NHK ni Youkoso 09-10: Satou has Misaki on his mind


Ep 9 (Welcome to the Summer Days!):
Yamazaki drunkIt is the beginning of summer vacation for students at Yamazaki’s school and Yamazaki announces, while drunk at a party, that his game will be finished by Comiket. Since they only have a month to finish it, Satou starts working on a laptop in Yamazaki’s room. He is writing the scenario based on his drawings. He starts seeing Misaki’s head when typing out dialogue and inadverently replaces the actual heroine’s name, Rei, with hers. He gets frustrated, hits his head on a ladder and even threatens to destroy the laptop before Yamazaki calms him down.

Yamazaki recalls a bad experience with a previous love giving a fake excuse for not watching fireworks with him. That rejection led him to be cynical about all women in general and sparks an impassionate speech to Satou. In the middle of it, Yamazaki’s girlfriend calls him and tells him her audition was cancelled so she actually IS available to watch the fireworks together. He then displays a complete one-eighty in terms of mood. Satou goes to his room and just lays there until Misaki throws pebbles at his window. They decide to go watch the fireworks together and have a good time despite a couple nervous moments. It seems Yamazaki had a good experience too.

Ep 10 (Welcome to the Dark Side!):
Whoa, fishbowl lens! Satou has a fantasy about marrying Misaki. During it, he sees all his relatives and acquiantances on one side of the aisle and mysterious no-faced people on the other side. This sparks the thought that there is an imbalance of knowledge in their relationship: he doesn’t know anything about her yet she knows a lot about him. So in order to find out, Satou decides to follow Misaki around for a day and Yamazaki joins him.

They stake out the manga cafe she works at and walk a distance behind her up a hill to her “mansion”. They get to the top, look down on the city and realize that she could clearly see the park and Satou’s apartment from there. Before going to that night’s counseling, Satou has a vision that Misaki is a part of the conspiracy and actually plans to keep him a hikikomori forever. So that night he tells her he’s quitting the sessions and that he never wants to see her again.

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Satou’s struggles with Misaki provided some good humor as well as emotional drama. Capitalizing on Yamazaki’s drunkness was also a nice touch especially with Satou tucking his head into bed but not the rest of his body. The urban stalking profiling had its moments like hiding behind streetpoles although the “let’s get popsicles” part was a little strange. It was a semi-bombshell when they found the house and who wouldn’t be disheartened if you found out someone had been watching you and then approached you? Satou will probably still have thoughts about Misaki but will unfortunately continue distracting himself to avoid confronting the problem.

There was another moment of Misaki making an animal sound and this one made a little more sense (communicating with an actual cat) but it was still looked weird.

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