Moriko Morioka is a 30-year-old single NEET woman. After dropping out from reality, she has taken off in search for a fulfilling life and ended up in a net game or "netoge." In the netoge world, she began her new life as a refreshing and handsome character named Hayashi. While starting out as a beginner, a pretty character named Lily reached out to help her. Meanwhile, in the real world, awaits a shocking encounter with a good-looking elite company employee, a mysterious blue-eyed blonde.
IRL relationships are sometimes exhausting. They require us to constantly give a good image of ourselves, although this is not always the case. At work, we must always do our job as best possible, to evolve in the company, to get satisfaction from our boss (and prevent him from getting angry with you), and of course our livelihood and to provide needs of our family. With friends, we strive to behave in the most appropriate way possible and relationships can sometimes seem rigid and distant. There are things that we don't allow ourselves to tell (being a NEET for example) because we are afraid to
appear as a person too different, too weird, from the point of view of society.
Thus virtual relationships gain in importance. Since we don't know most people we meet on the net, it is easier to confess and to reveal our real thoughts.. We avoid a little more the "politically correct" and we express more sincerely. Not everyone does it but for many, online relationships are a way to escape the suffocation of everyday life.
Net-juu no Susume tells the story of Morioka Moriko, a 30-year-old woman who self-proclaimed NEET. Very exhausted psychologically, she resigned because she couldn't stand her working conditions. (We notice that she was working until 11 pm) She decided to start a netoge titled "Fruits de Mer" which is a RPG-fantasy universe in which she'll meet many people. In the game, she plays with a male character named Hayashi. She meets Lily, a girl, , and gets closer and closer to her.
Meanwhile, IRL, Moriko accidentally meets Yuuta Sakurai. He is a young blond man (supposedly of foreign origin) who works in a trading company.
What to say about those characters? Moriko is really a well-written character. She is a young woman who lacks self-confidence, is not cute in appearance since she never pays attention to her hair or clothes when she goes out to do her shopping. I was delighted to see an adult character not particularly beautiful for once. We don't have a cute otaku completely unrealistic but a character who seems much more human. In game, she is very funny to follow because she (= Hayashi) tells a lot of lies about her private life and also mentions that she is a man in real life. She will run later into some difficulties but I can't tell you all the details not to spoil your fun.
Sakurai Yuuta is a less attractive character than Moriko, less amusing. He is more normal because he adapted to his working conditions. He had a period of depression further to the death of his parents and has been living alone ever since. Online games have been a way to meet, chat with people. I mentioned that this character was blond because he was adopted by a Japanese family. Unfortunately, we had no more information and especially about the discrimination that Sakurai may have suffered as a child since it was different from other classmates/students to all appearances.
For secondary characters, they are mainly used to support our two main characters. They have no background or development that deserves more attention. They weren't irritating and that's enough. (In 10 episodes, it was not easy to develop all the characters)
As for the Moriko-Sakurai relationship, it is very predictable. Who really doubted Lily's IRL identity? (Same for Kanba) Lily-Hayashi relationship develops gradually and parallel to that of Moriko and Sakurai. Subsequently, Sakurai will understand who is the user behind Hayashi through some events that I won't tell. (no spoil) The other predictable aspect is the fact that Moriko and Sakurai already knew each other in a previous game. At the time, Moriko was still working and Sakurai was going through a difficult period.
Regarding romance, it seems a little forced at times despite the insane interventions Koiwai interferes in the relationship Moriko-Sakurai. They sometimes look embarrassed but it's not excessive. Moriko and Sakurai are not very confident individuals so it makes sense to see them a bit hung-up. The scene when Sakurai finds Moriko (who was waiting for Koiwai for a date) was very powerful. Some dialogues seem a little empty and repetitive but overall it was very satisfying.
The net game is a RPG fantasy. You have quests to succeed, monsters to fight, a guild where you find your friends. Nothing really original and the universe is almost unexplored. Some people will surely complain but this is not the goal of this series. We understand this from episode 1. I'm glad we don't have the usual powerful, arrogant (and annoying) MC for once but characters who play normally, who can also lose, and prefer to spend a pleasant moment to forget their daily worries. (Warning, I never said they are mediocre players.)
On the technical aspects, the animation is not inferior to other shows, nothing really impressive, nothing bad either. The game and the real world stand out: colorful for the fantasy-RPG, dull for the real world. The chara-design is classic except for Moriko who has an original appearance in the first episodes at least. Bushy eyebrows, tousled hair, pajamas (or jogging) when she goes out to the supermarket. Completely natural! Honestly this character was great and probably one of my favorite characters of the year. It is not designed to play in the waifu game. The opening is excellent. Dynamic with a composition reminiscent of certain games. The ending is nice but not memorable either. As for the soundtrack, it is suitable for the series but I won't listen to regardless of the series. If you have some interesting titles, do not hesitate to tell me.
