Tatsuhiro Satou, the principle character of the Welcome to the N.H.Okay. TV anime, is being affected by some peculiar delusions. Pic credit score: Gonzo

“Humans are organisms that lie” might be the very best, condensed description of Welcome to the N.H.Okay., which was uttered by the TV anime’s predominant character, hikikomori Tatsuhiro Satou himself.

The Welcome to the N.H.Okay. (N・H・Kにようこそ!, N.H.Okay. ni Youkoso) anime collection premiered sixteen lengthy years in the past (2006). Nevertheless, it hasn’t misplaced any of its unique enchantment on account of two details. Firstly, the complicated matters it offers with are depicted with none “beautifying.” Secondly, these points are usually not going wherever — if something, they’re solely procreating.

There’s just one potential flaw in my e-book: an excessive amount of pointless drama towards the conclusion.

Personally, I’d be a lot happier if each second anime didn’t depict clever characters — who, by the need of their psychological fortification mandates, inevitably have to be misplaced within the meaningless fashionable world that has lengthy since deserted any idea of ethical values and justice — who would suppose suicide is the one method out.

It isn’t. Ask Makishima Shougo… or Kougami Shinya, for that matter.

Oh effectively, there must be at the very least one flaw, in any other case, the overview could be too biased, proper?

By distinction, the hikikomori phenomenon, which Welcome to the N.H.Okay. depicts higher than every other work I’ve seen to this point, is proven via the prism of multi-layered conundrums Tatsuhiro Satou is plagued with.  

Self-reflection at its best, with all ups and downs it portends.

A hikikomori meets Brave New World

If you’re unfamiliar with the time period, hikikomori roughly interprets as a “shut-in,” however understand that the Japanese idea differs enormously from the same old “Western” idea. A recent Caucasian’s alienation stems from customary panem et circenses. A contemporary Japanese nonetheless reveres the sonnō jōi idea and is affected on a a lot deeper stage.

In plain phrases: ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ cultures are completely incompatible. The superficiality of the “enterprise as traditional” doctrine is every thing however ‘traditional’ in East Asia. The Sinosphere has an extended custom of perception programs rooted in private ethics and morality — the idea in direct battle with the short-term considering patterns seen in different, youthful cultures that populate different continents.   

Misaki Nakahara, as depicted within the Welcome to the N.H.Okay. manga collection. Pic credit score: Tatsuhiko Takimoto/Yoshitoshi Abe/Kadokawa Shoten/VIZ Media

If you want an analog, Welcome to the N.H.Okay. sends a powerful message that jogs my memory of Aldous Huxley’s premise that people should learn to be “mentally silent,” which he thought might be achieved by coaching in “the nonverbal world of culturally uncontaminated consciousness.”

Hikikomori could also be doing precisely that however they get attributed quite a lot of psychological sicknesses all the identical. This is however to be anticipated. Historically, social recluses have ever been perceived as problematic — societies can’t forgive individuality.

Not to say that “psychological silence” is a specialty of Eastern philosophies (I’m not utilizing the phrase ‘faith’ right here on objective). The hectic methods imported fashionable tendencies dictate are certain to lead to an explosion of hikikomori.

That’s why a hikikomori shouldn’t be confused with the generalized idea of a shut-in. Keep this in thoughts when making an attempt the rollercoaster that this anime collection is!

Welcome to the N.H.Okay. is a ReLife on steroids, with ranges of complexity that may solely be rivaled by titles like Steins;Gate. Or, for those who’d like a plain parallel: it’s on a par with Satoshi Kon’s Paranoia Agent, besides the latter offers with an outward social phenomenon and the primary is on a private stage.

Political correctness flushed down the drain

What units Welcome to the N.H.Okay. other than a myriad of comparable makes an attempt at depicting the hikikomori viewpoint is its brutal sincerity, bordering on bluntness. Not your common politically appropriate anime, this one!

It could be unfair to miss different recurring themes within the collection, which stem from anxiousness to despair to isolation to loneliness to alienation.

The three predominant characters of the collection — Tatsuhiro Satou (a hikikomori), Misaki Nakahara (a depressed woman with an air of secrecy), and Kaoru Yamazaki (an anime otaku) — make for an fascinating fellowship.

Kaoru Yamazaki is an anime otaku. Pic credit score: Gonzo

What’s extra, as these three very totally different people get to trade their views, they study that they can assist one another. Don’t anticipate a cheerful ending, although! One of the best qualities of Welcome to the N.H.Okay. is that it’s uncompromising. This anime collection is, at the start, practical.

I’d argue that it’s precisely this factor that makes Welcome to the N.H.Okay. stand out amongst different clumsy makes an attempt at portraying complicated points of various social strata.

As such, it might not enchantment to the broad plenty however I doubt it was created with such a objective anyway.

Welcome to the N.H.Okay. blends the best parts and storytelling strategies of the black comedy and psychological drama genres in such a masterful method that viewers might simply discover themselves cracking up at one second and feeling existential dread on the very subsequent.

I’ve at all times maintained that solely the works that make you rethink your standpoints by studying about individuals’s totally different circumstances are worthy of a profound evaluation. The relaxation is simply extra of the identical — shallow leisure devoid of knowledge or objective.

In gentle of that premise, Welcome to the N.H.Okay.is to not be approached as a filler to kill some spare time earlier than transferring on to the subsequent process. It deserves the viewers’ full consideration and psychological capability. I extremely suggest it to anybody enthusiastic about increasing their views and exercising their mind cells. If you’re searching for immediate gratification, this anime received’t be up your alley: it doesn’t supply any!  

If something, it serves up a “make do together with your circumstances” form of conclusion. A few clichés that emerge right here and there are usually not sufficient to discredit it.

Overall, Welcome to the N.H.Okay. is a watch effectively value your time. The collection runs for twenty-four episodes and is out there on Funimation.

Enjoy!

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