It’s the Revenge Match!
|The second episode with Miyamae, and there are faultlines that are getting wider.|
Good Partner or Not a Good Fit?
“You can’t headshot a bus stop, not interested.”
Tooru’s really lighting it up now that she’s playing GusGal again, and rather than just playing with Shouichi, she plays with whoever she ends up paired with. The more she plays, the more the “win at all costs” mentality comes out. And she’s not really interested in games where you don’t beat someone else, at least for multiplayer, especially with headshots. So even though it’s draining Shouichi’s pockets, he’s still playing GusGal with her, at least when they can get to the machine together (You’d think that if there’s a 4×4-deep line to play, they’d put another set of machines in for that game, no?). So it’s fun, but it kind of isn’t for Shouichi, who’s spending his lunch money to keep playing with Tooru. But he doesn’t want to be left out because of how interested he’s getting in her.
Last arc’s girl tries to horn in on this arc…
But when Hikari comes along with the kid they beat last episode to try to get ‘revenge’ on the people who beat him, it turns into a big battle, which Tooru eventually wins using a game flaw (at least that’s how the subs presented it). And it’s really clear that Hikari and Tooru have a history with GusGal, one that didn’t end too smoothly. She even leaves with a warning to Shouichi that there will definitely be group trouble the longer they play with Tooru. And in talking with Araki and Ikuo, there’s certainly some grumblings of that. Their group has been pretty much totally taken over by party leader Tooru, it’s much more play to win, and they can’t really go at the more easygoing pace they did before because they feel the pressure to keep up with her.
A bad atmosphere, and not just the bunnies
“I won’t let you say anything bad about her!”
These are the kind of issues that can end up driving a rift between gamer friends, something I’ve seen plenty of times in WoW, when people have come into our group and their style just doesn’t quite mesh well enough. Given our group, it’s that they want to be more successful, they want to be more focused, even more ruthless about who is allowed to come and who isn’t. And my WoW group just isn’t like that. We even tried it once, and it really sucked for us, resulting in the people pushing the issue leaving and the rest of us continuing on. It’s definitely a real issue, and has resulted in not speaking to former friends much more often than I’d like to think about.
The Green Monster
He’s just a stalker boy…
Finally a little time away from a game, or not
No, that’s not Art Arfons’ LSR machine. It’s jealousy, and it starts to show up as well, as Shouichi’s getting more interested in Tooru. Not that he wasn’t interested at the start, as Araki and Ikuo both have realized. So they start giving him a hard time about it, and like the doof he is, he gets taken along for a few minutes before they let him off the hook. But it’s hard to tell if Tooru’s interested much in Shouichi. She says she’s having more fun playing with him than she was before in her middle school group, but would that translate into actually wanting to date him? It’s also not the first time that a gamer guy has fallen for “The Gamer Girl” and most of the time that ends up being “No thanks”. Shouichi’s even going a little too much on the creepy side, not really with his stalking Ikuo, but more with trying to control Tooru, telling her that she shouldn’t ask other people for food, just him. While it seems she takes it in a good way, in general that’s not a good move for a guy, to just put random arbitrary limits on a girl you’re interested in.
Either way, she smiles at him
Looks like next episode gives us more of an idea why we saw Tooru and her brother at the end of last episode. Not to infer too much from the episode title, but seems there’s a little bit of bro-conning going on, but these things aren’t particularly indicative. Tooru certainly doesn’t spend all her time trying to get her brother’s attention, unless the online gaming is the way she does it. I also don’t know if her gaming style is all that bad: you don’t like dying to headshots, don’t get shot in the head. I know it sucks to play someone who’s a lot better than you, but if you’re going to step up at an arcade in open play, you gotta know you’re liable to run into that person.