15 Ways To Tell You're A Hikikimori - Mania.com


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15 Ways To Tell You're A Hikikimori

Are you Not in Employment, Education or Training? Be careful...

By Chris Beveridge     December 03, 2009

© N/A

In a number of countries, there’s a term that the government uses called “NEET”, which classifies people that are “Not in Employment, Education or Training.” Usually benefits continue to be extended and that classification isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In Japan, the government only does this for about six months before you’re kicked off to fend for yourself. What often happens to people at this point is that they slowly become something called “hikikomori.” According to Wikipedia, which sources the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare, a hikikomori “is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive individuals who have chosen to withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement because of various personal and social factors in their lives. The term hikikomori refers to both the sociological phenomenon in general as well as to individuals belonging to this societal group.”


Honest, there are no body parts or bunnies within these trash bags


With nearly a million people in Japan classified this way, with many of them living solely off of the support of their parents and family, there are a lot of warning signs. FUNimation recently released a complete series that takes a tongue in cheek look at the world of a few hikikomori called “Welcome the NHK” which had been previously released by ADV Films. In looking at the show, and looking at anime fandom and other fandoms, there are definitely a number of warning signs. Do these signs fit you? And if so, is that a good or bad thing?

  1. The money your parents or relatives send you for basic necessities is considered a "paycheck."
  2. Belts, clean clothes and doing laundry is no longer import and youno longer see a reason to own pants that don't feature an elastic waist.
  3. The computer screen and television are your prefered methods of indoor lighting.
  4. Your idea of a healthy meal includes the phrases "just add water" and/or "microwave for 5 minutes."
  5. You consider gold farming in MMOs a viable means of personal employment.


The TV is truly my best friend. Always there for me and so easy to turn on.


  1. You have more trash in your room or apartment than anything else.
  2. You've turned dish soap into dual purpose soap by using that in the shower as well.
  3. You consider Konami's Love Plus for the Nintendo DS just as good, if not better than, having a real girlfriend.
  4. You prefer to leave the house late at night and only to frequent the local 24-hour convenience store so you don't have to interact with anyone
  5. Your best friend can cast fireballs, wears a wide-brimmed pointy hat, and goes by the name Rydia1634…you’ve never met this person in real life.


Augh! No power! Time to curl up into a ball and whimper...


  1. Members of the opposite sex scare you in person, but you feel a need to take care of them when you see them in other forms, be it animation, movies or books.
  2. Eye contact is forbidden; people might actually try to talk to you. Isolation is best since other people may be out to get you.
  3. The only place you feel safe and comfortable is in your room, especially if you have lots of memorabilia in there that make you feel warm inside.
  4. You actually believe and engage in dating two dimensional characters and set about creating petitions to make it legal.
  5. You've read this list, realized that you fit most of the categories and head to 2ch to complain vociferously about it.


We won't use any CSI style devices to see what this mattress really looks like...



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TalonG4 12/3/2009 4:12:40 PM

"You prefer to leave the house late at night and only to frequent the local 24-hour convenience store so you don't have to interact with anyone"


Thankfully this is the only one that might fit me.

Hectotane 12/3/2009 6:00:00 PM

And for how long are you going to smoke that "Welcome to NHK" crack pipe, Chris?

Not to say that you're wrong or to disagree that NHK is basically a "warning sign."  But I'm for moving on to something different and better.

primetech 12/3/2009 7:38:20 PM

"Welcome to the NHK" is good because it fits my life so well.

Chris Beveridge 12/3/2009 9:30:37 PM

 Well, I haven't looked at NHK myself since the end of the single disc run, so I don't know that I've been smoking that crack pipe all that long or that deeply, so I don't know where you're coming from with that.

Hectotane 12/4/2009 9:09:52 AM

So why do you keep talking about anime you "haven't looked at?"  What's up with the hypocrisy, man?

I've looked at several anime throughout my life and I don't even talk about them that much.

And to focus on one title; using it as a springboard for your topics.  It seemed like you don't know of any other show than that.  The "crack pipe" analogy.

Kouji Tamino 12/4/2009 10:12:49 AM

...You've been on AOD how long, Hectotane? Chris has seen the show. What he meant was that he hasn't touched on the show since he did the singles review, thus your 'crack pipe' analogy makes no sense. Are you sure you aren't getting him confused with another staff member?

Hectotane 12/4/2009 11:57:30 AM

@ Kouji:

I been on AOD before Chris tried to kill the VHS tape.  And I was there when everyone acted like anime should be on VHS tape.  (The "anti-dub" movement JapanAnime and Bandai Visual USA tried to make money on.  Which had now turned into the "glorified fansub" era pushed by Nozomi and Section 23.)

Or, more appropriately:  I pop by occasionally since I have better things to do.

And the "crack pipe" analogy?  Chris mentions "Welcome To The NHK" as much as FUNimation mentions "Dragonaut."

There are between 20~60 anime shows made per season; a few of them ongoing past 26 episodes.  There's about 15 new shows this winter season because creating anime is like being in a sweatshop.

