Do It Yourself!! is quickly becoming one of the Fall season's most popular shows, charming viewers with its relaxed atmosphere and its "cute girls doing cute things" vibe. However, this isn't the first time Pine Jam, the animation studio behind Do It Yourself!!, has made a series about a hobby subculture.
Gamers! began as a light novel series. The books were written by Sekina Aoi and illustrated by Saboten. Between 2015 and 2019, 12 volumes of the light novel were released. It proved popular enough to be turned into a manga, and in 2017, Pine Jam produced an anime adaptation of the series.
The Plot of Gamers!
The show follows Keita Amano, an average high school student who loves video games, despite not being very good at them. However, after an embarrassing meeting with the cutest girl in school, Karen Tendo, Keita thinks his social standing will never recover. However, Keita is surprised when Karen invites him to join her gaming club. Keita checks it out but quickly learns that this is a club focused on competitive gaming, something he has no interest in. But this rejection only motivates Karen more, and she tries to work out how to get Keita to sign up. But, as she does, she finds herself developing feelings for him. At the same time, Keita tries his best to understand this new situation and the new group of people he is now interacting with.
One of the things that make both Gamers! and Do It Yourself!! stand out is their central premise and their use of characters. Both series focus on a specific hobby and the community that surrounds it. However, while both are focused on hobby communities, they're not focused on the activity itself. Instead, the shows focus on the people who exist within these spaces, and how they interact with each other. However, both shows are not exactly the same. For instance, Gamers! has a romantic comedy element, following Karen as she deals with the new feelings she's experiencing due to her interactions with Keita.
Why Gamers! Will Appeal To Do It Yourself!! Fans
While both series have a natural and relaxed atmosphere, they do differ in several respects. Gamers! is more high-energy than Do It Yourself!!, featuring more chaotic storylines and faster-moving episodes. But this fits the hobby at the core of the storyline. While DIY culture tends to be quieter and more slow-paced due to the unhurried nature of the hobby, video game spaces tend to be louder and more energetic due to the fast-paced nature of video games. So this change helps Gamers! better embody the subculture it is representing.
However, despite these differences, both shows feel natural and grounded. While elements are obviously exaggerated and embellished for the sake of the plot, viewers who hang around these hobby communities will see themselves and the people they know in the show's characters. And this gives Gamers! a warm, relaxed, and charming vibe. This makes it and Do It Yourself!! perfect for evenings when you want to chill out with something simple.
One fascinating thing about Gamers! is that it subverts audience expectations in several ways. Most notably, the central relationships play out in a much more realistic manner than you may expect going into the first episode. While the show teases a traditional comedy harem setup, it quickly moves away from that. And this continues throughout the rest of the show, with the relationships featured being more realistically messy than those found in similar franchises. In fact, simple miscommunication is the source of many of the story's biggest dramas and comedic moments. While this may not be to some people's tastes, it does give the show a more realistic teenage edge, capturing the messy nature of young people trying to find their place in their community and the world as a whole.
It is fascinating to look back at Gamers! now that Do It Yourself!! has aired. Both shows have many similar elements. But, together, they show that Pine Jam has a talent for creating intriguing stories about hobby spaces and the people within them. And that they excel in creating memorable characters that perfectly represent the community the show is focusing on. With Do It Yourself!! being praised by critics and fans, it will be interesting to see what that show and Pine Jam's future shows have in store for viewers.