Anime and gaming go hand in hand these days. Whether it’s an anime being adapted into a game of vice-versa, it seems you can’t have one without the other. Today, though, we’re looking for shows that will resonate with gamers in one way or another — not just because of the source material, but also the subject matter. Here are a few anime to try that poke at different parts of the gaming world: from design to play.
If you’re a gamer, you’re probably a fan of more than just games themselves. Scenario writers, designers, artists, and coders all come together to create the full gaming experience. If you’re interested in that — and have maybe considered going into game design yourself — NEW GAME! is a good fit.
The series follows Aoba, a recent high school graduate who becomes a character designer at the company behind her favorite game. We also get acquainted with the rest of the team, and what it takes to create the games we love to play. It’s more a slice-of-life show, but it gives gamers the opportunity to appreciate the people in the industry making the things they love.
Gamers know all about the thrill and terror of competition, even if their lives aren’t literally on the line. Kaiji turns that idea on its head and raises the stakes immensely. The impoverished Kaiji Ito is pressed into the dangerous world of underground gambling, but ends up being pretty impressive at it. The trials he faces are often a matter of life or death, and not every character makes it safely through to the end.
If you’re one of those gamers who’s intrigued by the interplay of luck and skill in a gaming scenario, give this show a try.
Both our previous entries eventually got game spinoffs, but Caligula — based on The Caligula Effect — is the only one of the three for which the game came first. Central to the series is μ, a virtual idol who lures humans into the virtual world of Mobius in an attempt to free them from the cares of the real world. But nine high school students band together to escape the game, powering up their in-game selves to fight back.
The series also features songs by indie composers popular in the fandom. Even if you’ve never played the original game, it’s an interesting show and beautiful to look at.
There are even more anime out there with gaming connections — whether as adaptations, tie-ins, or thematically. What anime would you recommend to your gamer friends?