First Impression – Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?

Girl Meets Titlecard…

And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? Actually this meme is probably less and less true as time goes by, which is a good thing. So how well do they play it here?

Open Otaku

There is no ESC for you…

I can’t really say I’ve ever been there; falling for the girl that’s really the dude. It’s a common enough riff that’s for sure. But, aside from my relative lack of experience in online gaming,  here is the thing – I’ve never really thought of it as true. At least not true in the sense that facts are facts; brown is a color, gravity is on, JFK was never assassinated and is now running a colony on Planet 12, and so on and so forth. I mean, it just has the whiff of the lie that runs around the world twice before the truth can lace up it’s shoes. It’s outrageous! It’s stranger than fiction! It must be true! I’ve heard of a guy who knows this one other person who knew this one guy that’s swears it happened to his friend.

Megumin’s influence is stronk…

But since we are talking about a piece of fiction, let’s keep going in that direction. I think this weird riff happens almost exactly like they portrayed it in the show with Nekohime-kun. Like, there was something that should have been payed attention to all along. A sign, maybe? A clue? Maybe an outright, “Hey, I’m really a guy” that was buried like so much potential signal beneath the waves of youthful foolish noise that people like Nishimura radiate every now and again? It’s not that he’s an idiot, he’s probably not. He’s just anxious and impatient, like everyone his age. He’s focused on this game; a trait all of the main characters in the show share. Those are the smaller bit that I really what I hope this show focuses on, cause that would be much better territory than some online game foibles. Real and honest foibles are funnier, and get closer to the real truth. We are our mistakes in as much as we are our victories, online and off, and that’s OK. The game and life goes on…

Magical Girl Ako

To go along with our hapless MC it looks like we got some equally hapless heroines. With Ako (sweetly voiced by Rina Hidaka…she’s been online before) you’ve got a character that feels she can only communicate or have a normal life behind the remove of a computer screen. Her’s will be an intersting sort of “coming out story”. Segewa ( in a broader role that before) is a favorite of mine, mostly because she thinks that her online handle of “Pig in German” is cool; oh dear, that machine you play games on…it’s also a word looky uppy device! But also I like her brand of “I can’t believe there’s no dere in this” tsundere. They play it well with her, and I’d like to see why she favors gaming over dating, and I think the show will deliver. Rounding out the cast is the student council president wildcard character, Goshouin (a good role for Mao). She’s probably a privileged oujo-sama,  and is a premium player of ye olde free to play netgames, beyond that I can’t quite pin down what her character needs yet.

Signs and Stats….

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Well, I’m not really what one would call a gamer; it’s been some time since I’ve felt much passion for either PC or console gaming, and even mobile games seem like a damn chore to keep up with. I give them a shot every now and again – there really isn’t that much of a learning curve, the terms aren’t all that hard nor are the conditions,  but usually I end up closing the program and look for a book. But in the context of the show, that hardly matter as everything that is game based or online is presented in decent context or metaphor, and that everything that is game based is there to drive the offline story anyway. Which is where I usually excel. I’m an analog gamer anyway. So with all that in mind the gaming business this show is dressed up is just that – window dressing. What’s really follow-able is what comes after that; and the series of tiny little internal competitions that drive these four is gonna be the thing to watch. A good harem show can be about the girls and the personality they have to convey, and from a first look that looks like the path it will be walking here….


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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12 Responses to “First Impression – Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?”

  1. Highway says:

    While the idea that a group of players in a MMO is going to be 3/4 women is a little pushing it as far as believability, it’s not so out of bounds that it breaks the show. It makes it a little different and interesting, especially because everyone else assumed that all the other members of their guild were boys.

    I do wonder if the show will explore the bit of hypocrisy on the part of the girls, especially Ako and Goshoin (seitokaichou) with their virulent anti-happy-real-life stance, while they’re both pursuing exactly that with Hideki (I’m guessing on this about Goshoin, but this isn’t the first of these shows we’ve seen). It’s probably too much to ask that a show like this go into that, but I think it would be a bit interesting.

    • skylion says:

      Yeah I’ve seen the “the two guys are really girls…yeah right” approach a few places here and there. I’ll file that bit under the “facts and fiction footrace” I spelled out already, and you’ve given a bit more underlining.

      As far as the “hypocrisy” goes? I can’t really say…These girls don’t like to play their hands that quickly it seems, so no different than anyone else, regardless of gender. So, I’m not really seeing what your talking about.

