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Otaku No Moe(Thoughts on 'NHK)


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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14522
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:03 am Reply with quote
Moomintroll:
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I don't think "drugs are bad" was ever the purpose.


No, just "drugs are fine if you don't get caught".

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And the author takes "lolicon is bad" as a given.


If he did, then he wouldn't let the guy take it to the extreme that he did.

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And the consequence of his (thankfully brief) descent into that pit is the resultant feelings of utter self-loathing and worthlessness.


So being emo is suddenly a consequence now? Rolling Eyes

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It's not supposed to be a morality play.


Who says anything about morality? These guys are simply too sloppy to not get noticed.

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And it hardly gives the culture a "free pass" - it's just that attacking the more noxious elements of the culture isn't actually the purpose of the narrative.


No, the purpose of the narrative is to make anyone who reads it feel fine with the noxious elements of the culture.

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I don't think you've quite understood the nature of the condition. It's not about not bothering to try - it's about wanting to try and not feeling able to do so. It's a mental illness not an indication of (willful) apathy or laziness.


Except there's no indication these characters are mentally ill.

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I'm guessing you'd also blame clinically depressed people for not "cheering up"


No, because they still take the initiative to do something with their problems.

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and people with OCD for not "snapping out of it".


No, because unlike these characters, they don't intentionally hurt people with their obsessions.

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Utter idiocy. Are you a Scientologist by any chance?


Um, no, just a pragmatist who's wondering when being lazy started to get called a mental illness.

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The protagonist also acknowledges his mistakes.


No, he just conveniently forgets about them, because he doesn't have to deal with the results of his mistakes.

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You want people (mentally ill people at that) to enlist in the army in order to prove their worth.


No, I want people who give me this "Woe is me" spiel over trivial crap to enlist, since we've already made enough mentally ill people out of sane individuals over there .
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d.j. bamboo



Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 6
Location: taylor tx.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:40 pm Reply with quote
as a person who has a crew at a highschool and all we do is watch anime and play games and read manga thats pretty much not out of the ordinary o.k. heres the thing knowing is not the same as being!!!!!!!!!!! Rolling Eyes
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 1600
Location: Nottingham (UK)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:40 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Except there's no indication these characters are mentally ill.


Ah. Here is the root, I suspect, of your rather odd conclusions. You haven't understood that the hikikomori condition is a recognised mental illness. It doesn't mean "extreme otaku" (as you seem to think) and, indeed, it doesn't only afflict otaku.

Or possibly you just don't think it's a real condition - just as some people still think that stress and depression are merely excuses rather than actual conditions.

Either way, I think you're mistaken.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14522
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:47 pm Reply with quote
From wikipedia:
Quote:
...In recent years, due to widespread media attention, having a family member who is a hikikomori has come to have a social stigma attached to the condition akin to mental illness...
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 1600
Location: Nottingham (UK)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:17 am Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
From wikipedia:
Quote:
...In recent years, due to widespread media attention, having a family member who is a hikikomori has come to have a social stigma attached to the condition akin to mental illness...


Tsk tsk, GATSU, selective quoting is naughty.

Also from Wikipedia:

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Also, it should be noted that the hikikomori phenomenon is similar to the social withdrawal exhibited by some adults with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) in western cultures, a group of disorders that include autism, PDD-NOS and Asperger syndrome. Japan has the highest incidence of PDDs in the developed world, recent epidemiological studies carried out indicate that PDDs affect between 1.2 to 2.2% of children in Japan.[2][3] This is significantly more than in the UK, for example, where a 2002 study determined that 0.6% children in Cambridgeshire have a PDD.[4] Indeed, in Nagoya, Japan, 3.3% of boys were found to have a PDD according to DSM-IV criteria.[5] This has led some western psychiatrists to suggest that people with hikikomori maybe affected by PDDs or other disorders that affect social integration, but that their disorders are altered from their typical western presentation due to the social and cultural pressures unique to Japan. However, this suggestion has been rejected by Japanese psychologists who associate hikikomori with emotionally distant parenting that causes children to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


PDDs are a mental handicap and PTSD is a mental illness. Neither is a voluntary condition. Of course, both sets of psychologists could be wrong - but I doubt you're qualified to make that call.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14522
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:40 pm Reply with quote
Emphasis on similar, suggest, and maybe.
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Dante80



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Athens Greece
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:13 am Reply with quote
Interesting topic....^^

I full heartedly enjoyed the novel and the manga (the anime seemed to me like a "light" adaption to the original content) both for their ability to show many aspects of the hikikomori phenomenon and their capacity to move me as I saw the characters get devastated and resurrected over and over again.

GATSU I think you would like the manga more, it is far more raw and "torturing" then both the novel and the anime.

But I fail to see your point in the original post. If you honestly believe that hikikomoris are just "very very lazy or irresponsible people" than I fail to see how the novel could help you verify that, due to the fact that it was written by someone that was a hikikomori at some time.