Personally this series was like a panacea. I watched the 9 episodes in one go without being bored once. Glad to see that we have adult characters and we come out of the traditional high school couple. Unlike many series released this year (I won't mention them), Net-juu no Susume addresses the issue of video games and its place in our daily life in a realistic and interesting way. You should try this series once, why not with family. (Christmas is coming)
Our society is made up of all sorts of people. The everyday working man, prodigies, movie icons, singing legends, book smarts, street thugs, leaders, professional gamers, ladies’ man, creative innovators. You name it. There’s always someone you’ve met in today’s society that you may be familiar with or completely contrasts who you are. There’s one type of people that our society doesn’t have a keen impression on though. That would be NEET. Know what it stands for? At its most generic definition, it’s a person that is “not in education, employment, or training”. The stereotype about “gamers that stay in their mom’s basement” applies there.
In a show like this, we get a first inside look at the life of a NEET and how their social life applies to their norms.
Jumping into this anime was actually quite easy. This is determined by the female protagonist, Moriko Morioka. She is what most people would define as a “NEET”. After quitting her job, Moriko decided to play an MMO called “Fruit de Mer” in order to embrace the NEET lifestyle. I find this choice of the main character rather interesting as there’s sort of gender swap with her role. Most people would imagine a nerdy male protagonist but instead, we have a single unmarried female character who isn’t bad looking in the beauty department either. Some people may also feel relatable to Moriko because of her straightforward timid personality. As a show that examines the lifestyle of a NEET, Moriko fits perfectly for that role because she is socially awkward. In the meantime, Moriko also creates a character in the MMO world named “Hayashi”. In contrast to her real life image, she makes Hayashi as a male knight character with a handsome look; in general, an antithesis of herself. As such, this anime sets up a lot of storytelling as her lifestyle blends between fiction and reality.
Similarly to Moriko, there’s also another character in the series that doesn’t come far off when compared to her. His name is Yuta Sakurai. Compared to Moriko, Sakurai often has hard time talking with people in real life although he does maintain a decent job at his company. This is extremely similar to Moriko as both characters often fret over at what they should say or how others may judge them based on their words. In the MMO world, Sakurai adopts the character name “Lily”. By storytelling elements, he plays a gender bender role as a female character in that fictional world and meets Hayashi. Lily also happens to be an attractive young female in-game and is sociable compared to Sakurai’s real life image. Get the picture here? It basically designates both their characters being completely different between their real life and MMO character persona. However, I do find the character chemistry to be very well executed. From the MMO world, they manage to connect to a personal level and share quite a decent amount of memorable moments together. In fact, character chemistry is what I value this show the most. Through social commentary, character dialogues, and personality dynamics, Moriko and Sakurai stands out as a memorable pair. They aren’t just similar but really bring out their honesty towards each other. It’s like fate often has the two meet together through coincidences as they connect with their relationship.
Of course, this anime isn’t just about them as the show also adds other characters to fulfill certain roles. A noticeable character is Homare Koiwai who has a very outgoing personality. In fact, he can be interpreted by some people as a ladies’ man. Unlike either Moriko or Sakurai, Koiwai has little trouble speaking with others and often initiates a conversation. It shouldn’t take long for viewers to realize that he is a foil character for the both of them. There’s also Kazuomi Fujimoto, a stereotypical college working student who also has an in-game MMO character. While I can’t say his role is very dynamic in this show, he does make up an empty void for filling the shoe of the merchandise seller. You ever need some in-game items? He’s your guy.
Even as a show that explores a lot of social norms, this anime still fulfills a lot of MMO gimmicks and mechanics that gamers may be familiar with. The idea of character classes, customized gear, lootbox, dungeon conquering, world exploration, etc fits into their game world. However, don’t mistake this anime as one about characters trapped in a world in order to defeat some demon overlord or survive. It’s more of a series that satires the NEET lifestyle in a lighthearted way. In addition, the storytelling gives us insight about Moriko’s life in small but vivid details. It shows how exactly she lives her lifestyle as you would picture as a NEET. The anime also gives some background storytelling about Moriko and Sakurai so it doesn’t just rely on the present timeline to do all the talking and showing. On the other hand, I do find that there’s some problem with the storytelling’s pacing. This anime adapts from a web manga and only consists of 10 episodes. The majority of the first half establishes the characters and ideas while the latter half seems to focus more on Moriko and Sakurai’s relationship. It often flirts with the idea of “will they or won’t they become a couple”. No, I’m not just talking about an in-game romance relationship because that comes off as way too cheesy. Instead, it makes the viewers wonder if there’s a future for them in a real relationship. This anime will test a viewers’ patience as it slowly builds up more and more each episode. Some of them end in cliffhangers that can be a letdown. As such, I’d recommend watching this as a marathon rather than on a week to week basis.
