Episode 2: Welcome to the Creator

Sato's rescuer?

Sato’s rescuer?

Welcome to the NHK is fueled entirely by Sato’s ego, and his denial about his circumstances. At the beginning of the episode Misaki offers him a contract for her support services in relieving his NEET condition. He swears up and down he doesn’t have any kind of condition. That he works at home, is some kind of creator.

It’s all lies. Lies are central to Sato’s condition. Each day that passes with nothing new happening makes it another day harder for him to do anything about himself, because it would mean that, even if today he was not a NEET, yesterday he was, and the day before that and so on for three years.

The world watches Sato, and disapproves

The world watches Sato, and disapproves

But, with her subtle intrusion, Misaki has shaken up Sato’s world. He finally barges into his neighbor’s apartment to get him to turn his damned music down – and discovers he’s an old underclassmen, Yamazaki. He’s always looked up to Sato, for the time when Sato tried (and failed miserably) to rescue him from a group of bullies.

He’s going to a vocational school, and is shocked to discover the truth about Sato – his homeboundedness, that he lies to this teenage girl about himself. Yamazaki is learning to create computer games, and he’d expected that Sato was in his fourth year at University.

Mystery door opens...

Mystery door opens…

When he’s suffering under this delusion, Sato has the upper hand and spends an evening with Yamazaki like a normal human being. They drink beer, share stories about their old life back home. Yamazaki eventually goes on a rant about how much he despises his classmates, particularly the girls. His walls are papered with anime posters, often with scantily clad or nude females. He idolizes the invented, augmented, distortion of femininity that inhabits the anime realm while the real thing just confuses or enrages him.

And, in Welcome, the real thing (which, of course, is actually the anime thing and part of the very distortion that Yamazaki’s character has been warped by) is pretty damned confusing. Why is Misaki so interested in Sato? She hints that she’s known about him for a long time – know he spends time in the park on Sundays. When he asks her why, she just says, “I’m a sweet little girl that’s willing to help you”, but something about her suggests there’s more than meets the eye.

Planning a deliberate lie. What could be the answer? (spoiler: porn)

Planning a deliberate lie. What could be the answer? (spoiler: porn)

“Welcome to the Creator” begins with the contract – and I fully expected it to end with the contract signed. But that would be moving too fast for the pace of this show, which makes sense. Sato’s existence is glacial, with most of his days spent inside, staring at TV, drinking and eating and trying hard not to exist. His central irony is that his ego is so shattered that he has to invent one when he talks to people. It will be interesting if Welcome gives us any real insight in how he became what he is. Hopefully it will not be a standard anime “one event in my life explains my entire psychological make-up”, but an explanation of how he became such a complete failure, until day by day he decided he couldn’t step outside anymore.

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com