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Welcome to the NHK! – 17 – The pyramid scheme of dreams

Just once I’d like to see Satou out smart someone. Now I know that he is a hikkimori with zero self confidence, but by the end of this episode – in which he is heartlessly conned out of precious rent money by an old school mate – it’s as though he has talked himself into being ripped off.

Satou must know that he is buying into a scam, so why do it? Subconsciously perhaps it’s an attempt to escape his bedroom life style; spending rent and food money to the point where you need to sign up for a financial loan will surely mean that his only option will be to go out and get a real job (and hopefully, rejoin normal society in the process). A hikkimori without money is a bum; he is forcing himself into situation where he will have to fight to survive.

So I suppose in this twisted way, the pyramid scheme Satou’s school mate sells really can change his life! I like how Welcome to the NHK will often parody modern societies nasty little problems; we’ve gone from porn games and MMORPGs to internet suicide clubs and now business pyramid scams, they are all easy targets but it makes for grotesque and exploitative viewing none the less. All these pursuits offer us is a fading superficial taste of success or belonging, like how the blinged-up old leader of this fraud owns an impressive “super car” but still operates out of a dingy, worn down old house – he wears and buys his happiness to hide his dingy, worn down life.

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