On the visual front, Net-juu no Susume isn’t anything to write home about when it comes to raw quality. Signal. MD’s track record consists of a small group of projects that people don’t talk about often. To me, this was their first anime project that people may have taken more notice. The visual quality itself can also be questionable as everything looks very simple. If this anime was marketed as a game in our world, it would be an indie compared to AAA games that you’d see from high budget studios. However, if you look past the quality, you may notice that the anime appeals to more than just quality itself. With its MMO elements, this show is a smart flick that uses its artwork to prove what it means to be a gamer. If you take a look at Moriko’s home, she has everything set up from dual screens to high quality keyboard. In-game character designs, monsters, and items disguises the mediocre quality if you look carefully as it satires the gaming culture. Moriko’s character design can also look appealing especially in later episodes when she gets a makeover. Character expressions also sell a good degree of humor especially with reactions to certain situations. To be honest, this anime will be viewed differently from every viewer but it possesses an innate ability to shine for what it has to offer despite the budget.
The quality of the soundtrack isn’t memorable by any means but it’s more of the characters’ voice lines that do the work. Moriko’s voice fits effectively for her role as both in-game and real life. Even when crossplaying, Hayashi still has some of her traits that can be easily recognized. The theme songs for the show speaks for themselves as it comes as colorfully decorated.
After watching this anime, I can safely say that it exceeded my expectations. The first few episodes took me some time to accept but after realizing what it really had to offer, it changed my mind from a mediocre afterthought to a show that I looked forward to every week. However, I think it’s preferably to watch this anime as a marathon as the storytelling can test the patience of the viewers at many times. The comedy can be a hit or a miss depending on what you’re looking for. But for me, Net-juu no Susume turned out to be a dark horse that went beyond and over.
Often There comes a show which we find ourselves enjoying more and more by the passing episode, But when asked, we find it difficult to describe in words,that what is it that we actually like about it. It is something most of us experience and, it all just might feel weird , to like something without a reason.The same had happened with me while watching this anime,I am not really sure why, Maybe it was the characters, the story, the music, or rather the entire show itself, however, in the end, It doesn't really matter, as long as one enjoys whatever they are
The anime, net juu no susume, starts off as a MMORPG parody, with some generic elements and run off the mill jokes, However, slowly the game theme starts to fade away, to a point where it seems like a side aspect , But in return, what we get to see later is a show, with one of the finest pace of story progression and character development we've seen in a while. The anime starts with a "person", starting a new life,and not a one you would expect, but rather an Online one. She uses games, not as a means to escape reality, but rather to reject it, to a point where it fades away to almost nothing. However, the world around that her begins to change due to a string of coincidences, which you might call fate,that slowly amalgamate both her online and offline lives together to a point, where both of them just seem unreal to her, and to a certain extend, to us too.
Neet is a term which is gaining more an more popularity in anime, This is clearly evident in most of the recent anime we have been receiving. Of course, it is not a good idea to just sit around at home all day doing nothing,but secretly, its somthing that most of us desire to do, and this desire within us is what makes us relate to these people. The main character, Morioka san, is also a neet, who has left her job in private sector and now dedicates her full time in playing RPGs and making new friends online. The interesting part is how she plays as a male character in the game, and some people despite knowing this, treats her as a normal person and not a freak, which comes to show the acceptance and etiquette of the internet. The show focuses on how she , by meeting new people, is able to come out of her shell and becomes a more social and active person in the society, which in other words means how she recovers from her neet behavior.
Now, It has become quite common to see young high school characters in most anime,especially romance, who have no experience in life and behave like dimwits whose lives are a tragedy. Net juu no susume offers a more mature and sensible cast of characters whose approach to life and the events that happen, are more realistic and makes sense. We see the characters behave in realistic way and not like dimwits , and this is also a major appeal of the anime and also reason for the smooth progression of the story.