      • Highway says:

        Well, they are all professing that “I hate people with happy lives” philosophy. Yet Ako definitely would like Hideki to make her physical space life happy, in addition to her online life.

        I know it’s asking a lot of a show like this, but I would love to see a show takedown that kind of self-justifying, self-serving “I hate people with real lives!” attitude, exposing it for the petty jealousy it always is. It’s fine to recognize that one is not having much success in friendship and love, and to be a bit jealous of people who do, but my opinion is that it’s nearly always the result of choices made by, and circumstances actively abetted in, on the part of the person who is not having success.

        That was one of the things that I liked about Haganai, as far as it went, in that most of the characters realized that they had become the friends they wanted to have and be. The only one who didn’t was Kodaka, and that refusal to acknowledge it became the driving conflict at the end of the series. But most shows don’t take that character arc that far, if anywhere. They just leave it, like Atomu in last season’s KOYA, as a pretty bad character trait.

        • skylion says:

          …but with Yozora who might have felt more than a little betrayed.

          I thought that that was where you were going. I think it’s very valuable to have the form of jealousy, and it’s more valuable to learn to let it go. So, I’m thinking they have a process in mind here?

          • Highway says:

            Actually, it may be personal bias, but I thought that Yozora was the one who had perhaps the biggest turnaround in that show, and realized it, perhaps only second to Rika. Yozora was the one who I thought most recognized that she wanted to hang out with Rika and especially Sena, and I thought that the process of realizing that at the beginning of the second series was really interesting, where she’d do a mean thing to Sena, but then sincerely regret it. What she eventually learned was that doing the mean things wasn’t what she wanted their relationship to be. To me, she had shed that “I hate normal people” attitude when she was being sincere.

            By the end, I got the feeling that when the hormone-fueled tension of girls liking this one guy with competition ended, Yozora and Sena would probably have ended up being fairly tight friends, as much as someone with Yozora’s personality could be.

            • skylion says:

              I think she left cause she was afraid Sena would deliver justifiable payback; and I think Sena totally would, not because she’s a horrible person, but because that would make for more interesting story, and it would be a shorter payback than Yozora would think of initially.

              But for how that reflects on this show; no clue as of yet. Even Serawa’s tsun attitude could be over general snappiness instead of “girl in need of a dere rescue”. The Saitokaichou might find a harem angle, but I’m putting her in the “we need a normal girl that doesn’t freak out” category.

  2. ProtoSovereign says:

    Unlike Skylion here, I’ve played an MMO called Warframe so many of the things discussed this ep jogged my memory. Especially the whole ‘Master’ being a play to win character XD. As for the ‘hypocrisy’ Highway mentioned, I have to say Ako is trying to be the online version of a ‘riajuu’ isn’t she? I mean that’s why she begged Rusian to ‘marry’ her right? While its obvious she’s a really lonely girl so its very understandable its also hypocrisy incarnate. As for the party being 3/4 female XD I thought they were such a ‘bro’ team at the start (i.e. kinda like a bunch of close knit guy friends XD) I was so surprised when they were all girls lol. (I can see how Master would be a girl given how she dressed her mage character with no shirt.) The haganai discussion was interesting and I agree with it but I’m ceebs writing anymore cuz I still need to comment on RE;Zero. For the 2nd show I’m watched of this new season it was awesome, and I hope it keeps it up.

  3. HannoX says:

    I found the part where they all go to the same school less believable than 3/4 of their party actually being girls. Sure, that was done so they can interact every day in RL, but the chances that 4 random online players all happen to go to the same school is vanishingly remote. That said, I’m willing to accept it because I’m sure the story will be more about their real lives than their gaming avatars. And for that to happen they have to encounter each other daily in RL.

    • skylion says:

      …frankly I’m still trying to get used to the male uniform pants, so one thing at a time for me…

    • Highway says:

      Actually, I didn’t find the fact of all of them being in the same school to be that difficult to believe. People start playing games like that because of real life networks or because of advertising. I’ve always found that the WoW guilds I’m in have odd clusters of people also (like 6 unrelated people all living in Austin). And if it’s a small game that can’t afford much advertising, then the people who play it will be more likely to be where they are advertising.

      To me it’s less believable that they’ve 1) never used voice chat before (although if Schwein and Master are both girls, they might resist that idea) and 2) never asked each other where they live.

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