It’s a small world, isn’t it? Your e-waifu happens to be the same girl you see all the time at your local conbini. But Yuta refuses to connect the dots: “There’s no way. Coincidences like that don’t happen.” Maybe. But it doesn’t hurt to fish for answers anyway. Say something like, “Wow Hayashi, your story really reminds me of this girl I bumped into in real life!” And just go from there. Hayashi’s reaction would tell Yuta everything. But we all know why the latter’s playing dumb. This whole episode will revolve around this coincidence, so of course, Yuta won’t draw the correct conclusions yet.
The next day at work, Homare continues being an annoying friend. I know he’s just teasing Yuta. I know he’s actually trying to be a bro’s bro. He’s setting this whole thing up for his buddy’s sake. But still, I feel like matters of the heart are off limits. Meanwhile, Yuta’s surprised that Moriko would say yes. Why? ‘Cause she turned you down? Well, Homare was quite insistent with her. Yuta could do the same, but is it worth it? To be fair, I think he’s being a bit of a sad sack. He pines for the girl, but takes no active steps to get to know her. There’s a comfy middle between Homare’s pushy tactics and Yuta’s passivity.
Yuta: I mean, this is your… d-date with her.
See? What a dork! Don’t fall for red pill bullshit like “Ugh, girls just want jerks!” But at the same time, nobody wants such a spineless paper pusher devoid of confidence either. There’s nothing attractive about a man who wallows in self-pity and always trashes himself. Sorry, nobody has time to humor your low self-esteem. If Yuta doesn’t fix his attitude quick, he might lose her to that graduate who works part-time at their local conbini.
Speaking of which, Moriko frets about her appearance as she shops for stockings and make-up. The show might poke fun at her appearance, but we all know she’s a babe beneath her schlubby exterior. And all of a sudden, Japanese romantic comedies are not all that different from American romantic comedies. Girl, all you need to do is take your glasses off and…
Glasses are cute, though. No need to take them off. But enough about that. Back to the anime. The cheeky part-timer introduces himself to Moriko. Kazuomi, huh? It doesn’t matter what his name is. I can rag on Yuta all day for not stepping up, but we all know who Moriko is going to end up with. Better luck next time, Kaz. Maybe in a doujin or something.
It turns out Moriko and Kaz play on the same server. Wait a minute. Don’t tell me he’s someone she plays with. One coincidence is pushing it. Two? No, don’t go there. He then does the classic thing all desperate MMO dudes do: “…do you want any leftover pieces I get?” Shower her with loot! She’s sure to become your e-waifu! Moriko is too innocent to suspect anything, so instead, she worries that he’ll see her as a weirdo because she’s playing as a dude. What? As a long-time MMO poopsocker with hundreds of hours in countless games, I can assure you that nobody cares. Kaz proceeds to tell her his online name, but all we see is Moriko’s shocked reaction. Oh boy. It’s someone in her guild. Well, we know it’s not Lily. It also can’t be Lilac. The only real candidate left is… Kanbe. Aw, Lilac won’t be happy to know that he’s crushing on some older woman he sees at a convenience store.
The show cuts to Hayashi hiding in some bushes. Yeah, it’s gotta be Kanbe. And what do you know? Lilac shows up to join in. She tells Hayashi all about how she and her real life friend are going to play together later. More importantly, her real life friend also plays as a guy. Hayashi asks Lilac if the latter thinks this is weird. Man, our heroine is really rather clueless about this stuff even though she plays games all day, everyday. Kanbe shows up and starts teasing Hayashi about the topic, so it’s pretty much all but confirmed now.
When Lilac finally leaves, Kanbe proceeds to call Hayashi by his (her?) real name. That’s pretty rude. In any case, Hayashi apologizes for lying about his identity. Again, I don’t know why she’s making such a big deal about this. Who cares? I wouldn’t bat an eye at something like this. But I guess we need something to be melodramatic about. So of course, Kanbe says some nice words, and of course, Moriko is touched in real life. They later agree that Hayashi needs to be honest with Lily. After all, since Lily gets hit on by guys all the time, she’s going to be so glad that her partner’s just a harmless girl! Nobody seems to suspect at all that Lily might actually be a guy. What’s up with that? Kanbe even goes, “We all tell lies and have our own secrets. That’s an MMO for you, right?”
Afterwards, Moriko goes back to fretting over her appearance. She has no idea what she’s supposed to wear for an outing like this. She wants to ask Lily for advice, but Kanbe warned Hayashi not to ask his partner for too many real life advice. I’d protest, but at the same time, there’s this fancy thing called the internet. If you go to a search engine like, say, Google, and you type in something along the lines of “what do I wear for drinks,” I’m sure you’ll get plenty of good advice! But this is Moriko, who up until now didn’t even know it was kosher for girls to play as guys and vice versa. So in the end, she logs back into the game to ask Lily for advice.
Kanbe shows up too, and decides to help Hayashi. Lily then messages Kanbe privately and says, “There’s no way I can tell him I’m a guy in real life!” Hm, this is a tricky one, I guess. After all, they’re partners in the game, and there’s been some romantic tension between them. Also, they’re supposed to be pretty close to each other. If Lily honestly thinks Hayashi is a guy, then she might also believe he would be offended that she’s kept this secret for so long. Oh, if only Lily would stop passing off his suspicions about Hayashi as nothing more than mere coincidences. By the way, Lily tells Hayashi to wear a cardigan, then says she would like to see a girl wear a cardigan as well. Someone has a hard-on for cardigans…
Regarding hairstyles, I agree with Kanbe. Medium to short hair on girls is my jam. Wavy bob cut?
Lily gives the bog standard answer: “A girl’s long hair is the very image of romance.” Moriko drags herself to the salon and ends up going with a medium hairstyle. Afterwards, she goes and buys a completely new outfit. Really? She doesn’t have anything in the closet that would’ve worked for this outing? Still, I like how she considers the cost of everything in terms of loot boxes. Gotta remember what’s really important in life.
Elsewhere, Yuta is confused. Moriko isn’t supposed to go get drinks with Homare until tomorrow, but she’s getting ready tonight. She ends up showing up early, but he’s not coming. She waits and waits and waits. Moriko briefly considers contacting Homare, but what if he’s already on the way here? Uh, so? Is that rude or something? I always ask people to give me updates especially when they’re running late. Moriko also worries that Homare might not have been serious about getting drinks, so she’ll be humiliated. But the way I see it, she would also see Homare’s true colors and steer clear of him from here on out. Yeaaaah, I know some people have social anxiety. Moriko is also a shut-in with low self-esteem. But still, this isn’t exactly a sticky situation. Sometimes, you gotta put your big girl pants on and deal with life.
Moriko ends up standing around for an hour without even bothering to ask Homare if he’s coming. She’s super passive, too. She and Yuta are definitely made for each other. If you’ve read my Just Because! posts, you’ll know I prefer girls who are more direct about their feelings, but I digress. Luckily for Moriko, Yuta decides to take a gamble anyway and run to her location, coincidence be damned. Can we finally start their courtship in next week’s episode?