Welcome to the NHK! – 7 – Is Misaki Real?

Although it’s not nearly the “best” series airing at the moment, I often watch Welcome to the NHK! as soon as it’s downloaded. I have the first 6 episodes of Bokura Ga Ita stocked up, another four of Legend of the Galactic Heroes and even the most recent Honey & Clover- but it seems (whether I like it or not) NHK! comes first. It’s not that I find it easy to watch – it’s actually the opposite, Satou scares me. His deluded fantasies, wild pipe dreams and attempts to cover up his “NEET” life style are morbidly close to the bone. Many people move through life like him; escaping reality by depending on impossible dreams, only to wake up 10 years later and wonder what the hell happened. I hope Satou snaps out of it by the end; no, I’m not talking about him and Misaki getting it together or some Hollywood bullshit like that, however he must (or I hope that he will) at least turn the corner.

Episode 7 was totally about characterisation, and it’s all brought on by his mum; she is set to visit Tokyo and in usual style, Satou lies through his teeth to cover up the Hikikomori situation. The saddest thing about this scene is that his mum buys it all, about him having a girlfriend and everything; it puts her mind at rest, knowing her son is “normal” now. Satou’s despair after the call “Don’t be so happy” (more like relieved) says it all.

The rest was fairly cute fun; Misaki ends up playing as Satou’s girlfriend and they go on a pretend date that raises just as much questions about Misaki’s situation. Who is she? Is Misaki -or the Misaki being seen by Satou- even real? Notice how she isn’t clocked by Yamazaki when she enters his room, and how we only ever see her talking to Satou. It’s worrying and distressing to think she could well be a figment of his imagination. Obviously that would explain why she knows Satou’s phone number (and all the rest) – but for his sake, I hope she is real. And for my sake, I hope I haven’t just guessed the big plot twist of NHK!

Author: bateszi

A huge bloody nerd. I apologise in advance. I live in Cambridge, England. That's not an excuse, by the way.

15 thoughts on “Welcome to the NHK! – 7 – Is Misaki Real?”

  1. The dream sequence in ep #1 was what got me wondering – he didn’t meet her for real until shortly afterwards so who was the girl in the dream?? On the other hand the mysteries surrounding her could be explained by the tenuous grip that Satou and Yamazaki seem to hold on reality: Yamamzaki was woken up in the middle of the night and went off on one about the ‘game company’ idea so could well have not spotted a girl in his doorway. Satou’s back to talking to household appliances again so it wouldn’t surprise me if he’d given her his personal datails and forgotten afterwards! He did give her his CV after all.

    Of course I could just be reading too far into it…maybe this series is just what I thought it was at the beginning: a sharp satire of NEETs and their painfully funny but sad lives!

  2. Mmm, in the very first episode, he learns Misaki’s name because her ‘aunt’ calls to her… and in the second, Yamazaki overhears his conversation with Misaki. Could it ALL be a delusion? Maybe, but… if it is, then it’s substantially different than the manga.

  3. I don’t think the first episode scene with Misaki is a delusion, but maybe that is when the delusion begins? Like his mind starts running on the "image" of her from that point onwards.

    I haven’t read the manga- but it just seems very plausible at this point. Misaki has suddenly dropped into his life (without her aunt). All their meetings are alone together. She is always "waiting" for him. She randomly knows everything about him right down to blood type. She never changes clothes but Satou does. It all seems very plausible to me.

    Either way we’ll find out if she meets Satou’s mum!

  4. No, Misaki is real :)
    Some big surprises await you.
    I’ve read the manga and you can’t predict what’s coming next.

    And I disagree with you. NHK is the best series this summer.

  5. you fool`~ unless satou’s mom is an imagination of his too, misaki is real.

    Rewatch the preview for 8 to figure out my logic.

  6. 7474

    We’ll see! ;)

    This is just vague speculation by me really, mainly based off of the last few episodes. If she does meet his mum (and I need physical evidence of this) then like I said, obviously I’ll be wrong!

  7. I love this series. The one thing that worries me is his sempei. I just got a bad feeling and I hope that Satou can help her or I see very bad things for her in the future.

    Love the series and would love to read the manga if it ever got published here.

  8. I’m just listening to the NHK! soundtrack now and it really is fantastic. Very rocky and meaningful, my favourite song so far is "Youkoso! Hitori Bocchi" (its the one with "Luck Luck Luck" chanted in the background).

  9. I’m going to have to go over to CDJapan and track the OST down. From what I’ve heard so far it’s pretty outstanding – almost FLCL-esque in places. According to ANN it’s by a band called the Pearl Brothers but I’ve never heard of them before.

  10. Why wait for the manga to be published when up to date scanlations are widely available? The story really does get dark pretty soon, and you realize even Misaki’s problems are just as deep, if not deeper, than Satou’s.

  11. I love how WttNHK! really does straddle the line between melodrama and dark comedy. I hope it doesn’t stray too far from that in the coming episodes, because it really keeps the series from drowning in the dark undercurrents that are propelling it forward.

    I like how Satou is really an accurate portrayal (once you get past the parts of his character that are obviously meant to be exaggerated for comedy’s sake) of what a NEET/hikikimori hybrid would really be like, rather than a ridiculously hyped up caricature. He is well educated, can hold conversation, and in general is a typical middle-class person. But he’s also obsessed with the "conspiracy," which in reality is just his own inferiority complex. Compelling stuff. I would’ve personally rated the episode higher when taken in context of its genre, but I agree that WttNHK! won’t cater to everyone, in the same way as Genshiken.

  12. I think the Senpai lady is to blame for all this. Without him knowing, subconsciously all the thing that lady has been saying slowly eeped into his head. Ddoesn’t explain why the lady is now a prostitue… i kinda guessed it on episode 6…. and confirmed on episode 7

  13. Hello! I love your blog! anyway, the real point of this little comment is to say that, after watching the episode where his mother comes to visit him, I don’t think she bought his story at all; instead, she saw through the lie immediately but forced herself to be blind to it (and deny him a chance to confess) just so she could have a nice day in Tokyo…

    I love this series! so different and cooL!

    K.

  14. First of all, sorry for the necro-comment.

    After a couple of episodes, the first thought going through my mind was “I really hope this isn’t some Tyler Durden BS”.
    Needless to say, it wasn’t, Misaki is all too real and whoever is still watching the series won’t be disappointed :)

    Glad to see someone writing about it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *