This week’s viewing was a Japanese TV show called ‘Hi Score Girl’ (2018), I loved the fact we were able to experience live tweeting a show rather than film, although we binged it and it were as if it was a film, it was just so different from the other weeks.
And the very obvious difference being that it this was anime! Our first time!
I must admit I have little experience with anime, so there was definitely an appeal for me because I have always appreciated the aesthetics of anime and the distinctive features of characters such as their eyes- like look at the character in them???
So I had to think about what I could connect with, with this being a Japanese TV show and my very basic Australian/ European up-bringing. Funnily enough, there were things that made me very nostalgic, I never considered myself a ‘gamer’ in any means of the word, but some of the featured games really connected with me.
It surprised me that I was able to relate, I genuinely didn’t expect to recognise any games, let alone have played them.
As the Tweet above shows, I got very excited but this particular game because it was a memory stored very deep!
I enjoyed that fact that I could connect with certain elements of the show, as I struggled with others, such as the way the children played daily at the arcade after school, this is definitely not anything I have ever experienced. I don’t have arcades around my house, and even if I did, my parents certainly would not have allowed me to spend my afternoons there!
source: Japanese arcades filled with games
I interpret arcades as symbols of school holidays and treats, whereas it appears to me that the Japanese view them as everyday occurrences. However, in Japan there are 15, 000 arcades! So there is hardly a shortage, it becomes more apparent why kids would spend a lot of time at them. They also make 422 billion yen (2014)! So clearly, a huge cultural component to Japan. I attempted to find out the same statistics for Australia but was unsuccessful, so this shows the major difference in Australia- they are nowhere near as popular!
Upon further research, I discovered that there is a deeper social aspect to the arcades, I obviously could understand going to is about friendship and tough competition, but there is an even deeper level to it, they are known as “gemusentomo” (arcade friends), the arcade represents a world where they do not have to worry about disturbing parents and neighbours and can simply enjoy emerging themselves in the world of gaming. Arcades do not discriminate against any of its customers, this is the allure for so many people (both young and old).
It is quite literally a world away from home, and something about that is just so beautiful as I have never experienced anything similar- the closest I would have is a sporting team, but even then not as deep. It gives me more appreciation for the world of gaming.
One aspect of Asian culture that is constantly mentioned in everyday life, is how strict parents are and require children to continuously get A++ on everything and excel at musical instruments and endless skills, I felt the show did not necessarily follow the same level of intensity to the parents as I first thought, I did notice that parents would resort to similar tactics as I would expect my parents to do, but the parents seemed slower to react than what I would imagine? Maybe this aspect of the show isn’t accurate or perhaps I have let the stereotypes cloud my judgement on how much flexibility children are allowed?
Overall, I love that I got to watch some anime and relive some memories of my youth and would recommend checking out Hi-Score Girl on Netflix, there are 2 seasons available!