Again prefacing that this wont be one of those long epic reviews that thoroughly breaks everything down. Noting some comments here and there when I have the time. With some pretty popular manga and anime adaptations the elevator pitch for the plot of Welcome to the NHK is pretty wellknown at this point. Satou Tatsuhiro is a NEET/hikkikomori who has been mired in his lonely state for four years. He meets a missionary named Misaki Nakahara who interrupts the rhythms of his life. Satou becomes motivated by Misakis presence to try his hand at game development and create something. Welcome to The NHK is the finest singlevolume light novel that Ive read to date. Its power lies in its narrative efficiency cleanly consistent characterization and character development. One of my favorite things about this book is the treatment of Misaki Nakahara. She is not a manicpixie dream girl or convenient foil for the protagonist Satous development and reveals herself to be similarly struggling under a weight of toxic ruminating thoughts and mental health issues underneath a saintly exterior. The narrative climaxes in this awesome tightknit conclusion that presents an optimistic view forward. This is frankly one of the better treatments of mental health that Ive seen in a translated piece of Japanese fiction that dredges up how damn difficult it is to work through mental health ruts. The English translation is impeccably done by Andrew Cunningham who is one of the best translators in the business. As an aside I recommend you hunt down the stuff hes translated and read it. He was trained as a screenwriter but became a translator because he didnt like coming up with plots. He does remarkable job translating Japanese figures of speech into English equivalents. The book is quite out of print in the U.S. The last edition was released by Tokyopop which went out of business. Generally it really sucks that light novels and manga go out of print so quickly but it is understandable that these companies have to limit their print runs because light novels and manga are still a niche market in the U.S. And for another tangent this is why I highly recommend folks preorder physical copies of light novels and manga from Rightstuf to make sure they secure a copy of something. I myself have missed out on stuff that was only easily available for one year. Somebody needs to relicense Welcome to The NHK again pronto. I would love to get a hardback copy of this. Holla at you Yen Press.
95 /100
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