In the ever-constant rush of seasonal anime, a lot of good shows are swept away and forgotten. It’s much like a polluted river; once you filter through the trash, you’ll find some great stuff! Unfortunately, all the stuff that survived has already moved on and all the good stuff already drowned.
That got way darker than I had intended, I’m sorry. This is my roundabout way of saying this show is great and didn’t deserve to drown.
When this show first debuted, my expectations weren’t all that high. It just seemed like another run-of-the-mill romance (maybe isekai, it was hard to tell at first glance) with a title too long for its own good. But I’d just gotten out of high school and I was moving for the first time, so hey! Why the hell not? May as well give it a shot!
Little did I know that I was signing up for one of the most enjoyable, emotionally resonant shows I’ve ever seen. One that would go on to help me out through some pretty rough times. Which totally has nothing to do with that move I mentioned.
Don’t ask. Those are bad memories…
Story: Online Love, Overwork, and Social Anxiety
The best thing I can compare this story to is a glass of wine. You might not enjoy it when you’re younger. But as you get older, you begin to understand it more and more. Odd analogy? Yes. But it was the best I could come up with, so please take it easy on me.
Our story begins with Morioka Moriko quitting her job and choosing the lifestyle of a NEET in order to spend her days playing MMOs. When she finds her old game has been shut down, she quickly finds a new one, where she creates a hot male character, Hayashi. Here, she meets Lily, who helps her learn the game and becomes a fast friend, as well as several other members of her new guild. Soon after, in real life, she meets Sakurai Yuta, a friendly and handsome, if a bit clumsy, guy who, unbeknownst to Morioka, is actually Lily! From there, the two start to slowly develop and awkward but powerful romance, helped in no small part by their online friends.
Though best wingman of all time Kowai does the majority of the work. Thus, he earns both the ‘best character’ and ‘best wingman’ awards.
I absolutely love the characters in this show! Both Morioka and Sakurai are the perfect leads, being just awkward enough to be entertaining and real enough to be compelling and relatable! Most of the side characters get some time to develop, which makes the cast feel alive and diverse! Sure, the only ones who really matter to the plot are Morioka and Sakurai. But the rest are still really damn good!
I just wish we got more of them. Oh well. A man can dream.
The story itself is a little rough, though. Every major event is built on a coincedence, with some of them being so astronomical that it’s impossible to believe it could be true. It ultimately comes together in the end for a cute, satisfying conclusion. But the sheer number of times that a wild coincidence moves the plot forward is downright assinine! That’s pretty much the only way to get the plot moving!
Look, I get that Japan is a small place. But I refuse to believe that two people could become best friends in two separate MMOs without knowing each other and just happen to bump into each other every time the plot needs to get going. That’s a little too convenient. Or need I remind you that the population of Japan is 126.5 million strong, as of 2018?
Still, while it the story itself is a bit rough around the edges, the characters within it are good enough to keep it afloat! The chemistry between them is so good that it makes up for the pacing issues. They’re all so damn lovable and fun! They are what makes this story work!
Especially Kowai. Best boy ever. Hands down.
Presentation: Making the Best Out of Very Little
The animation in this show isn’t all that solid. The OP and ED are incredible, both making good use of limited resources to deliver some amazing shots. But the show itself doesn’t exactly have any sakuga. It doesn’t look bad by any means; it’s colorful and the character designs are all fantastic. Just don’t expect any camera movements that’ll blow your mind.
What will blow your mind is the music. Holy fuck, dude! Whoever scored this show went above and beyond! It’s a better orchestral fantasy score than most fantasy shows nowadays! I have no idea where to buy this soundtrack, but I need to fucking find it! It is unreasonably good!
And… yeah, that about sums it up. It’s a decent looking, great sounding show. It definitely excels more in the writing department.
Still looks better than a lot of action shows these days, though…
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is an odd show in my memory. I often forget that it exists and move on with my life. But when it crawls back into my head, it fills me with this overwhelming desire to watch it again! Then I proceed to binge the whole thing in a day and the cycle repeats.
Hence I decided to immortalize my thoughts through this article. Sort of like creating a little reminder to myself in the future.
If you were one of the many who skipped this show, I’d highly recommend going back to check it out! It’s a short, fun, and sweet experience that deserves so much more than it got! This is a show that should be remembered!
Especially Kowai. We need more Kowai’s in anime. And in life.