12 Days of Anime #4: Recovery of an MMO Junkie Review(SPOILERS)
A struggle between the fantasy and reality is a topic I often like to explore in my own writing, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my own writing on the subject has never quite reached a level of nuance and dramatic poise as this show. Recovery of an MMO Junkie not only a romance between two of the most adorably lovable idiots on the planet but also a more subtle commentary on the way people handle their problems by running to an escape, like video games.
The story follows Morioka Moriko, a NEET who recently quit her job in favor of playing MMO’s. She discovers one MMO in particular, called Fruits de Mer, and meets a group of online friends, including one character named Lily. Around that same time, Moriko meets a handsome salaryman named Sakurai Yuta, and her life begins to change.
Moriko is not only a wonderfully written character as it relates to the show’s romantic main plotline, but she also serves as an excellent vessel through which to deliver the show’s underlying theme. Having escaped her nightmarish life as a boring salary worker, Moriko becomes a full-on NEET and only leaves her house for things like food. Her life as a NEET was brought about by the harsh reality that was her job. It was tiring, unrewarding, and ultimately she felt like there was no where to go, so naturally she retreated to something that she knew made her feel better: MMOs
But MMO’s on their own are not fun. Inherent in the enjoyability of multiplayer games are the people you play with. Without a level of connection to the other people on screen, Moriko would become as detached from the virtual world of Fruits de Mer as she has become with her real one.
In comes Sakurai, the businessman who also happens Fruits de Mer. Sakurai plays the game as a female character named Lily, whereas Moriko plays as a male character named Hayashi. The two, who unknowingly play together in the game, eventually come to learn of their identities in the real world. By the end of the show, the two have come to terms with their online masks now pulled off and are ready to face the outside world together.
The show’s impressively written story is more than enough to make up more the lackluster elements, which are admittedly somewhere in the range of average. A show with this much romantic and social depth is not one worth missing, so go see it.
The fourth day is now complete! Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!