Hey fellow manga fans! Today I want to share my thoughts on this wacky comedy manga called “A Playthrough of a Certain Dudes VRMMO Life Manga” that any gamer or manga lover should definitely check out.
Introduction: Welcome to the Virtual World!
“A Playthrough of a Certain Dudes VRMMO Life” is a manga adaptation of a popular light novel series of the same name written by Shiina Howahowa and illustrated by Yamaada. It falls into the comedy and fantasy genres and follows the adventures of an average middle-aged office worker who decides to play a VRMMO (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online) game called “One More Free Life Online.”
The manga came out in 2020 and has quickly gained a following for its outrageous humor, over-the-top characters, and super creative world-building. As someone who loves gaming, manga, and anything that can make me laugh out loud, I knew I had to give this series a try!
In this blog post, I’ll give a full review of the manga, describing what makes the story so much fun, analyzing the crazy main character, looking at the hilarious supporting cast, and talking about why the comedy just works so well. I’ll also discuss the beautiful fantasy world and artwork. Get ready for lots of examples and screenshots too!
Let’s log in and get this playthrough started!
Our Protagonist: An Office Worker Turned Badass Granny
The story follows a single, middle-aged office worker who decides to play the VRMMO game One More Free Life Online to escape the boredom and monotony of his real life. Here’s a quick character profile of this totally unconventional protagonist:
- Name: Earth/Edith
- Real World: Average Japanese office worker in his 40s
- In-Game Avatar: Edith, a tough older lady with gray hair and wrinkles
- Class: Beginner class of “Villager”
- Skills: Cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening, etc.
As you can see, our protagonist decides to roleplay as a grandmother character, which is completely opposite of what most male gamers would choose! He names his avatar “Edith” and gives her traditional grandma skills like sewing, weaving, cooking, and gardening instead of combat abilities.
This totally confuses the other gamers who expect a min-maxed warrior character. They keep asking Edith why she chose such a weak class and laugh at her starting equipment like frying pans and knitting needles. But Edith doesn’t care and is determined to play the game her own way!
I love this brilliant subversion of normal gaming tropes. It’s so fun to see a middle-aged office worker roleplay as a badass granny who trolls younger players with her unorthodox style. His actions and dialogue are hilarious as he gets into crazy situations.
Here are some of my favorite Edith moments:
- Beating up thieves with a purse full of potatoes
- Defeating a dragon by cooking it a giant pancake
- Using thread and needles to set deadly traps and snares
- Growing magic mushrooms in her garden to use in potions
Edith’s laidback personality, combined with her creative combat methods using everyday grandma skills, make her such an entertaining protagonist to follow!
The Wacky Supporting Cast: Friends, Foes, and Everything In-Between
While Edith is certainly the star of the show, the diverse and quirky supporting cast helps round out the humor and storytelling. Here are some of the memorable figures Edith interacts with:
Edith’s Fellow Gamers
- Princess Alicia – A cute novice paladin who looks up to Edith and joins her party. She’s always encouraging Edith to be more open and social.
- Tim the Alchemist – A player who specializes in potions and medicines. He relies on Edith’s gardening skills for ingredients.
- Ldia the Dark Elf – A gloomy elf mage who accidentally teleports into Edith’s house. They slowly become friends as Edith teaches her to cook.
The Game NPCs
- John Hawk – A cocky thief who proclaims himself Edith’s rival after she foils his robbery attempts multiple times using her unusual fighting style.
- Lady Cecilia – A noblewoman who asks Edith to sew dresses for her, not realizing she’s adventuring in secret.
- Sir Gideon – A bumbling castle guard captain who tries to uncover the mystery thief raiding the kingdom’s pancake reserves.
The Monster Mobs
- Bonnibel the Dragon – A hungry dragon who torches villages searching for the perfect pancake. Edith manages to satisfy her cravings and tame her.
- The Wraith Lord – The boss of the Sewer Dungeon who is weakened by Edith’s magical embroidered handkerchiefs.
- The Pancake Goblins – Mischievous creatures who only come out at breakfast time to steal pancakes and wreak havoc.
The huge range of crazy characters makes every situation Edith gets into so much more unpredictable and fun. The back-and-forth banter and interactions fuel so much of the comedy and entertainment.
Worldbuilding: Crafting an Immersive Virtual World
Another thing that really impressed me about the manga is how Shiina Howahowa builds up the virtual game world that Edith adventures in. Known as “Nirvana,” this VRMMO has tons of creative details that make it feel like a real living, breathing place:
- Hometown Village
- Pancake Plains
- The Lost Woods
- Mt. Yarnmore
- The Sewer Dungeon
- Edith’s Cottage
- The Spinning Wheel Tavern
- Pancake Castle
- The Stone Needle Dungeon
Lore and History
- The Tale of the Pancake Princess
- The Wraith Lord’s Curse
- The Weaver Wizard’s Prophecy
- Dynamic weather and day/night cycles
- NPCs have daily schedules and needs
- Environment changes based on player actions
- Secrets hidden around the world
The author clearly put a lot of thought and detail into constructing the setting of Nirvana. Even side things like the item descriptions, the quest dialogues, and the books/signs you find add so much character and context. Exploring this wacky, pancake-obsessed world as Edith is a true adventure!
The vibrant, fairytale-like landscapes really come alive thanks to the superb artwork (which I’ll get into more later). Nirvana feels like a fantasy world I’d love to experience myself. The author uses the VRMMO premise so effectively to craft creative and compelling adventures.