Moreover, a novel that would depict the kind of tortures you mentioned "I do drugs--->they bust me and punish me, I like lolicon--->I'm a pedophile--->they bust me and punish me" would be rather pointless right?
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14522
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:40 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

Moreover, a novel that would depict the kind of tortures you mentioned "I do drugs--->they bust me and punish me, I like lolicon--->I'm a pedophile--->they bust me and punish me" would be rather pointless right?


It would show some growth.
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Veoryn87



Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 808
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:55 pm Reply with quote
I started reading this book Yesterday morning and finished it by the afternoon. I really loved it. Kept me captivated until the end. I've never read a book that goes into such detail about such disturbing things.
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stuckinfresno



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 223
Location: Fresno, CA
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:06 pm Reply with quote
Umm, GATSU? What were you exactly expecting of this novel? Because I think that this is the root of the problem. Whether or not you believe that being a hikikormori is a mental illness/disease or not (BTW wikipedia is NOT a good resource), the point of the book was to show the life of one hikikomori. Nothing more - nothing less.

I understand that you would have preferred a more developed story where the character gains some profound insight, but that doesn't always happen in life. Sometimes it happens just like this. There is no point and you just continue to meander on. Satou isn't supposed to grow. He supposed to learn to simple live, which he does by the end of the book when he spoiler[ begins to hold down a job. ]

Also, I have an extenstive education and a background in criminal matters. Most people do not get arrested for thier drug use. Many do, but certainly not all. And in the case of Satou he was mixing LEGAL drugs in an illegal matter thus making him less likely to get caught. As for the photo session, it was a one time event and the likelihood that he would be caught committing this crime on his first outing is rare. If he did it repeatedly, then I would expect some concerned citizen or parent to notice that creepy guy in the bushes.

The last thing I wanted to note was that I believe the novel was written before the manga. So how could it be a money-making scheme? All Tokyopop did was translate an existing work.

Overall, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the work. Perhaps the manga is more your style.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14522
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:19 pm Reply with quote
fresno:
Quote:

I understand that you would have preferred a more developed story where the character gains some profound insight, but that doesn't always happen in life. Sometimes it happens just like this. There is no point and you just continue to meander on. Satou isn't supposed to grow.


Fair enough. But if he's not supposed to grow, then why is he obsessed with changing?

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Also, I have an extenstive education and a background in criminal matters. Most people do not get arrested for thier drug use.


Most rich white people, anyway.

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And in the case of Satou he was mixing LEGAL drugs in an illegal matter thus making him less likely to get caught.


But he's still doing questionable things while under the influence; and that would add more weight to his sentence if he got caught.

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As for the photo session, it was a one time event and the likelihood that he would be caught committing this crime on his first outing is rare.


Um, people get caught for stuff like that all the time.

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The last thing I wanted to note was that I believe the novel was written before the manga. So how could it be a money-making scheme?


Because that's what it's turned into?
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stuckinfresno



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 223
Location: Fresno, CA
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:07 pm Reply with quote
I guess I'm going to bite.

Satou is obsessed with change because he knows his life is wrong and it sucks. But that does mean he WILL change or that he will succeed. I felt that was the point of Satou's life. He is just stuck and there really is nothing he can do.

Next, not to get into a political debate, but stating "rich white people" is rather rude and unfair. Unless you know for a specific fact that only "rich white people" are not arrested for drug use (which is impossible by the way no one can know this) than you really should refrain from such remarks. Many people are not arrested for drug use and many people are. Additionally, my point that the drugs are legal was missed. Police will not knock on your door to see if you are using legal drugs in an illegal matter. This is why Satou would not be arrested.

As for the photo session, I stand by my comment. A single isolated incident is difficult to be arrested for. I didn't say it could not happen, but just that the likelihood was low. However, I suggest dropping this subject since this will ultimately become a he said she said arguement.

Lastly, you never answered my original question. What did you expect from this work? All you have done was make little snippet comments without any explanation. Your last comment feels like a school yard fight with "Yo mamma" as a comeback.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14522
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:30 pm Reply with quote
stuck:
Quote:
I felt that was the point of Satou's life. He is just stuck and there really is nothing he can do.


Except he's not really stuck; he just chooses to be stuck.

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Next, not to get into a political debate, but stating "rich white people" is rather rude and unfair. Unless you know for a specific fact that only "rich white people" are not arrested for drug use (which is impossible by the way no one can know this)


*cough*
Oh, and don't forget Linsday...

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Additionally, my point that the drugs are legal was missed. Police will not knock on your door to see if you are using legal drugs in an illegal matter.


That depends. If you're using legal products to make a drug like meth, they will go after you.

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A single isolated incident is difficult to be arrested for. I didn't say it could not happen, but just that the likelihood was low.


I'm not sure how, with parents and/or teachers likely to be around and all...

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Lastly, you never answered my original question. What did you expect from this work?


