Kai is in trouble: his village is being terrorized by a giant black viper, and no adventurers high-ranked enough to take it down are available. However, to the rescue comes Yuna… a girl in bear pajamas with bear hand puppets. Sure, she might not look intimidating, but with her bear summons and incredible power she takes down the black viper, and everyone celebrates… and that’s another quest complete in World Fantasy Online, the popular VRMMO that Yuna (in reality) plays. So yeah, it’s all just a game… or is it?
When I reviewed the first volume of the original light novel (and the manga adaptation), I mentioned that while the series reads a bit dry in novel form, it should be cute and fun in a more visual format like the anime… but I did not expect this first episode to mess with the novel content so much. The black viper storyline is actually from volume 2 of the light novel, and while it’s one thing if they showed it in the first episode as a flash-forward to get action-oriented viewers interested (already a questionable decision), the fact that it’s framed as just another VRMMO game quest is particularly baffling, since it’s an actual storyline in the novels. My impressions of the light novel are that it’s a cute, laid-back isekai fantasy about improving the lives of people, and… well, there’s a bit of that, but it does feel like this episode tries too hard to mix things up for an opener. I would recommend those considering watching this series to see this opener as one of those weird “episode 0” things anime sometimes likes to do, and then wait for episode 2 as that will likely be more indicative of what this series is like.