Welcome To The NHK
Conspiracies, conspiracies and conspiracies!
An unemployed 22 years old introvert, with no job, friends and money, lives in Tokyo with the assistance of his parents. What could be more depressing than this? The hallucination, which makes him think that everything he witnesses is conspiracy, makes the circumstance worse. Will this highly indolent weirdo be able to come back to the real life? Find out by reading the novel!
I had never read a Japanese novel in my life but reading the synopsis of Welcome to the NHK had hauled me into ordering the book from amazon.com and finally when it arrived, I read it in one sit. The book was a smooth roller coaster ride and I wanted this ride to never end. The fact that I could relate the story with myself made the ride sweeter.
Tatsuhiko Takimoto penned a story filled with the blend of humour, love, imagination, and life. Overall the story was a masterpiece. According to the Japanese readers, Lindsey Akashi translated the novel beautifully; some Japanese reviewers did mention that there were a few here and there, which did not affect the story at all. I read the English version and I can confirm that Akashi did a marvelous job with his pen power.
Reading the story of Satou; the protagonist struggling with everything that comes across him is sad and funny at the same time because he makes everything worse. The fun of the story begins when his long-lost admirer, Kaoru Yamazaki joins his neighbourhood. Having Satou, living in the room beside his, does not only make him surprised but also makes him hop to the seventh sky with pride and joy. Later, they both find out that they were doing nothing with their life and decide to build a computer game, which would revolutionise the realm of video games.
The female protagonist appears after the first few chapters and she decides to assist Satou to get out of the cage, no matter how tough it was going to be. Satou declines the offer in the beginning as he was just not simply an introverted person, but even he was a filthy person who would put his reign over his room with his father's money for the rest of his life, as it was fun for him. After attempting a couple of times and making Satou realise that what he was doing with life was not conventional, she finally gets Satou to at least try to come out of the cave he was living inside for years.
Throughout the story, there are many ups and downs, romance, comedy and also many lessons about life. The most practical lesson this story taught me is not letting our youth go in vain since that is the golden period of human life. Another thing which this story taught me was not giving up. Watching Satou falling in every step of life and then again getting up with new spirit was inspiring.
Satou's moments with Yamazaki were the best parts of the book. The inside jokes, which only a very close friend would understand were there. Their attempt of making the game, running behind different various girls, wasting the time with tears of joy and what not! It without a doubt showed the real bond of an unbreakable friendship. Obviously, the unnecessary quarrels between them were the funniest parts that I could even relate a lot with a long lost friend of mine.
There was a very accurate Anime adaption of this book, which I had watched just after reading this book. People who do not like reading can definitely go for the anime, as according to me, the anime was extremely accurate to the book. Still, I would suggest giving the book a read as it was penned with such care and mentions a few incidents which don't take place in the anime.
Its anime is now available in both English and Japanese. So, the people who don't like the Japanese voice on anime can go for the dubbed version too. The anime is dubbed perfectly without a doubt and Satou's voice is exactly like the one I had imagined while reading the book
Reading a Japanese book translated into English was a new experience for me and I would love to say that it was a wonderful experience. Reading the story has opened my mind and taught me many things. On the other hand, it was a fun read too. Most of the introverts will be able to relate Satou's character with them. The ending also had stolen my heart, as it did not end with a huge bang but a few quiet thoughts, which I could never think of.
The writer is working
with Young Observer