“Kokoro, Hiraite” (こころ、ひらいて)
My one biggest happy place every single week, I love After School Dice Club for the happy feeling it leaves me in and here we are with a weird episode featuring Miki and Maki.
I promise I’ll try and not mix them up.
This week was actually two stories in one, two different games and both halves were pretty great.
Both tied the series back to earlier stories, the first being Maki and Miki going to spend some time together and playing Monjirou, a game with dice that you make words out of which you can learn more about HERE, the second half going back to the School Festival and as I said it becoming a Board Game Cafe Festival.
I kind of wish there was more of a story to tell with Maki as she’s such a fun character. We got some of her backstory and it was nice to see that she doesn’t see herself as a hero and will step in to stop bullies no matter who they are. It was funny seeing the insult game then turn into the compliment game and have Maki even tell Miki that just because she can’t smile through her pain like she does or stand up and be this bad ass that she is doesn’t mean Miki is strong.
A nice message for Miki.
Second half had a little bit more meat to it as Midori goes to offer the idea of a Board Game Cafe for the Festival and Ren, who is still in charge at this point, turns it down point blank.
What was nice was that she didn’t really turn it down in spite either. She kind of learnt that she doesn’t need to rely on Midori and kind of wanted to come up with something on her own, she never said that to the others so she came over as spiteful but we got to hear that after the others had left.
Unfortunately for her the President comes back, see’s the proposal and ends up going to play a game of The Island (also known as Survive : Escape from Atlantis!) with the girls and approving their idea.
There wasn’t really much to this part which might sound weird when I said it had more meat to it, but it focused heavily on The Island, a game where you have to get you people to safety whilst terrain tiles keep disappearing and monsters keep showing up which you can learn more about HERE, then anything else.
Why that was probably had to do with the fact that Midori had to prove that gaming could be good for a festival so she picked something that was engaging, fun but also meant you had to keep your attention on the game.
Obviously it worked and it was nice just to see them all having fun with the game, I feel like it was a little sad that the Presidents every move was either destroyed by Midori or by pure bad luck as it would have been nice to see at least one risky move play off but he has a positive attitude and just loved the game.
Whilst the show still really is all about showcasing the games and has little to do with building stories it is amazing how much character development can be had for even the most minor of characters. Seeing the story go back to a character like Maki even just to have a small conversation with Miki to help her grow as a character is fantastic and even though the time spent with her was short it was nice to see her back.