The Perfect Partner, Both In-Game And IRL
- Episodes: 10
- Genre: Comedy, Game, Romance
- Airing Date: Oct. 2017 – Dec. 2017
- Producers: Signal.MD
Net-juu no Susume Preview (No Spoilers)
Moriko Morioka is a 30-year-old single woman who has just become a full-time NEET. Now left with all the free time in the world, Moriko goes back to doing things that give her joy, like playing MMOs! She creates a handsome male character named Hayashi, and begins her journey. Moriko quickly meets a helpful character named Lily, and soon the two of them are spending every day together online. But it seems that even online relationships come with plenty of complications, as Moriko continues to grow closer with her online friends! And what will happen when Moriko runs into an attractive blond man in real life?
Yuuta Sakurai Bio
Seiyuu Name: Takahiro Sakurai
Yuuta Sakurai is a good-looking man who works at a trading company, although he is much more socially awkward than his outward life appears. He was adopted into the Sakurai family at a young age, and was very fond of his adopted parents. This kind man is actually quite timid outside of work, although he often spends time with his coworker, Homare Koiwai. He is usually seen wearing his business attire.
Sakurai can be rather clumsy, especially when it comes to knowing how to interact with other people. Although he has been asked on several dates by women at his workplace, he has always turned them down. When in a rush on the way to work one morning, Sakurai accidentally runs into Moriko and elbows her in the face. After that encounter, he has become curious about Moriko and wants to figure out a way to see her again.
Yuuta Sakurai Highlights (Spoilers Beyond This Point!)
1. Classy Yet Clumsy
From the moment we first meet Yuuta Sakurai, we learn that he is not as cool and collected as he seems! He is very kind and always tries his best to make other people feel comfortable, but he often doesn’t know what to do in social situations. A perfect example is when he rushes to find Moriko because she had the wrong day for her date with Koiwai, only to act not entirely sure of himself when he arrives. At the time, he was only thinking of Moriko and how she would feel waiting all alone. Yet, when he finally does get to spend some time with her, Sakurai doesn’t seem as confident in himself. He is happy to spend the rest of his evening getting drinks with Moriko, but he holds Moriko’s initial rejection in the back of his mind the whole time. Sakurai also seems to have low opinions of himself, as he is glad that Koiwai is not around to show him up.
Sakurai has plenty of clumsily awkward moments in Net-juu no Susume, including his uncertainty when bringing Moriko into his apartment, their first interaction at the convenience store, and even in the final scene from the anime. Each time, he becomes flustered trying to figure out what he should do, blushing profusely while he struggles for words. It is clear that Sakurai struggles with social interactions! However, we also find these attempts endearing, as he has good intentions throughout the series. Sakurai simply wants to get closer to Moriko, and let her know how important she is to him. This makes his clumsiness adorable!
2. Glue Of The Group
One of the main reasons to love Sakurai is the way he brings together so many different people in MMOs. Although Kanbe is the designated guild leader in Fruits de Mer, Lily is obviously one of the guild’s most important members. Why? Lily is the member who draws everyone together, having invited new player Hayashi to join her on adventures from the start. It is apparent that Lily has taken new players under her care before, and worked closely with all of her guild friends. When Lily is missing or distressed, everyone in the guild worries about her. Lily is kind and caring toward all of her guild members, particularly her partner Hayashi.
Sakurai seems to transfer this trait to all characters that he plays in MMOs. In the older MMO he used to play, his character Harth seemed just as kind and welcoming as Lily is. Harth welcomes newcomer Yuki to play with him, just as Lily offers the same invitation to Hayashi when he is just starting out. No matter what the game is, Sakurai seems just as willing to include people. And that is certainly a trait that makes him well-loved by the people in his guild!
3. Unconditional Support For Friends
One of Sakurai’s best qualities is the way that he supports the people that he cares about. While his crush on Moriko goes unreciprocated for a time, he continues to make sure she is treated well, both online and in real life. As we’ve seen over and over again, Sakurai goes out of his way to walk Moriko home, take care of her during a rainstorm and even accompany her when she is left alone waiting for a date. He also tells her how important she is to him and that he is happy he got the chance to meet her. For someone like Moriko who has incredibly low amounts of self-esteem, even these simple words are immensely supportive.
As seen in the way that Sakurai treats Koiwai, it is apparent that he doesn’t reserve his supportive nature only for Moriko. Unlike his rather confident friend, Sakurai is shy and awkward around others. Yet he still tries his best to be there for Koiwai, even giving up his own potential connection with Moriko so that Koiwai can take her out for drinks. He doesn’t seem to hold much resentment or anger toward Koiwai for going out with Moriko. This just shows how much Sakurai values and supports his friends, even when their decisions might hurt him. However, that doesn’t mean that Sakurai doesn’t still want to try spending time with Moriko!
4. Determination To Grow
You might think that Yuuta Sakurai already has it all. He is a young adult with a successful job, a few close friends, and a fulfilling in-game life in Fruits de Mer. Yet, when Sakurai meets Moriko and realizes their connections, he finds that he has room to grow as well. Sakurai and Moriko both use gaming to cope with the pressures and problems of regular life, and can sometimes use it as a crutch. Much of Sakurai’s self-doubt and uncertainty weighs him down, especially when it comes to telling Moriko how he feels.
However, throughout the course of the series, Sakurai starts to grow and change. He does this primarily for Moriko, because he wants her to understand how special she is to him. Sakurai does not let his social clumsiness hold him back when it comes to Moriko. Thus, it is because of his determination to improve himself for Moriko that Sakurai manages to grow by the end of Net-juu no Susume. In fact, both Moriko and Sakurai have gone out of their comfort zone quite a bit by the final episode, growing both as individuals and in their relationship with one another!
5. Accepts Moriko’s Flaws
Perhaps the most important reason that we love Yuuta Sakurai is the way that he accepts Moriko exactly as she is. Half of the reason why Moriko has become so socially awkward is because she is afraid to tell other people that she is a NEET. She is extremely self-conscious with low self-esteem, often worrying about how her hair, clothes and eyebrows look when she is out in public. In fact, when Sakurai initially meets her after running into her on the street, Moriko is not looking particularly great. Yet Sakurai doesn’t even seem to notice, and actually wants to spend more time with her!
Despite Moriko being a NEET and sometimes looking disheveled, Sakurai cares more about who she is as a person. He continues to offer her words of encouragement, telling her that she is cute and that he is happy that he was able to meet her. For a person with such low self-worth, Sakurai’s words are extremely important. Perhaps Sakurai is so accepting and caring because he himself suffers from such similar issues and awkward encounters. In any case, we love how Sakurai always seems to know how to lift Moriko up!
If there is one character that truly deserves all the happiness in the world, it is definitely Yuuta Sakurai! Sakurai treats all those around him with kindness and acceptance. He tries his best to be better for Moriko, even if some of his attempts are rather awkward or clumsy.
So what are your thoughts on Sakurai? Do you love him as much as we do? Or was there another character in Net-juu no Susume that captured your attention? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!