition then actual games.


    • Chris Wagar October 24, 2017 / 5:20 pm

      I saw this on the current season on My Anime List, but the reviews warned that it wasn’t really about the games so much, and were generally pretty negative, so I decided to skip it.


  2. C.J.Geringer October 24, 2017 / 5:22 pm

    I didn´t watch the anime, but I liked the manga “Saki” (I didn´t real all the chapter though)


    • Chris Wagar October 24, 2017 / 5:24 pm

      Dunno if I want to go into another mahjong anime, but the description gives it an interesting premise.

      Reminds me, I meant to watch Hikaru No Go, but haven’t gotten around to it. I’m a fan of Go.


    • Chris Wagar October 24, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      I mentioned Kaiji immediately after Akagi too in the article, so I’ve already seen all of Kaiji. And I mentioned Gambling Emperor Zero (the english title of the second link) in the same paragraph as Kaiji.


  3. Jon April 12, 2018 / 4:23 am

    Try One Outs. It’s basically Akagi but with baseball, although it’s in every way a gambling anime and not a sports one. Some of the tricks are a bit simplistic compared to Akagi but still get a whole episode dedicated to them, so whether you’d want to read the manga for personally-scaled pacing vs watch the anime for sound/vision/voice acting is for you to judge.


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