Tag Archives: The World God Only Knows

First Look Fair: The World God Only Knows

The World God Only Knows was one of my most anticipated shows of the Fall season, in large part because I already knew and loved the manga. (This is rare for me: I am much more of an anime watcher than a manga reader.) What makes it tick?

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Kyon-kun, Meta

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As I stated on an Anime3000 podcast, this season of Haruhi seems to be intended for enjoyment strictly at the meta level.  It’s easy to picture Churuya insisting, “Kyon-kun, Kyon-kun! This summer it’s all about the meta!” Even the ongoing controversy over former KyoAni director Yamamoto making an apology for Endless Eight at Otakon only fed the drama.

What’s really going on?

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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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