© Kokuyorin/comico/Recovery of an MMO Junkie Project
I’ve loved video games since childhood, but online gaming has never been my thing, personally. Probably because I like playing games alone. So it seems odd that my most-anticipated anime is Recovery of an MMO Junkie, a show about online gamers who find their real lives intertwining.
I’ve read Recovery of an MMO Junkie (known in Japanese as as Netojū no Susume, lit. Recommendation for Fulfillment in Virtual Life) near since the time it began serialization on the Japanese free manga app “comico” years ago. It was one of my favorites, and still is despite being on hiatus for the past two years due to the author’s health.
The story of Recovery of an MMO Junkie revolves around Moriko Morioka, a woman who has left her job and become a recluse in her own home with the local convenience store and her favorite online game being her only connections to the outside world. As a male character named Hayashi, she encounters Lily, a dainty female character who she comes to adore almost immediately. She joins the same guild in the game as her, and meets a number of colorful characters. However, it turns out that the players behind some of these characters might be closer to her in real life than she realizes. By communicating with Lily and the others, her real life begins to change.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie begins as somewhat of a lighthearted comedy. Then, it moves into more emotional matters of the heart, focusing on matters like harassment as well as developing feelings for another player in a game, despite not knowing their real gender or who they are at all. To add to it all, the guild master Kanbe has decided that romantic relationships between members of the guild are forbidden altogether. What makes Recovery of an MMO Junkie interesting, however, is how without realizing it, the players of the characters meet in the new world and interact. Without knowing, the characters have more effect on the players than they even realize it.
Maybe it’s my love of beloved RPG series .hack// that drew me to Recovery of an MMO Junkie, as they both mostly take place in the world of an online game. However, while .hack// is action-based, Recovery of an MMO Junkie is easy to digest and positive. While the protagonist Moriko faces some emotional struggles, there is no dying in the game, no one going into a coma, and no one is fighting amongst each other. In fact, within the world of the game, the characters from the protagonist’s guild are pretty much the only ones that show up at all. The story focuses on the interpersonal relationships of the guild members.
For gamers, there are plenty of characters to relate to, with each member of the guild having their own unique personality and reason for playing the game. Whether it’s just to pass the time or escape from reality, these gamers feel real value in the game and their interactions with other in it. This is what gets me invested in the story, and what makes me excited to see it animated.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie will premiere on October 10. Crunchyroll will stream the show with English subtitles.