Anime Review: Recovery of an MMO Junkie – Episode 4: Like a Maiden in Love

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I think my favorite thing about Recovery of an MMO Junkie is how little it focuses on the action aspect of MMORPGs. I feel like in the past few years, especially with the success of Sword Art Online, the I feel like I’ve been seeing more “trapped in a video game” type anime. I mean, I know .hack//Sign was first and has been around for a much longer time, but it seems like SAO really kicked the genre back in the spotlight. From my perspective. Anyway. The point is that this anime is centered around MMORPGs but not in the way that we have become accustomed.

Moriko spends a lot of time in the world of Fruits de Mer but it is her social interactions that drive the plot of this anime. We know that she and her guild mates participate in dungeons and regular MMORPG quests and battles, but we don’t see a whole lot of it. Instead, we see them communicating and, well, hanging out, like friends. Which always makes Moriko happy. This episode is the first time Kazuomi (who I’m pretty sure is Kanbe in game), he part-time convenience store clerk, about the game. It’s actually her first time in her entire life that she has talked to someone about MMOs in real life.

After getting cut-off by another customer, Moriko leaves abruptly due to her own awkwardness and social anxiety. As she walks down the street she wonders things like if she said anything weird, if she was acting strange, that she doesn’t have make-up on and looks like a mess – real things that anyone with social anxiety (such as myself) has felt after an interaction with someone new.

Meanwhile, Yuta is expressing his frustration to Homare. He wants to contact Moriko again, but can’t think of a good reason too. He has even been randomly stopping by the convenience store where they first met in hopes of running in to her again. And then Homare gets this look of concern on his face. And then HE goes to the convenience store and DOES run in to Moriko. Whom he of course talks to and lets her know who he is (he used to contact her department frequently at work). She does seem kind of happy to hear from him once she realizes who he is, but immediately gets awkward again when he pretty much corners her in to getting drinks with him.

A strategy I’m pretty sure he prepared because of her responses to Yuta’s attempts at taking her to dinner. While he does brag to Yuta the next day about getting her contact information and a “date” with her (he said they should go out for drinks, that doesn’t always mean a date), I don’t think Homare is trying to pursue her romantically. The look he had while having dinner with Yuta was not a menacing one but one of concern. Homare likes to push Yuta’s buttons, but he I can’t see him outright trying to take Moriko away from Yuta when he so clearly feels something for her. I could be totally wrong though.

Anyway, as she has become accustomed to, she talks to Lily (who we know is Yuta) about all of the things that happened leading up to today (running into Yuta on the street, going to the hospital, turning him down for dinner, running into an old workmate who cornered her into going out somewhere together) but with genders reversed. And as she finishes her story, we see Lily has stopped moving…which is where we cut to Yuta, who is realizing that this story is too familiar to be a coincidenc.

Recovery of an MMO Junkie – Episode 4: Like a Maiden in Love OVERALL SCORE 9.5 / 10

I just want Yuta and Moriko to realize who the other one is…but it’s still very early in the season and likely won’t happen for a little longer (pardon me while I cry). I hope I’m right about Homare because honestly if he’s pulling a dirty maneuver, I’m going to be very disappointed in him. I really like his character, I don’t want him to end up an asshole. Ultimately, and as always, this show reaches many of us on an emotional level (being a gamer and/or having social anxiety which gives you a hard time talking to and relating to people in real life) and I’m anxiously awaiting the next episode…because Yuta does have a reason to e-mail Moriko now. Yay!

Recovery of an MMO Junkie is now streaming on Crunchyroll with new episodes every Friday.

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