Episode 10

by Paul Jensen,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Gamers! ?

Gamers has always been the kind of series that spreads misfortune around to every member of its cast, and that pattern continues this week. Everyone has something to freak out over, starting with Keita. He calls a meeting of the gaming group to confront Tasuku over his alleged cheating, but ultimately chickens out and tells everyone about his plans to buy a new RPG instead. Meanwhile, Chiaki still can't decide what to do about her feelings for Keita, and she's also convinced that Tasuku has his sights set on her. Karen is trying to come to terms with the idea that Keita will always choose games over people, and Tasuku continues to give everyone the wrong idea about his intentions toward Chiaki. Aguri has a tense encounter with an old friend, and her hasty SOS ends up forcing everyone to rethink their assumptions about Keita. Yep, this week is a busy one.

At this point, the level of miscommunication within this cast is so high that anyone can cause a major disaster without even trying. This makes for a constant stream of blunders and cover-ups, whether it's Keita nearly blowing the lid on Konoha's adult gaming habit or the Hoshinomori sisters fumbling their way through the Nobe/Mono charade. Since the audience knows what's really happening, we get to enjoy some amusing conversations where two characters end up talking about completely different things, like in Tasuku's after-class encounter with Chiaki. Keeping track of all these misunderstandings can be maddening at times, but the show pulls enough comedy out of the chaos to make it worthwhile.

On the more dramatic side of things, Chiaki's uncertainty over her feelings for Keita continues to make for a compelling storyline. Konoha serves as a kind of advisor here, outlining Chiaki's potential options while unintentionally pressuring her to make a decision. Whether Chiaki hides the information from Keita, confesses everything, or distances herself from the group, someone's feelings are bound to get hurt. Aguri also takes a turn in the spotlight during her brief but significant meeting with some friends from middle school. Since she's always been the designated non-gamer within the core cast, it's interesting and a bit surprising to see Aguri be so adamant about defending her gamer friends. This episode's quick pacing affects just about every scene, but this one in particular makes me wish it had been given more time to play out.

Then we have Karen's dilemma, which initially seems pretty minor compared to the other girls' problems. At first glance, it merely highlights a potential downside of dating a passionate gamer; there may be times when it feels like that person cares more about games than they do about you. This observation is mildly intriguing on its own, but its real purpose becomes clear at the end of the episode. After proudly announcing his plan to ditch everyone and pick up a copy of the latest RPG, Keita comes running to the rescue as soon as he gets Aguri's false-alarm SOS message. It may just be a case of bad timing, but combined with the friendly chemistry between Keita and Aguri, it's easy to see why Karen, Chiaki, and Tasuku suddenly look like they want Keita's head on a plate.

The frantic pace that Gamers adopts in order to cram all this into a single episode is the show's biggest problem this week, even more than the occasional lapses in animation quality. There are a lot of neat ideas here, so it's a shame that their presentation ends up being so rushed. Still, the humor remains solid and the new plot developments are making me eager to see what happens next. With a big heap of suspicion now resting on Keita's shoulders, the next big comedic payoff should arrive sooner rather than later.

Rating: B+

Gamers! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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