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Goin’ Japanesque!

Manga “Futsutsukamono no Ani Desu ga” Features an Unusual Condition “Hikikomori”

There are certain numbers of people in Japan that are afflicted by an unusual condition called “hikikomori (socially withdrawn; it refers both to the condition and person)”.

Those who have no physical or mental problems confine themselves in their room and spend days after days, watching TV or playing on the computer.

They avoid making contact with family members living in the same house and completely stop having direct contact with the outside world when their condition is severe.

Occurrence of this condition is most prevalent in Japan and the word “hikikomori” is used even overseas.

This time we are introducing manga work “Futsutsukamono no Ani Desu ga”, which depicts drama of a family with a member who is a hikikomori.

 

Synopsis

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Shino Tadokoro is a high school sophomore and an ordinary girl.

She is working a part time job to earn spending money, and she also has a crush on a boy, Natsui, who goes to the same school with her.

She has to go back home by a certain time in order to help with house chores.

That’s inconvenient to hang out with friends and co-workers, but people around her are rather understanding about her family circumstances.

She has friends to hang around and have a good time with. Shino Tadokoro’s high school life has been smooth in this way.

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But actually Shino has an older brother Tamotsu that she has kept a secret from others.

The brother Tamotsu had had a breakdown in his club activity at school, stopped going to school, showed violent behaviors at home, and had become hikikomori.

Feeling uncomfortable about her brother’s existence, Shino started lying to her friends when she entered high school, and told those around her that she is an only child.

Then Tamotsu, who became 20 years old, comes out of his room and announces that he will work and stop being hikikomori which he has been for 4 years.

 

Characters

1. Shino Tadokoro

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Shino is the main character of this story and a high school sophomore.

She feels embarrassed that her friends discover the existence of her older brother who has been hikikomori and a family problem. But as a younger sister, she supports her brother.

2. Tamotsu Tadokoro

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Tamotsu is the other main character and Shino’s older brother. He has been hikikomori for 4 years.

He now attempts hard to rejoin society. Though he is clumsy he cares about his sister and tries to narrow the emotional distance between them by trial and error.

But he has been living a life that is disconnected from society for a long time. He is now confused at the gap and struggles.

3. Natsui

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Natsui is a high school student that Shino has a crush on.

He is a happy, nice young man. He was in the same class as Shino when they were freshmen. In the sophomore year, they are no longer in the same class.

However he starts delivering pizza part-time after Shino invites him to join the work.

 

Analysis

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In Japan, “hikikomori” has a strong image of dropouts from society, and people around them do not have very good impression of them.

Knowing that Shino, the sister, worries about how her friends and neighbors consider her brother.

This work depicts daily life of brother and sister, in which they cooperate as siblings while sometimes they clash.

There is cold stare and prejudice against hikikomori in the society. Shino herself has such sentiment in her, though she supports her brother as a sibling. This story depicts Shino, the sister’s frustration and struggle from her point of view.

At the same time, Tamotsu, who has been hikikomori, has inferiority complex and feels he has not lived up to the standard the society expects of him to reach. His negative feelings and struggles to overcome them are depicted from his point of view.

The story progresses in these two perspectives.

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The author Kinoko Higurashi confessed in her book that Tamotsu Tadokoro had been modeled after her own older brother.

Then Shino Tadokoro, the sister, is perhaps the author herself.

This story could have been gloomy; however the author depicts it with a soft touch. The story progresses just like a normal family drama, as characters behave merrily and there is no depressing atmosphere.

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Incidentally “futsutsukamono” in the title of “Futsutsukamono no Ani Desu ga” has the meaning of a “clumsy person” in Japan.

This word is used for example when one is introducing his family member to other people, implying the speaker’s modesty.

This series started in May 2015, and is still in progress.

The brother Tamotsu fails in the first part-time job and he gets depressed, but he meets a woman who was also once a hikikomori like him.

The sister Shino used to have one-sided feeling to Natsui, but a change occurs in their relationship.

We are eagerly waiting for future development of this family drama.

Related Articles:
“Company Warrior YAMAZAKI”: Manga on Social Phenomenon of Death by Overwork

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon
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