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Brain Diving - The NHK Took My Baby Away


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neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 1178
Location: Atlanta, GA
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:13 am Reply with quote
Oh, I hope this book gets reprinted... I really enjoyed the anime. Fascinating!
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Raikuro



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 346
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:33 am Reply with quote
Why are hikikomori considered a Japanese thing? It may not be as widespread as in Japan, but I don't think shut-ins are that rare, at least in America.
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thenextday



Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 75
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:59 am Reply with quote
Tokyopop should definitely consider reprinting this. It was a really nice read.
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DoctorDazza



Joined: 03 Oct 2010
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:05 am Reply with quote
This is out-of-print?

I picked a copy up not a few months ago for 15$, mind you, this was in Australia.

Wonderfully written book though.
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mckg1



Joined: 24 Dec 2009
Posts: 286
Location: From Puerto Rico living in Japan
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:28 am Reply with quote
I liked the NHK anime quite alot. So Im going to see if i have a chance to checkout the novel. Hope that Tokyo pop brings this baby back to print. Smile
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kojiro228



Joined: 29 Dec 2008
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:14 am Reply with quote
hehe i actually bought this book in the UK back in early 2009 because of the anime, never thought it would be so popular! I feel privileged to have a copy now Smile
funny thing is till this day i still havn't read it yet Razz

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From PS3 Pics


I wanna finish reading the manga first before reading the novel Anime smile
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14106
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:43 am Reply with quote
Raikuro wrote:
Why are hikikomori considered a Japanese thing?


Because the Japanese think they're unique. That's their reasoning for a lot of things they do.
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MorwenLaicoriel



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 1617
Location: Colorado
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:56 am Reply with quote
Wow, I had no idea the book had become so hard to find! Earlier in the year (at least, I think it was this year, my memory is fuzzy) I bought the book at Borders and read through it. I think I'm in the minority when I say this, but I actually liked the anime a little bit better, since I felt like the character interactions were a little more organic. It makes sense that Satou blurts out what he's feeling to other people since he's become so unpracticed with conversation, but it's weird when Yamazaki and Misaki start doing it too--and even weirder when Satou acknowledges what they're saying but basically fails to actually register it at all. (I'm guessing that's supposed to be a character trait--he's too absorbed in his own problems to pay attention to others when they try to talk about their problems--but it still is jarring when he's spoiler[seems surprised by Misaki's suicide attempt when if I remember right she tells him that she's been thinking about it.] I might be a bit off since it's been a little bit since I read the novel, but I remember thinking that it was a weird choice.)

That being said, the book is still a really brutally honest look at this problem and definitely has its own strengths, so I'm glad I read it. I definitely hope Tokyopop considers re-releasing it in some form or another.

As a tangent--when I was reading the book, I couldn't help but wonder if Misaki was based on a fantasy the author originally had of a cute girl saving him from his problems, and the later reveal that she's just as screwed up as Satou something of an admission by him that this sort of fantasy isn't exactly realistic. But I might be assuming too much about the author's intent...
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immortalrite



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 56
Location: Yonkers, NY
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:14 am Reply with quote
NHK is definitely one of the more depressing, albeit interesting, books I have read. I actually liked the anime quite a bit better than either the manga or the novel, partially because while it treats all the same problems it ends on a much more cathartic and redemptive (perhaps even "optimistic"?) note.

Also, I wonder what's up with TokyoPop's "Pop Fiction" line. First they decide to drop Kino's Journey completely, and now NHK is out of print as well? Perhaps this Print-On-Demand store is meant to remedy some of these issues.
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Dop.L



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 664
Location: London
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:22 am Reply with quote
I bought this when it came out, and the best thing about it is how much darker it is than the manga or anime adaptations.

It's a shame it's out of print, and surely something like print on demand would be ideal for this and other books (like the Kino's Journey novel) - the translation work's all been done, and at least by making print on demand available there's a chance Tokyopop could make a bit more money out of the books.
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Orange Hollow



Joined: 02 Jun 2010
Posts: 65
Location: Krasnoyarsk, Russia
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:37 am Reply with quote
For some reason, Satou is called Satoru 5 times in this article.
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omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 456
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:32 am Reply with quote
I would recommend those looking for more of this stuff to read his Faust articles. Pretty interesting coming from his writing style and on issues that parallel with what Satou struggles with.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3468
Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:06 am Reply with quote
Count this on the list of "things I bought on the cheap that are now out of print." I bought it on an impulse after Right Turn Only reviewed it. I'd made attempts at watching the anime, and absolutely loathed it, though I'll admit I couldn't get very far into it. Once I read the book I realized some of the reasons why:

First of all, in the shift out of book medium it loses most of its 1st person POV. The anime felt as if you were laughing at Satou, whereas the book let you laugh with him.

Second, the anime cut out the heavy drug use. In the book, Satou is a self-medicating manic-depressive. But because he's not on hallucinogens in the anime, his hallucinations make him seem like a schizophrenic. While not downplaying the severity of bipolar disorder, the idea of laughing at someone who potentially has schizophrenia was even worse.

Finally, the anime seemed to focus on the "pervert" angle far more than in the book. When he meets Misaki and makes a fool of himself in the anime, his first thought is to masturbate. In the book, it's to make a very half-assed suicide attempt. The difference was so jarring, it made me love the book instantly.

I read it at a very low point in my life, when I was suffering from depression and becoming a bit of a shut-in myself. His struggles and fears really spoke to me. I'm not in his situation any more (I got out of the place that was stressing me so much), and looking back, I know it's because I had what Satou seems to lack: a very emotionally supportive network of human connections, including my family. Which, come to think of it, is a huge part of an even more awesome work that I strongly recommend, Up in the Air.
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PingSoni
Subscriber



Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 186
Location: Lansing MI
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:24 am Reply with quote
I own the novel, the manga and the anime versions of Welcome to the NHK, and I must say that the novel is my favorite of the three. It's a shame it's out of print.

I wish more light novels were available in translation! I can make my way through comics in Japanese, but reading a novel is much more difficult.

The three small FLCL books (also from Tokyopop) are good, too, though they were written after the anime was scripted. Looks like they are going out of print, but are still available.

There are quite a few pre and post novelizations of popular anime (e.g., Onegai Teacher & Twins, Paprika) and live action films (e.g., Kamikaze Girls) available in translation, coverage of which might make a good article by itself, if that hasn't already been done.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1509
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:24 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Although Welcome to the N.H.K. is more serious than a standard light novel (its main concession to the form is the cover illustration by Yoshitoshi ABe),


Hooray! I love any shout out to ABe!

I agree that the anime really watered down the book. In fact, I thought the anime's relatively neat-and-tidy ending missed the entire point of the original novel as well as the manga.
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