(image from Funimation’s website)
I recently finished watching And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online?, after forgetting to finish it for four months. So my memory of the beginning won’t be perfect. >_<;. Sorry about that.
Anyway, And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online? is a show about a gamer (whose name I seriously had to look up because all of the characters primarily use their online handles), Hideki Nishimura who swears off forming any online relationship after getting told that a girl he likes in the game he plays is really a guy IRL. But for some reason, later on, he marries (in game) a girl named Ako. He also joins a guild. In school, he’s known as an otaku, and basically all of his classmates treat him as such. But oddly, not in the horrible way most otaku get treated in anime. Just kind of the lol, he’s an otaku kind, without the actual bullying attached to it. The GUYS, anyway. The series only shows how a handful of girls treat him at first, and that is with indifference (class president Kyo), and hatred (Akane).
The series actually switches a lot between the real world and Legendary Age AKA the game Hideki plays, so I’ll probably do the same in my brief summary. Anyway, Hideki goes onto Legendary Age one day, and he and his guildies agree to meet up in real life. Once everyone gets there, most of them realize their fellow guildies are people they go to school with. Particularly, the two men in his guild are actually classmates Akane and Kyo (both girls), and Ako is also a girl from his school, but not from his class. And basically looks and acts like her online handle, and even acts like the game is real due to having a severe dislike for reality. She even has the same name. From this point on, the series kind of actually ditches this plot point, and basically turns Ako almost into the protagonist, as it is largely spent trying to get her to recognize that reality and the game are different, and that reality isn’t bad. The rest is spent on the relationship between Ako and Hideki, and somewhat on the friendship with the other girls. Yes, friendship. This is the rare case in which every girl Hideki talks to ISN’T in love with him, or falls for him. And that’s all I’ll give you guys in terms of a summary, because what fun is it to give away more than a very base synopsis?
Now, what you are probably wondering is.. is it any good?
Well, yes. And no. It has faults. Quite a few. For one thing, it’s way too fanservice filled. Almost every episode has some fanservice shots, for REASONS. I’m not even talking about underwear or nudity, I’m talking about close ups on boobs, butts, or even crotches once in awhile. Clothed versions of these, but still. It’s REALLY unnecessary. REALLY REALLY unnecessary. They also had a bad tendency of including boob jiggle when it wasn’t needed. The opening shows it all.
(if nothing shows up, I just linked the opening from Youtube, for convenience).
When the girls with the larger breasts TURN AROUND, of all things, there is boob jiggle. When a character that doesn’t even HAVE huge boobs points, boob jiggle. When a character does a cat pose, BOOB JIGGLE. THIS WASN’T NEEDED. The fanservice is actually my biggest complaint about this show. It’s a good show, but the fanservice DID take away from it.
The second fault/problem I had with it was that the in game characters for Akane and Kyou randomly change to basically be themselves in fantasy clothes with no explanation when Hideki finds out who they are. If they had had something IN the show with them saying, ‘well, I made my character a girl who looks like me’ or something, I’d be OK. But they randomly completely change appearances. I’m not sure what the point was (except for making Kyou’s in-game character more fanservice for guys), but it was random. Not a huge deal, but random.
The last issue is actually with the choice of Hideki as the protagonist/lack of character development for most of the cast. At first, Hideki is a decent protagonist, and we do get to learn about him. FOR ONE EPISODE. But as the series goes on, Ako basically takes over. She gets actual character development, her personality is shown beyond one dimension/defining trait, and a lot of the series is spent trying to help her learn that reality is separate from the game. In short, Ako may as well be the main character. Why isn’t she the one we follow from the start, then? Just to cement it that this show was ‘made for guys, so even though the main character may as well be this girl, we’re making it this guy who she likes be it so the guys will bother with this?’ As a protagonist, Hideki actually kind of sucks. He barely has any character development. The other girls, Kyou and Akane, are kind of the same way. Kyou is a rich girl with good leadership skills, and Akane is a tsundere, basically (though for some reason, I liked Akane the most anyway.. I’m not even sure why ^^;). Though, to be fair, Akane does become friendlier, but there isn’t much else besides that. They aren’t the only characters the show had aside from Ako and Hideki, but the others are spoilers and won’t be mentioned here. But they are just as one dimensional.
Aside from these complaints, the show is pretty enjoyable. The viewer does come to care about the outcome of whether or not Ako will basically accept reality exists, the in game play is interesting, and an anime about people PLAYING a game as opposed to being stuck in it is refreshing. As is the fact that there’s real life mixed with it, something most game based anime ignore. I enjoyed watching the antics of the characters in game AND IRL, and did find the show both funny and interesting. Even if a lot of the characters are one dimensional, they are still likeable. Finally, the art isn’t bad. It isn’t wonderful, but it is at least modern looking, and not badly drawn. It just is drawn oddly at times. I recommend this anime for being a lighthearted school/fantasy anime with a likeable cast, but be warned about the random as heck fanservice, and that the characters don’t grow much as characters beyond what they start as.
Next time, maybe I’ll finally write that Fate/Zero manga review LOL. Probably not though, since I just got my Wizarding World loot crate, and I did want to do a review of Real Account, which I just started, before I forget. ^^;.