My Relationship With Welcome to the N.H.K

For a long time, I’ve been a lover of anime. Ever since I was a young kid, I remember watching Studio Ghibli film’s alongside my dad and sister, over and over again. They never got boring; the rich lands, and the characters, the stories – they seemed so utterly magical, so out-of-this-world, and yet completely believable, completely immersive. Sure, no doubt some of it was due to the impressionability of my younger self… but the remainder, was an intrinsic love for narrative of that type, one that would develop and mature as I grew older – as I grow older. Most notably the ‘Slice of Life‘ genre of anime.

Not just anime itself, but the surrealism which is often intrinsic to its nature. That which my most-loved author Haruki Murakami often portrays to such mesmerising levels.

Welcome to the N.H.K was originally a Japanese novel written by Tatsuhiko Takimoto , which was later adapted into a serialised manga, and then, to critical acclaim, a 24-episode anime series in 2006. 

I can’t remember the exact date, or even the exact year when I first watched it. I guess somewhere around 2013-14. At that time, watching it, I realised so many things – too many things. Most of all, it absolutely terrified me – ripped open my soul and left it there to be eroded by the environment if I did nothing to protect it from the elements. Here’s a synopsis: (from More »

Honest… Honest Work

Flashing of dire images,

Like ghouls in the Mirror of Regret.

Temptation sulking in red-soaked-pools,

Knowing that if I fall, there are no nets,

And the walls – they’re far, far too steep,

Covered in layer upon layer of bleak memory.


And I look upon the canvas, devoid of paint,

As I frantically search for that rosy paint-

A medium for expression;

But it’s oblivion… not a single brush,

Nor a pencil.

Nothing to imprint the white.

Emptiness – alone – lonely.


Traversing corridors – back and forward,

Forgetting the doors on each side,

Forgetting the chances that wait beyond.

Needing to walk back into space without electricity;

Or, at least being duped into thinking so.


Please, do something, I was caving,

Mites ruthlessly bit, and the ticks latched without remorse;

Eraser, white pen on white paper.

Each stroke heavier – breaths taken on Mars.


My laugh filled the empty stretches,

Bleak, and self-depreciating – honest.

Painfully, wretchedly, horrifically… honest.

Heard by not one soul.

Breaking the boundaries of sound,

So loud – silent – vacuum sound.


All these years,

Time ticking like a clock at half-speed;

Time spent, time… honestly wasted;

Not wasted honesty.

Under the Dark, Dreary Night

Night-light rains down in the field of wolves,

Their names called, summoned at once.

Crying and screaming, the masses run,

From the beasts – the savages.


Bottle in hand, legs afloat,

Climbing trees – falling into heavy arms –

Strangers arms, unwelcome by the recipient.

Heart breaking, secluded to the dark beside stone walls.


Ground-worms, the eerie winds of euphoric glass.

In the trailer, painfully few beside;

Outside, the golden world goes on,

Laughter, chaos, the hugs of youthful sentiment.


The Forgotten, the Shadows in no light,

Weaving like willow around stronger trunks;

In the chinks and the chimes-

Kissing, looked on upon with bleakness of vacuum.


So, the bottles are empty;

A world turned hazy with grim solitude.

Nothing before. Nothing after.

What had I been expecting, a change in base temperature?


Morning light, and lingered pride,

Loving all around, but honestly, nothing inside.

Taken home, forgotten thoughts-

Trying to forget.


Images of possibility,

Voices that could have been, and might have been,

If only it weren’t for battered sanity.

Some things are never.

Through Tinted Glass

Listening to those songs, remembering those times.

Days of darkness – window staring.

Love remembered…

At least the need for it.

Time passing, willing it to pass all at once.

Head – faster than light,

Body – slower than the ticking of clocks.

Dream like-

Colourless dreams.

Unfeeling, meaningless dreams…

In the waiting, and in the seething,

Telling myself,

We all go through a times of teething.

Darkness in different shades-

Spanning the hours, the waning of the days.

Mumbled sentences, and dead-heavy limbs.

Waking – not really.

Sleeping – not truly.

Lazing in the fuzziness, the dead TV flicker,

The subtle blur that borders every edge.

Peering into a future that’s anything but clear.

Wondering, pondering, thinking-

Anything but believing…

One Day – All the Days

Valentines day – or as I like to favourably call it: make-those-who-are-forever-single-feel-inadequate day.

“It’s these cards and the movies and the pop songs, they’re to blame for all lies and the heartache, everything.”    -500 Days of Summer (My FAVOURITE film!)

You know, I’m not usually one to rant about these things, well… at least not anywhere but my own head. But, I don’t know. Somehow it all seems so manufactured – dare I use the word ‘commercialised.’ Course, it’s Valentines day. St Valentines day. It has traditional, old roots going back hundreds of years, more than what can be said for most of our Holidays. Still, it somehow manages to feel so insincere, as if all the personality has been sucked from it. An unavoidable necessity, rather than an endearing informality.

I know, I know… there are those to who it means a lot. I understand the intent behind it.

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Compromises – University

So, I’ve been a little quiet over the past few days; I’ve been trying to figure out accommodation for when I return to university in September… For those of you who don’t know: I went last September… for a… week before the social anxiety became completely overwhelming – I took a leave of absence and gave myself a year to get into a better place. I went to the doctors, I’m having CBT therapy, I’m meditating – I’m doing my best.

Anyway… I applied for a single on-campus-flat, where I could live alone with my own bathroom and kitchen. With my luck, I of course got no such offer, but a ‘washbasin’ room. A room with only a sink (last time I had an en-suite,) in a halls of residence complex. I’m not setting higher standards for myself, I don’t exist on a pedestal, I just simply cannot cope with a situation where the kitchens and bathrooms are shared.And, even if I got to the point where I could, it would be something that would bring no pleasure. I accept that I am – naturally – a pretty solitary person. I like being alone, time by myself; I always have.

Most likely I’ll be looking for off-campus accommodation. I won’t cost any more, only it will be less convenient. But, I can only play the cards that I have. Sure, I’m disappointed, but I NEED this – what are a few compromises, a few challenges to overcome?


*I’ll be posting a ‘Tiny Story’ sometime tomorrow. I wanted to get around to it today, but it just isn’t finished quite yet.

-Chris ❤