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  • Adaptation Displacement: The anime is much more well-known than the original novel, particularly outside Japan.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • In the anime, Misaki is either just a depressed girl looking for affection and purpose, or she's a broken and manipulative stalker that's trying to force a shut-in to spend time/be in a relationship with her. It all depends on your point of view.
    • Also in the anime, Satou is either someone who is just not sure what to do with their life, or one of the most selfish people in the series who constantly scolds others for trying to help him.
      • Manga Satou is worse. At least anime Satou attempts to improve (especially having his food supply get cut off).
  • Anvilicious / Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Life's hardships are better dealt with head-on instead of running from them.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Yamazaki's misogynist rant against women, culminating in, "BEGONE, DIRTY WHORES!"
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Odoru Akachan Ningen" as the ending theme and in the final episode. In fact, the entire soundtrack is beautiful. Go listen to it. Right now.
  • Ear Worm: "Purupuru Pururin, Purupuru Pururin, Puru Pururin..." ** "Dame! Dame! Dame ningen! Ningeee----n! NINGEEE------N!"
  • Idiot Plot: The pyramid scheme (sorry, "Multi-Level Marketing") storyline in the anime. The characters genuinely believe in the scams for long enough, but it's Played for Laughs.
    • It's not so straightforward: Satou suspects it from the start and doesn't need to see much evidence to convince him, yet while Megumi was genuinely suckered in, she gets him because she tells him it's a scam, that he can use to 'take revenge' on the world. Misaki is taken by Megumi, believe it or not, trying to get back Satou's money. Megumi's pretty good at this.
  • Iron Woobie: While Yamazaki may not seem like an obvious woobie because he doesn't complain about his problems, he was bullied in school, left home because his parents tried to plan out every detail of his future, designed a game that failed spectacularly, and eventually had to give up his dreams and move back to the life he was trying to escape.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Introverted fans of the series can often be found wishing they knew someone like Misaki in their life, despite the series' message that this comes with its own set of problems.
    • It's better than knowing no girls.
    • An alternate interpretation is that selflessly devoting oneself to another can be harmful, whereas mutual assistance can save all involved.
      • Misaki's portrayal in the novel and anime is a bit easier to swallow and Your Mileage May Vary on how you accept her. Her personality issues in the manga are quite a bit more frightening.
    • The amount of people who have watched or read this series and still proudly declare themselves as a Hikikomori on the Internet - yes, including This Very Wiki - is staggering and depressing.
  • Tear Jerker: Episode 13.
    • In particular, the first hints of what happened to Misaki are stomach-churning.
    • And the episode where Yamazaki moves back to his farm. Hell, all of the last 4 episodes qualify.
  • The Woobie:
    • Satou - he's a good person, he just doesn't know it.
    • Misaki also qualifies once you learn why she wants to help Satou: her mother committed suicide, she blames heself and considers herself to be worthless and wants to find a friend/lover who's more pathetic than her.
  • Jerkass Woobie - Megumi. While she scammed a lot of people, she did it to support her older hikikomori brother, who she cared about a lot. She doesn't exactly seem proud of her actions either.
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