Back in February 2019, I slogged through the three episodes of “Arcade Gamer Fubuki”. Skip it.

It’s a continuation of “Game Center Arashi” and it feels like you have to have watched the anime or read the manga in order to know what’s going on. The novelty of an anime series about a video game tournament that uses footage from real-world arcade games I recognized and/or played myself and some sound effects like the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man wears off pretty quickly. The idea of setting the tournament in different parts of Japan and using things like images projected on buildings and Mt. Fuji for the tournament audience was okay, however. It was just a little reminiscent of how the Hunger Games movies showed technology manipulating the environment.

The characters are overblown and too far over the top. It’s got the cliche’d “calling your attack” trope in spades, which includes floating above the arcade controls as if you’re doing a handstand but without actually supporting yourself with your hands. The humor was also overblown, but tended to work pretty well.

The special abilities/attacks that allow a couple of characters to play arcade games faster from a floating position comes from magic underwear. Specifically “passion panties”, so of course there’s a teenage boy who’s a big fan of gaming and has a panty fetish involving the main character, Fubuki. It wasn’t until after the series was over that I figured out that the “passion panties” were based on the theme of developing a passion for playing video games. Why the object for the power to be manifested through for a teenage girl had to be panties instead of some other type of clothing? Fanservice, of course. Barring that, maybe it’s explained in “Game Center Arashi”. Arashi wears a hat with the same logo on it.

I fell asleep watching this and had to figure out where I stopped when I tried watching it again. Part of it came from being in a comfortable recliner, covered up with a cozy blanket. I can’t fault the series for that. The rest came from the problems with the story losing my interest. Not even the other half of the fanservice known as the “Gainax bounce” could overcome it. For instance, there’s a big rivalry that’s set up and then kind of goes nowhere before it was changed by the power of friendship that a passion of gaming can instill in everyone worldwide.

As I said, skip it. There’s better ways of spending 90 minutes of your time.

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