Laughing My Head Off: The Hilarious Gags and Comedy
Obviously the humor is a huge part of the appeal and enjoyment of this manga. I thought it delivered gut-busting laugh-out-loud moments from start to finish. Here are some of the ways it pulls off the comedy brilliance:
Edith’s Unconventional Style
A lot of the jokes spin off Edith’s odd grandma player character and her insistence on doing things her own way. Like taming monsters by cooking for them or using sewing tools for weapons. Seeing veteran gamers flabbergasted by her strange logic never stops being funny.
Having an older working adult roleplaying as a sweet granny interacting with younger gamers also creates great comedy. When Edith doesn’t understand gaming lingo or references and miscommunicates with the other players, it’s comedy gold.
The manga isn’t afraid to poke fun at common tropes and clichés in gaming, manga, and anime. There are witty references and satire throughout, like making pancakes the object of every quest.
The art also adds to the jokes, like characters’ exaggerated facial expressions and reactions. Sight gags like Edith pulling giant hammers out of her purse work so well.
Edith getting into unpredictable mishaps and hijinks drives a lot of the enjoyment. Like accidentally befriending all the kingdom’s thieves by teaching them to knit. Or having to disguise her cottage to avoid obsessed NPCs seeking her famous pancakes.
Between the diversity of jokes and Edith’s unpredictable adventure, the manga had me cracking up constantly. The humor hits the perfect balance of being funny to gamers and non-gamers alike. It’s also family-friendly, so no questionable content either.
Artwork: Vibrant, Detailed, and Charming
Let’s move on to the manga’s artwork brought to life by illustrator Yamaada. The vibrant color palette, detailed environments, and cute character designs really enhance the humor and fantasy setting:
The colors are lush and vivid, making Nirvana pop off the page. Bright greens fill the forests, inviting yellows fill the cottages, and bold blues fill the night skies. The warm, inviting tones fit the lighthearted story.
Whether it’s the food dishes, the monster features, or the background props, everything is drawn with intricate detail. It makes examining each panel rewarding.
The characters are also distinct and expressive. Edith’s wrinkles and simple village dress match her grandma persona. The other avatars also fit their classes and personalities.
The art excels at stretching, morphing, and exaggerating faces and movements to heighten the jokes. For example, jaws dropping in ridiculous lengths or bodies bouncing like accordions.
Creatures like dragons and sprites are drawn in a vivid storybook style full of magic and wonder. The world looks beautiful whether it’s sunny meadows or dark dungeons.
Yamaada’s distinctive art style suits the zany adventures perfectly. The illustrations constantly add to the enjoyment on top of the great writing and gags. It really clicks together into a polished manga that’s a feast for the eyes.
Manga vs Light Novel: Key Differences
As I mentioned earlier, “A Playthrough of a Certain Dudes VRMMO Life” originated as a light novel before being adapted into manga form. Here are some of the biggest differences between the two formats:
The manga allows you to actually see the characters, world, and gags unfold with vivid artwork. The light novel relies more on descriptions and imagination.
The manga condenses stories into shorter chapters, making it feel faster-paced. The light novel has lengthier volumes that take more time to get through.
Whereas the ongoing light novel covers multiple story arcs, the manga adapts specific arcs in full. For example, the manga covers the Wraith Lord arc.
The manga uses a mix of perspectives and “shows” events unfolding. The 1st-person light novel mainly “tells” everything from the protagonist’s view.
The manga balances the humor with engaging action and drama at times. The novel maintains a more joke-focused comedic tone from start to finish.
As you can see, the manga adaptation makes smart tweaks to better suit the new format. While you can’t go wrong with either version, I found the manga to be a more convenient and engaging experience compared to the light novel.
Popular Reception: Beloved by Fans!
“A Playthrough of a Certain Dudes VRMMO Life” has proven to be a hit with manga and light novel fans alike. Let’s look at some key reactions:
Many reviews call it one of the funniest isekai/VRMMO stories they’ve experienced, commending the diversity of jokes and gags.
Others are impressed by the creativity and detail put into the Nirvana game world. They say it feels fresh and immersive.
Readers consistently praise the expressive character art and colorful environments that bring the manga to life.
Light Novel Comparisons
Fans debate the differences noted above between the manga and light novel versions, with no clear consensus on which is better.
Some point out the manga’s heavy gaming focus limits the appeal to gamers, but others say the comedy has universal enjoyment.
Clearly the manga has struck a chord with its blend of parody humor, vibrant fantasy, and eccentric characters. Reader hype and acclaim like this show its potential to become a modern manga classic!
Conclusion: A Must-Read Modern Comedy Manga!
After taking this hilarious journey through the manga’s 60 chapters currently available, I can wholeheartedly recommend “A Playthrough of a Certain Dudes VRMMO Life” to any manga fan looking for nonstop laughs and entertaining adventures.
The way it subverts tired tropes through the unconventional protagonist Edith and her grandma roleplaying is comedy genius. No other manga has made me literally laugh out loud so consistently thanks to the diversity of jokes and gags.
Backing up the humor is a vibrant, pancake-obsessed virtual fantasy world brimming with possibilities. The supporting cast and their interactions with Edith also add so much enjoyment and entertainment. And tying everything together is the gorgeously expressive artwork full of color and details.
It’s easy to see why this manga adaptation has earned such popularity and praise after initially starting off as a light novel. I think even people unfamiliar with VRMMO games or the whole “isekai” genre can appreciate the sheer fun and playfulness of this series.
So if you’re looking for a modern comedy manga that blends gaming culture with over-the-top characters and endless absurd situations, I can’t recommend “A Playthrough of a Certain Dudes VRMMO Life” enough! It’s a true feel-good escapist adventure that always leaves me smiling.
What do you think? Have you read this hilarious manga or the original light novel? Share your reactions! And let me know if you have any other gaming manga or comedy series worth checking out next!