Quality over quantity is the philosophy that manga creator Rin Kokuyo seems to live by. According to Wikipedia (so it must be true) ever since Recovery of an MMO Junkie debuted, in 2013, only two volumes have been published. Crikey. All of a sudden I don’t feel so bad about taking so long to post new articles on my blog. Anyways, given the sluggish output of the manga it should come as no surprise that its anime adaptation only runs for ten episodes. Oh, and there is also a humorous OVA to check out too. Thankfully, as alluded to in my review opener, the lack of content is made up for in entertainment excellence.
Hot on the heels of ReLIFE, I once again find myself watching a series about a stressed out office worker who has quit their job. Thirty-year-old Moriko Morioka has decided to occupy her free time, now that she is a NEET, by playing online games. The MMORPG she frequented back in the day has been shutdown, so Moriko has decided to create a new character in a fantasy title called Fruits de Mer. Despite being a woman, she picks a male knight avatar. Isn’t it weird how different genders think? Some girls play as male characters, in games, to avoid harassment. Meanwhile some guys masquerade as ladies, to increase the odds that horny players will gift them with free stuff.
The first dungeon that Moriko tackles doesn’t go well. Armed with just a twig, she is unable to defeat the level’s oversized rodent guardian. Perhaps she should have rolled a cat girl warrior instead? I imagine that race gets bonuses when fighting against mice. Anyways, after a few unsuccessful attempts Moriko joins forces with a kind-hearted cleric named Lily. Thanks to Lily’s restorative magic Moriko is finally able to overcome her cheese eating nemesis. As it turns out, that inaugural quest was the start of a beautiful friendship. Lily invites Moriko to her guild and the two eventually get so close that they solidify their relationship by becoming official partners.
If you are hankering for some yuri goodness I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Unbeknownst to Moriko the adorable Lily is businessman Yuta Sakurai, who she bumped into once at a local convenience store. They literally bumped into each other, because during said encounter Sakurai inadvertently elbowed Moriko in the chops! Will romance blossom in the real world between the two virtual adventurers? It all depends on Sakurai unmasking his partner’s secret identity and Moriko braving her hermit ways.
My rating for Recovery of an MMO Junkie is four and a half stars. I have to say that episode one didn’t make a good first impression. After watching it I was left with the opinion that the series was going to be another of those humdrum MMO shows, which have flooded the market ever since SAO first appeared. Thankfully things improved in the next instalment, thanks mostly to the budding romance. I liked how the story divides its time equally between the online game and real world. Another plus is that the cast are all adults. It’s nice to see characters close to my age for a change; given how much of the anime I watch is dominated by teenage heroes. Hurrah, this cartoon didn’t make me feel old.
Ten episodes was a good length for this series. Experience has taught me that “will they/won’t they” tales tend to drag when stretched out for more than one cour. The narrative relies on huge coincidences to work, but it’s easy to overlook that fault because Moriko is so lovable. It’s hilarious how she counters anxiety by assaulting her carpet with a lint roller. Another thing I appreciated is that the script never resorts to using a love triangle for dramatic purposes. Sakurai’s co-worker Homare Koiwai goes on a date with Moriko, but rather than become a rival he ends up playing matchmaker for the two shy lovebirds. Evidently soul mates can be found in MMOs. Time to uninstall Tinder and re-subscribe to WOW.