Recovery of an MMO Junkie (Net-juu no Susume) proves that you don’t have to reinvent a genre to be a standout show.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie looks like a typical otaku pandering show on the surface. It centers around a female NEET who escapes the troubles of life by playing an MMO. After some initial struggles, she meets a friendly player and the pair goes on quests together.
However, the show plays with this formula to create something fresh and adorable. For starters, the main couple is in their 30’s. Moriko has decided to become a NEET because she’s sick of the corporate world and is a little downtrodden about her lack of friends and romance. Luckily, she’s not treated as a joke or a sleazeball a la WataMote. Instead, she’s sincere in her hobby, which is playing a cute looking MMO called Fruits de Mer as a hot guy avatar.
The secondary protagonist is Yuuta, who seems to around the same age as Moriko. While not much was revealed about Yuuta in the premiere, we learn that he maintains some sort of job and is slightly shy in real life. Also, he plays as a cute girl (in-game as Lily) in Fruits de Mer and lends Moriko (in-game as Hayashi) a helping hand.
They form a quick a bond while questing, but they don’t know each other’s real-life identity. Still, it’s amusing seeing Moriko worry about not losing her male virginity in an MMO.
Most of the premiere was really cute and highlights how people can form bonds while playing MMOs. So far, it feels like what Gamers! or Netoge should have been if those series didn’t focus on misunderstandings and harem tropes.
While Recovery of an MMO Junkie wins in the cuteness and humor factor, it is a little rough on the eyes. The animation is jittery and the “in-game” characters of Fruits de Mer lack visual pop. But it’s not too distracting since the series doesn’t rely on action.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is off to a great start. MMO and rom-com fans will find plenty to love since the series doesn’t treat the characters as worthless NEET losers, nor does it shove senseless fanservice in your face.