Welcome to the NHK! – 13 – In a word, depressing

For some odd reason, I was expecting Satou to be the hero of this episode, but today I doubt he will ever be a hero – just like Yamazaki says, people “like him” aren’t suited to dramatic ends. In a word, depressing. Hitomi is selfish and cruel, her reasons for coming back into Satou’s life were superficial; he is her fail safe option, a shoulder to cry on when she feels down and clearly she has no romantic interest in Satou. He has been dragged along as her token sacrifice.
Misaki’s “confession” was nearly as bad – just like the cruel Hitomi, to her Satou is a selfish reassurance that no matter how bad life can be, she can never slip as far as that “lowly hikki” Satou. She needs him around to validate that her existence isn’t totally worthless.
Naturally, Satou doesn’t take well to these revelations and eventually goes from being the one person not on the deserted island with suicidal intentions to the one personality crazy enough to actually kill himself. His friends (and I suppose that includes Misaki) turn up to save him, but by the end of this episode he is understandably feeling like the loneliest man in the world, his contorted, desperate cries ringing around the abandoned island. It’s not the NHK conspiracy forcing Satou in to his hermit lifestlye, it’s his friends!

8 replies on “Welcome to the NHK! – 13 – In a word, depressing”

Nice summary of the episode! never thought about it that way…and it is incredibly depressing.
I wish more people would blog this show, i really like it.

Your last paragraph is exactly what I thought as I watched this episode. It just boggled my mind how selfish everyone was compared to Satou and how horrible he must have felt after they tried to "save him." They couldn’t have done a worse job, seriously.
As for the other suicidal members, I had a feeling they wouldn’t do it. Only thing that didn’t happen that I expected to happen(but it almost happened), was Satou would be the only one to go off the cliff. When they all grabbed him, I half expected everyone to end up going over the cliff. Then again, such a stunt doesn’t befit a man in his position. I guess it was a funny ending vs a depressing one, and they chose the latter.
So horribly depressing, yet so horribly fun to watch. Why is that?

Excellent post, however I don’t think we can blame Satou’s problems on his friends. Satou is a weak person, and he knows this. He constantly thinks about the past, the chances he missed to have a relationship with Hitomi, and lies too much for his own good in order to cover up how pathetic he is. The whole reason he became a NEET was because he couldn’t deal with the shit life gave him. That’s something we all must do and then we have to make choices. He decided to shut himself away from the world, a cowardly decision. Suicide seems like a fitting death for him. However, I still love the guy. He’s still a great character and you can’t help but love him.
This show is turning out to be much more than I initially thought it was. I’m totally fixed and I eagerly await each episode. This is easily turning into one of the best shows currently being released right now. I think that means a lot with the massive influx of shows we’re getting this fall.
On another note, I liked the OP better with the trumpet more than the electric organ, but I still love it and it reamins stuck in my head. The new ED is pretty good too. The first one had plenty of wtf goodness to it and suited the first few eps, but after about maybe ep 8 it started to not fit with the atmosphere of the story.
>.> … *waits for ep 14*

Nice post. This episode has become my favorite one of the series. You’re right that his cry is that of a lonely guy who basically has nothing. But I agree with JP, that its satou who keeps causing his problems. I found it funny that Yamazki claiming to be victimized by Misaki. He could easily have not helped Satou to begin with. I wonder if the Senpai/Kohei(?) relationship had anything to with it. What really made the show for me was when he talked Satou out of ending it. That was some of the greatest lines in the show.

It was certainly a thought-provoking instalment that drags you through the emotional wringer! By the end I was inclined to place the blame on Hitomi – any blame that can’t be levelled at Satou himself of course – since it was her own twisted and paranoid perception of reality that set him on the course he was to follow for four years.
From what you guys have said I now realise how low Misaki was too; at the time of watching it I was merely preoccupied with seeing her true feelings laid bare. Yamazaki’s little speech was inspired though – I suppose you could call him Satou’s one true friend now.
It was a dark, painful but very good episode that’ll have me thinking about it over and over until, well, the release of ep #14 probably.

Yamazaki’s speech is definitely the high point of this episode. It’s so subdued, yet is filled with such poignant emotion – like a deep yearning for a life not lived, for opportunities lost. "A dramatic death isn’t befitting of us." At this point in the series, Satou still hasn’t accomplished much (he’s written maybe a tenth of a game’s scenario?). He definitely hasn’t done anything worth remembering. I’m hoping that this will be the revelation that he was hoping to force upon himself, back when he asked Yamazaki to take a picture of him as a worthless, dirty pervert. Like in Karekano, when Yukino is trying to confess her love to Arima and likens it to putting spilled milk back in the bowl, a wasted life is much the same. It takes twice as much effort to put your life back together.

I’ll join the chorus of praise for Yamazaki. He was the one person to vocally put an arm around Satou and reassure him that he isn’t completely alone.
I’ve slated Misaki in my review but to be honest I think she does care for Satou. She is crying in the end because she has basically admitted to herself out loud how much of a bad person she is.
Satou is certainly to blame for being a weak character and letting Hitomi walk all over him, but at the same time I think he should be entitled to trust that his friends care for him. Hitomi has basically messed up his entire life; his failure to get together with her is surely what kicked off his paranoid insecurity and self doubt.
And JP, I agree with you on the trumpet being removed from the OP. What were they thinking? That instrument adds so much to the song that it now sounds fairly sparse and empty. “Puzzle” is a great song regardless, but we need more trumpet!

This episode was quality. I’m so glad they decided early on in the series to emphasize the seriousness of the plot and characters. In the last few episodes, the funny parts are there, but they are much more subdued and alude to basic personal issues the characters are facing.
and i can’t believe that guy just tossed that gasoline, does he know how expensive that shit is??!!

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