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« Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? – 11

Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? – 12 (END)

「ネトゲの嫁は女の子なんですよ!」 (Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko Nandesu yo!)
“My Net Game Wife Is a Girl Online!”

A pleasantly gamey finish to a good series.

An Explosive, Game-tastic Finish

For a series about a bunch of kids playing net games, this felt like the right kind of send off. While other episodes spent time in both the game world and the real world, this one said fuck it—game world it is! It was almost indulgent, which I liked in a finale. It was a safe bet that they would take the castle and hold it from Wallenstein, but the crucial how still remained, and it was fun seeing how they did it in their own way.

Speaking of Wallenstein, they felt a lot more natural this time. Maybe it was just that a guild like Wallenstein doesn’t feel like one that would go in for subterfuge, and would rather play the antagonists openly. This was a better fit for them, since they openly got to enjoy the challenge the Stray Cat-Princess Elite Guard was providing them, which all culminated in Bats openly admitting that he liked how crazy Master is. I know what he means!

As for their victory, it had all those feel good hallmarks. Everyone got to shine, even Ako, and especially Master. Rusian played his part but didn’t single-handedly save the day, preserving Netoge’s equanimous treatment of its protagonists. I laughed when Master still found a way to pay her way to victory, and potion-tanked Bats at the end. It all came out feeling good in the end, and though it was calibrated to do that and more than a little indulgent, I don’t mind. If there’s a place to do that, a celebratory ending like this is the place.

The Culture Festival Encore

Likewise, the culture festival was a bit of an encore, though it took a chance to tie some of the themes together. For Hideki and Akane, it’s that they’ve become better friends, both in the game/club and in reality. When Hideki calls her aibou (partner), and she smiles . . . D’AAAWWW, FRIENDSHIP FOREVER! For Ako, it was reinforcing how she shouldn’t run away from her problems, and should do her best. Hideki and Ako’s date, everyone watching Sensei sing (I guess it’s a thing the teachers put on? That came out of nowhere!), and the almost kiss—oh man, the almost kiss! Couldn’t they have given us a real kiss? Dammit Kyou, no one cares about housing in MMOs! Don’t interrupt the OTP kiss!

That aside, it was a good ending to a fun series. Final impressions below.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It’s time for a big, flashy, funny victory lap as the Alley Cats & allies take down Wallenstein, & Ako almost gets a kiss #netoge 12 END

Random thoughts:

  • Sette’s “accidental” “bluff” turning out to be a good distraction was amusing. I’m pleasantly surprised by how well the show utilized her, considering she’s so much lower level than the others—and they even tied back to the sacrifice theme from last week. She really helped.
  • Akane is really getting behind the ran-ran. That’s the Akane Style~
  • She called Rusian “anata” :3 D’aaawwww!

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.

Final Impressions

Coming into Netoge, I was hoping for a comedy along the lines of KonoSuba—a fantasy-adjacent comedy romp anchored by broken characters and a tsukkomi main character whose seiyuu has some serious comedic chops. Likening this to KonoSuba was a ballsy move, considering how well KonoSuba turned out, though I think my feeling that they were somehow similar has been vindicated. in other ways they’re different beasts, most notably in Netoge’s notable romantic focus.

The comedy was great. Once you get over the improbable premise (a four-person guild where three players are girls, and all four of them go to the same school, and also the person who the male lead had a crush on before is a teacher at that school), the comedy works. Ako and Kyou are nuts, Akane is tsundere, and Hideki is a reliable tsukkomi, with Akane helping him on occasion. Sensei and Nanako are nice additions too, more sane over all, but it’s the intersections between everyone’s personalities that makes the show shine. They’re not as bonkers as the KonoSuba cast, so Netoge isn’t usually as laugh-out-loud funny, but it is still plenty funny.

Romance is definitely Netoge’s shining element. This is a series with one male main character and three female main characters (plus several female supporting characters), and it’s not a harem show. Gasp! Now there ain’t nothin’ wrong with a harem show, don’t get me wrong, but variety is nice and I’m a sucker for a good OTP. Aside from one blushing incident from Kyou and the whole friendship subplot between Akane and Hideki, there’s no hint of any romantic feelings between anyone but Hideki and Ako.

