OP: 「サタデー・ナイト・クエスチョン」 (Satadee • Naito • Kursuchyon) by 中島愛 (Nakajima Megumi)
「リアルは♀、ネットは♂」 (Rearu wa Onna, Netto wa Otoko)
“Female in Real Life, Male In-Game”
While I may have been wearing some slightly rose tinted-glasses while watching the episode, there wasn’t much I would have complained about. Except the pacing — the pacing is killing me.
So, Netojuu no Susume is supposed to be a story about an early middle-aged lady named Morioka Moriko (wonderfully played by Noto Mamiko) who has given up living a tedious life working in corporate for a much simpler one as an elite neet (I hope whenever you hear the words “elite neet” that you read it with a very charismatic and overly enthusiastic voice). With her favorite game having shut down since she last played, she hops onto a new MMO called Fruits de Mer Online. Living out her fantasy by creating a cool and good looking male character, the story really starts to kick in as we get to see experience Moriko’s new life as Hayashi in a fantasy-inspired world.
I don’t know why I never thought about providing a short summary at the beginning of these snapshot posts. Anyways, let’s dive into what you came here for — is this show worth watching? As it stands, I would give Netojuu a thumbs up so long as you keep your expectations in check.
First and foremost, I think there was a definite issue with the pacing and how the writers are trying to tell the story. Seeing how I read a lot of the introduction material to write a preview for our Fall Preview, I think I was subconsciously filling in the gaps with what I already knew about the source material. After a hard and honest second watch though (having a friend also watch probably helped), it’s clear that toward the middle there’s huge jump in time that does an awkward job introducing the Guild that Lili invited Hayashi to which leads to an even more awkward situation where the Guild Leader has to remind Hayashi that romance within the guild is forbidden. If anything, a quick introduction to the guild would have made a lot more sense in setting up a time skip instead of a short shot of Moriko in the dark with a ton of new and fancy peripherals and monitors (I appreciated it though). However, I can kind of understand what the story is going for right now. I think it’s pretty obvious that the story is trying to push a romance onto Hayashi and Lili in-game and seeing how their real life counterparts seem to also be destined to meet one another, it would make sense to try and introduce the real life stuff as soon as possible.
Second, and this is drawing on the fact that I read some of the source material, I can’t wait to see Moriko deal the issues she has from working in the tough and unforgiving environment of a Japanese Company. There were a few brief glimpses at what’s to come, but I’m willing to bet we’ll have some really powerful moments if the show manages to capture the raw angst, anger, and sadness associated with these moments.
Third, how can you not love Moriko. She has just the right amount of neet mixed in with regular person that you just want to give her a hug and tell her everything is going to be okay.
Anyways, let me close this post off before it gets any longer. Overall, I would give this show a thumbs up so long as you’re able to hone your expectations. If you were looking for a tl;dr, I’d boil everything down to give this show at least 3 episodes since it looks like it’s starting out a little slow (but could start ramping up at any moment).
Catch you guys next week!
ED: 「ひかり、ひかり」 (Hikari, Hikari) by 相坂優歌 (Aisaka Yuuka)