Recovery of an MMO Junkie Episode 11
by Paul Jensen,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Recovery of an MMO Junkie ?
With the main story already wrapped up, Recovery of an MMO Junkie returns this week with an extra OVA episode. As you might expect from a bonus entry in the series, this episode focuses more on wacky entertainment than advancing the plot. The first half sees Yuta visiting Moriko's apartment in order to help her build a custom PC. Naturally, both characters spend the entire day getting adorably flustered over the idea of being in the same room together. The second half starts with Moriko falling asleep during a late-night gaming session, only to wake up in the world of Fruits de Mer. Tasked with saving “Princess Sakura,” she teams up with some familiar party members.
The good and bad news about this episode is that it feels like an extended version of the five-minute comedy shorts that are sometimes bundled with the disc release of an anime series. It exists primarily to offer some extra entertainment for fans of the show and has almost no bearing on the overall narrative. There are some hints that the first half could potentially set up a new story arc, but that may just be wishful thinking in the absence of a second season. As fun as this episode can be, it does lose some of the main story's heartwarming charm because of its standalone nature. The victory lap is never going to be as exciting as the actual race.
The upside of that built-in limitation is that it allows Recovery of an MMO Junkie to go all in on the comedic front. The first half of this episode leans heavily on the chemistry between Moriko and Yuta, and the two protagonists deliver quite nicely. The story arc is packed to the brim with panicked inner monologues from both characters as they try to make a good impression on one another. Moriko's cleaning spree is a definite highlight, since it allows us to follow her thought process as she sizes up each corner of her apartment. There's some great timing on display as she pivots from “I don't need to clean the bathroom” to “I really need to clean the bathroom.” Yuta is also fun to watch as he gets flustered over Moriko getting flustered over his unintentional suggestion of going to a hot spring. The dynamic between these characters allows them to build on one another's actions and reactions, and it's neat to see that process taken as far as it can go.
The second half's dream sequence feels even more like a side story, and it uses that separation from the central narrative to indulge in a bit of self-parody. Elements of Moriko's real life are blended in with the game world, creating some delightfully odd moments and visuals. Koiwai is a natural fit as the story's final boss, and the dialogue between him and damsel-in-distress Yuta is a clever twist on their usual relationship. Having Moriko hang out with Lily and Hayashi works quite well, especially since it sets up the joke of Moriko developing a wee crush on her own in-game character. Fujimoto may have the best of this story's many cameo appearances, simply because I find the idea of him working as Kanbe's employee hilarious. This is as singular a focus on comedy as we've ever seen from Recovery of an MMO Junkie, and it's a definite success.
Honestly, I don't see this episode having the same kind of impact as the rest of the series. It's a fun detour that makes good use of the available material, but that's ultimately all there is to it. As long as you don't go into it expecting a proper continuation of the larger narrative, there's a good time to be had here. Given the low episode count of this series, it's nice to be able to revisit the characters for one more week. If nothing else, this OVA reinforces the idea that there are still stories to be told in Recovery of an MMO Junkie. If a proper sequel ever sees the light of day, I'll be first in line to watch it.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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