OP Sequence

OP: 「究極アンバランス!」 (Kyuukyoku Anbaransu!) by 純情のアフィリア

「防御特化と初戦闘。」 (Bougyotosuka to Hatsu Sentou)
“Defense and First Battle”

The day VMMORPGS are like this is the day I will officially denounce living as a real human being and commit to being a pro-hikikomori.

General Impressions

Welcome to New World Online, a fantasy based VMMORPG that utilizes a Harvest Moon-esque system where you’re able to develop skills not only by leveling up but by natural evolution based on your actions. A system that, without much explanation, opens up such crazy possibilities like gaining poison resistance from encountering (and surviving) attacks that involve poison.

Enter Maple, a new player who picks a defense based setup revolving around a Great Shield and a small sword because of the overwhelming defensive capabilities it provides. Toss in the added bonus that she dumps all of her points into vitality or VIT to increase her toughness and you have someone who’s completely focused on avoiding the pain involved with taking damage. True to this show’s name, it would be weird if we didn’t have someone who wasn’t crazy focused on defense right?

Where the show really shined for me was watching Maple discover all these busted defensive skills as a basic new player. Coming into New World Online as a complete newb, it was a little frustrating watching her stumble around without even once considering opening a guide or asking for help. However, there was definitely some charm in watching someone play around with cute mobs just because they were cute or abusing mechanics when they realized they were able to gain special skills through a bit of testing. That said, I will admit that I was waiting for the moment where Maple would get a chance to do something truly outrageous but I never thought it’d come in the form of her single handedly taking down a dungeon boss. Still, I have to hand it to the show for being so creative when it came to how Maple took down the poison dragon. Who would have thought that she’d not only be able to improve her poison resistance to the point that she could nullify it and be able to take the boss down by literally eating it?

All in all, I think this was a fantastic first episode for a show revolving around the lives of characters that live in a VMMORPG world. Our main heroine has just the right mix of attributes that make her fun to watch even if she’s pulling out something crazy. Together with her best friend who will hopefully make her debut next week and a whole handful of characters who made quick cameos both in the opening sequence and in the episode and I think you have the makings of a fun show that is both engaging and fun to watch.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Play the world」 by 佐々木李子

27 Comments

  1. Loved it Its the cute isekai of the season.. Maple sounds like a reference to maple story a popular cute mmo from asia. Eating the dragon is the same way arifureta got strong. Were getting our dose of isekai this season
    Sone coming up look interesting. Theres rudeus the magician News of kuma kuma kuma bear coming out.
    Dont worry if youre sick of isekai some other trend will turn up in a decade . In the meantime ill enjoy whats on offer.

    Stephen Tutton.
  2. I calling it — “The Rise of the Overly Cautious Shield Loli” (Okay, I stole the line
    from somewhere else :))

    This was a solid first episode!

    Maple’s actions just work because she’s not taking ant of this seriously. She’s
    just killin’ bites time waiting for her bestie to be able to play the game
    along with her. I can’t wait for her to reach level 311!

    This is kinda how I was hoping Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte
    Itta yo ne!
    would turn out.

    And BTW, every time I now see a slime getting clobbered in any Anime now
    I think poor Rimuru!

    This, Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!, Somali to Mori no Kamisama, and
    Murenase! Seton Gakuen are on my watch list so far,

    (I sure hope you guys fix the terrible, terrible low contrast on this site —
    it’s really, really difficult to read.)

    mac65
  3. The Rising of the Shield Heroine / Shield Art Online

    Also got Arifureta flashbacks from this scene… (And to think that series is getting a second season. Damn.) Anyway, can taste and smell be simulated in virtual reality?

    So Kaede/Maple’s friend is a pro-gamer?

    Well, while my views of the videogame industry have grown cynical as of late (for reasons already covered by Jim effing Sterling), I still loved how this anime hearkens back to older, simpler times where developers once made well-thought-out games for the art (and not as a blatant cash grab), players were genuinely excited to play a new video game, and games themselves still welcomed multiple playstyles as well as enough leeway to try them out. Granted, New World Online being a VR game instantly puts it in the near future, but still, Kaede/Maple’s reactions do remind me of those older, simpler times. This might be a fun watch…

    Other thoughts:
    NWO… I can’t help but hear that Titantron theme in my head again. (Or the “United Maffew Order” parody version for Botchamania.)
    “Seiyuu Ear” deployed. Initially thought Frederica was voiced by Kanae Ito, but after rewatching properly (and cross-checking), found that Ayana Taketatsu (SAO‘s Suguha/Leafa) voices her. And the other “Great Shielder” is the voice of Fate‘s Shirou Emiya (from Archer to Shielder, hehe).
    – Looking forward to some crossover fanart with the titular Shield Hero, Naofumi. (Though we will see him in Isekai Quartet season 2.)

    Incognito
      1. Well, if you often go through “Crunch” over there, you have my sympathies.

        I did read over at the r/JimSterling page that the Communications Workers of America (CWA) just launched a campaign to unionize video game (and tech) industry workers. Though whether that will result in improved working conditions for developers (and hopefully, better games for gamers) remains to be seen.

        Incognito
  4. oh boy… she was incredibly lucky to stumble onto OP minmaxing build
    moreover, what an idiot game designer builds a boss who has no attacks beside poison?
    especially when there are people out there with poison immunity, (and possibly either magic or itemst that grant this ability)
    and she gets loot that exactly fits her skills – come on people anyone who plays MMO knows that bosses almost never drop what you need!
    loli-bite attack was just silly though
    instantly reminded me of the time that Witcher Geralt has bitten the cursed princess…

    ewok40k
    1. Aren’t boss drops usually random? Sometimes you get useless stuff, sometimes you get something neat. More often or not you’ll have to grind on runs to get a specific rare. From playing PSO2 I would say just don’t expect rares and when they come they’re a pleasant surprise!

      Lyfe
  5. Absolutely adorable first episode the whole way through. At the end I was thinking I didn’t want the episode to stop so I could watch Maple discover new mechanics all night. Now, what do I have to give for an actual MMO with mechanics like this?

    Arche
  6. Long named anime is excessively long named. I think I’ll just call this series “Max defense” lol. No way am I going to say that whole “I don’t want to get hurt so I’ll max out my defense”. title.

    Lyfe
  7. Sadly, until they overcome the nausea issue with real life VR, we’re not likely to get any games like this.

    It’s fun watching Maple rapidly become a game-breaker.

    Wanderer
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