Tag Archives: psychology

Aversion and hikikomori

Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei makes the argument that the hikikomori complex is an elaborate form of aversion. In fact, all the people portrayed in the show are slightly dysfunctional and avoid facing reality in certain ways, and it is this backdrop which forms an excellent basis for equating the two. The title character continually reacts to life by fantasizing about suicide, relentlessly genki girl Kakufa Fuura reacts to everything negative by reimagining it as something bizarrely and improbably “positive,” the counselor hates helping people and does not willingly give of herself despite her job as school counselor, and so on.

The show deals directly with hikikomori in episode two, wherein they visit the house of Komori Kiri, the shut-in. Like all names in Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, this is a play on words: Hikikomori is the Japanese term used to designate people who shut themselves in their rooms and avoid social contact. True to form, Komori is shown in her room watching anime, with tankobon and DVDs piled up all around her.

If you think about it, hikikomori are kind of like old men:

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ef~a tale of memories 7–Dependency

Anno would be pleased

There is a very strong relationship between love and worth. We can’t feel like we’re worth anything as people unless we are loved, because we’re simply not made to be content with ourselves. The characters in this episode learn this in the starkest, most harrowing, and heartbreaking way the creators of this show can muster. It is the artistic and emotional high point of the best show of Fall 2007.

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