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Manga / Fastest Finger First

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Question: What is the format of competitive quiz bowls, called "golden rule" by truly able players?
Answer: 7 Right, 3 Wrong.
Explanation: It means that one wins when he gets seven correct answers, or gets disqualifed when he gives three incorrect answers. It's a standard rule loved by competitive quiz bowl players.

Fastest Finger First (Nanamaru Sanbatsunote ) is a seinen School Life manga by Ikura Sugimoto, which was serialized monthly in Young Ace from 2010 to 2020.

On his second day as a senior high school student, Shiki Koshiyama is yet uncertain which school club will he join, until he got himself invited to Buzou High School's Quiz Club, which he refused initially because he felt it was too nerdy. Or so it seems.

He found a copy of the quiz club's campaign pamphlet: a 100-item questionnaire based on quiz shows, and answered them quite easily. Then he met Mari Fukami, a classmate of his who is actually an expert quizzer known as "The Buzzer Queen" in a rather odd circumstance, and quiz club captain Gakuto Sasajima, who saw his potential to become a great quizzer.

It was only until then that Shiki realized he had such great potential as a quizzer, but needs to hone himself in the art of buzzer-pressing as knowing the answer to every question is not everything in quizzes, but rather the ability to answer every question ahead of the others is what makes one The King of Quizzes.

Fastest Finger First offers a good break from the usual Shōnen action stuff by featuring a natural bookworm for a hero competing in an event usually reserved for geniuses, where knowledge literally is power.

An anime series has been green-lit, and premiered as part of the Summer 2017 Anime lineup. Crunchyroll has the rights to airing the series.

