Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Moriko feels relieved that she's finished her last day of work. She never fit in well with cooperate life, now she spends her days playing an MMO. She creates a male avatar Hayashi, who lets her experience a more fulfilling existence than she ever had in reality. Hayashi's first player encounter is with Lilly. They become good friends, although lately their closeness may be more "involved". What will happen if Lilly discovers the person behind Hayashi is a woman?
The title "Recovery of an MMO Junkie" is a poor description of this anime. It's mostly reveling in MMOs, and it doesn't seem like anyone is on track to give them up. As yet another MMO anime, does it have anything to make it worth the watch? Yes, but it's probably not strong enough too seek out unless it's already in front of you. If you like MMO related anime, or want a feel good show that's entertaining, it does that well enough.
The anime centers on Moriko picking up an MMO, but it works well because she's so much of an awkward likeable oddball. The anime doesn't dramatise her decision in an overblown way, it simply makes it clear how hard work was on her, and understandable why she might choose to shun real life. The anime isn't judgemental about the MMO hermit life but is realistic about how isolated it is.
"Spoilers" ahead, although everything is so obvious that it's a non-event when things are revealed.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie realistically mixes real and in game life, in a way that many MMO shows don't. Much of it takes place in the game world, but it's always clear they're characters played by people. As Hayashi and Lilly become closer than online friends, Moriko wants to continue the friendship she treasures but is unsure how to confess she's a woman without wrecking the relationship. Of course it's shown later that Lilly is a guy named Yuta, someone who Moriko bumped into in real life. He works at the same company she used to, and so forth; with an absurd amount of coincedences linking the two. Usually this kind of thing reveals how dumb the writing is, but it doesn't detract from this anime (much) at all.
Yuta grows to have a crush on Moriko but finds it difficult to meet her outside her aparment. Eventually Yuta figures out Moriko plays Hayashi, making the relationship even more weird as Moriko might have an interest in Yuta's real life friend. What I liked most about this anime was Yuta showing through in Lilly, even though he's playing a female character. Lilly certainly does "girly" things, but the core of her supportive and upbeat personality is apparent in Yuta despite the reversed sex. The blossoming romance (and drama) between Yuta and Moriko is good up to a point, but then hits a wall as the two can't move past grade school romance. Which is cute but makes the relationship a bit less engaging.
It doesn't exactly have a defining ending, but doesn't feel like it needs one. I guess Moriko goes outside sometimes so that's enough? It's another MMO anime. Worth watching if you're out of other titles to watch and not tired of MMO stuff. Enjoyable enough to kill time, but not quite good enough to be more than that.
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