Much like Morioka, sakurai is shown as a person with his own problems, despite having a job and friends, he is actually more similar to Morioka san than anyone else. Both are portrayed as MMO junkies who are fed up of their routine and escape off into a world of RPG to relieve themselves. Its also funny how both of them are more closer to one another , than they realize. And as the story progresses, They find that they are tied by a string of fate. The other characters are also not cast aside and the have a pretty well developed personality to show and a good role to play. Characters like Koiwai, Kanbe have provided with a help to both parties in improving the relationship with the other. Honestly, I was also not a fan of Koiwai, because he is pushy and just a big jerk. But, still he was the major reason in bringing Morioka san close to sakurai, And the real reward is when you watch the last episode and realize how far they have reached from just being strangers, It still surprises me, or rather it shows the real power of online games, and how they are able to bring strangers more closer to each other than one can imagine
Its actually these shows, which truly highlight the role played by good characters in an anime and which kind of impact they can have, even on a not so well written story line. The rate of development and character building has been really perfect since the fist episode. Through small encounter, to exchanging email , to going drinking,and finally just getting even more closer , The development being done is something which surprises me the most. Its all too fast and yet too natural, nothing seems real, yet everything reasonable . It truly shows how much we can achieve , in very amount little episodes.
The MMORPG, as I alredy mentioned, is not exactly the main focus of the anime, especially for the later half,however it has also not been completely ignored. We can see some good parody elements just being thrown around casually, Like the Loot box episode. Also we should see that, It is the Game only which started it all and was a major portion of the story development at first. The MMORPG theme in total here, is used really well to be honest, it has not overshadowed the anime but is also not got overshadowed itself or we can say that it was simply used in the most appropriate way .
The art is something I usually don't talk about, as it is quite subjective in itself. From my point of view, The art is pleasant and simple with a good use of cooler color palette , which is pleasing to eyes. The music is very simple and elegant, More than the OP, i am a bigger fan of the ed. It closes up everything very well and is a good way to wrap up things, but Other than that , there is nothing special in the art and music part.
Overall, The anime is surprisingly well made and it is much better than what u would expect it to be. It seemed to me as a very generic and simple show at first, but soon it exceeds my expectations and becomes a show which I would look forward to every friday. From the well developed characters to a good story line, almost everything about it is perfect which ,in my eyes, makes it worthy of the score i have given, And also Sakurai and Morioka san are one of the cutest pair you will ever see in anime. Its something everyone should experience at least once, because It will exceed your expectation, more than you would expect it to
(Note: This review contains both positives and negatives, but it helps you decide to watch it nor not. 8/10 is just my view)
In this present Internet dominated world, We spend lots of time in social networks, gaming etc and we forget how we behave in real world and become clumsy, silly and awkward....That's depicted really well in this anime...and it also shows how we want to stay and dream to be in that dream world....
Please don't be deceived by the title "Recovery of MMO junkie" , To be honest I thought it must be a story of a recovering MMO addict and it might help
people with addictions get motivated, but to my disappointment, Its a story about an MMO addict who was forced to quit playing the game as the game was shut down and she finds a new game...so thats what recovery means in this case.
Its a common MMO gaming type anime where MC plays the game and interacts with other characters and obviously falling in love with them or developing crush and accidentally they meet in real world but they do not know that they are playing the same game. (Which would never happen in real life scenario cos there is no possibility of meeting) .
You know what's going to happen next in the story and you know that it is silly but still you would love watching it because the atmosphere in the anime makes you feel that way.
The first episode might be boring but after 2nd and 3rd episode you start liking it and it keeps getting more and more interesting.There is no dragging which happens in most love stories (you would understand what I meant at the end of episode 8).
It did help bring few smiles and laughs as it exactly depicts how stupid we behave when we live in that virtual world or social networks, as we cant talk to the same person whom we met in social network properly if met face to face .It also makes sarcastic jokes on MMO gaming.
Art is Good,I mean since it represents about game, obviously the characters are designed to be colourful and interesting.The Main character even though with her messy long hair is really cute and there is bit draw back in male characters of real life, because most of them look almost same, just the hair colour or spectacles vary lol.
Opening and Ending tracks are good and create a gaming feel scenario,
The soundtracks aren't worth remembering, except for 1 or 2, I guess.
This is main important feature that makes this anime special, Character development Of main character is good. I fell in love with the MC as her character is just like me who does clumsy things and speak in monosyllables when talking with opposite sex. Other characters aren't much developed( like other gamers)...We only come to know 3 people from the game outside...So it focuses mainly on the Two MC's and their feelings.
Enjoyment and Overall :
I would say to watch this anime if you want to see someone like you existing in an anime world and laugh at yourself. Its a good time pass anime if you are bored of highschool romance and bloody thrillers.
My advice before watching:
Please don't start this anime with any expectations, Watch it with free mind and at a time when you don't have anything to do .