Image source: TVアニメ『ゲーマーズ!』公式 on Twitter

While, of course, many different types of gamers are represented in a show called Gamers, it’s been obvious from early in the series that the show is more about people connected through games than it is about the games themselves. Yet any group that is mostly casual gamers won’t be only gamers. That’s where the character of Aguri comes in.

Gamers is True to Its Title, But Not in the Way You Might Think

Gamers is a really interesting series because it’s not about games. And the series “flips the script” because the initial episode at first leads us to believe we’re in store for a typical “club activities” anime—only for a game club. Yet, except for the club’s leader, Tendo Karen, all of our main characters have refused to join. In the end, the official school club is a false flag.

If You Love Video Games, Gamers Is the ‘Sports’ Anime for You

Image source: TVアニメ『ゲーマーズ!』公式 on Twitter

What we have instead is a group of friends brought together through games initially, but who stay together because they are friends. Not to be completely ignored on the “club” front, Karen succeeds at least in getting the group to form a “game meetup.” Karen’s goal is to match the actual interest of her friends, as Keita, Chiaki, and Tasuku have no interest in playing games competitively. And then there’s Tasuku’s girlfriend, Aguri, who is no gamer at all.

The Real and Fake Video Games of Gamers!

Aguri very much reminds me of my own place in my high school group (and I might share this article with them because of it!). I’ve already related how I am not a gamer. I don’t play video games at all. In October of 1989, I was given an original Game Boy as a birthday present. And I absolutely played it, but I never had more than three games (Tetris, Dr. Mario, and Hyper Lode Runner) and never wanted any more. The one small interest I had was my Sega Genesis, and specifically the 32X, because I wanted access to Starfleet Academy. (That says a lot more about my interest in starship command than it does in my interest in video games.) Other than Starfleet Academy, I had the Sonic game that came with the Genesis, and Wonder Boy in Monster World.

Image source: TVアニメ『ゲーマーズ!』公式 on Twitter

By the time I had gotten to high school, I had left video games behind. I kept my original Game Boy and my Genesis well into my early 20s, but I had no particular nostalgia issues when I finally got rid of them. Like many other toys, at a certain age, I simply put them away and ignored them. I know that gamers, especially retro gamers, are cringing at my words here—calling such consoles “toys” and using words like “getting rid of.” But that’s why I’m happy to have a character like Aguri in the Gamers group. She’s very much me.

In Gamers, Believing in Stereotypes is the Root of Everyone’s Problems

I don’t remember exactly when I put my consoles in the closet, but I believe it was at some point in junior high school. By my first year of high school I had other interests that took what money I had. Yet the group of friends I ended up with were, and remain to this day, gamers. I’m a joiner and a group-oriented person. I almost never got the group to do anything I wanted to do, but that really didn’t matter, as long as what we did, we did together. I didn’t have friends until high school, so it didn’t mean much to me to let them choose the activities. Much as Aguri may poke fun at her friends for what she considers a silly hobby, she’ll then turn right around and button mash with the best of them.

Image source: TVアニメ『ゲーマーズ!』公式 on Twitter

Since my concern was maintaining the group, I spent an awful lot of time playing video games. Specifically, Mario Kart 64. I’m sure my lack of seriousness and willingness to lose sometimes annoyed my friends, but it was certainly better than the alternative. Aguri is legitimately friends with everyone in the Gamers group, and specifically is close to Keita—in a completely platonic sense despite the early confusion. If they want to play video games with her participation, then why wouldn’t she?

Aguri will likely never understand the point of video games and likely neither will I. We’ll both delight in pointing out the ridiculousness of the video game market. And that’s okay. For how can gamers define themselves as gamers, if non-gamers don’t exist as well?

Gamers can be seen with subtitles on Crunchyroll and dubbed on FUNimation.

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