Recovery of an MMO Junkie Ep. 9: No game whatsoever

So here’s the thing… he’s 26 and she’s 30. Why are they written as though they’ve never kissed another person in their life? Thankfully, we have Moriko’s cute awkwardness to keep things entertaining. Even when she’s nowhere near her home, I like how she de-stresses by imagining herself using a lint remover all over her apartment. Without these humorous bits, this week’s episode would’ve been a thoroughly frustrating experience. I don’t even know where to begin with Yuta. When a situation doesn’t play out perfectly — and they rarely ever do — does Yuta try to make the best of it? No. Never. He always jumps to conclusions, and it’s always a pessimistic one. He just confessed to Moriko that he’s Lily. She naturally asks him how and when he knew that she was really Hayashi. This conversation looks to be going fine, right? Wrong:

Yuta: I’ll quit Fruits de Mer.

Wait, what? Why?

Yuta: I’m sure I’ve made things awkward now.

Dude, what the fuck is this? She didn’t say that! She didn’t even act creeped out or annoyed or anything to suggest that she doesn’t want him around anymore. He’s just being a giant, little baby who wants to run home with his tail tucked between his legs. Boo hoo, no woman would ever like me. I’m soooooo pitiful.

So what does good ol’ Moriko do? She pulls him back, because hey, she genuinely cares about him. God knows why, but she likes spending time with him. Shocking, I know! Maybe he could have just asked how she felt, then he wouldn’t have to jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, the poor girl hedges her bet and says something a little too safe for our blond pretty boy:

Moriko:  So I’d like… for us to keep being good online friends. But… is that okay?

The “F” word!

So Yuta lies. He tells her that he’ll make time to play with her, but he doesn’t. He asks if he could walk her all the way back to her apartment, but to be polite, she says she’s almost home so there’s no need. In return, he could just tell her he would like to spend more time with her. He doesn’t need to walk her all the way back, but he wants to. Be direct. Communicate! Listen! Be patient! I know it feels tricky to be an adult, but it’s not that bad! Unfortunately, Yuta doesn’t do any of that. He just accepts her answer. Meanwhile, you know he’s hardcore pitying himself on the inside. With the girl out of sight, Yuta goes back home and mopes. For the next few days, Moriko logs onto Fruits de Mer and waits and waits and waits, but Yuta never shows up. The guy doesn’t even have the courtesy to send her a message. He does, however, find all the energy in the world to go out with his best bud, get drunk, and cry like an idiot because he’s already concluded that he was rejected that night. What a jackass.

Moriko isn’t entirely blameless. If she misses Yuta so much, she could’ve called him. But I feel as though she has done enough, y’know? She practically tells him she wants to spend time with him in-game. He got all that he needs to extend this offer to spending time in real life. He just needs to be brave and take an extra step, but nah. Again, all Yuta’s done is assume the worst so he can give up. Self-pity is a lot easier than actually putting yourself out there.

So of course, it’s up to good ol’ Homare to get the job done. He does that cliche thing in stories where you tell Person A to meet you somewhere, then you tell Person B to meet you in the same place. Those two will eventually bump into each other and voila! Babies. Okay, maybe I skipped a few steps, but you get the point. I even hoped that Homare would stick around to slap Yuta every time the latter says something stupid, but he instead makes his exit ’cause he’s just a side character.

Now it’s Moriko’s turn to jump to conclusions! When the two of them drop by their favorite conbini, one of the employees asks, “She isn’t your girlfriend, is she?” I mean, I guess the phrasing is kinda bad. As a result, Moriko freaks out. She thinks super negatively of herself and she doesn’t want to embarrass Yuta. She doesn’t want people to think he’s dating someone who’s a NEET, looks sloppy, is relatively too old to be single in that culture (not really but it’s complicated), etc. It’s hard for the audience to see things from her perspective, because hey, it’s anime. Almost every anime lead is attractive, and Moriko is no exception. But I can’t blame her too much. She still is a NEET, so her low self-esteem shouldn’t be too surprising. Plus, she totally asked Yuta to spend time with her, and he’s been MIA for the past few days. No doubt her feelings are a little fragile!

So now we get that cliche thing in romance where the girl runs away and the guy has to chase after her. Moriko dramatically leaves Yuta and dashes out of the store. For extra atmosphere — and to set up the following scene — it even begins to rain. Yuta now has the perfect opportunity to sweep the girl off her feet. C’mon, gimme your best shot:

Moriko: I’m not the kind of person who should be with someone like you. I’m sorry for embarrassing you like–

Yuta: Hey! I don’t feel that way at all. Really.

Uh. Points for participating, I guess. He could’ve told her she was beautiful, he could’ve walked up and hugged her, he could’ve done a lot of things. But yeah, you get a happy face for at least showing up… jackass.

It begins to really pour, so the two of them need to find shelter quick. Since Yuta’s apartment is nearby, he invites her over. He’ll even make her lunch. Finally, he’s taking action, and all it took was nature’s intervention. It’s not healthy to be in wet clothes, so Moriko goes and takes a hot and steamy shower. Here comes the blushing and the stammering. I can’t believe these two are grown-ass adults. It’s not like anyone expects them to hook up. At this point, I even wonder if either of them can ever confess their feelings. After all, these short, lighthearted romances love to end things right before the couple ever gets together, so you have to go and read the source material if you want any sort of resolution.

Do you remember Amagi Brilliant Park? It’s a KyoAni show that will probably never get a sequel. I bring it up because it demonstrates exactly what I’m talking about. Seiya and Isuzu obviously like each other, but do they ever come close to revealing their feelings in the anime? Of course not. In the light novels, however, they end up at a love hotel, confess their love to each other, and nearly have sex. Yeah, you’ll never see that adapted to anime.

Anyway, we have only one episode left. I still want to know how the show will wrap itself up, but at this point, I’m bracing myself for the story to take the safest option available: we’ll be close friends on and offline, and we’ll create such wonderful memories together. The end.

5 thoughts on “Recovery of an MMO Junkie Ep. 9: No game whatsoever

  1. Shokamoka

    I’ve put this show on hold but damn, you had to bring up Amaburi LN. 😢
    R.I.P. another great LN shredded by the powers that is KyoAni!

    The anime wasn’t technically horrible but because the original source LN exists, the ‘adaptation’ is far below the studio’s standard.

    One episode left, I hope that they %$#@ each other silly. If 14 year olds can do it then I don’t see why clearly grown adults can’t.
    Unless of course, either a real good (and clean) ending or beta cuck route.

  2. Fueled by Smiling

    I was really rooting for a Kowai and Morioko pairing. He seems to get her and treat her better than Sakurai, even though he’s just a side character. :(

    1. Sean Post author

      He was never really serious about her, I guess. Plus, she really, really impressed by Yuta’s bland niceness for some reason.

  3. Pia

    “Here comes the blushing and the stammering. I can’t believe these two are grown-ass adults”

    It’s a shame that even if this anime is about adults, they act like kids, I’m really tired of their gomenasai bs.

    1. Sean Post author

      You could argue that these MMO nerds are socially stunted, I guess. But at their ages, it’s still a hard sell.


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