Hi Score Girl
|Hi Score Girl|
Cover of the first volume of Hi Score Girl
(Hai Sukoa Gāru)
|Written by||Rensuke Oshikiri|
|Published by||Square Enix|
|Magazine||Monthly Big Gangan|
|Original run||October 25, 2010 – September 25, 2018|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Yoshiki Yamakawa|
|Written by||Tatsuhiko Urahata|
|Music by||Yoko Shimomura|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, MBS, BS11|
|Original run||July 13, 2018 – December 20, 2019|
|Episodes||21 + 3 OVAs|
|Hi Score Girl DASH|
|Written by||Rensuke Oshikiri|
|Published by||Square Enix|
|Magazine||Monthly Big Gangan|
|Original run||December 25, 2019 – present|
Hi Score Girl (ハイスコアガール, Hai Sukoa Gāru) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rensuke Oshikiri, running from October 25, 2010 to September 25, 2018. The story revolves around the life of gamer Haruo Yaguchi, the coin-op gaming setting (most notably Fighting games), the changes that develop within both over time, and his relationship with quiet female gamer Akira Ono. Known as a ’90s arcade romantic comedy, the series is notable for its unique art style, and thoroughly accurate depictions of the multitude of gaming software, hardware, and even culture that are featured. An anime television series adaptation by J.C.Staff and SMDE aired from July to September 2018. A second season aired from October to December 2019.
- Haruo Yaguchi (矢口 春雄, Yaguchi Haruo)
- Voiced by: Kōhei Amasaki (Japanese); Johnny Yong Bosch (English)
- A young man who is dismal in various facets of life: He's not academic, not athletic, and not very attractive. The only thing he's got going for him is an insane amount of mad gamer skills. He rules the arcade scene as "Beastly Fingers Haruo", until he meets his match during a fateful encounter with Akira Ono while playing Street Fighter II. Undeterred, he seeks to challenge and one day out play her, considering her his rival. While he starts off as a snarky brat with an ego bigger than any winning streak he could rack up in Street Fighter, he eventually grows out of it. However, he never abandons his dedication and love for gaming, which almost borders on unhealthy obsession. On the bright side, this pure passion for gaming is what leads him to finding some of his closest friends.
- Akira Ono (大野 晶, Ōno Akira)
- Voiced by: Sayumi Suzushiro (Japanese); Christine Marie Cabanos (English)
- The daughter of the Ono zaibatsu, Akira is rich, popular, and multi-talented – the polar opposite of Haruo. However, in attempt to escape the strict educational regimen she faces at home, she sneaks away every so often to play in game centers where she showcases her exceptional gaming skills. She initially encounters Haruo during a match of Street Fighter II, and from then on bonds with him over their mutual love for gaming. She never talks, and communicates solely through gestures and facial expressions. She also appears as a guest support character in Million Arthur: Arcana Blood.
- Koharu Hidaka (日高 小春, Hidaka Koharu)
- Voiced by: Yūki Hirose (Japanese); Erika Harlacher (English)
- A girl in Haruo's class throughout junior high. Goes to an all-girl school with Onizuka throughout high school. Previously an introverted girl who spent much of her time studying alone, she develops into a more sociable person and develops an interest in gaming after spending time with Haruo over a new Neo Geo MVS that gets installed in front of her family's store. She has a natural instinct for fighting games, which transforms her into a powerful force to be reckoned with as both a gamer, and a rival for Haruo's affections. After a fateful showdown at her and Haruo's usual stomping grounds, she developed a bit of a sadistic side whenever Haruo's around. This frightening skill garnered the attention of the "Mizonokuchi Force" leader, Nikotama, who helped Koharu truly awaken her love for fighting games.
- Kotaro Miyao (宮尾 光太郎, Miyao Kōtarō)
- Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese); Lucien Dodge (English)
- One of Haruo's classmates during junior high and high school who is his best guy friend. He also enjoys arcades, though not to the same degree as Haruo. He has a knack for attracting the ladies, and is quick to pick up on the bizarre love triangle formed by his classmates.
- Genta Doi (土井 玄太, Doi Genta)
- Voiced by: Daiki Yamashita (Japanese); Kyle McCarley (English)
- Haruo's classmate in 6-2, and again in high school. A snobby kid who tries to come off as cultured and suave, his attempts to woo Akira are met with failure. During high school, he begins to hang around Haruo and Miyao.
- Moemi Goda (業田 萌美, Gōda Moemi)
- Voiced by: Shizuka Itō (Japanese); Cherami Leigh (English)
- The bespectacled official instructor of the Ono household. A totalitarian authoritarian who will stop at nothing to make sure Akira is nothing short of perfect and worthy as an heir to the Ono family name, she is absolutely against any kind of fun within the Ono household, which creates friction amongst its inhabitants. After seeing the effect Haruo's had on Akira and the error of her ways, she begins to relent a little, with an emphasis on the word "little". If one doesn't work hard enough, she piles on more work. If one works too hard, she rewards them by piling on more work.