As for the main couple themselves, they’re weaponized adorable. I know some people think that Hideki is stuck with Ako because she’s codependent, but shut up your wrong! Or you might be right, but Hideki seems to like Ako openly and without any sense of feeling forced to do so; he is the type who likes to help people, after all, as illustrated when he was helping out Sette before we learned she was Nanako. Ako really is the driving force of the series, and seeing her gradually become more confident and more willing to engage with reality has been sweet to see. It feels like there’s been real progress over the series, both for her and for their relationship. That makes the whole thing feel more worthwhile.

I’m happy I picked this show up, and there isn’t an episode I regret blogging, even when I had to pause in the middle of moving halfway across the country to crank one out. It’s funny, it’s lovey-dovey, and it’s an entertaining watch. Highly suggested, would blog again. Buhi!

June 24, 2016 at 6:27 pm
28 comments »
  • June 24, 2016 at 7:00 pmskylion

    I so wanted to compare this to KonoSuba, but felt it was more in line with Project No 9′s previous outing, Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda ga, AKA My Sister Has a Haunted Chastity Belt. Both feature a female lead that has a timid outlook, and a low sense of self worth, with an ephemeral something…pushing the girls along (OK, that’s pushing the comparison one has a game/friends, the other has a ghost/older brother)the plot. But both shows started off kinda fishy, both of them started off with “fans” assuming to much about it, as usual. And being pretty wrong, as usual.

    But, overall, they spent a great deal of effort building the right characters, and as you point out, they spent the time playing around with character tropes and having fun with them. Which counts for so much. Great atmosphere, and fun to watch and blog, even though I went on skip weeks early on.

    Oh yeah, BUHI!

  • June 24, 2016 at 7:07 pmMei

    thank you for blogging it, reading your reviews after watching the episodes was quite pleasant

  • June 24, 2016 at 7:18 pmFuwa Fuwa

    I get a sense that item spamming doesn’t seem any more fulfilling a victory than the first time they captured the site, but at least they fought this time, so I give it that benefit. And I can even look over how the culture festival gets only three minutes of coverage after all this time they invested for their input for it.

    But really, the competent high-ranked Wallenstein group get surprised by ONE person and spam all their abilities? What a way for them to fall from grace. And really, Hideki jumps from “She’s no maid, she’s my wife” to pointlessly reiterate “Game and reality are different?” Why contradict yourself like that, what does it matter that they don’t kiss when you’ve been basically encouraged to be together for over half of this series run? And what is it about Master’s spending habits that made Bats be at ease with her? It’s perseverance but not in terms of battle, just item spamming which just makes me think he’s just as nuts. And why show the sister from episodes ago and never do anything with her again?

    It really is a matter of to each their own, from what I’ve seen. I find a split with fans in this show between the events pre-remarriage and post-remarriage. I’m of the pre-marriage group where everything felt genuine, but after that, everyone feels like badly exaggerated versions of themselves, and for every neat moment, two questions and/or dumb moments rise or irk me. From what I’ve seen, people who like the show as a whole are very far and few between, with a preference for those split halves.

    But post-marriage, it just drove me absolutely insane with how non-interesting I found both the game and real world, and how little explored it was. And this is just me, why does a hunter class have a pet that acts on their own? How do commands get implemented? Do commands for it even exist? It’s one thing to not take it seriously, but that really treads a line of incompetent I can’t find realistic or enjoyable. And moments kind of consist of that line treading in that section, but that’s just what I got from it. I’m glad other people found something more in that, but me, it really felt like a downgrade from what the first chunk offered.

    But that’s just a personal opinion, and everyone is free to disagree. And I’ll absolutely still commend you, Stilts, for being of a few people who found the whole series enjoyable, I can only join on with you for a large portion of that.

    • June 24, 2016 at 8:24 pmIncognito

      “And this is just me, why does a hunter class have a pet that acts on their own?”

      Bouts of in-game artificial stupidity, I suppose.

      If you’ve played summoner-type character classes (e.g.: Diablo II‘s summoner Necromancer build or any of the various Druid builds that let you summon wolves or a bear) there are times where the summoned creatures will often draw aggro from packs of monsters, even if doing that is the last thing the player wants, especially on higher difficulties where you lose XP on death. The hirelings/mercenaries that can be hired by the player character to assist them often do this, too.

    • June 24, 2016 at 8:26 pmHanabira.Kage

      Re: Hideki’s sister – supposedly she wasn’t due to appear at all until a later volume, so I assume they gave her a short appearance in the anime as a teaser of sorts. A sequel hook, if you will.

