Oct 31, 2017
Tiemuuu (All reviews)
Net-juu no susume is a wonderfully crafted romance. The series' ambitions are not immediately apparent, as the story opens with a very generic MMO-registration sequence. It would be easy to write Net-juu off as just another typical virtual/alternative reality anime that fails to establish a personality and a mission statement in the first crucial minutes. After the first episode you're most likely wondering which direction the story is heading, as there is nothing inherently interesting about the game world or its mechanics.

The real point of interest is, of course, the characters. The online guild friends our MC encounters are charming, as are their real world personas. Everything about the characters and their interactions is so pleasant and likable that you can't help falling in love with them. This wouldn't work if there were no struggles, of course. Net-juu tackles real, working world issues. The way humans use games to alleviate stress and escape human problems is a central motif.

Net-juu puts multiplayer games into an interesting light. It doesn't deny their addictive and harmful properties, but it doesn't try to paint them as evil either. Even though the characters of this anime have different backgrounds and spend varying amounts of time in their game, all of them have a deep appreciation for the experiences and connections it has allowed them to make.

The visual production has a raw feeling to it, which somehow seems to elevate the romantic feelings it spurs inside me (Net-juu is similar to RE:life also in this regard). The soundtrack is similarly low-key, although both the OP and ED make a very strong mark with music and visuals that work in a perfect harmony.

Net-juu is is worth checking out even if romance isn't your go-to genre. It's filled with love, and has one of the most charming main characters I have ever had the pleasure to watch.