Random First Impressions: Asobi Asobase and Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro

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Today seems like a good day for quick impressions. I’ve been following these series from the beginning, so I should probably mention them.

Asobi Asobase Episodes 1-3

I didn’t really know what to expect from a gag show about playing those random games to pass the time, but this series has been pretty entertaining so far. The exaggerated reactions are fun, and I think the series has been doing a good job so far of avoiding overly repetitive jokes. I don’t always feel like I get all of the jokes, but there are some great ones that I enjoyed. Also, I think the puppet sequences after the credits are amazing.

The first episode sets up a lot of recurring ideas that could easily have been beaten to the ground. The foreign-looking Olivia is forced to act like an expert in English, but the misunderstanding is quickly corrected in a later episode. The “main” character, Kasumi, is introduced as someone who is traumatized from losing games against her sister, but even that trauma isn’t brought up often. This way, the jokes don’t feel as stale.

From the first episode, this joke with the ham was probably my favorite. It seemed like a pretty minor joke, but I found Hanako’s commitment to borrowing some of Olivia’s lunch hilarious.

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro Episode 1-3

Following up Asobi Asobase is another comedy show about a girl who plays games. This series is one I was familiar with from reading the manga, but I eventually got a bit tired of it. I like how the series ties in video game references for its jokes, but I think the style of humor isn’t quite as appealing to me. Maybe it’s the part about forcing the main character into embarrassing situations.

Still, I find this series more entertaining than a show like High Score Girl because I actually can understand the gaming references. The second episode also has a pretty funny sequence about playing games online that has definitely never happened to me. I think the main thing that bothers me is that Chio is surprisingly proficient to the point where I have trouble believing it.

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