    • June 24, 2016 at 10:24 pmStilts

      @Fuwa Fuwa

      The first eight episodes were better, with the ninth being a little OVA-ish and 10th-12th being stretched and not as emotionally resonant. But I’ve seen many anime original endings, and many a show with failed endings as opposed to ones that are simply subpar, so Netoge’s doesn’t bother me.

      Plus, I’m an author—I’ve always been prone to give good stories some slack due to my easy-going nature, but knowing what the storytellers have to battle through has only heightened that, haha

  • June 24, 2016 at 7:20 pmjhpace1

    Hideki/Rusian really only has one goal now: to study his brains out so he can be a supporting husband for Ako. Given Ako’s mother’s looks, if Hideki can keep Ako from becoming a female NEET, he’s got a sure thing going. It’s just he’s got to be the sole means of income for the two of them going into their 20′s and beyond.

    • June 24, 2016 at 8:33 pmSageM

      I doubt that will be a problem, as even though she said her dream is to be a housewife she also said that she prepared/trained herself for whatever type of date rusian decides to take her on in episode 9.

      So its quite likely she won’t be a total NEET.

    • June 25, 2016 at 2:00 pmRedRocket

      Luckily in Japan the single income house hold is more culturally supported. Not a friendly culture for independent females though. I ideal of a culture is vastly different.

  • June 24, 2016 at 7:29 pmMS

    One of those stories where you presume it’s going to be somewhat intolerable but it rather plays its tropes pretty well to the end.
    Thanks for coverage Stilts.

  • June 24, 2016 at 7:30 pmOne Pinch Man

  • June 24, 2016 at 7:52 pmFaint Smile

    love it!..

    • June 27, 2016 at 6:56 amFaint San Fan

      Faint san! You’re back!

  • June 24, 2016 at 8:07 pmIncognito

    Moment Killer in 3…2…1…

    (*Cue Kyou, Akane, Nanako and Yui-sensei entering the room*)

    I (OINK!)-ing knew it… But I guess it’s not an anime romatic comedy without one of those.

    Anyway, I remember marathoning season 1 of SAO, and I found it hard to relate to the MMORPG players within that game (granted, it turns into the most dangerous video game, but that’s beside the point). Mainly because scenes of the main characters in real life were a bit few and far in between the game world stuff, which made it a bit hard to believe that those are real people playing a really immersive video game. (Accel World did a bit better in showing the characters as they are in real life.)

    Now, to compare it to this show: While I still can’t relate to the MMORPG crowd, I liked frequently seeing the group of gamers as they are in real life (and dealing with issues like the social awkwardness that some gamers are associated with). Sure, Hideki being the only guy in an MMORPG guild full of gamer girls and all of them going to the same school stretches my willing suspension of disbelief, but I love what the show does with that scenario and rolls with it. And I didn’t mind the first half of this episode going full game world. (Gotta end with a bang, after all.)

    Also, I did like how Kyou decided to sell all the premium items she got with real money just to buy those expensive potions with the in-game money she got from selling those premium items. If its buying items with in-game money, I guess that’s allowed. XD And Yui-sensei is now just as cool as Sawa-chan-sensei. :)

    Four out of five stars. I totally had fun watching this.

    • June 25, 2016 at 2:10 pmRedRocket

      Been in a guild that for a short while was 5 female and just one male me. But the females were in California and other Western Places and I was in Florida with a wide variety of ages. My guilds have always had significant amounts of females even if there were a few more males. A fair number of the females were married and or had kids.

      In World of Warcraft learned that females on their own grind, sometimes hard, for skimpy thong type outfits primary to show off to other females, so my mother and MS magazine told me a big lie on the subject that women did not like revealing clothing. (happened to one of the lucky few males on when the unannounced girl for girl fashion show came up in guild voice chat, think there were 8 of them)

      But yes this show is the definition of improbable for the actual all the same age except for one in the same school connection. Been better if our hero had formed the group by advertising on a find a guild type thing for people playing in his school no need to tell me who you are in real life group.

      • June 25, 2016 at 9:26 pmIncognito

        I remembered that in one scene of this episode, a tank character with the Nekohime Elite Guard that was supposed to join had to attend his child’s field day (and left Rusian as the only tank in the allied guild), so I guess that scene has a basis in reality based on what you just said.

        And damn, grinding for skimpy clothing to show off within an MMORPG? (Virtual fashion show?) Well, if they can’t do that IRL for various reasons, might as well go nuts doing that in the game world… Also, let me guess… Their characters are Night Elves?

