Fastest Finger First Series Review: Do You Like Watching Characters Answer Questions?



Koshiyama is about as typical an anime dweeb as they come. A book nerd starting high school with few friends or social skills. Then he get dragged into a practice quiz and discovers Quiz Bowl.


There’s really not a lot of story here. Geeky and shy kid joins new quiz circle at his high school and as a result gains some confidence, kind of makes some friends, and kind of finds a rival. I say kind of, because in these 12 episodes the skeleton for future developments is set up but very little time is devoted to anything outside of quizzing and learning about question formats and practicing to answer.


Enjoyment of this show relies very heavily on the audience enjoying game shows or playing along with quizzes. If you like hearing characters discuss strategies for when you can quiz in or narrow down answers, then you will have fun. If you like seeing if you can beat characters to the right answer, you’ll probably have fun. If you actually want the back story on the characters or to see any of the potential character developments realized you’ll probably end up disappointed.

For me, I loved being inside Koshiyama’s head as he tried to find the answer to questions. Sometimes he was successful and sometimes not (so at least no plot armour for the rookie quizzer) but his thinking and how he drew on his knowledge from the vast array of books he had read was kind of fun to follow.


The other members of the team and most the rival players are also fun enough, but they just don’t spend enough time with any of them. They all remain more types than characters and, particularly with the leader of Koshiyama’s team, it felt like there was a lot missing that would just make all these characters feel a bit more real and fleshed out.


Mikuriya gets a lot more time as the set up rival from another school, but even he doesn’t get much beyond his attitude and aptitude. We literally know nothing about him beyond the fact that he likes quizzes and he doesn’t like to lose.


Of course, the show isn’t all smooth sailing. The introduction of Akira in the latter half hurt my enjoyment of some of the final episodes. He was a really annoying character and while the show needed something to shake up all the composed quizzers and Akira served that role well, he didn’t make it more fun to watch.

The opening song is enjoyable enough and the dings and beeps of the buzzers are certainly nostalgic sounding. Otherwise the music and sound is pretty unremarkable as are most of the visuals.


There’s no greater narrative going on here. No fighting for a greater good. This is just about the characters and quizzing with Quiz Bowl getting the lion’s share of development even at the expense of the characters. Still, if that works for you then you should have some fun with this show. I certainly did and while it is hardly going to be my favourite anime ever and rewatch value is pretty low (sorry, once I know what the answer is going to be a lot of the fun goes out the window) I’d actually happy watch a second season of this, though that seems unlikely that we’ll get one.

Probably the best thing I can say about this show is that it is consistent in what it delivers.

If you watched Fastest Finger First I’d love to know your thoughts on it.

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


7 thoughts on “Fastest Finger First Series Review: Do You Like Watching Characters Answer Questions?

  1. This was an okay anime. I only watched about half way through because it lost my interest. I did like the over the top sports feel to it though. Reminded me of things like Hikaru no Go.

  2. My biggest problem with this series was that I felt it never climaxed in its first have. It never had that wow factor moment most sports formula shows have, the one that endears you to both the character and the pace of the show. I dropped this at the halfway point because of the lack of interest in any of the characters. It almost felt like the show was more interested in the game than showing effectively what the game meant to its characters in the first half (well besides the girl who boiled down to “I love quizzes!”)

    1. And that’s pretty much how it continued. The quizzes always came before the characters which made this fun and watchable but pretty ordinary from a narrative point of view .

  3. I do like quizzes and games in general, so after following your episodic reviews I already added this one to my list ( even though there is an annoying character in it: hope he is not as bad as Asta from Black Clover though 😂).

    1. It helps that the annoying character is only a side character introduced late in the game (compared to Asta who is kind of the main focus).

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