「一歩前へ踏み出した」 (Ippomae Eh Fumidashita)
“One Step Forward”
My brain, it trembles.
I can’t believe it finally happened. After all this build up, I still can’t actually believe that Sakurai revealed that he was Lili. I mean, there were ample times for it to happen throughout the episode, but I honestly wasn’t thinking it’d happen since there’s two episodes still remaining.
Anyways, enough with me marveling about the wonderful reveal right at the end of the episode. Let’s talk about the actual thing for a little bit. Starting off with Sakurai’s backstory, I’m surprised just how effective it was at building up his reasons for becoming such a big MMO player. Sure, not everyone needs something tragic to happen in their lives for games to become an escape, but when there is something fueling someone’s passion for gaming, it gives the whole thing this really tangible feel. From Moriko’s trouble at work and needing an escape to Sakurai trying to find a place that felt like home after losing his parents, it makes you wonder if you’re watching a light hearted story or a story about recovery and growth of an individual.
Another really powerful factor throughout this week’s episode was its awesome soundtrack. I think I’ve been subconsciously loving the soundtrack, but with the story slowing down and really showing some love to Moriko and Sakurai’s budding relationship, I was a little scared when I realized just how much the music was affecting me. If I were to pick a specific moment where all this kicked in, I think the best example from this week’s episode was when Moriko started recalling memories from the previous MMO she played. The piano soundtrack that lead to a bunch of nothing that then transitioned in the beautiful orchestra piece that played a the two spoke on the phone was just an absolute pleasure to experience.
Overall, another fantastic freaking episode of Netoge. Not much may have happened, but the one thing that did was a complete game changer. Based on the next week’s episode preview, it finally feels like things might be moving toward the destined Sakurai x Moriko end. In any case, I’ll catch you guys next week where we’ll hopefully get to see a specific burger loving guy knock some sense and initiative into Sakurai. See you then!