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Houkago Saikoro Club anime cover

Score: 6.79/10

Houkago Saikoro Club [DUB]

Alt Title : Afterschool Dice Club, Houkago Saikoro Kurabu

JP Title : 放課後さいころ倶楽部

Year : 2019

Genre : Comedy, Game, School, Shounen

Season : Fall 2019

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 12/12

Duration : 23 min. per ep.

Studios : LIDENFILMS

Synopsis

Miki Takekasa is an introverted high schooler who does not socialize with her classmates. However, she wants to know what "fun" really is, waiting for someone who could help her understand its true meaning. One day after school, she crosses paths with her classmate Aya Takayashiki, who takes her on a little adventure. Miki discovers wonders she had never seen before, opening a way to change her withdrawn life. On their way home, Miki and Aya see their class representative Midori Oono entering Saikoro Club, a store specializing in board games. After trying out a German board game, Miki soon understands the kind of fun she had been looking for: playing various games after school along with the friends and acquaintances she makes from her newfound pleasure. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

For me, After School Dice Club has exactly one thing going for it. Sure, the characters are the same gaggle of vaguely nice high school friends you see every single season, the art and the music are mostly generic mush, and the show generally thinks it’s a lot more emotionally affecting than it really is. However, the focus of this after-school-hobbies slice-of-life anime is esoteric European board games, the kind of hand-crafted and adorably niche items that have really blown up here in the West in the past couple of decades, which will have you living out the dreams of a 15th -century merchant, or delivering goods across the galaxy in a space-truck, or constructing an empire of small-chain noodle restaurants out of hexagon tiles.

I love these kinds of quirky board games, with their eager and un-ironic love of rules and minutiae, and that gave me enough buy in to stick with After School Dice Club, even though most everything else about the show feels pretty forgettable at this point. For one, our protagonist, Miki, is the kind of overly-withdrawn heroine that I have a hard time buying in to – she doesn’t just have a hard time making friends, she’s the kind of wispy wallflower that has practically never even experienced the very concept of “fun” before. Likewise, Aya is such a Manic Pixie Dream BFF that she approaches literally everything she does with a blank-eyed enthusiasm that borders on mania. She can plunge-head first into a river, strip naked in front of a complete stranger, and wander her way into the lives of a whole mess of people without batting an eyelash, which isn’t bad so much as it is flimsy and played out. Midori, the class president, fares a little better, because she at least seems like a real human person, but that also means that she comes across as a bit flat compared to her co-stars. The ensemble works best when they’re playing games together, but that’s mostly because the games themselves are pretty interesting; if they were engaged in any other kind of hobby, I can’t imagine being anywhere near as invested.

At the end of the day, though, this is an anime about girls getting together to play neat looking board games, and I’d be willing to check back in with After School Dice Club from time to time just to see what kind of games the girls are getting in to week after week. That might not exactly be a glowing recommendation, but it means the show is just good enough to avoid the seasonal chopping block, at least for the time being. You can also free Houkago Saikoro Club anime watch online and free anime download.

Anime which focuses on 1 idea can go one of 2 ways, it can be entertaining and fun to watch or it can be extremely boring. Thankfully, Houkago Saikoro Club was closer to the first one here. It wasn't the best but it was still a very good watch. I really liked how the anime presented psychological issues even if it didn't necessarily deal with all of them. The fact that it had characters talking and experiencing very heavy stuff like the feeling of being left out, fear of the future and the fear of having no dream or passion in anything is something that I don't think I saw in many/any anime before. And although we didn't get to see solutions for some of these, we still got some hints that made you think that everything will hopefully pass by alright. One the best things about this anime was the representation of the games. The mangaka was able to choose lots of great games and it was very enjoyable exploring different unique game and watching a great presentation for each of them which made it easy for me to understand what the game was about. I also really liked the voice actors, specially Aya's and that was understandable after seeing the other roles she had before. Her voice is really charming and pleasant to listen to. The characters themselves were great. The variety and uniqueness of every character combined with very well-fitting voice actors was a great match. The development each character had was also very good to watch. The art, animation, OSTs, ED, OP and overall atmosphere of the anime was great to help you relax and enjoy yourself. Overall I would give the anime an 8/10. Would recommend it to anyone wanting to watch a fun anime about games or board games to be exact.

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