Never has an anime hit so close to home for me than this show. As I mentioned in my 3 episode test article 6 weeks ago, the show is about a NEET, Morioka, and her interactions with her guildmates, including the other main character, Lily. Over time we learn Lily’s player, Sakurai, actually lives near Morioka, so near they shop at the same convenience store which surprisingly their guildmaster works at as a cashier.
Spoiler Warning! Obviously, but I figure I’ll say it anyway.
The evolution of Morioka through the series was one of the greatest things to watch. At the start of the series she quits her job, basically locks her self in solitude, and begins to neglect her outward appearance and her self-respect. But over the course of her accidental run-in with Sakurai and getting advice from her guildmates about both the accident and the following “date” with Sakurai’s friend, Koiwai, she begins to at least socialize a little more. It wasn’t until she discovers Sakurai once played an old MMO she also played and coincidentally played Harth, her best friend in that previous game. Sakurai then finally found the courage to tell Morioka he is Lily and things began to bloom from there. I’ll just leave that for you to watch.
The story really did a decent job at exploring relations both in an MMO and in the real world. There are plenty of people who feel the same as Morioka. MMOs are their escape, their world where they can be whatever they want to be and completely separate from their real-world self. Even down to people lying online about details they aren’t entirely comfortable talking about. It’s when that barrier between the MMO life and real life start converging when things really get interesting and both Sakurai and Morioka handle things in the most awkwardly cute way possible.
Now, I did say it hits close to home for me. That is because I met my girlfriend through an MMO. At first, we were just friends and did content together with other friends, just like Hayashi and Lily in Fruits de Mer. Talking more with each other over skype we eventually develop feelings for each other and meeting in person the first time was just as awkward as ever. A lot of the interactions between Sakurai and Morioka reminded me of me and my girlfriend. The friendships you make in MMOs are valuable, they are real people and depending on how close you got in game, they could be just as close a friend in real life too.
Overall, MMO Junkie was my number 1 show of this season. And because it resonated with me so much, it’s one of the few shows I’m giving a 10/10. This is a definite pick up for any MMO player, especially if you’ve made any strong connections while playing. It’s finished airing on Crunchyroll and unfortunately only 10 episodes but well worth the watch. Let me know what you think in the comments!