Hideki Nishimura spends most of his free time playing an MMORPG. He and his three guildmates form a special friendship bond, but one of them becomes a little too friendly with him. Ako Tamaki wants to be Hideki’s wife in-game, but Hideki is reluctant due to a traumatizing experience he had in the past where a girl he met online turned out to be a guy in real life. The guild proposes a real life meet and greet and it is here where Hideki realizes that Ako really is a girl! Welcome to the anime with the longest title this season: Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai Omotta? or better known by its English Title, And You Thought There Was Never a Girl Online?
First Episode Impressions
Based on the description I read off of anichart.net, I didn’t really expect the first episode of Netoge to take place inside the video game. I had to double check just to make sure I was watching the correct show. However, once it cuts away to real life, you realize that (thankfully) the characters are not trapped inside a video game, but it is more or less just a representation of them playing the game.
What I loved here was not only the comedy in the first episode, but the entire trope reversal. In the guild, there are three male characters and one female character. The female is actually a female in real life and two of the males are also females in real life! That actually surprised the hell out of me because you never ever think that there is a female behind a male character in an online game as it’s always the other way around. Now that we’ve established the reverse trope we transition into this show being a classic harem, except we have one girl who is clearly in love with Hideki in Ako, we have the tsundere who may actually like Hideki in Akane Segawa, and then we have the bold, yet normal-sounding one in Kyou.
One thing that made me laugh about this is the fact that even though they were nervous about meeting each other… they all have one thing in common and that’s the fact that they all hate normal people. So right away, they stereotype and classify themselves as shy gamers who live in their own little worlds and anyone who does things in reality that doesn’t fit the scope of their lives is labeled a normal person and they find them disgusting. I found that great simply because I know people like that in real life so it brought a smile to my face to see that they actually went there with their characters.
The only thing that concerns me about Netoge is that it seems they gave everything away in the first episode, which makes me wonder where they are going to go from here. I felt that they could have drawn out the events across two episodes to pace itself a little better, but now that everything is out in the open, I’m praying that this doesn’t fall into a bland and stale situation comedy for the rest of the season. Here’s hoping that Netoge can stay fresh because if it can, it’ll probably end up being the Spring season’s best comedy.
OP & ED Impressions
As it has become the growing trend these days, there was no ending theme here in the first episode. The opening theme served as the first episode’s ending. “1st Love Story” by Luce Twinke Wink (Yeah… that’s an actual name) is your typical run-of-the-mill upbeat synth Jpop song with a female vocal that, to me, isn’t anything special at all. Sad thing is… just from watching the show itself, I would have bet the house that the opening would have sounded like that. I should have placed the bet because I’d be one rich little otaku right now.
MAYBE – I had a hard time choosing YES or MAYBE on Netoge because despite the weak opening theme song, it had a very strong first episode. It was strong enough to hook me and make me want to see more, but the fact that they gave away almost everything in the first episode has me worried about the rest of the show for the remainder of the season. This is one of those shows where you’ll need a few episodes under your belt to truly know if it’s worth watching. So far, it is, though. Maybe it’s just me being cautious. We’ll see.