This is a novel (It is technically a light novel but it is nothing like a light novel so…) that I got given as a present by one of my relatives. Yes… I did pick this out myself and didn’t send a relative in to do the manga shopping for me. This is a storyline that borderlines both seriousness and comedy, however whilst both of these sound impossible to balance, it does an adequete job of balancing the two factors. Read on for the review.
” Twenty-two-year-old Satou, a college dropout and aficionado of anime porn, knows a little secret – or at least he thinks he does! Believe it or not, he has stumbled upon an incredible conspiracy created by the Japanese Broadcasting Company, N.H.K. But despite fighting the good fight, Satou has become an unemployed hikikomori – a shut-in who has withdrawn from the world.
One day, he meets Misaki, a mysterious young girl who invites him to join her special “project”. Slowly, Satou comes out of his reclusive shell, and his hillarious journey begins, filled with mistaken identity, lolita complexes – and an ultimate quest to create the greatest hentai game ever.”
Now you understand why I mentioned that I bought it as a gift from someone else instead of them picking it up…. namely because I would get some serious states by everyone in my family if they were to read that description. Heck, I didn’t even read the back of the book until I got it given to me…. which is a lucky thing that they didn’t read the back or once again… upward glances. I haven’t watched the anime for a fair few years however I am pretty sure it is very different from the novel, without the cutesy nekomimi mascot etc. Then again, it blatantly states “Explicit Content”, so pay caution to it.
Ignoring the above, the storyline is pretty good except for a few bits where it is downright creepy, they focus a lot on the relationship between Satou and Misaki and it gives a good look at their current and past states and how they ended up like they are, such as Misaki not being too happy about being forced into her aunts religious organisation and how Satou has been made to produce a hentai game just to keep her off his back, something he has no skills in what-so-ever. As I stated, there are a lot of creepy things such as him sneaking around a primary school (Humourously caught by Misaki) and several life end attempts, which show the depression that both of them have to endure. Overall, it is not a book for someone who is after a comedy, but if you can handle a book like it and do want a pretty interesting read, then go right ahead. It is allowed to be sold in book shops within Australia so that means it isn’t that much of an explicit book!
I actually regret putting this in the review marking guide and I will ommit it later on however I will do my best to describe it. The book is of course targetted at people with the ages 16+ I would presume and the writing style is appropriate for the age group. Therefore you are not going to find it a childish read at all and would be one you could sit down and read without thinking that it is not detailed enough.
I summarised it in the storyline however there were three main characters focused on in the story which were:
- Satou – The hikikomori who due to incidents in the past has locked himself away for the last few years. He accidently comes to the attention of Misaki who wants to help cure him of the syndrome via very random means which he has to endure. He is convinced that the N.H.K has something to do with the whole thing and has very random conversations with his fride, couch and other household items.
- Misaki – The girl who noticed Satou when being made to hand out flyers with her aunt. She is taking it upon herself as a project to help cure Satou of the hikikomori syndrome.
- Yamazaki – Satou’s next door neighbour who he met at school, and once again trying to bang his door down due to the cutesy anime music he played (In the anime it is that pururin song). It is him who helps Satou prove to Misaki he is not a hikikomori by creating a hentai game with him.
I guess with there only being one volume in the series, it is pretty hard to get decent character development in, but it was suitable for the length of the novel.
Honestly, despite the few positive things I said above, this is nowhere near my style of reading, and if this were in a series, I would most probably leave it at this one. However, if you happen to like books a bit creepier like the description, then I guess you would be fine with it. That being said, I would personally recommend the anime series over this anyday and since I haven’t read the manga series yet, potentially the manga could be a bit better suited for the larger audience.
Writing Style: 8/10
Character Development: 7.5/10
Personal Opinion: 2/10
Overall: 27.5/50 (55% – C)
[review pros="Unique genre" cons="Not for everyone, not within my interests" score=55]