I wasn’t totally idle in my hospital stay! I managed to finish reading the Welcome to the NHK novel by Tatsuhiko Takimoto, published in the United States by Tokyopop. The anime version of this story was one of my favorites of 2006 and is in part responsible for the very existence of this website, and I was curious as how this novel, which predates both the manga and the anime, would fare in comparison. The contrasts and similarities are instructive.
Why do we create? Why do we begin anything worthwhile? For many of us, myself included, the prod to begin was when someone we cared about–a teacher, a friend–saw what we were doing and said: “this is good.” Or, for the characters in this show: “you’re a genius.” Which is another way of saying, “you’re worthwhile.” So this episode, which had a few shaky moments, explores.