「ネトゲの旦那を諦めると思った?」 (Netoge no Danna o Akirameru to Omotta?)
“I Thought I Was Giving Up On Being a Net Game Husband?”

Was the drama forced? Yeah. Did it still work? Pretty Much.

Damn the Mundane Solution

It’s weird to talk about how events would work in reality when the basic tenants of this series—a guild of mostly girls, all conveniently going to the same school unknowingly, a teacher who goes nyaa—so strain credibility. Yet I couldn’t help but thinking through the entire early drama—couldn’t the GMs just restore his account? Couldn’t they even try that first? Or at minimum, couldn’t they have mentioned that Rusian couldn’t be restored until they had proof? Though that seems an odd requirement when the unusual activity should have been so clear from the logs. I feel like he should have had his character reinstated within the hour.

So the drama was manufactured, up to a point. Not overly manufactured though, since Netoge avoided pulling a full Sword Art Online, thank gods for that. The question is how much it worked past that. For me? It worked pretty well, though I feel this is a more YMMV (trope!) arc than previous ones. It was satisfying to see them catch the scammer, and it was gratifying to see Ako realizing that the faker was an impostor almost instantly. I also very much enjoyed how they back dated so many real-seeming posts to make the guy believe their ruse—oftentimes the authorities have to work much harder to catch the criminals, so that had the ring of truth. It had its uneven elements, but over all I enjoy this episode and this arc. Netoge has earned enough latitude for that.

Ties Deeper Than Games

When Ako realized that she and Rusian were no longer married—on account of Rusian no longer existing—I was damn near screaming for Hideki to go for the IRL relationship upgrade. They’re practically already dating, but it seemed like such a perfect chance. What I found especially gratifying about this episode is how clear it’s become that Ako doesn’t love just Rusian, she loves Hideki (who is also Rusian), as epitomized by how he asked her to love the real him a little more during their wedding, and she replied that she couldn’t because she already loves him too much. Set phasers for D’AAAAWWWW! I feel like a chance was missed to “correct” Ako, but, well. Isn’t this fine? To a point. She does need to know the difference so she isn’t taken advantage of by others, but their relationship, though strange, is still real. They’ll get there in real life eventually too. They can take their time.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Netoge avoids the SAO trap, & opts for a slightly rocky anti-scammer episode instead. It mostly worked #netoge 08

Random thoughts:

  • “Okay, you got it.” No hesitation! You can’t help but like Kuro no Majutsu-shi, and even Cloud and co to a (scary) point. They’re good people.
  • “Buhi!” is the new censor sound. Never has a pig sounded so modestly moe.
  • Poor Akane is using an old CRT. No wonder she’s so fond of War Machine.
  • Goofy waifu material confirmed. Marry her! Marry her now!
  • Harem route confirmed dead, Akane is crushing on Gamemaster Nyack. Who I can only assume works at the school as well.

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: I love sales jobs, Good realism is character realism, Dying idols, and Frictionless routines.





    *coughs* Ahem. Yes, the lack of movement by the admins until the kids went out of their went to bring vigilante justice down on the hacker feels a bit contrived. But I’m mostly willing to let it slide because it felt really good watching the population of the game rise up and join together to help the kids track down Rusian’s gear and identify the hacker so they could get him stomped on. It shouldn’t have needed to happen, but it felt good seeing it happen. A good feeling of solidarity among the gamers.

    Regarding Ako and Hideki’s relationship, it seems to me that in this case the problem is actually on Hideki’s end. Ako loves him whether he’s in the real world or the not-real-world. In this case it’s not that she thinks Hideki is the character avatar Rusian, but rather that she simply doesn’t distinguish between them. HIdeki is Rusian, and Rusian is Hideki, and she simply loves him. If Hideki could get over his not-exactly-mild obsession with trying to separate games and reality, he would realize that he doesn’t need to upgrade their relationship in real life, because as far as Ako is concerned their relationship is already upgraded.

  2. The drama about restoring a deleted character was very realistic from a private server stand point. I played a private server of Ragnarok Online and one of the rules for player relations was:
    * You are responsible for your account’s security at all times.
    * If you give out your password to anyone, you take FULL responsibility for their actions (including botting/scamming/item loss/character deletion).
    * We are not responsible if your items got stolen because someone guessed your password, or because they deceived you.
    * Item recovery is at the GMs’ discretion.

    So I can see a GM saying no on the account recovery. As for setting up the scammer and then having Rusian’s (I mean Nishimura’s) account restored as a reward, in the private server one of the rules was:
    *If someone offers to sell you something for out of game items or currency, and you can prove to Talis’s satisfaction that the seller intended to sell it to you, then he will seize the property and sell it to you for 20% less!

    So from my point of view this was really realistic. Not sure how it works on official servers.

    As for the eye catches. I think it’s funny that Ako is drawn 2D in a 3D picture. Is it because she has such a hard time telling the difference between reality and fantasy? (I.e.: she is a fantasy character coming into the real world because she doesn’t know the difference). If they ever do manage to teach her to separate the real world and the gaming world, would the eye catches change?

