「転生すればワンチャンあると思った?」 (Tensei Sureba Wanchan Aru to Omotta?)
“I Thought Reincarnating Would Give Me My Big Chance?”

This is a funny, dysfunctional, heartfelt love story, but it’s also a funny, dysfunctional, and heartfelt friendship story, and that might be this series’ greatest strength.

A New Game

Before I get into the meat of this frankly awesome episode, am I the only one who expected them to only play LA? It was a nice (and unexpected) change to see them switch over to an FPS, and I mean, why not? Plus, the gag that Ako is actually really good at FPSs (as long as she imagines the enemies as riajuu) was another funny gag. I’d like to see more occasional jaunts into other genres, even if I’d be perfectly happy if they stay with LA most of the time.

Dispensing With The False Mystery

Unlike the mystery of Nekohime’s true identity, which could have been some old dude if the story had wanted to go in a different direction, Sette’s true identity was flamingly obvious from the start. Which is why I’m glad that they didn’t stretch it out, and instead dispensed with the subterfuge before half an episode had gone by. Sette is Nanako, check! Which was great, mostly for Akane’s immediate breakdown at the news. Poor Akane. This is why being an open otaku is best.

A Lovely Friendship Story

This episode highlighted, perhaps more than any of the ones before, that Netoge isn’t just a nerdy romance story. At its core it’s probably more of a friendship story, or at least that’s the foundation upon which the romance is able to flourish. Akane’s walk home with Hideki, replete with friendship flags, is the clearest indicator, and—okay, yes. Those could be romance flags if you want to take it that way. It really doesn’t feel like it though, at least to me (though maybe that’s just because I want to believe that men and women can be just friends, because they friggin’ can, even if popular culture likes to doubt that). But it’s not Ako’s love for Hideki, or his patience with her, that brings her back from closing herself in forever. Or once again, it’s not only that. The friendship of Schew-chan and Master are big bulletpoints in Hideki’s pitch to get Ako to continue interfacing with real life. The burgeoning romance is definitely there, but the friendship vibe is pread throughout.

Now We Know Where Ako Got It

Gentleladies and gentlemen, I present to you Ako’s mom. Ako’s mom explains a lot. Ako’s body, obviously, there’s no denying that. Then there’s that accepting and slightly airheaded way she gives Hideki the go ahead to, er—make his relationship with her daughter a done deal, shall we say. (Sex. I’m talking about sex.) They’re definitely different people, she seems more socially functional than her daughter, but she either really trusts her daughter’s choice in men or lacks a bit of common sense herself. Or both.

Also, damn girl. You’ve got a winner her, Hideki. A crazy winner, but a winner. Anime needs more home nudists, Mio from Ano Natsu never forget!

Understanding Ako, & Helping/Making Ako Choose

Full marks to Hideki on his plan. Ako could have easily stopped going to school without thinking the repercussions through, and ended up regretting it when she felt like she couldn’t see Akane, Kyou, and of course Hideki in real life anymore. The snowball effect could have been really bad for her. What’s important is that she understand the decision she’s making, and make it clearly—even if she does decide to quit school. And Hideki does it too.

I said the friendship between Ako and the others was a big reason why she came back to school, but it was undoubtedly Hideki’s understanding of Ako as a person that facilitated it all. He knew that the Nanako thing wasn’t the big issue—it was just a symptom of an issue that already existed. Ako has trouble with school, she’s bad with social situations, etc. Nanako teasing her about Hideki was just the last straw that made Ako say “Fuck it!” and hole herself up.

I’m not going to say I totally understand that. While younger Stilts sure enjoyed him some games, the idea of totally retreating from reality never even occurred to me. But I do know that she cares about Rusian, and Hideki too, and that when he said he would quit school with her, she realized her decision would effect more than just her, and she didn’t want that. It forced her to confront the issue square on, and Hideki’s understanding of and acceptance of Ako as she is meant that she wouldn’t have to do it all alone—he understood, and he would help her. All of which is a long winded way to stand on top of my desk, clap loudly, and salute both the original author and the animation studio staff for doing a good godsdamned job with some real character drama. Well done, you glorious bastard! Encore!

Looking Ahead – Facebook Official?