Fastest Finger First provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 34 is this for Daisuke Inoue.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Seiji Fukami is incredibly smug with his quiz bowl skills so high no one else except Gakuto and Okura can match.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: 7o3x runs on this trope, as quizzers are often required to have good analytical abilities to recognize the clues necessary to answer the questions.
    • In Chapter 14, Shiki got the correct answer to one of the puzzles in the arcade quiz by looking into which Japanese kanji words occupy the least space in their respective boxes.
  • Bookworm: This is how Shiki gets the immense knowledge that gives him the edge in paper-and-pen quizzes. He only needs to master the art of "buzzing in and answer questions correctly before anyone else" to turn his book-smarts into a real advantage in oral quizzes.
    • Blessed with Suck: He's an avid reader of classical literature, which means he cannot do squat on pop culture stuff which happens to appear every so often.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer
    • Gakuto, the highly eccentric team captain of Buzou High's Quiz Club. But he's actually a legendary quizzer from Kaijou who ditched it for Buzou for unknown reasons. In the Asagaoka Quiz Bowl, he tied with Kunimitsu Okura, Kaijou's current team captain, and he was Gakuto's senpai to boot!
    • Akira has little respect for Quiz, but that, along with his natural gifts with games, allows him to come up with innovative ways to take various quiz rules to his advantage.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Any Genre Savvy quizzer knows that everything and anything under the sun can be asked in an official quiz bowl tournament. Shiki in particular has a really big stash of Chekhov's Guns that he uses to his advantage in Literature questions.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Mari gives Shiki a quick lesson in pop culture before their first meet. This comes in incredibly handy when Zettai Ryouiki is the answer to the question where only one word was uttered, "mini-skirt", and he's forced to give an answer after accidentally pressing the button too soon.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Gakuto's sister Jinko.
  • Cosplay: Akira Sonohara's first appearance. Leads to his Unsettling Gender-Reveal.
  • Crocodile Tears: Akira starts crying after being told by his club president to go home for displaying such poor sportsmanship and being rude to the other players. He claims that he's still new to quiz bowl, and didn't understand all of the rules. After the president rescinds his threat, Akira immediately does a "Silly Me" Gesture, revealing that he had been faking his tears and crying.
  • Dare to Be Badass: In the second round of the Asagaoka quiz bowl, Mari was paired with Yagi from Kannami. Mari carried her throughout the round, until this happened:
    Yagi: What if I don't get the correct answer?
    Mari: If you don't get the correct answer, you're not going anywhere!
  • Double Entendre: Akira telling Shiki to "push his button" in episode nine gets a secondary meaning from several of the girls present.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Shiki does this in the library. Until Jinko came along and ate his lunch.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mari Fukami, Buzou High's Buzzer Queen. She's fast with the buzzer and pop culture questions but she has nowhere near Shiki's immense stock knowledge crucial for the end-game.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Jinko Sasajima. She is currently learning how to create a cost-effective buzzer.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Chisato Mikuriya has a reason why he doesn't just exchange phone numbers with his self-proclaimed rival.
  • Genki Girl: Jinko.
  • Glass Cannon: Chisato Mikuriya, the ace player of Miyaura Quiz Bowl Team. He can buzz in the correct answer faster than anyone else, but only if he can recognize it right off the first clue. Otherwise, he tends to stumble as more and more clues pile up, making it more difficult for him to piece them together to get the correct answer.
  • Good with Numbers: Daisuke, who also picks up Science later on.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Mari and Yuki, even when they're now in different schools.
  • Idiot Hair: Shiki.
  • Important Haircut: Mari cut her hair short after recovering from a cold and making amends with her brother Seiji thanks to Gakuto and the rest of the team.
  • Jack of All Stats: While Daisuke is the best Math and Science quizzer on his team and is better at toss-ups than Shiki, he lacks the latter's stock knowledge, Gakuto's range of fields, and Mari's buzzing speed. As a result, he ends up picking fields his teammates do not pick up nor particularly excel in.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Jinko's accent is the entire reason why people think of her and Gakuto as Not Blood Siblings.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Gakuto and Seiji have a wider range of knowledge than Shiki and are even faster than Mari and Mikuriya with the buzzer.
  • Loophole Abuse: Akira does this several times in episode nine. In one incident, he buzzes in after the announcer mentions just two words. This throws everyone off, including the announcer, who then continues to read the question until a second buzzer comes in. He immediately says that until two buzzers are pressed, the question continues to get read. He later tells Shiki to push both buttons by putting his on top of the other one so both would go off at the same time. Though it goes against the spirit of the game, Akira asks if there was a rule against it, forcing them to allow him to do it.
  • Meaningful Name: Gakuto's name in kanji literally means student.
  • Meido: Mari and Yuki's outfits as part of their part-time work at Akihabara.
  • Mighty Glacier: Shiki's voracious reading appetite gives him immense knowledge in a wide range of fields, especially classical literature. However, as a newbie in quiz bowls he tends to stumble in toss-ups where speed is more important than accuracy.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Quiz bowls are no ordinary school quizzes, but this is the game everyone knows how to play!
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Gee, sure they are sexy, especially the girls and Seiji. Also the all-girls Asagaoka Quiz Bowl Club.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Niina Takumi's default look is normally Eyes Always Shut. However, after seeing one of his junior members talking trash about the other players, and showing incredibly poor sportsmanship, he opens his eyes, and tells Akira to go home. Akira then starts crying and claims he didn't know about the rules of the game, and just wanted to play with other people. After Niina rescinds his demand, Akira then reveals it was just Crocodile Tears.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sasajima occasionally slips into a Kansai accent since he originally lived in Kyoto and only moved to the Kanto region a year and a half ago.
  • Red Baron: Mari, Buzou High's Buzzer Queen. Seems to get downplayed later, though.
  • The Rival: Akira becomes one to Shiki after he gets a question right that stumped the former.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Seiji's general mentality in quiz bowls. The reason why he quit from the Kaijou quiz bowl team to focus on his university studies is his inability to handle the prospect of losing to someone in quiz bowls, particularly Gakuto.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang
  • Shout-Out: The international title is the name of the qualification round from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Suitable for a manga about quizzing.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Several questions are treated in this manner when Shiki is answering them. While he doesn't always get it right, it does show how much thought many quizzers go through to answer some of the more difficult questions.
  • Teen Genius: Pretty much everyone here. Especially the one who can answer very difficult questions in less than a second.
  • The Worf Effect: In full effect during the Asagaoka Arc, where Gakuto curb-stomped pretty much everyone.

Alternative Title(s): Nanamaru Sanbantsu, Nanamaru Sanbatsu