I finally bought the first volume of NHK ni Youkoso!. Man, it costs ¥560, which is ¥170 more expensive than those standard Kadokawa shounen stuff. To this day, I have yet to figure out how this pricing system works. But anyway, ¥170 makes it S$4.40 more expensive (after going through Kinokuniya’s markup, another pricing system that I shall never understand), which is a lot of money considering I can get a volume of Chinese-translated manga for S$5.00 ($4.50 after Kinokuniya’s membership discount, a system that I understand all too well).

NHK ni Youkoso! Vol.1

The story is about Tatsuhiro Satou, a hikikomori, and the girl who makes it her “project” to turn him back into a normal man, Misaki Nakahara. In Japan, there’s a segment of the population known as the hikikomori (引き篭り). They are unemployed people who are afraid of or do not like coming into contact with others, or to put it simply people who suffer from acute social withdrawal. These cases are usually school dropouts and they are often associated with addiction to manga, anime and games.

Of course, although it uses a real social issue as its theme, this is a comedy after all. Gags poke fun at the stereotypical akiba-kei and yet often involve in-jokes about anime and ero-games (逃げちゃダメ逃げちゃダメ逃げちゃダメ), which means that akiba-kei are probably the ones who can appreciate them best. Delicious.

And as for the title… NHK, or Nippon Hikikomori Kyoukai is an organization that Tatsuhiro imagines to be the one responsible for turning him into a hikikomori. He also believes that the NHK (you know, the TV station) is a secret front for this conspiracy against him.

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