I know what you’re thinking and I had the same thought, “An anime about a quiz show club, this couldn’t possibly be that interesting, right?”. Then, I kind of thought it might be a resident sleeper but I wasn’t sure how the story would hold an audience or if the characters would be interesting enough. One of things that was a little off putting at first was the English title it was given, Fastest Finger First. Now I don’t know about everyone else but this could be portrayed as anything with no context. The original title, Nana Maru San Batsu, is a lot better and has more meaning to the show itself. It’s explained at the end of the first episode as a general rule of the Quiz Bowl. You answer 7 questions correctly, you win and if you answer 3 questions incorrectly, you lose. It’s known as 7O3X and resembles the title if I know my Japanese numbers.
To actually throw some context about the show, our main protagonist Koshiyama Shiki is a first year high school student and gets invited to the Quiz Bowl Circle by Sasajima Gakuto, the club president. And yes, the club is exactly what it sounds like, questions are read aloud to contestants and you buzz in to answer. Koshiyama curiously takes a look at the application that is just a 100 question quiz and ends up answering them all in class. Coincidentally he misses his opportunity to volunteer as a librarian due to some unlucky circumstances. Koshiyama’s pretty much a bookworm and has found solace in reading books throughout the years but that has caused him to outcast himself and it becomes difficult for him to make friends.
Later in the day, all the school’s clubs get to showoff and persuade the first years into joining their respective clubs. This is where things heat up as the Quiz Bowl Circle is up next and Koshiyama gets randomly selected to come up on stage for their demonstration. Naturally, one of the prettiest girls in his class, Fukami Mari, has volunteered willingly.
Koshiyama is obviously a little nervous and scared, even though he knows the answer to most of the questions. Fukami gives him a few hints and proceeds to shows everyone what shes made of. Koshiyama is clearly impressed and realizes how this “game” is supposed to be played. He buzzes in for the final question and it’s sort of like a Sherlock Holmes moment, where he’s processing all the information to get to his final answer. This was the moment when I thought this show might be better than I expected.A lot of things just click between Koshiyama and Fukami, as she is very passionate about getting him to join the club with her but he’s not so sure yet because it’s something new to him. Fukami continues to attempt the recruitment by asking him to join the club to spectate a quiz meet, at another high school, on the weekend. This conversation is overheard by a classmate, Inoue Daisuke, and he decides to tag along as well. Little do they know, they’ll actually be participating and not just watching. The reason being the Quiz Bowl Circle has just recently been formed and Sasajima was the only member. The club needs at least three members to compete.I’ve scratched maybe the first five minutes of episode two and they take the liberty of “schooling” you, as well as Koshiyama and Inoue, about the Quiz Bowl. I don’t want to spoil too much of the competition because I believe it will definitely ruin the experience if you’re watching. In my eyes, I can almost classify this as a sports anime. With the combination of a newbie first year, an experienced first year, a potential comedic relief teammate, a well versed senpai whose eyes you can’t see through his glasses, and a foreseeable competition to win in the future.I see lots of potential in this anime and I’ll most likely follow through past the three episode test, unless something unruly happens. One more thing I wanted to bring up as it’s been discussed in many message boards. Fukami’s VA/CV has received some rejection as “her voice doesn’t fit” but many of those have started to flip and say “I’ve gotten used to it”. I have to say, I was in the majority as well but it really didn’t bother me as much as some others. To anyone slightly interested, I’d suggest a three episode test for sure and if you’re already watching let me know what you think in the comments below.