“One Step Forward”
Fridays at 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll
Both Sakurai and Moriko remember their time playing NanterSG and how important their friendship was. Sakurai creates a new character and decides to model him after the one in the previous game, hoping that Moriko will recognize him.
If you want to know why a lot of us want more shows about adults, this is a great example. The game hook and big coincidences are things you might find any other anime romantic comedy, but it’s how things are being resolved that makes MMO Junkie special. Sakurai has been understandably nervous about telling Moriko the truth, but he still goes ahead with his plan anyway. On hearing the truth, Moriko doesn’t run off and contemplate whether she likes this guy or not, she goes right along with it. Sure they tried to stall with some dumb things like the ol’ cell phone running out of battery trick, but at the end of the day these are grown ups who are not overly afraid or confused at the thought of pursuing a relationship.
And so I feel like the episode title declaring “one step forward” might be underselling how much happened this week. This was THE hurdle keeping these two dorks from getting together. I suppose there’s still the question of how Moriko responds to hearing that Sakurai is also Lily, but there’s no way she would be upset by that, right? They wouldn’t have Sakurai misinterpret her response or throw Koiwai back in the mix or do anything else to ruin this good thing we have going, right???? Forgive me for being skeptical, but it almost seems too good to be true.
Assuming they don’t find some way to break these crazy kids up, I’d be ecstatic if we just spent the final few episodes with the two of them enjoying each other’s company and Moriko bringing her recovery full circle. My cold, dead heart was already melted seeing her fidgeting around with happiness this week, another couple weeks might do me in. I’d be fine with that, so bring it on.