- Chihiro Onizuka (鬼塚 ちひろ, Onizuka Chihiro)
- Voiced by: Daria Mido (Japanese); Cristina Vee (English)
- A girl who went to school with Haruo from elementary to junior high, then seen at the same all-girl high school with Koharu. She is grotesque in appearance and crass in demeanor, though she apparently isn't self aware of that. She also has a noticeable lisp.
- Namie Yaguchi (矢口 なみえ, Yaguchi Namie)
- Voiced by: Satomi Arai (Japanese); Cindy Robinson (English)
- Namie is an energetic lady who raises Haruo as a single mom. Despite his shortcomings, she's very supportive of her son in her own quirky and loving manner. Whenever there's company, she's quick to offer her special stack of "Hotcakes Straight From a Manga".
- Jiya (じいや, Jiya)
- Voiced by: Chō (Japanese); Joe Ochman (English)
- An elderly man that works as Akira's chauffeur. He is a self-proclaimed pachinko addict, and has a nasty habit of running over Haruo with the family limousine.
- Makoto Ono (大野 真, Ōno Makoto)
- Voiced by: Chinatsu Akasaki (Japanese); Cristina Vee (English)
- Akira's rebellious elder sister who relinquished her role as rightful heir to the Ono conglomerate to her younger sister. She secretly regretted doing so, having seen the wringer Moemi put her sister through over several years. She's since lightened up knowing that Akira's found a friend in Haruo through her formerly secret passion for gaming. Makoto has extremely similar features to her younger sister Akira, but none of the discipline and fortitude. Having grown tired of the Spartan upbringing brought upon her by her family name, she now tries to enjoy the wonders of the "outside world" much to the ire of the family tutor, Moemi. As such, she frequently runs into Haruo and his friends after her introduction. She's also on good terms with Haruo's mother, and has become yet another frequent guest of the Yaguchi household.
- Numata (沼田先生, Numata)
- Voiced by: Yuichi Nakamura (Japanese); Joe Ochman (English)
- A guidance counselor at Haruo's middle school, and likes to play video games as well. He resembles Lau Chan from Virtua Fighter.
- Felicia Nikotama (二子玉川 フェリシア, Nikotamagawa Felicia)
- Voiced by: Shiori Izawa (Japanese); Reba Buhr (English)
- Daughter of an arcade proprietor, Felicia is the head of the "Mizonokuchi Force", a band of gamers who operate in Kawasaki City. She takes Koharu under her wing after witnessing her skill.
- Aulbath Ōimachi
- Voiced by: Takuma Terashima (Japanese); Erik Scott Kimerer (English)
- Sagat Takdanobaba
- Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese); Tony Azzolino (English)
- Blanka Kuhombutsu
- Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe (Japanese); Kyle McCarley (English)
- Sasquatch Tamagawagakuenmae
- Voiced by: Kenshō Ono
Oshikiri launched the manga in Square Enix's Monthly Big Gangan on October 25, 2010, and ended its serialization on September 25, 2018 in the tenth 2018 issue of the magazine. The series has been published in ten tankōbon volumes, with the first volume released on February 25, 2012, and the tenth and final volume released on March 25, 2019. Square Enix Manga & Books licensed the manga in English, with the first volume released on February 25, 2020. The December 2019 issue of Monthly Big Gangan announced that a spinoff manga titled Hi Score Girl DASH focusing on Koharu Hidaka, now a middle school teacher, will be in the magazine's next issue on December 25.
Monthly Big Gangan announced in December 2013 that an anime adaptation was green-lit. The anime adaptation was confirmed to be a television series animated by SMDE, with production by J.C. Staff, in March 2018, and aired from July 13 to September 28, 2018. It is directed by Yoshiki Yamakawa and written by Tatsuhiko Urahata, featuring character designs by Michiru Kuwabata, and music by Yoko Shimomura. The series' opening theme song "New Stranger" was performed by Sora tob sakana, while the series' ending theme song "Hōkago Distraction" was performed by Etsuko Yakushimaru. Netflix streamed the anime on December 24, 2018 with an English dub. The series received 3 OVA episodes titled Extra Stage that premiered on March 20, 2019.
A second, nine episode long season aired from October 25 to December 20, 2019, with the staff and cast reprising their roles. The second season's opening theme song "Flash" was performed by Sora tob sakana, while the second season's ending theme song "Unknown World Map" was performed by Etsuko Yakushimaru. Season 2 premiered on Netflix on April 9, 2020 outside of Japan and China.
It was number two on the 2013 Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey. It was also nominated for the 6th Manga Taishō and the 17th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. It was number nine in the 2013 Comic Natalie Grand Prize.
On August 5, 2014, Osaka District Police searched the offices of Square Enix, the publishers of Hi Score Girl, acting on an IP violation claim by SNK Playmore stating that the manga allegedly features over 100 instances of characters from The King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, and other fighting games. In response, Square Enix voluntarily recalled all printed volumes and temporarily suspended publication of future volumes and digital sales. However, the manga continued its run in Monthly Big Gangan.
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