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Chapter 14 - "Welcome to the My Way!"
Ch14

Volume

3

Chapter

14

English Name

"Welcome to the My Way!"

Japanese Name

Mai uei ni yōkoso! (マイウェイにようこそ!)

Published (Japanese)

May 26, 2005

Published (English)

June 2007

Pages

113-150 (38 pg)

Previous

"Welcome to the Blue Bird!"

Next

"Welcome to the Refrain!"

Welcome to the My Way! ("Mai uei ni yōkoso!", マイウェイにようこそ!) or Welcome to My Way! depending on the translation source, is the fourteenth chapter of the Welcome to the N.H.K manga.

Summary Edit

Tatsuhiro Satou and Megumi Kobayashi head off to the conference together. Misaki Nakahara runs off to Kaoru Yamazaki's room in panic, informing him that she believes that he's run away yet again, and might be contemplating suicide. Yamazaki reminds Misaki that he no longer feels compassion for him. He accuses Tatsuhiro of seemingly "turning his life around" after vacationing with Hitomi Kashiwa, interacting in the public, and living together with Misaki. He lets it slip that he is actually jealous of Tatsuhiro. Yamazaki tells Misaki that since Tatsuhiro is no longer Hikikomori, once he returns home, he will remind him of his place, and he wants Misaki's assistance in doing so. Their evil laughter echoes into the sky.

Megumi Kobayashi and Tatushiro are on the train enroute to the following My Way[1] meeting, being hosted at Sukekiyo Sagawa's house. She tells him about the fabulous group, informing him that celebrities around the world utilize My Way's products, and that the upper-class greatly respect their suppliers. She informs him that the legendary Sagawa was able to earn enough in a year to buy a Ferrari. Tatsuhiro is overwhelmed with confusion when they disembark the bus at a very rural and desolate area. Tatsuhiro starts to doubt Megumi and she refuses to let him return home. His suspicions are only further elevated when the supposed Ferrari was sitting alone and neglected at a tiny rural homestead without any paved roads or signs of life. Kurokawa, an unkempt and obese man, welcomes them inside for the presentation.

A small group of nervous people sit on the floor of a tiny room, awaiting the presentation to be given. Before beginning, Megumi offers Tatsuhiro a taste of one of her original and all natural foods, which Tatsuhiro finds oddly familiar. Kurokawa joins Megumi at the forefront of the room, and takes a swig of something within a can. The two of them energetically detail how delicious and natural their original product is to the audience. A man in the corner signals the audience to begin applauding. Next, they begin advertising their cleaning supplies. They use convincing, yet non-scientific reasoning as to why their products work better than those of large retailers. For example, the synthetic detergent becomes murky when mixed with water because of the added unnecessary preservatives, meanwhile, their original brand stays perfectly clear. Bubbles foam in the competitor's product, but not in their original one. They claim that this is unnecessary since washing machines utilize the power of water and friction to clean clothing. The audience is not entirely sure they understand, but applaud in unison at their convincing arguments. Sagawa enters and reminds the group of how wildly successful he had become under My Way.

Tatsuhiro pulls Megumi over for a second. He walks her through the mechanics of her ploy and she denies that this is a pyramid scheme. Tatsuhiro escapes from the house and begins walking back to the bus stop. He's clouded with thoughts of feeling played and belittled by everyone he comes across. Megumi tries to chase him down and he tells her that she flatters people and turns them into prey by selling their lives away. She drops down on her knees in tears and tells him that he's right, but it's because she's so sick of being baited and deceived by other people. She's been trying to pay off her student loans since she graduated high school. Since being pulled into the scheme, she has fallen 5 million yen into debt. [2] She tells Tatsuhiro that life is a zero-sum game and that he's been used as a hikikomori in a similar way to her. She tells him that he can exploit other people to make a living, so that he will finally be on the predator's side of life, the winning side.

He runs back to his apartment to begin exploiting his friends. To his surprise, Misaki and Yamazaki have thrown him a surprise party for his birthday. He tears up, realizing how he can't exploit the people who care for him, and tells them that he owes 1 million yen to My Way.

Footnotes Edit

  1. My Way is referred to as Mouseroad in the anime.
  2. In the anime, her story is expanded upon. Her father died and she lost financial support, forcing her to work odd jobs to pay off her student loans. She worked on commission to cosplay at a jewelry store. Despite how hard she worked, she was paid slim-to-none by a conman owner who ran away with her wages as soon as he was caught. That's when she fell into the ponzi scheme she is working on today.

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