Have you seen in any anime or people talking about hikikomori or NEET? Have you ever wondered what those words mean? In this article we will try to explain in detail what a Neet and a Hikikomori are, what differences and how these terms emerged. First let’s start by talking about the Japanese word hikikomori.
Hikikomori () is a term meaning literally isolated at home, it is used to refer to people who have severe levels of isolation, are usually young people between 13 and 39 years old who are often supported by parents or work online. NEET is basically the same thing but it has its differences.
The problems of a Hikikomori or Neet
It is estimated that there are more than 1 million hikikomori or Neet scattered throughout Japan. This number cannot be counted exactly because they do not participate in anything in Japanese society, being true ghosts like the Johatsu who disappear without leaving traces.
These Japanese who live in isolation inside the room is already a sérious case of public health. Thousands of young people find themselves in this situation because of the high degree of perfection required by Japanese society. Many people end up being pressured too hard to create psychological problems.
Most often hikikomori or Neet usually have low self-esteem, people’s fear, fear of leaving the room and in some cases even sociopathic tendencies. There are cases of 40-year-olds who are dependent on their parents and live in isolation in the room living on social media and anonymity.
Many times hikikomoris young people exclude themselves socially even from their families, where mothers leave the snack at the door of their rooms so they can pick up. They interact with manga, anime, games, and with the infinite amount of choices they can have with the otaku world.
What makes someone Hikikomori?
People tend to become a Hikikomori for the following reasons:
- The high rate of perfection required by society;
- Low self-esteem;
- Many isolate themselves by preferring fantasy than reality;
- Psychological disorders;
- Traumatic experiences;
- Excessive shyness;
- Panic syndrome; Bipolarity;
- Schizoid personality, among other disorders;
- The ijime (bullying);
Many have suffered bullying or traumatic experiences at work or at school, causing these people to end up being disappointed with society as a whole, generating a social security clearance with all those around it. At least some of the problems listed above are reasons for someone to be a hikikomori or Neet.
What’s the difference between Hikikomori and Neet?
The word NEET (nitto;いート) originated from the UNITED Kingdom and came to be used in other countries such as Japan. This acronym literally means “Not currently engaged in Employment, Education or Training” that translating means “Currently without employment, education (without studying) and vocational training.
Basically it’s two words with different definitions. Hikikomori is used to refer to people living in isolation indoors and never leave, while NEET are sluts who do not study or work, who consequently stay at home, but most often go out on the street without fear of human beings.
The word NEET is very comprehensive and is often used not only for bums but for people who work from home or are looking for a job. Basically NEET are people who do not contribute to society, most often hikikomori.
Hikikomori Treatment Program
In 2007 the Japanese government implemented a program to assist hikikomoris, social workers establish contact with them through letters, phone calls and then invite them out to cinema, squares, shopping malls, stimulating social contact and, consequently decreasing the state of isolation.
These social workers are called “Super Sisters”, because they are female and manage to rebuild many young male men in this situation. We can see a great example when watching the anime NHK ni Youkoso! In England, support groups for those suffering from the same problem have proved to be quite efficient.
Treatment is done by stimulating the young person to social, cultural and sports activities. The first step is to be a reliable person and show that the patient can trust her, since hikikomoris are extremely sensitive to human interactions and were thus exactly because they do not trust people.
Animes that experience hikikomoris’ life
In addition to the mentioned NHK ni Youkoso that we strongly recommend, there are other interesting animes that show the life and personality of a Hikikomori. Here are some below:
In Game No Life – The Sora and Shiro brothers are inseparable, both in the real world and in the gaming world. His combined individual abilities make them an invincible team: Sora, with his amazing intuition and knowledge; and Shiro, with his intelligence that goes beyond a genius prodigy. In the real world, they are hikikomori, recluse and antisocial, but in the gaming world, the two are part of the ” Kuuhaku (いい?lit. “blank”)), a mysterious group of online players who win all games with an amazing score. Player account names are always left blank, so they are known as “white”.
One day, after defeating a mysterious opponent in an online chess game, the brothers receive their opponent’s offer to be reborn in their world, Disboard – a fantasy world where everything is determined through games. When they accept the proposal, Sora and Shiro are summoned to Disboard by the God of that world, Tet, and begin to know their opponents. Together, the brothers begin their journey to rescue the weak human race of Imanity and conquer the world to then challenge Tet for God’s title.
Some isolated anime characters from our friend Thunderbout:
Kamisama no Memochou – This anime tells an investigative story where Detective Alice and student Fujishima Narumi unveil mysterious urban cases with the help of several NEET.
There are many other animes or characters that show the life of a hikikomori, some are:
- Denpa Kyoushi;
- Rozen Maiden;
- [email protected];
- Chaos; Head;
- Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken;
- Satou Tatsuhiro (absolute favorite) – Welcome to the NHK
- Kaoru Yamazaki – NHK ni Youkoso!
- Kuroki Tomoko – NHK ni Youkoso!
- Jintan – Hana Year
- Oreki Houtarou as Hyouka
- Lain – Serial Experiments Lain
- Ryuunosuke Akasaka – Sakurasou at Pet na Kanojo
What do you think of the Neet or Hikikomori? Do you know anyone? Do you know any anime or dorama that portrays this situation? Comment and share with friends.