First Look: Recovery of an MMO Junkie

Alternative title(s): Net-juu no Susume
Manga Adaptation by Signal.MD
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Moriko quits her exhausting office job so she can stay home and play MMOs all day. After finding a new game to play, she befriends a character named Lily and a group of other nice people who play to blow off steam.

Jel’s verdict: Sign Up Now for a 3 Episode Trial!

There’s a lot of potential here but based on the first episode it’s hard to say which direction the show will take. To start, we have a woman in her 30s who was so fed up with her work that she just quit. The other members of her guild hint at similar feelings although it seems none of them have taken it that extreme. So could this show be about the challenges of finding work/life balance, or the value of making like minded friends to help you cope? That’s one possibility.

We also have Moriko’s choice of in game avatar, in which she decides to represent herself with a hot guy. She meets Lily, who most definitely is the real hot guy she sees later at the convenience store, and they seem to fall in love while role playing different genders. I automatically assume no anime is going to make a strong statement on that topic, but could this be about how the relationships we develop online are real and important, where things like gender or other life circumstances don’t matter? That’s another possibility.

Either one of these directions is infinitely more interesting to me than the usual anime high school life lessons, so you can color me intrigued. It helps that there’s also zero fan service and there’s no drama. Everyone is really nice and seems to be enjoying themselves, so watching is a very pleasant experience. Of course there’s the third possibility that nothing will actually happen and it will just be about a group of friends playing a game. That would be disappointing, but even so I think it’s worth giving Net-juu another episode or two to settle in before making a final judgement.

Marlin’s verdict: Inoffensive

I need another episode to really make a judgement on this show because there really isn’t a whole lot to go on. I can’t imagine the goings on of the MMO are going to be the major plot driver the whole time. The scene in the grocery store and the small things they show of Moriko’s apartment point to her having a bit of a personality problem, while in contrast glasses dude seems to be pretty normal. The next episode previews do imply the characters might go more into Moriko’s NEET life, so I am interested in seeing where they go. There’s also the interesting dissonance between the Japanese Engrish title “Recommendation of the Wonderful Virtual Life” and the Crunchyroll English Title “Recovery of an MMO Junkie”. Is the Japanese title ironic, and the Crunchyroll title is getting more to the point of this being a story about how Moriko has let the MMO take over her life, or is Crunchyroll trying to make it seem better than it is and the Japanese title speaks to the actual intents of the show, to glorify her shut-in life? I can’t imagine me keeping up with this show in the long run, but I do want to watch at least a few episodes more to find out which guess is right.

Artemis’ verdict: Logging Off

This wasn’t bad per se – as in, not skeevy or creepy like I was mentally preparing myself for – but watching this was a very lacklustre experience in pretty much every way, and I found myself repeatedly checking to see how much longer I had before the episode was done. Net-juu is apparently meant to be primarily a comedy series, but as it got nothing but one or two weak smiles out of me, the best I can probably say for it is that nothing about it offended me. Rather, it’s just so cartoonish that there was no way I could get invested into anything about the story, comedy or otherwise. Mostly, I just wanted to go watch something more interesting instead of feeling compelled to check my watch every other minute or so.

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