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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Welcome to the N.H.K. by Takimoto Tatsuhiko 
19th-Oct-2007 11:45 am
Takimoto, Tatsuhiko. Welcome to the N.H.K.. Trans. Lindsey Akashi and Laura Wyrick. Los Angeles: TOKYOPOP, 2007.
          Summary: Satou has dropped out of college and lived for the past four years as a hikikomori, afraid to leave his tiny apartment all but briefly. Then he meets Yamazaki, who cultivates in him an obsession with lolicon and erotic games, and Misaki, who, tormented by her own insecurities, decides to try to rehabilitate him. Though she fails in this, they agree to rely upon each other to move on with life.
          Comments: Now, I understand that being a hikikomori in Japan is no laughing matter, but that doesn't change the fact that this novel is pretty darn silly. And not necessarily in a good way. Conspiracy theories (a.k.a. NHK broadcasts anime, anime turns people into otaku, and otaku are most likely to become hikikomori. Therefore NHK is responsible for the shut-in phenomenon.) and pedophilia do not in any way disguise the fact that this story actually has very little going for it. By the end, Yamazaki has returned to the farm (literally) and gotten a girl, Misaki has gone back to school, and Satou...well, he's become a shut-in with a friend. Puh-leeze.
          A stupendously cramped, awkward translation/adaptation on a DMP order of awful isn't helping matters for the English edition, either. I honestly can't tell for certain how much the "badness" of Welcome to the N.H.K. is TOKYOPOP's fault, and how much of it is Takimoto's. However, I'm inclined to split the blame down the middle. The author himself is decidedly unprofessional and inexperienced. He is also a hikikomori of sorts himself, so I'm betting the success of this book in Japan did not help matters in his personal life. It's too bad, really. Takimoto is still young, so there's plenty of room for improvement...but that improvement just ain't likely to happen now that he's "made it."
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten in 2002
          Rating: 4/10 - A vaguely unenjoyable reading experience. My only consolation is that it may be a vaguely important cultural object to have under one's belt.
20th-Oct-2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
I sent it. Check YM for details to pick it up^_^
21st-Oct-2007 02:54 am (UTC)
"It" has been picked up. ^_~
21st-Oct-2007 04:06 am (UTC)
Good. I won't to have to kill any unsuspecting people^_^
21st-Oct-2007 04:55 am (UTC)
You can check "its" status online, too, you know. ^_~
21st-Oct-2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
I can? The guy didn't tell me that.
21st-Oct-2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
Yep. Their website. You need the number and your name (minus those dashes).
21st-Oct-2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
21st-Oct-2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, I did. Wow...a hardcover omnibus version. ^^;;;
21st-Oct-2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
Her books go out of print fast. Don't know why.
21st-Oct-2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
Small print runs for many of them, I would guess. Her Bantam books, on the other hand, are everywhere (big publisher).
21st-Oct-2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
I'll have to check those. But I hate Bantam books. the print is atrocious.
21st-Oct-2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
I'm sending you a BCE omnibus of her out-of-print first three Flat Earth novels, which are excellent also. ^_^
21st-Oct-2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
Oooh! *waits for box*
21st-Oct-2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
The book's pretty beat up, but it's, like, from the 80's. ^^;;; Actually, there's quite a bit of print history coming your way... Heh.
21st-Oct-2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
It won't fall apart if I open it?^_^
21st-Oct-2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
No, no. If I recall, the binding is split in one place, but it's still 100% comfortably readable, which is what counts. (All of the things I'm sending you are.) I think you'll find the stories to be good enough that you won't care what the book itself looks like. ^_~
21st-Oct-2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
I'll just perform book surgery^_~
21st-Oct-2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
What does that entail? ^^;;;

(My dad randomly attempted to scotch tape that book together. Pissed me off because he's always so sloppy. Well, you'll see...)
21st-Oct-2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
Glue for the spine, self-sticking plastic sheets for the cover, and tape if necessary. I'm one of those people who can't stand having books wrinkled or the spine broken^^
21st-Oct-2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
That sounds like that's for paperback books, though, not hardcover. ^^;;;
21st-Oct-2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
There are book binders for the hardcover ones. My boss paid to have one of his books done in a really nice leather cover after it fell apart.
21st-Oct-2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
*laughs* Don't waste your money on any of the worn used books I send you. They'd be cheaper to replace outright.
21st-Oct-2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah but it's always nice to know you can patch them up if you want^_^
21st-Oct-2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
Well, if you want, you can apply your preservation skills to a slipcase I'm sending you. The books in it are quite old but in excellent condition (a previous owner even put mylar covers on them--not original to the set), but the slipcase is a bit worn. I fixed it up a bit awhile ago, but it could use more work. :P
21st-Oct-2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
I just received The Dark is Rising boxset. the artwork is strange to say the least.
21st-Oct-2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
I really recall not liking those books. They actually got thrown away at one point. ^^;;;
21st-Oct-2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
I'll let you know what I think when I read them. I've got a big (read: long/tedious/boring) project right now at work and so 5 books are a bit much. Of course I ordered them before the project landed on my desk and now I'm going to be stuck with it till next month. *grumbles* Sorry, I just dislike what I've been given to translate^^
22nd-Oct-2007 12:37 am (UTC)
You'll probably like it since you're not nearly as picky as I am. ^_^;

Fantasy since Tolkien has had a hugely anglocentric bias, and I can't say that I've ever been overwhelmed or delighted by that.
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