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While Sakurai continues to sort out his feelings, Koiwai signs up for the game and asks Moriko to teach him how to play. Moriko creates an alternate starter character to help him out, but things get complicated when they run into Kanbe.
I’m not sure having Koiwai join the game is making the show better. I’d honestly like it if there was less of him, not more. That said, I suppose his carefree attitude toward the game helps bring perspective. Moriko and Sakurai are spending so much energy worrying about how their in-game characters are perceived and then here comes Koiwai, barreling in without a care in the world. They need to be more like that and enjoy being themselves, together.
It was definitely good to get a little more insight into Sakurai’s mindset. We still don’t have any specific reasons why he’s playing the game as an escape, but it does seem like that is what he’s playing for. Based on the evidence, it’s probably a reaction to how things panned out in the previous game. It seems Moriko did open up to him about quitting her job so maybe he didn’t know how to support her when she needed it? Maybe that’s why he feels like Koiwai is better for her, since he tried to comfort her? I think we may be headed in that direction.
Of course Sakurai now just has to realize he’s been a good friend all along and we should be all set for our happy ending. Sadly they’re probably going to drag that out since there’s so many episodes left. To speed things up, maybe we can hook up Koiwai with Nico, who seemed to come out of nowhere. Did she appear earlier and I just didn’t remember her? Point is, she seems to be exactly the type of girl I said would be good for him last week, so her timing is perfect. Once again, we could be headed in that direction. That seems to be my take from this episode overall. It was OK but felt more like setup for something more substantial next week. So we’ll just have to wait until then and see what happens.