NHK ni Youkoso 04: Satou visits Akihabara


Satou is having trouble devising characters for the galge scenario so he asks Yamazaki what the main types. He profiles the childhood friend, the maid, and the robot as well as their respective characteristics. When after two days and all that inspiration Satou still hasn’t devised anything substantive, he claims he needs a model to base his characters’ stories on. Yamazaki decides to blackmail him into going to Akihabara using the threat of calling the cops on Satou stealing food from him as an impetus.

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Satou is awestruck, perhaps too much, when he starts walking around Akihabara. The first place they visit is a maid cafe, what Yamazaki calls “the pride of Japan’s culture”. Sure, you keep telling yourself that. They then go to a doujinshi shop and a figure shop after that. After their exhibition of otaku consumerism (cf. Like Water), they finally sit down and start discussing the main character for their galge. Satou comes up with an amalgamation of the genre’s cliches that only a university dropout would assemble while Yamazaki tries to sketch his description.


She looks like a charity case. No, I mean, you can’t help but feel sorry for her. Wait, um…*sigh* I give up.

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Satou becomes angry and gets the duo kicked out of the cafe they’re in. Yamazaki yells at him for his actions, to which Satou replies “I was waiting for your riposte.” … Riposte is what Oyasumi translated tsukkomi as when subtitling this episode. *cough* Anyway, Yamazaki realizes he left his stuff in the cafe so he runs back to try and retrieve it. While he does that Satou hangs out in a smokers’ lounge, the appropriately named “smokers’ place”. Hitomi walks by the window and is surprised to see him there after 2-3 years of no communication between each other.


The pace of this episode was sluggish but still had moments of mirth such as Yamazaki letting his anger loose on his pillows while recalling girls who shunted him in the past. There was yet another Hitomi, aka Depressed Conspiracy Girl, moment in the club room which made me happy. She’s my favorite character on the show because she has a persuasive voice and asks thought-provoking but slightly melancholy questions. Now that I think of it, both female leads act somewhat maturely (although Misaki may have too much naivete…) while both the male characters act as kidults.


The next episode, “Welcome to Counselling!”, will have more Hitomi (YAY!) and Misaki gets down to business and begins giving Satou “the hikkimori recovery lecture”. Hitomi will most likely reminisce with Satou and he gets nervous talking about his “social disorder”. I’m looking forward to that conversation.

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