In “Welcome to the Classroom!”, Satou has a slight nervous breakdown but manages to make some progress in his hikikomori recovery program. Misaki gives him some bad advice but everything works out in the end. Also, Yamazaki doesn’t get angry this episode…well, at least not his real-life self.
Satou has problems writing what he calls “embarassing” dialogue in his scenario and then realizes he’s late for his counseling appointment. Misaki tells him not to be late again and begins his second lesson, Conversation Techniques. She posits that nervousness and the fear of being insulted causes hikikomori to fail at everyday talking situations and advises Satou to think of someone else as more inferior when talking with them. He immediately thinks “wait, has she been doing that to me the whole time?” and she responds with a shake of her head.
Satou tries to rouse an analysis of his crazy “snake-sword” dream out of her but she hits back with the “you don’t have a girlfriend, do you?” line. He tries to use his moment with Hitomi as a defense but then Misaki says Yamazaki has a girlfriend, a voice acting student named Nanako. Upon hearing that Yamazaki has a girlfriend, Satou decides to ask him directly to find out if it’s true. However, his self-projections of possible answers delays him enough to get hit in the head by Yamazaki opening his door. He is leaving to go to the and after he leaves, Satou plots to follow him the next day to his game designer school.
While wondering what room Yamazaki is in, Satou gets invited by a scenario teacher to sit in for a trial class since he’s not an actual student. Satou actually writes a creative game proposal but he gets nervous when the instructor chuckles over his shoulder. He thinks that he’s talking down to him when he was actually admiring his creation so he yells at the sensei and runs out of the classroom to sit and hold his head in the stairwell. Nanako’s voice stirs him from his sulking and prompts him to follow it to a lounge where she’s talking with Yamazaki.
When he eavesdrops on their conversation, he starts to feel that Yamazaki betrayed him in some non-existent “pledge” against three-dimensional/real-life women. But then as Nanako leaves and chats with her friends, he takes comfort in finding out she only sees him as a friend and her friends describe him as a kimi-ota (“creepy otaku”), a half-hikki who’s into lolicon. Back at Yamazaki’s place, they kick back with a couple of beers. Then Satou relates the day to Misaki who was proud of him for taking such a brave step in his path to recovery.
This episode had funny moments but I’m starting to have less faith in Satou’s mental state. We found out that he had been expelled from university and that seemed to be the tipping point for his fall into the sociomental disorder that is hikikimori. Getting back into a classroom was a good albeit unintentional first rehabilition exercise. However, Misaki’s method should have been to view someone you are conversing with as an equal so as to avoid being too aggressive and talking down to them.
- The katakana on the side of Mita House is different as the left half of the “ha” is missing. *gasp* Maybe somebody stole it…
- I didn’t notice this the first time but Satou has an alarm clock that tells him, “Onii-chan, you’re going to be late!”
- Look, Yamazaki has a white DS Lite!
- Some of the songs I had said were original songs in my OST review actually played in this episode. I was wrong. I guess I should have watched this ep (and stayed somewhat current) BEFORE writing the review.