Why the focus on one (or ten?) titles is none of my business and beyond me.  And, if push comes to shove, I'd say "Bible Black" would leave "Welcome to NHK" a bloody mess in terms of plot and character development.  ("In anime pRon?"  Exactly. :P )

I just find it annoying, is all.  And I hope that my opinions can break the stagnation that seems to be spreading like the flu as of late.

Kellory 12/5/2009 12:25:24 AM

You know Hectotane, it was called Animeondvd for a reason, not Animeonmagnetictapemedia.  Chris was championing DVD's and looking to kill VHS from day one.  There really wasnt a time before Chris tried to kill VHS.  And most of us there were there because it was one of the few sites championing DVD at the time and going into technical specs and looking to quality as opposed to the same old thing.  Sure, some felt VHS was good enough, but most of us were there for the DVD's.  

The Anti Dub movement has been around for as long as dubs have existed.  It is the original state of things, it did not just grow up out of nowhere.  Our forums have rules specifically against dub/sub wars because it has been going on for so long.  Even in the VHS tape days, dub vs sub wars were commonplace, indeed they were worse.  I would also point out that Media Blasters have been doing sub only releases longer than Nozomi or ADV/Section 23.

Welcome ot the NHK appears on a lot of lists (not all created by Chris) because fans and staff recognize that it is a good title.  It's ending is certainly one of the better ones I can think of off hand.  If you cannot see the character development in Welcome to the NHK you are frankly blind.  For a show that has no nudity or fanservice really (outside of satire to prove the point) Welcome to the NHK delivers a similar fan experience as Genshiken.  It is only funny because it is true.  It is only sad because it is true.

Chris is obviously trying to be funny.  Personally as a lifelong Anime fan I dont fit any of those.  Unless you can count the best friend MMORPG line, but I doubt that counts as it's more of a rival and I know her in real life.  I certainly have little trouble socializing outside of my Anime habit.  But the list is rather amusing, at least to me.  It may be less amusing (or perhaps even more so depending on how proud you are of it) for those that it is more applicable to.  But then again, you dont need to be an Anime fan for that list to be applicable. I know a number of people from Video Gamers to Model Train builders and even Home Brewers who fit that.  

Whether there are equally good or better shows out today has little meaning to the fact that Welcome to the NHK is a good show for any Anime fan who can recognize the satire and parody in it.  And the not quite so subtle ribbing on the hobby.  In the same vein I find Hayate the Combat Butler to be hilarious because I get to spend a lot of time finding all the Anime, Manga, and Gaming references in it.  It is a fan show.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what kind of stagnation you are refering to.  If you want to talk about a show of the week, we have an entire forum dedicated to pretty much every show coming out currently.  Some of them, like Kabuto and Kimi ni Todake are very good.  But they dont have the kind of recognition or main stream popularity others shows like Naruto or Akira or even Welcome to the NHK may have.  Welcome to the NHK is something most fans should be able to relate to in some way, shape, or form.  Only a segment will actually want to watch something like Kabuto.

All of them are good shows.  But not necessarily as relevant here because Chris is not just here to present the best most obscure show that only 100 people in R1 will ever buy.  These articles, almost by definition, will need to be applicable to a wide audience range.  And that is a good thing.  Because the niche shows will never be brought over without the bigger titles to help carry them and increase the fan base.

But then again, I am enjoying Naruto and Bleach as much as Sola and Honey and Clover.

Hectotane 12/5/2009 8:18:28 AM

@ Kellory:

As I said:  I only pop by occasionally since I have better things to do.  :)

However:  I noticed what was going on with the LOT of the anime being created, as well as the fanbase.  The lot of the "negative energy" that's being spread by anime creators and fans alike.  That's one of the reasons I don't go to forums (unless it's important).  And it's also one of the reasons why I have an incredible distrust against it.

I made a lot of arguments for this and that; they were either made fun of or given the "There's Nothing We Can Do" tag.  Negativity and stagnation like that which ultimately wishes for the anime industry to be "cleansed in flames" so all the "weeds" and be removed.  And not because I hate anime, per say.  I liked it when it was creative and not creativity-deprived.  Somewhere between the mid-90s and the start of 2000, I suppose.

But hey.  Let's talk again after 5 or 10 years about the state of anime in this world.  That's what I'll say.

SleepyDog 12/6/2009 3:44:58 PM

Thanks, Kellory for that very thoughtful and in-depth response to Hectotane's charges. It seems, Hectotane, that perhaps you are focusing your ire on Region 2 issues more than Region 1, and while AnimeOnDVD, to my delight, covers both, it focuses, at least on its front page, on Region 1 happenings, a reasonable stance for a site devoted to DVD releases in Region 1.

Thanks also, Kellory, for the AnimeOnDVD history lesson. While I have visited this wonderful site for several years before joining, I still feel my newness as a fan of anime, having come to this obsession later in life than most of my peers despite my chronological advancement over many of them, and I learn something here with every visit. "I am still learning," as Michelangelo observed late in his own life.

As for Welcome to the NHK, that show comes eerily close to my graduate school lifestyle ; )

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