The bonus of the episode for me was when Ako got back to school, and Nanako came up to help her with the other girls in class. Of course, she mentioned that Ako has a boyfriend in her class—does that mean Ako and Hideki are official? I mean, of course they’re meant to be together, they’re adorable, but come on. I want to hear Hideki openly admit that his waifu is now his IRL girlfriend. Couples that start dating before the series ends are way too rare. GIVE ME THIS ONE DAMMIT!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It’s a tour de force of comedy, friendship, romance, ecchi, & heartfelt character drama. I give it 10,000 D’AAAWS #netoge 05

Random thoughts:

  • “Team…Deathmatch…!” “Beautiful.” Please give me more Ako-version Hidaka Rina saying hilarious English phrases. Please. I need this in my life.
  • Brutal indeed. Finally, an anime male lead most girls aren’t interested in, but they still treat him like a decent human being! He’s the hero we’ve badly needed for years now.
  • Akane is willing to walk home with Hideki. She’s shedding her otaku-hating public persona, at least a bit. Or maybe Ako is an important enough friend to make her set it aside for now.
  • Friendship shipping! Shipping all the friendships!
  • Ako is an adorable mess. The plastic bottle thing was too much. Hilarious, though! And they even mentioned the taste thing, though c’mon, you’d know the taste of pee even if you don’t know the taste of that tea. Or at least you’d know the smell.
  • “My boyfriend is just the best.” D’AAAAAAWWWW!

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: Dying idols, Frictionless routines, Even if you see it coming, it can still work, and Batman does not kill. Superman does not kill.

Full-length images: 02, 05, 06, 07, 13, 20, 24, 28, 34.




  1. Ako’s mom. Nuff said! Good looks run in the Tamaki family obviously. The character designer of this anime should be given a raise. I’m not sure if it was used before in other shows but seriously a lip fetish might develop from looking at the females of this anime. The way they all smile, and I mean all of them. And just wow that was an interesting take on the classic walk-in-on-a-girl-still-wearing-her-underwear-scene. I really did not expect Ako to go full birthday suit. During that conversation with Hideki declaring he’s coming into her room whether she likes it or not, Ako seriously thought Hideki was after “that.” Ako’s mom probably thought the same thing. I wonder though what Mr. Tamaki thinks, if there is one. He’s one lucky guy to land such a catch. I also can’t deny that little scene with Akane got my attention. The way I see it, Akane might have developed a little crush but chose not to act on it since she knows Hideki and Ako are the otp. If she did decide to just stop it right there and keep the status quo as friends, I admire her character even more as usually side characters with crushes give up by the end of the show, I think. Also I guess there was nothing deep at all about Nanako. She was just curious about the game, and a little playful. I thought for a while she might have other reasons for starting LA. Add that last scene where she helps Ako out, and I’d say Nanako is a great friend.

    Also noticed Kyoh likes her in-game avatars wearing less. There might be no deeper meaning. She just likes them that way.

    1. I guess I can breathe a sigh of relief that Nanako has no interest in NTR-ing Hideki despite being flirty with him.

      If Nanako did that so that Ako can finally have the courage to have a relationship upgrade with Hideki in real life, then Nanako’s as much of a lancer (trope) towards Ako as Akane is towards Hideki… And I’m OK with that.

      1. I also want to believe Nanako has no ulterior motive in all this. That she’s just a curious newbie to gaming and all-around good friend to everyone. And that’s what she is right now. Again that act of helping out Ako when she went back to school made her a-okay to me even more. Makes me think aside from Hideki and Ako’s love story, bonds of friendship are a really strong theme in this show.

    2. Also noticed Kyoh likes her in-game avatars wearing less. There might be no deeper meaning. She just likes them that way.

      Aside from the obvious fanservice factor, it’s likely also a joke about the how high-level armor for females generally looks like in many games.

  2. https://randomc.net/image/Netoge%20no%20Yome%20wa%20Onnanoko%20ja%20Nai%20to%20Omotta/Netoge%20no%20Yome%20wa%20Onnanoko%20ja%20Nai%20to%20Omotta%20-%2005%20-%2031.jpg
    While Ako is air-headed, stubborn, and has yandere tendency, but this reminds me that she genuinely loves her boyfriend. What a sweet girl! 10/10 would bang.

    Akane is the bro-est girl. I’d like to have her as my friend as well!