I expected insight into the culture, not just some stupid fantasy of what it's like to be in that culture.
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stuckinfresno



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 223
Location: Fresno, CA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:28 am Reply with quote
First off, thank you for answering my question. Now I can actually respond to the heart of the problem. You stated that you expected some insight into the hikikomori culture. However this is what this book is. Perhaps it's not what you would expect of the culture but that doesn't matter. This is an account of the hikikomori lifestyle from one perspective. From what I gathered from the reading, hikikomori do not congragate to see if each other are acting in the same manner. The only known common thread, as it was stated in the book, is that hikikiomori have a fear of leaving their homes. Satou has this. This is why he is stuck. He is not lazy but rather fearful.

GATSU I'm not sure where you are from, but if you live in the USA (where I do and your references seem to show that you do too) I can understand why this would be a hard concept to understand. In the U.S., we encourage people to look after themselves and be proud of themeselves. This is why we are an individualistic culture. However, Japan is not. It is a collectivistic culutre which strives on interdependence. Shame, which is the biggest problem Satou has, is what keeps him stuck. He is ashamed that he cannot care for his parents, that he has wasted his parent's money, and everything else he hates about himself. Moreover, his only way out of this shame is to go outside, which he is deeply fearful of. He is afraid of how others will see him - so afraid he cannot leave his home. This is an actual phobia called agrophobia (spelling is questionable).

Are you starting to see how he is stuck?

Lastly, and I can't believe I'm responding to these remarks, when it comes to police practices you are severely misled. I know that the police have committed serious crimes in the past but that does not make the whole bad. You seem to have some odd preception that the police are following you. Yes, meth supplies are supicious that in and of itself will not bring the police to your door. This does not consitute reasonable suspicion which is what the police need to question you on the street. Nor does it consitute probable cause which is what the police need to knock on your door and enter. (Believe me I live in the meth capitol of the world) I do not know how the Japanese police function, but seeing that the Japanese are begining to adopt USA police practices I feel that this is a close approximation.

Back to the photo session, it is a vaild point that teachers may have seen Satou. However, they did nothing. While this may be a shock to people in the USA, in Japan many culutral issues make acts permissable that would not be allowing in the USA. For instance, groping female passengers on a subway is okay, in fact a Japanese man wrote an entire book on it. However, when this man was asked if he would do this in the USA, he fearfully stated no because he would be hit. It is possible that child pornography laws are more relaxed especially in the case where the girls are being photographed in clothing on a public street. In truth there is nothing perveted about taking photos. What is perverted is what Satou intended to do with them, which is something you cannot determine from the street viewing Satou. For all those possible teachers knew, he was a photography student working on a project. We cannot project knowledge we know to others. As for your remark on Lindsay, once again a single isolated incident does not consitute a whole. OJ got off too. Does that mean all black men with wealth get off for murder? No. Scott Peterson was found guilty of murder without any hard evidence. So does that mean all middle class white men will be found guilty of murder? No. Please stop using blanketed statements.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14522
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:36 pm Reply with quote
fresno:
Quote:
From what I gathered from the reading, hikikomori do not congragate to see if each other are acting in the same manner.


Except two of them do so in the novel.

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In the U.S., we encourage people to look after themselves and be proud of themeselves. This is why we are an individualistic culture. However, Japan is not. It is a collectivistic culutre which strives on interdependence.


Um, the Japanese are more independent than we are, since they actually go out and meet people, instead of bitching about their lives on their blogs.

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Shame, which is the biggest problem Satou has, is what keeps him stuck. He is ashamed that he cannot care for his parents, that he has wasted his parent's money, and everything else he hates about himself. Moreover, his only way out of this shame is to go outside, which he is deeply fearful of.


He doesn't seem very ashamed to me. More like irresponsible.

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He is afraid of how others will see him - so afraid he cannot leave his home. This is an actual phobia called agrophobia (spelling is questionable).


Except he's not clinically afraid to meet people.

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Yes, meth supplies are supicious that in and of itself will not bring the police to your door. This does not consitute reasonable suspicion which is what the police need to question you on the street.


Sorry, but buying supplies for meth is as likely to get you watched down as buying parts for a bomb.

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Back to the photo session, it is a vaild point that teachers may have seen Satou. However, they did nothing. While this may be a shock to people in the USA, in Japan many culutral issues make acts permissable that would not be allowing in the USA. For instance, groping female passengers on a subway is okay, in fact a Japanese man wrote an entire book on it.


Yes, but these are people paid to look after children. They could get fired if they let something happen to them.

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It is possible that child pornography laws are more relaxed especially in the case where the girls are being photographed in clothing on a public street. In truth there is nothing perveted about taking photos.


He's not just taking photos of the children themselves.

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What is perverted is what Satou intended to do with them, which is something you cannot determine from the street viewing Satou.


You can determine it, if you notice the lens hanging at an awkward angle outside of a bush... Rolling Eyes

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As for your remark on Lindsay, once again a single isolated incident does not consitute a whole. OJ got off too.


He still owes money, so not entirely.

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Scott Peterson was found guilty of murder without any hard evidence.


Except for his conflicting testimony....
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