    1. Official servers don’t have rules like that, because they had to deal with much larger numbers of players who are also paying customers. Some are bad at responding, as other commenters have said, but they’re at least liable to restore characters if they do.

  3. Okay, so now that that’s out of the way we can get to what’s really important. Namely, how hard my jaw hit the floor over Ako’s home-visit and wedding dresses!

    I believe the appropriate word would be “Yowzah!!” XD

  4. Am I the only one who just burst out laughing when the touching moment of Ako appearing at Hideki’s house is just brutally cut off with Hideki accidentally reflexively slams the door in her face? XD

  5. All’s well that ends well. Loved the wedding at the end. I’d say their relationship is proceeding smoothly.

    I’m glad Ako was able to instantly realize that the hacker wasn’t Rusian. She’s not as naive as we all think she is.

    Having his character deleted in the game, Rusian sure took it in stride. He didn’t seem too affected by it, and instead concentrated on getting his items back. You always hear stories about how people get extremely pissed(or worse, become very depressed) after having their character deleted in-game. He’s a pretty well-adjusted and selfless guy, honestly. After all, he was more concerned about Ako. And hey, his character was restored at the end anyway.

    1. I think a big part of that depression is the items anyway. Sure a character’s level is important but that’s just a chance to replay the game, but item drops can drive you nuts the first time, nevermind needing to get it again because of something you’re telling yourself wasn’t your fault. That’ll kill your motivation like nothing else, especially if it’s a one-time event item.

      But yeah, good on Hideki for having his priorities straight.

  6. Sorry guys this might be a bit off topic but where’s Hideki’s imouto? (episode 6)
    I thought the little sister might finally meet her future sister-in-law in this episode.

  7. How dare that scammer make Ako cry. Unforgivable! Reminds me of the last time I thought if Ako didn’t meet Hideki she might have had to deal with more cyber predators like that scammer. Fortunately that guy found out the hard way nobody makes Ako cry and gets away with it, courtesy of ever loving husband Rusian. To be fair to Hideki most will likely react the same way when an adorable cutie shows up at their doorstep. I would. Btw so mmo RPGs have an in-game mechanic that automatically censors curse words? And I agree Stilts the “buhi” censor was cute. And I also miss Hideki’s imouto.

  8. And that is why Western MMORPG is superior. You get hack? You tell them, they see you never got hacked before, they automatically roll back everything for you, character, money, etc etc. The rest of the items that are sold or discarded would worthless after that.

    Other than that, interesting episode, but I just realized the artist for Neto worked in hentai before. LOL no wonder they keep looking so familiar.

    1. Surely that’s a language issue more than anything? If someone is playing a Japanese MMORPG and doesn’t know the language and runs into an issue, they would have problems contacting the relevant people.

      Saying that I’ve played a few Japanese MMORPGs and have never had a single issue, not once. I prefer them over English ones.

  9. Man, I wish it was that easy to crack down on online a-holes… Then again, the situation that Hideki and Ako had to go through seems much worse. (The scammer even had the gall to post pics of his deception of Ako online.) I’m just glad that Ako realized in time that the person she’s talking to isn’t the real Rusian/Hideki.

    On the flipside, it was pretty nice of the fellow LA players the Net Game Club met–Nekohime’s Elite Guard and the Black Magician especially–to help Hideki and Ako in their time of need.

    Despite the rather comedic start to the scene of Ako visiting Hideki’s home and bringing him food, it’s also nice to see Ako (little by little) starting to care more about Rusian/Hideki offline.

    Ako: “I know that you’re doing your best, but don’t overdo it, okay?”
    Hideki: “That’s the most wife-like thing you’ve said in a while.”

    It just made their “renewal of vows” (so to speak) so much better.

    Finally, was that Show Hayami as Gamemaster Nyack?

  10. As unrealistic as this episode was to me, I still appreciated how the good guys won in the end. Many a times hackers get away Scott free, especially with the tactics they’ve highlighted in the episode, or just get banned temporarily due to insufficient proof of hacking. But the thing that I appreciated was that they did address one of these negative sides of online gaming rather than shying away from it. Well, they did do censorship this episode too but in a comedic manner.

    The only other thing that I found strange was when hideki didn’t immediately rage when he found his character being deleted, only reacting to it after because of what the hacker said to Ako. I would find it hard to keep my cool if I found out someone hacked my account and sold away all my stuff (not to mention the character-bound wedding ring) and delete the character as well.

  11. That hits a bit too close to home.
    It wasn’t long ago that some of my online accounts were hacked. At it was on online money making sites, too. The loss amounted to a three-digit number, which ends up doing more material damage than here, though the mental damage was nowhere near as severe.
    Still, I couldn’t help but inner yell: Go Hideki! Give that bastard a digital deck in the schnoz!

  12. Good thing that hacker got what he deserved!But kudos for Hideki for keeping his cool when his account got hacked.I would go completely crazy if that ever happens to me.I totally laughed my ass off when Hideki slammed the door at her face!Hopefully there will be more of his imouto.I would really love to see her reaction when she found out that her brother has a ‘wife’ and a damn hot one too.


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