For BCM320’s final viewing we set out to watch a few episodes of the 2018 Anime, Hi-Score Girl. Hi-Score Girl follows the life of Haruo Yaguchi and his life growing up in the 1990’s a Japanese village where he spends most of his free time playing video games in his local arcades. During the episodes that was watched in class, Haruo develops a rivalry and then later, a friendship with his classmate Akira Ono, a quiet girl who comes from a rich and high class family with very different expectations for her then what Haruo’s family has for him.
Something i really enjoyed about the show was the fact that all of the games they play and talk about during the show, are real games and ones that where popular during the time the show is set. Through looking into this a bit more, i found out that the arcade game industry in Japan is actually a really big one that brings in around 450 billion Yen a year. This is very different to what i have experienced here in Australia, where most of my contact with arcade games have been with the few times that i had visited Timezone in my childhood. From reading an article in the Japan Times, it seems that both Haruo and I have different experiences to what modern day arcades are like. The article talks about how the crowd watching the gamer they followed where all men mostly aged in their 30’s and 40’s. Its a world that looks very different to the inside of a timezone, but one im sure Haruo would be very excited by. They stream the daily tournaments over the internet and people come from all across the world just to compete in games that where mentioned in Hi-Score Girl.
Another thing i enjoyed was the very clear difference that was made between the two main characters. We get to see what Akira’s home life is like and all the different extracurricular things she does at home. One of these extra things she learns in the art of flower arrangement. When i asked about this during class, someone mentioned the term Ikebana.
Ikebana is the “Japanese art of flower arranging, blossoms, branches, leaves, and stems find new life as materials for artmaking.” These arrangements look more like sculptures then the kind of arrangements you would find in your local flower shop. These arrangements where found in royal palaces and the homes of the rich around Japan throughout the time that is has been practiced. Even something that would seem like a small line for a person (like me) who isn’t familiar with Japanese culture, was used to further show just how different Akira’s life is to her classmates and gives further reason as to why she is assumed by Haruo to use the games they play to ‘blow off some steam’ and relax.