badger11’s take on anime

Welcome to the NHK! Ep 15 & 16

Since its Halloween and I’m behind on watching this show, I thought that I’d post about the scary show called Welcome to the NHK! episodes 15 and 16. When we last saw Sato, he was talking to his mother on the phone. She was giving him some bad news. We find out what the bad news is, he’s getting his allowance cut because his father lost his job. She tells him that he’s going to have to get a job. After they hang up, Sato is depressed about the idea of having to go outside. He then remembers the MMORPG coupon given to him by the suicide club teenager. He signs up for the game and starts to play as a fighter. He starts to play the game by himself. Because of this, his low-level character keeps getting killed by creatures. He’s interrupted by Yamazaki who reminds him about the game they’re working on. Yamazaki finds out about Sato’s game playing and explains that he needs to be in a group to avoid being killed all of the time. Even in the online world, his hikikomori habits stop him from talking to other players.

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When he goes to his hikikomori meeting with Misaki, she reads something from her notebook. She tells him that success is achieved with small steps. Sato realizes that he can start out fighting smaller creatures in his online game. He leaves their session before Misaki can finish. Misaki thinks that he’s improving because of his positive attitude. Back in the online world, he starts to raise his character level by going after weaker creatures. He gets so involved in the game that he stops going to Misaki’s counselling sessions. While in the game he meets another player named Mia. Her character is a healer. They start to play together as a team and are able to raise their character levels. In the offline world, Misaki shows up at his apartment wondering why stopped coming to their meetings. She keeps knocking on the door, but Sato is deep into the game, ignoring her. She opens his door and sees him playing the game. She’s surprised by the discarded beverage bottles and other garbage covering his floor.

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Episode 16 picks up with Misaki in Sato’s apartment, freaked out by what she’s seeing. The apartment is covered in garbage and he hasn’t shaved in days. She tries to pull him outside but he shakes her off. Misaki notices that he’s playing Mia and starts to think that Sato might started a relationship with Mia. Insied the game, Mia and Satou are making plans to go after dragons in order to start earning enough treasure to sell and make money in the real world. Sato wants to do this so he can avoid having to leave his apartment and still earn money. As they talk, Sato starts to having romantic feelings for Mia. Misaki comes back to his apartment wearing cat ears and a tail. She starts making “meow” noises. Sato throws her out and asks her why she’s dressed like a cat. She tells him that she saw he was obsessed by the Mia’s cat character. When he gets back to the game, Mia introduced him to some of her friends that she recruited to go dragon hunting with them. The group sets of in search of a dragon to fight. Back in her bedroom, Misaki is reading some “moe” magazines in order to find something to distract Sato from the game. Inside the game, Sato and the group find and kill a dragon. One of the group members talks to Sato about selling game items for money. He wishes Sato good luck and quits the game. The show cuts to this characters room where he’s laughing at Sato. He thinks that Sato will fail at trading items for money and can’t believe that Sato’s character name is his real name. Outside his room, his sister tells him that his lunch is outside the door. She overhear’s his remarks about Sato’s character name. She remembers going to high school with a guy names Sato.

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Sato and Mia are still playing the game, defeating more evil critters. Sato has fallen in love with Mia. He tells her that he doesn’t like the real world because of all of the people lying and talking about love. He asks her to always play with him. She agrees on the condition that they meet in the real world. Sato is stunned. He’s afraid of what she’ll think when she sees the mess in his apartment. She tells him that she’s already walking up the stairs to his apartment. he hears someone outside his door and starts to become nervous. She tells him that she’s opening the door. Sato sees the door open. Standing in the door is Mia, a character played by Yamazaki. sato is stunned. Yamazaki tells him that he wanted to teach Sato the truth about characters in MMORPGs. That people can pretend to be someone else. Any sense of love or friendship is just an illusion. Sato lies and tells Yamzaki that he knew Mia wasn’t real and that the only reason he’s playing is to earn money selling game items. Yamazaki doesn’t believe and tells Sato that he won’t make money that way.

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Yamazaki tells Sato that the only people who make money from games are the game makers, a subtle way of reminding Sato that the two of them are supposed to finish making their game. Sato loses control and throws a chair at Yamazaki. Yamazaki escapes and goes back to his apartment. He starts to think that playing as Mia might have been the wrong decision. Sato is in shock at discovering that Mia is Yamazaki and that he won’t make any money selling game items. The phone rings. Its the girl from earlier in the show. Her brother was one of Sato’s teammates that killed the dragon. She introduces herself as Kobayashi, the class president from Sato’s high school. We see Misaki outside, dressed in her high school uniform and carrying a bag of groceries. She intends to cook him a meal in order to get him away from Mia and the game. After knocking on the door and getting no response, she opens the door and sees that Sato isn’t there.

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