    One Pinch Man
  3. one of the definite strengths of this series is the fact that the girls around the MC just consider him a valuable friend and not a romantic interest. When i realized that in ep 2 i was like “no way….this cant be happening??? yessssss….EXCELSIORRRRRRR!!!!!! If i had any criticism, it would be that i dont feel ako’s plight in school and socializing. It’s like she’s alone and weird just cuz; i just dont really feel like the writing gets into the thick of ako’s psyche or does an excellent job in portraying her awkwardness. Also while i appreciate the MC for not being a chick magnet, he leaves a lot to be desired in terms of character. There really isnt much depth to his issue besides the initial gag of it. Perhaps future eps may remedy this issue. I feel like the second half of this series may go more into having ako and hideki getting into the flow of being BF and GF now that they sorta kinda acknowledged that their relationship goes beyond the game

    1. It is kind of just assumed that Ako is socially awkward because Ako is socially awkward. Which, to be fair, is just how some people are. So it kinda works? Not like she needs some great big trauma. It could delve into how this effects her life more, you’re right. Though then again, it’s a comedy first and a character drama second.

      True on Hideki. He is an instance where he’s just better than most male protags because he doesn’t trigger some of the usual tropes. Though honestly? It’s a good thing that he gets out of the way. Some shows do benefit from a strong male lead, but Ako’s dysfunction (and the other girls, to a point) are the star of the show here. Hideki not getting in the way of that fun too much is probably good, even if him mixing it up a little more could be better. Hm. Conflicted.

      1. you know what, that’s a good way of looking at it; that the focus of the show isnt really on hideki but the other cast members. As they saying goes: it’s their world, he just lives in it. In regards to ako, i dont really expect some great trauma but something a lil bit more “meaty” to the characteristics of her awkwardness like her struggling to communicate and hold conversations with people or her struggling to understand other people’s perspectives and how the backlash of that makes her withdrawn. But yea it’s a light-hearted comedy so it makes sense that it would run with the whole social awkwardness thing at its most basic form. This narrative is seems more focused on illustrating how people can become connected through video games and form actual bonds with each other….and that’s pretty dandy all things considered

  4. Ako: (after scoring three headshots in a row with a Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle) Beautiful.

    Reznov, MacMillan and Captain Price would be proud…

    Kyou: Behold the force of the self-destructing bazooka! I got five kills with one shot!

    Akane: “Uh, you caught me with that one, too.”

    Haha, that scene reminded me of “The n00b” (played by Jonah Hill) from Modern Warfare 3‘s “The Vet & The n00b” trailer…

    The n00b: (after blowing up a sniper with an RPG) “Should’ve used a knife?”

    Hideki walking into Ako in her undies: OH YEAH!. Ako letting Hideki in after “readying her body” (i.e.: stripping down to her birthday suit) and Hideki’s reaction to that: Hilarious. Also, I almost thought Ako might have taken a page out of Anna Nishikinomiya’s book and put a bit of her…*ahem*…”love nectar” into Hideki’s tea. It turned out to be a joke, but still…

    And Ako’s mom is absurdly youthful… BTW, did Kikuko Inoue voice her, too?

  5. Damn. What a surprise Netoge is being for me. I initially discarded it when it was annouced – I thought it would be just another generic LN adaptation. When I decided to watch it, I was expecting only goofy comedy. And now I’m having character development (and character development based on REAL stuff, based on a situation that happens in real life), a lead character who is not a harem king, and a situation where a boy and a girl are friend without any kind of romantic tension. AWESOME episode indeed.
    And c’mon. Ako and Hideki are one of the cutest couples I’ve ever seen. And even the aspect of their relationship which is not romantic is fantastic. That’s true friendship being developed between the two (and also with Akane and Master), and that’s just perfect for making a romance which is not based on wind (like most are).
    Wow, I wrote a lot. Too tired to make any revisions (English is not my mother language, still learning), so sorry for the mistakes.
    Amazing review, Stilts 🙂 And thank you Random for making me watch this thing.

