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Chapter 15 - "Welcome to the Refrain!"
Ch15

Volume

3

Chapter

15

English Name

"Welcome to the Refrain!"

Japanese Name

"Rufuran ni yōkoso!" (ルフランにようこそ!)

Published (Japanese)

May 26, 2005

Published (English)

June 2007

Pages

151-187 (37 pg)

Previous

"Welcome to the My Way!"

Next

"Welcome to the No-Future!"

Welcome to the Refrain! ("Rufuran ni yōkoso!", ルフランにようこそ!) is the fifteenth chapter of the Welcome to the N.H.K manga.

Summary Edit

I've been running away all along, just like you said. I just wanted to feel like I was saving you. Like I was the most important thing in the world to you.

— Misaki Nakahara
Tatsuhiro Satou tries to fib himself out of admitting that he spent one million yen on cleaning supplies, but Misaki Nakahara forces him to confess shortly afterwards. She becomes very defensive of him, asking who could be cruel enough to do this to someone who already has no capability of survival. She vows to protect him.

She skims through a book on how to take down corrupt businesses and finds Megumi Kobayashi by herself. She gets caught and becomes panicked and faltered. Megumi mistakes her for a new recruit to My Way, reassuring her that she need not to be alarmed. Misaki calls out Megumi for having tricked Tatsuhiro. Misaki demands that she be refunded for Tatsuhiro's goods, or else she will call the police on their pyramid scheme. She also recalls that her father is chief of the metropolitan police as backup. It is clear that Misaki's diffidence and Megumi's confidence and experience cripple away at Misaki's composure. However, to Misaki's surprise, Megumi is very obedient to her demand. Megumi informs her that she will have to pick up some paperwork in order to file the transaction though, so she and Misaki head out to pick them up.

From the get-go of the car ride, Megumi outsmarts and breaks down at Misaki. Megumi questions Misaki's relationship with Tatsuhiro. She becomes defensive, but reassures her that she is simply, "an angel to the weak". Megumi inquires of Misaki why she is not attending classes, emphasizing the importance of education, and that she is merely wasting her time on a hopeless Hikikomori. Misaki becomes defensive and panics, trying to deny everything she said. Megumi reveals her side of the story, explaining to Misaki that she's been doing the work of a conman for six years to help support her brother, Yuuichi Kobayashi, who stays cooped up and refuses to work. She has grown to hate people like him, which include Tatsuhiro Satou, because of the traumatic experiences she's endured by coexisting with and supporting such a person.

As they enter the house, Megumi simply tells MIsaki that she does not want her to fall into the same trap that she did, believing that supporting losers who cannot fend for themselves will eventually yield some sort of benefit. She subtly tells Misaki that the water bottles scattered around her brother's room are used as his personal urinal. They arrive at the door where Megumi's brother is camping out behind. Before they enter the room, Misaki collapses in absolute panic. Megumi attempts to comfort her, reassuring her that her brother's condition has actually been improving ever since she started feeding him My Way's all natural supplements. Megumi even tells her that there is no shame in selling My Way supplements for a living.

Misaki returns to the Mita House with a large sack of My Way's all-natural supplements. She excitedly exclaims to Tatsuhiro that the problem has been his diet all along, and that a change in his diet will cure his condition. Misaki feels like her vision on reality becomes clearer, concluding that malnutrition leads to the deficiency of brain cells. Misaki attempts to sell the products off to Tatsuhiro in the fashion of a confident conman, not fully aware that she has also been deluded. Tatsuhiro unleashes his full wrath at Misaki, informing her that she has been duped in a rather crude way. He tells her she does not see the world for what it really is and that what she is doing is nothing short of running away. It is, at this moment, that Tatsuhiro realizes that he has been the one deceiving himself and running away from his problems and reality this entire time.

He enters a semi-delusional state as the objects around him start talking to him again. The refrigerator accuses him of spending his time doing nothing but desperately trying to escape from reality. His percolated coffee machine rebuttals, reminding the refrigerator that the N.H.K. was at fault for his problems. Tatsuhiro hits his breaking point, and he storms out of the room, yelling that he wants to be left alone.

That night, he sat alone on the swings in the park. Misaki joins him and he tells her to go away. She turns away and starts silently tearing. She reassures Tatsuhiro that he was right, that she has spent her time running away. She said that she helped him because she's spent all this time simply wanting to feel like she was the most important thing in the world to Tatsuhiro. Misaki pulls Tatsuhiro in for a tight hug. She says that they should start over again together, right there, in that park.

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