I’ve been looking forward to writing this review ever since the OWLS post on Recovery of an MMO Junkie. MMO Junkie, also known as Net-juu no Susume is a 10 episode anime that aired in the Fall 2017 season. Directed by Yaginuma, Kazuyoshi it follows the life of Moriko Morioka who, at 30 years old, recently quit work and begins another foray into an online game.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is an adorable anime series that touches on so many things. We follow Moriko as she learns all about her new MMO, Fruits de Mer. Playing as a male character called Hayashi, Moriko discovers a new social circle and enjoys her time with her new online friends.
However, nothing is ever simple. As a comedy there’s always bound to be situations that Moriko gets herself in that are a little silly and if it’s tagged with romance you can guess some aspects of the story.
Her online life and real life are doomed to collide in one way or another but Recovery of an MMO Junkie will keep your attention every step of the way.
There are two main characters in Recovery of an MMO Junkie and, naturally, they get the most development. Some of the side characters get touched on but it’s definitely a weakness of the show. There were some story lines that don’t seem to really go anywhere particular. I think I know what they were trying to do and this is why my point is staying vague. For those of you that have watched it already, if I say shopping you might have some idea what I mean.
Moriko had a wonderful development though I feared for her a bit whenever we saw her with Koiwai. In the west, especially, there’s a big fanfare about holding people accountable for their actions and I felt some scenes with Koiwai hit too close to home. There’s a point where Sakurai could have said “this isn’t okay” to his friend and let him know his “harmless behaviour” was out of line. It didn’t happen and was definitely my biggest disappointment with the show.
The Online World
Recovery of an MMO Junkie does a really good job of displaying the real world player behind the online avatar. When Lily and Hayashi are exploring the online world it’s really showcased my own experiences of playing online games. At the same time you could see that these were avatars being controlled by people at computers. The moment people step away from their keyboards and their character just stops moving were high points.
It was also really, really pretty. The artwork in this anime was outstanding. I adored every second my eyes got to feast on the delights in front of me. My ears were also suitably pleased. From the sounds of the MMO to the OP song (Saturday Night Question by Nakajima, Megumi) to the ED song that I sat through, happily, every week (Hikari, Hikari by Aisaka, Yuuka) every moment was pure joy.
Voices Sell It
I don’t think I can find fault with any of the voices in Recovery of an MMO Junkie. Each and every one was voiced to near perfection and suited their character.
I didn’t recognise any of the voice actors, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Moriko Morioka was voiced by none other than Noto, Mamiko (Sayuri from Sakura Quest). I also didn’t expect Yuuka Sakurai’s voice actor to have been someone I could have recognised (Youichi from Dive!!).
Lily’s voice actor was familiar but I still didn’t place her as being Ueda, Reina (Shiori from Sakura Quest). Hayashi’s voice actor rounds up the main voices being played by the relative newcomer Suzuki, Ryouta.
Despite my few problems with the show, they didn’t overshadow everything that this series accomplished. It told such a strong story for a female gamer without once falling into tropes. Moriko is a very strong, independent character who I related to on a personal level.
For the show to celebrate so much in its short run was magnificent and I really recommend people give it a go. It won’t be for everyone but I would suggest this as a good start point for most people wanting to join the world of anime.
I want this anime to come back for a second season but only if it can tell an equally strong story.
I started watching Recovery of an MMO Junkie on October 8, 2017 and finished it December 9, 2017 with English subtitles and Japanese voices. At the time of writing you can watch this series on Crunchyroll.