        “I said a bowstring, not a G-…ugh, nevermind.”

  • June 24, 2016 at 8:07 pmSageM

    The series ended on a great note, though I would have loved to see them kiss…

    Also Ako finally manages to call him something other then Rusian for once, namely Anata (ie Dear).

    I hope this gets another season or at least an ova, since I want to see Ako meet Nishmiura’s family (I bet she would get along well with his sister)

    Well either way I loved it. ^_^

    • June 25, 2016 at 5:32 amLyfe

      The first BD/DVD volume came out a few days ago in Japan. You’ll have to keep an eye out for the sales numbers to see what chance this show has. One thing that seems immediately clear to me is that the show won’t sell anywhere near Konosubas level.

  • June 24, 2016 at 8:22 pmHanabira.Kage

    > “everyone watching Sensei sing”

    OMG IT’S DEATH DEV…wait sorry, wrong anime.

  • June 24, 2016 at 9:32 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Not a bad ending, but certainly much weaker compared to if they had ended it with the hacking bit. It just felt so much more fulfilling and accomplished with the hacking. Here, it just sort of…happens…

    • June 24, 2016 at 10:28 pmStilts

      Mostly ’cause it wasn’t supposed to be some kind of final ending. It’s just the break between light novels. Given that the hacking arc (remember how everyone was freaking out about that one when the previous episode ended on a dramatic NTR vibe? Good times) needed to take place when it did, they did the best with what they had. Or pretty decent at any rate.

  • June 25, 2016 at 5:29 amDvalinn

    While this show, in the end, was nowhere near as good as some of last season’s comedies (by which I mean Konosuba), this did serve its purpose in giving me a fluffy, lighthearted comedy show to round out the season. The characters really were a likeable bunch and watching their antics every week never bored me, even if they weren’t always bringing their A-game (this last arc was okayish but far from their best fare). Their ingame antics and camaraderie felt genuine as well.

    It’s also a lot more smartly written than I had given it credit for at first, because besides the contrived beginning, the characters did actually undergo quite some character growth and mostly avoided unneeded drama. I avoided all the biggest pitfalls of the genre, to be honest, and actually made a girl-filled cast without them all falling in love with the main character – tis funny that’s a rarity nowadays.

    So yeah, I liked Netoge, and this is the first show that ends this season that I’ll actually miss. I’ll be keeping my eye on this author’s works in the future as well, he’s certainly got potential.

  • June 25, 2016 at 7:06 amewok40k

    best moments:
    Sette channeling Kongou with “Fire!”
    Sette “accidental bluff”
    Schwein ran-ran rampage
    Master’s double-buffed EXPLOSION TM (Megumin approved)
    Sette teasing enemies into offensove Cooldowns release
    Master’s incredibly costly potion spam
    and Ako’s timely sacrifice intercept of stunlock
    most disappointing moment:
    damn just let them kiss already!

  • June 25, 2016 at 2:24 pmRedRocket

    Quite enjoyed that. I’m sure next patch will nerf Masters potion spam. I know the developers want more money but they have to limit money in companion at least somewhat. In Guild Wars Two 5 on 5 has no chance for money abuse. The way bigger hundred plus players battles you can buy buff positions with real money and indirectly buy siege and speed acquiring gear with real money but money is no where close to a deciding factor.

    I quite liked the show but as normal am disappointed not going to see the rest at least for a little while.

    Kiss!, get rid of the silly censorship law, you need the teen pregnancies Japan, we needed the main male star to do what is natural for a teen male and take Ako up on her be gentle offer.

  • June 26, 2016 at 1:16 pmGeebun

    I enjoyed most of the journey through this show but the destination really felt like a let down…they won with pay2win bullshit, I actually wanted them to lose again by the end, Ako barely learned anything and still mixed real life and the game and we didn’t even get the kiss at the end.

  • June 26, 2016 at 7:10 pmAex

    Since people can’t stop comparing the two shows for whatever reason, I’ll just say this here: Stilts, KonoSuba OVA is out, and it’s the magnificent bastard side of awesome!

    • June 26, 2016 at 8:07 pmStilts

      Oooo, good to know. I’ll have to watch that as soon as I get some time!

  • June 26, 2016 at 7:58 pmion42

    It’s a sweet ending, I’m content. There is usually that one anime in each season that I pay absolutely no attention to in the previews, and then end up loving it. I guess this is that anime.