Welcome to heaven (wow)

The thirteenth episode of NHK ni Youkoso! for now seems to be the pinnacle of this series. It became a visual short story interwoven with many pastiches of meaning as well as reflections on human nature put into play from the interactions of the characters subsumed in this series.

  • Satou has recently discovered of the reason why Hitomi brought him to a deserted island: they were going to kill themselves, and Satou was to come with her to the afterlife. I don’t know what you call Satou’s disposition towards Hitomi, but I simply call it love. First, note that although he was hesitant to throw away their fuel for the jisatsu circle’s return trip, all it took was one word from Hitomi to throw it all away. He values her ideas and opinions so much that he strove (all throughout the 12th episode) to revolutionize himself for the sake of her. I call that intense dedication, if not love.

  • We also see in this episode the sharpness of Yamazaki; granted, although all of the main characters in this show are quite abnormal, Yamazaki shows why he is the most cerebral of them all: he managed to figure out what happened among Satou, Hitomi, and Misaki as well as Satou’s reasons for acting like that. Despite his quirks of being addicted to galge and 2D women, he’s pretty cogent.

  • Yamazaki continues berating Misaki because she may have had been the one who drove him into doing such a thing like that. He may go on shouting for the most part of the show, but he’s a highly intelligent person – and he also cares for Satou, despite realizing the truth of what was behind Satou’s plans to create a game. Yamazaki is an unorthodox person, but Satou’s pretty lucky to have him as his friend.

  • Hitomi’s quite the selfish character – she badmouths Satou and then tries to drag him with her to her death yet not acknowledging the fact that Satou was her all that time, ready to help – even trying to change himself in the process.

  • ‘But, if I’m together with this person … it might not be that bad.’ This was Satou talking about his impending death alongside Hitomi – he has recognized the fact that they were going to die, but didn’t even do something or try to break away from the group because Hitomi was there. Before they were even engaged, let alone married, Satou didn’t break the promise couples about to be married make to one another – that is, ’til death do us part. Even in death Satou was not unwilling to go with her – because he loves her so much.

  • His resolve is shattered when Hitomi mutters ‘Jougasaki-san,’ who was her boyfriend. This must have hurt so much. Would you be willing to die for your love if your love didn’t even love you? It must have been extremely disquieting for Satou to come to this realization. To go to the extent of dying for a lost cause isn’t really reassuring, is it?

  • By a deux et machina, however, one of their peers was unwilling to die because he still has ties to the mundane. And yet everyone had these ties – everyone had someone caring for them, whether explicitly or implicitly. This is among the reasons why no one should kill themselves. It is only when hope ends where death also begins.

  • At first Satou is thankful that it feels like he could return alive. When Hitomi makes a conceited speech, however, she drags Satou along with herself to die together. Jougasaki stops her, however, telling her that he needs her and would like for them to get married. Here is where Satou’s hopes are shattered – the only love and the only hope of his life didn’t even care for him; she cared for someone else. It is when he realizes this – that his only light of hope has become a black void, that he wants to die.

  • Although the others who have found a new way to live as Satou has lost his tried to placate him, he seems determined and concentrated on dying. There is some truth in him saying that the others simply don’t want to see someone die, because seeing one dying is a gruesome and appalling act, even if it was an accident or premeditated. Satou’s feelings are worsened when he realizes that he couldn’t even compare to Jougasaki in personality, worth, or intelligence – basically everything. He quips that he is just a rock in the side of the road (as if that wasn’t bad enough), but here comes Misaki – a girl who seemingly has ‘betrayed’ him because of her real self being a different reality from her guardian angel facade – saying that she needs Satou. One would normally be happy if a significant other needed one, but her reasons are all acerbic and caustic – she needs Satou because she at last found garbage that was worse than her. If one thought of dying and was meaning to do so, wouldn’t that congeal the will to die, to suicide? To find someone that you also once cared for and once thought cared for you be just healing her inferiority complex, would you be happy? Wouldn’t dying be a better alternative amidst all these perfidious and treacherous personalities all around you?

  • And ultimately, the irony of human nature can be seen afterwards. Those who once again found meaning in their lives (and yet were the gloomy and laconic ones before) tried to save someone who lost his (the bubbly one). Indeed, life is a wheel of vicissitudes, but I don’t blame Satou for acting like that. It took a critical and intensely incisive aseptic placation from Yamazaki, however: Satou’s death would mean the same as his life: nothing. Dramatic deaths are only befitting for heroes and villains, he says; for normal people, and for people like them, simply living on is enough. For what would come out of a death like that? Nothing, just as nothing comes out of living (for him anyway).

  • The instinct, the drive to live, however, is primal in all man, and it came out when a crevasse formed underneath Satou. It made Satou slip; however, luckily he was able to grab a solid part of the cliff – yet he did not want to die despite everything.

  • Having all of this compound – the only rational thing Satou could do was cry. How can one not cry when one has lost everything he deemed meaningful, when the one thing that he could do to try to make his life meaningful in death was as similarly meaningless? How can one not cry when he realized that even he wanted to live despite his worthlessness? I would. I really would.

(I really liked the semi-new OP and new ED by the way. It was way better than those empty shouts [for the ED].)

10 Responses to “Welcome to heaven (wow)”

  1. jokaa Says:

    It was a great episode and I almost cried for Satou to have his sempai not recognise that he loves her..

    But I think new ED wasn’t that great compared to the old one, the new version of the OP was better though

  2. Naddie Says:

    Reading your summaries on NHK always make me want to watch it. Curses, why do they have to have those overt fanservice. I’m not exactly a prude by any means, but when things start to go from subtle to overboard, that’s when I jump off the boat.

    I kinda regret it, but oh well I’ll settle for reading summaries and thoughts on the episodes.

  3. Michael Says:

    I didn’t find any blatant fanservice in the show (except if you meant Hitomi’s wearing of a two piece). NHK is really subtle, and that’s why I like it … how did they go overboard, if I may ask?

  4. Pururin Says:

    I agree this was truly a great episode. I loved that Sato and Misaki wound up crying together. That gave me chills and ignited the hope that they would ultimately find their way into a “real” relationship.

    By the way, people reading this might be as thrilled as I was to finally find the full version of the Pururin song:
    http://alafista.animeblogger.net/?p=108

    I’m gonna play it over and over until I see dancing pudding cups – lol!

  5. Michael Says:

    Thanks for that link ^^

  6. slbeauty Says:

    Very nice space…I like it…And I think join the secondlife,find some new friends in there is very fuuny.Even find beautiful girl(boy)friends notonly in first real life,but also in virtual secondlife…….

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  8. Ireth Says:

    Sorry about commenting this only at this time, but well… thats when i found about it.
    Yours is a very intense and deep summary and comment about this episode, i think one of the best of this anime (the manga didnt develope this part so deeply and dramatically like the anime, i found this one of the rare improvements from manga to anime :D)
    What can i say, i just agree totally with your point of view (even the ending, wich i liked connected to this turn point of the anime, inappropriate before).
    Its one of the few animes that moved me like a manga could do… specially this episode and the last ones (Misaki’s proposal project, President’s brother rehabilitation, Misaki’s attempted suicide and rescue). The first anime on a hypothetic char both for complexity, plot, drawings and feelings portraited.
    Good job analysing this one, i really enjoyed it, gratz and keep it up!

  9. Michael Says:

    @Ireth

    I’m glad to have been of service. Thanks.

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