「学校じゃネトゲはできないと思った？」 (Gakkou ja Netoge wa Dekinai to Omotta?)
“I Thought We Couldn’t Play Net Games at School?”
Games and reality are separate, but not always, and definitely not if you’re Ako. Hilarious chaos ensues!
A Purer Love
Though the swords and spells are confined to cyberspace, this is undoubtedly a fantasy. The idea of Ako and Hideki’s—sorry, Ako and Rusian’s relationship is that, at least from Ako’s point of view, it’s purer because they fell in love before they met in real life. Attractiveness or sex didn’t muck up their perception of each other; it was their personalities, their real, truer selves, that connected and fell in love. Which, ya know, is a load of bullshit. There ain’t nothin’ wrong with factoring in physical closeness, and scoffing at people who spend RL time with their significant others is silly. Ako’s point of view is warped.
Which is fine! I point this out not to scoff myself, but simply to point out that it’s a fantasy. Don’t believe it, certainly; it’s a lot easier to keep up a false face when you don’t have to actually be in the presence of the other person, though neither Hideki nor Ako appear to have done this. But it’s fine to play with this fantasy of a “purer love” since the show itself doesn’t seem to embrace Ako’s point of view, or at least not wholly. And hell, when Hideki says he would have married Ako in game even if she were a middle-aged man in real life? If anyone should have a claim to this fantasy love, it’s these two.
One of the enhancements I’m enjoying about Netoge is how the comedy is set up. Instead of having only one sane man (trope), it runs with two comedic foils (trope), both Hideki and Akane. Aside from just being a less common setup, it’s nice that Hideki isn’t completely bewildered, surrounded by all these crazy girls and having no solace within the group. He has it, since Akane is suffering right with him. They actually get along quite well, though they’re possibly too similar for the love plotline/harem end that some of us are fearing. Speaking of…
Shippers On Board
The biggest evidence I can give for my contention that this won’t go down the harem route, the largely female cast notwithstanding, is—well, it’s the clear setup of Ako and Hideki as a OTP. But next in line is how much Master and Schew-chan seem to be enjoying watching the other two together. I think they both really like Ako and Hideki as a couple! Though perhaps I’m projecting, because I was wearing the same smile as I watch those two idiots flirt. They warm the soul.
The focus of the series has appeared: fixing Ako’s lack of boundaries between games and reality. She’s dangerously delusional, to Hideki’s sanity and Akane’s social life. While I’d normally go off on a rant about the futility of trying to fix someone else, in this case, I’m in favor—this girl needs to learn some basic internet common sense, or someone less kind than Hideki is gonna take advantage of her. Plus, the comedy fan in me is rubbing his hands together and repeating, “This gonna be gooood!”
My hype hasn’t died down and I really enjoyed the second episode. I’m strongly considering blogging this regularly. Also, I didn’t expect Nekohime to reappear so quickly! We’re out of range of my source knowledge. From here on, it’s all new to me. I repeat: This gonna be good.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Ako can’t separate games & reality. Hilarious chaos ensues! Poor Hideki & Akane. Master will be all right, though #netoge 02
- I like that Hideki gives Ako a hard time, and doesn’t instantly go after her just ’cause she’s a cute girl. Still, couldn’t he give her a chance? Though I guess the story would be too easy then. Fight-o, Ako-chan!
- It’s cool how Master switched over totally to her female version in game after the reveal, while Schwein/Akane goes back and forth in time with her cracking façade.
- Someone’s surprisingly bad at acting. She should have invested in better armor.
- Live long and prosper. Unless you’re Akane, who is dying inside.
- Akane is totally an addict. Net games are a helluva drug.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Even if you see it coming, it can still work, Batman does not kill. Superman does not kill., Inside Out: What Emotion Drives You?, and Superhot: Storytelling through gameplay.
ED: 「ゼロイチキセキ」 (Zero Ichi Kiseki) by Nanjo Yoshino