  6. who could have guessed a comedy about netgame players would becoem that good?
    it is all about characters and their interactions really… and the series makes thm convincing and entertaining

  7. Yep loving this.

    I belive Tokyo conservative government in recent years made it illegal for kids under 18 to have sex in anime and manga at least for that shown to those under 18, not clear on that. Lots of other objectionable stuff in the law but the no sex thing I think has locked in the normal trend for no sex in stories. So that another reason our male hero did not take advantage of that delightful dish.

    Now I would think not taking advantage of the mentally unstable girl with Yandery tendencies might be smart so I’m ok with it this time. Normally I’m no normal non conservative religion male would chose or even be able to turn down a girl throwing themselves at them. (statistically the religious type don’t turn it down either)

    I like the female friendships also. Although Ako you wanting the group to stay together forever requires harem, that a major draw for females for harem there friends never have to leave and are always around.

      1. Yep rare except for Muslems. And most Muslem men don’t have the budget or temperament for it, actually making it work requires no favorites and constant relationship work. Religious based taboos are very powerful so few are temped to violate them even if they are the type more suited to groups than couples. Yes a lot seams rigged to only be with one at a time.

        Men sharing a women make more sense than the reverse but taboo and normal female instinct tend to avoid except for powerful Alfa females a few in history have had a stable of men.

        Yes Muslems in countries where polygamy is illegal for some have unofficial wives up to the limit of 4 the religion has. Muslims have it the best as no taboo about having all people involved having sex at the same time.
        Sill many countries get over half way most studies consider polygamy more common in this world than monogamy. Many countries like France, Japan, Italy, many southern American countries have more couples with a mistress or lovers involved making it a remote threesome. So the experts consider those countries polygamist even though the three or more don’t live together. More prudish countries like the US have a large minority with one or both parts of a couple having a lover but often in secret making problems.
        France is interesting in that having a lover is accepted but only with content of the main partner as French juries normally vote not guilty on murder charges involving someone who cheated on you.
        Biologists have clarified humans as a simi-monogomist species meaning no humans are not designed for life time marriage. Simi-Monogamist is tendency to form partnerships for just the creation of one child then instinct starts to push the animal involved to find someone new.

  8. I think Ako’s mom was fully OK with him having sex with her daughter because she wants that gaming neet out of the house. Hence the “I entrust you her future”; no “lacks a bit of common sense” there.

    1. My thought that she was trusting a (possibly horny) teenage boy a bit too readily. I’ve met (possibly horny) teenage boys. I’ve been a (possibly horny) teenage boy. I’ve also met (possibly horny) teenage girls. Teenagers in general are not to be trusted. Though sometimes you have to, the alternative is deleterious, but damn if that isn’t hard with all that knowledge flying in your face.

      At least they’re not middle schoolers. Middle schoolers are the worst.

      1. As someone who taught after school programs across quite a few districts in St. Louis for a few years. Yes. Yes they are. They’re that perfect storm of where elementary school mentalities meet high school hormones. So awkward. So painfully annoying and awkward.

        The Walker
      2. I took it as in part total desperation on part of the mother. Japan still considers being just a wife a desired thing, and pressure to support one’s children is high. So I think she figured at least if her daughter has sex and gets pregnant she will have a man to make her a wife.

        (yep there are deadbeat parents in Japan I have just gotten the impression they have to move to somewhere new to get away with it otherwise the social system will attack them.)

  9. Damn. Ako’s mom has got it goin’ on! Though I do like how her character design shows who Ako got her looks from.

    Anyway, this was another episode that showed off how good Netoge is in juggling both comedy and character drama. The scenes with Ako in her room exceeded my expectations – no shouting matches or cliché’d speeches that convert a character’s mind on the spot, but a simple little day of staying with her and doing what they always do, letting it slowly dawn on her what she’d be giving up if she just secludes herself like that (and become a total Hikki). It’s quite effective, and rather heartwarming. It reminds me of and episode in Outbreak Company, where Petrarca locks herself up in her room after not being able to deal with stress. That was one of my favourite episodes there, and I don’t mind being reminded of it here. Alongside the interesting cast and their convincing dynamics amongst each other, it shows that the writing in this show is a little notch above the rest. Which is what easily makes this my favourite comedy this season.

    Like the little subversion in the ‘walk into girl undressing’ trope too, for that matter. If you’re gonna use that tired cliché, at least do something funny with it, and Netoge certainly did. As well as the piss-bottle joke – you know a couple is comfortable with each other when they can joke about gross stuff like that together.

