Thirty Day Anime Challenge: Days 13 to 17

FMAbrotherhood

Earlier this month I was reading Matt Doyle’s excellent blog. He had just completed a Thirty Day Video Game Challenge. That reminded me that I had yet to finish the anime challenge I started way back in July. Oops! I better make some long overdue progress on that by answering a few more questions today. For those of you who only subscribe to this site for reviews, and therefore have no interest in this series, I recommend that you check out these reviews penned by other bloggers instead…

Anime: Sword Art Online (Season Two)
Manga: Black Butler
Movie: Aquaman
Video Game: Pokemon Red/Blue

DAY 13: CHARACTER I AM MOST SIMILAR TO

I pretty much resemble any anime character who is a stereotypical geek. Perhaps you could compare me to a male version of Moriko Morioka, as I stay indoors all day, am terrible with face to face interactions and often play characters of the opposite sex in video games. I once asked a friend what animated personality I remind them of. They said Master Roshi, as I am a bald headed pervert. Can’t argue with that logic!

DAY 14: ANIME THAT NEVER GETS OLD NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I REWATCH IT

These days I don’t have enough free time to re-watch shows. Just keeping up with the current season’s anime (and older stuff that I want to check out) is a big enough struggle. Many moons ago however, when I limited my anime viewing to DVDs, I wasn’t averse to watching a series multiple times. One particular box-set that got a lot of mileage was Full Metal Alchemist. No matter how many times I watch FMA it never gets old.

DAY 15: FAVORITE ANIMAL SIDEKICK, PET OR SUMMON

I had to rack my brain to come up with an answer for this one. Generally I am not a fan of mascot characters. You can blame eighties cartoons for that. Back when I was a kid, the cartoons I watched often featured comic relief mascots who were super annoying. Anime critters aren’t all bad though. I recently had fun traveling with Pikachu in Pokemon Let’s Go for example. After much thought I am going to pick Taromaru, the pup from School-Live. He’s very cute and played a big role in the show’s emotional finale.

DAY 16: ANIME WITH THE BEST ANIMATION

There were many contenders for this category. Garden of Words has some exceptional visuals, as does anything that has Studio Ghibli’s name attached to it. The last Madoka movie is also worth mentioning, due to a particularly impressive fight sequence. All those nominations however have the benefit of a motion picture budget backing them up. With that in mind my vote goes to Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works. Who knew that a TV production could look so amazing? One could say that Ufotable’s artists brought their A-game to the (ufo)table in that series.

DAY 17: FAVORITE SUPPORTING MALE CHARACTER

I had to think long and hard for this one. Nothing immediately came to mind. Most of my favourite male characters, from the world of anime, are protagonists. Although I suspect a better answer will come to me later, I’m going to go with Akio Furukawa from Clannad. His childish antics make me laugh, as do the scenes were he gives Tomoya a hard time. Akio isn’t a one note comedic character though. During tough times he acts as a second father to Tomoya and is selfless when it comes to his family. This is evidenced by the reveal that he abandoned a career in acting in order to support his daughter. Instead of the stage he now works as a baker. The family business depends on him because his wife hasn’t got a clue when it comes to recipes. Octopus tentacles and bread do not make for a tasty combo.

 

Recovery of an MMO Junkie Review

mmojunkie

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.

OVERVIEW

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.

VERDICT

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.