I know I said that I was going to catch up and try to finish all the anime I intended to watch last season, however, I wanted to give Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru a try. So here I am, giving you my first impressions on the anime.
After her boyfriend cheats on her with another girl he met in-game, Akane Kinoshita learns the hard way that gamer boyfriends can be just as bad as the offline variety. As she vents her anger by beating mob monsters to a pulp, she has a chance encounter with Akito Yamada, a guildmate with an afro and Noh mask.
Yamada is unsociable and curt, hardly the type of person to make Akane swoon. However, while his gaming stats might be maxed out, Yamada is inexperienced in matters of the heart, and against all odds, she finds herself moved by him. Making new friends along the way, can Akane shake the heart of Yamada, a final boss-level high school boy?
I will admit, the first two episodes didn’t really captivate me. I think that’s because I started watching something similar, that anime being, Net-juu no Susume. In many ways they feel very similar. Although I am not too far along in Net-juu no Susume, upon first glance story wise it kind of feels the same because we have two characters meet over a virtual game they play.
The only difference being that in Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru it seems as though this relationship will develop out of the game, while in Net-juu no Susume it seems as though everything is going to happen within the game the two characters play. So in that regard, I think Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru may turn out to be something a favour more, but who knows.
The characters of Yamada and Akane feel pretty average in my opinion. Obviously, Akane is very outspoken, emotional and a very bright character. Yamada as you’d expect is the complete opposite. It is yet another character pairing that further confirms that opposites do attract.
I’m more interested in Yamada to be complete honest with you. I’ve always gravitated towards characters that are more introverted, as I myself am an introvert. It’s easier for me to relate and to understand them. I also think that characters that are more quiet tend to be the ones that grow the most because you see them slowly break out of their shell, their comfort zone. As someone who always talks up character development, I think Yamada will be my guy for the duration of the anime.
The jury is still out on Akane though because as a personality type, I’ve seen it before and I’ve read it before. So I won’t speak too much about her until I get further on in the anime.
Going forward, I expect there to be a good balance between in-game and out-of-game character growth. When you have a story where we have our characters interact in real life but also in game. You’ll always run into a balancing act. For example, Net-juu no Susume, as previously mentioned, feels like an anime where the characters interact more in game than irl. A more recent example is Sword Art Online, which is primarily driven by what happens in the games they all play. So hopefully, Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru is able to strike more of a balance.
Imagine doing all this for Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru to be one of those romance story you see time and time again. Which I’m sure the anime will fall back to at the end of the day. But hey, maybe Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru will add a little twist, maybe?
Anyway, I’m sure Madhouse will do a great job. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.