  10. Man. Ako’s English was one of the crowning moments of the episode for me. I seriously rewatched her saying “Team…Deathmatch!” about three times. It was one of those things that were simultaneously hilarious and cute. I was also surprised by how good she was at FPS. I expected her to be even worse at it than LA given how she performs so poorly that Hideki has to do double duty by playing his class and practically hers also. Was I the only one who noted how her inability to segregate gameplay from reality took another uncomfortable turn when she implied sniping students? They didn’t stay on the topic for long since Hideki immediately pulled her from that train of thought, but man. It got a little dark for a moment. Overall, I’m quite pleased with how the show is moving. I like the interactions and I like how Hideki is taking his time with the relationship. Ako is going at a near insane pace because she’s forcefully trying to bring the parts of reality into her game life. The double take he did when she presented herself to him formally and the pee/tea joke were also hilarious. I wondered for a moment if it really was urine for a second. She has her yandere periods and she seemed too airheaded in general to make such a great set up for a joke and follow through so thoroughly. Nice little hints of depth.


    am I the only one who thought that key looked incredibly phallic in this shot, or am I just reaching?

    The Walker
    1. That implied sniping is troubling. I don’t see this taking a dark turn but it brings up the fact that Ako really has some real mental problems. Ironically, though she’s tried to wall herself off from people in RL, they seem to be actively trying to interact with her regardless. That’s probably good, but it could also send her over the edge.

      1. Well, now that they’ve found the best way to breach her zettai ryoiki is by easing in with how good her boyfriend is to her, she can begin being properly socialized. Fortunately she’s not WataMote levels of awkward. I think some people are looking for her to be that disturbed to make sense of why a beautiful, cheerful (with her friends), fun loving girl like Ako isn’t in a better space.

        The Walker
    2. am I the only one who thought that key looked incredibly phallic in this shot, or am I just reaching?

      That’s a rather…lacking phallic symbol, don’t you think?

      Magnus Tancred
      1. I like to believe that he’s so manly that he doesn’t need to overcompensate. It doesn’t matter how big the key is, as long as it opens the door… I dunno. I think I’m just digging for metaphors and stuff at this point.

        The Walker
  11. It seems like Ako’s mom is angling to get her married off as soon as possible either to just get her out of the house or because she figures that her daughter is going to need a guardian one way or another.

    1. I don’t think she’s trying to get rid of her, but she does seem to realize that her daughter is a bit socially hopeless, so having a nice-seeming boy around might be good for her. And/or she’s hoping for a good son-in-law, yeah, lol

  12. Did anyone else get SAO vibes from the Ultra Force team deathmatch? I mean the way Ako sniped those other players reminded me a lot of Sinon when she was still playing GGO….

    Plus, the plastic bottle scene was priceless! ^^

  13. I dunno how to feel about this anime. The old adage “You don’t stick your dick in crazy!” seem to apply more and more to Aoko with each passing episode. The MC just seem to stay with Aoko out of obligation and he pretty much settled because if he didn’t she might hurt herself or be taken advantage of… sure he might have liked her anyway but the way Aoko comes in with her mental issues and baggage he pretty much convinced himself that she’s the one. The other girls don’t even have a chance because the boy in question belong to the crazy girl.

    On the flip side, it’s pretty funny how Aoko took off her clothes when we thought it was a typical “oh bed room scene” Turn out she was distress for not being able to take it off fast enough.

    1. Probably many were thinking of that adage to one degree/phrasing or another. I don’t really think it’s obligation as a concerned citizen playing “rent-a-friend” so much as an actual friend that is concerned about leaving someone who isn’t in the best place completely to her own devices. On his own, through interactions he’s slowly falling for her. He’s just not ride or die yandere mode crazy in love like Ako is, and that is because she can’t separate game life from school life. In her head they’re a 100% genuine committed lovey dovey newly-weds. I personally like that they are taking the time to really interact outside of the internet…by playing on the internet next to each other….ah well. Baby steps.

      The Walker
  14. Its funny and has avoided the “Accidental Pervert” trope and female on male violence used way too often so its 4 stars at least for me, the guys reactions to discovering he proposed to a teacher and walking in on a semi naked girl also seem more genuine than i expect from a rom-com.


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