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Kanae Minato is a female Japanese mystery novel writer who was once a home economic teacher but became a housewife after marriage. Not satisfied with the work of a housewife, she began to write novels after she finished her daily housewife work.

Her works include Confesssion, Shoujo, N no Tameni, Atonement and such. Confession was adapted into a film and got short listed for the first few rounds of Academy Award for foreign film.

Kanae Minato’s mystery novels are interesting because they doesn’t really follow any traditional formats of whodunit or howdunit. In fact, all the deaths and murders in her novel are very simple and Yyu would never guess who the murderer is or how they done their deeds l. Her novel is more of whydunit where she will explore the inner psyche of everyone who is related to a murder case.

Her usual format goes like this. The first chapter will always be about a certain murder case. The chapter will then introduce every characters that is related to the case and give you an overview on what happened or who might done it in a third person perspective. Then on the subsequent chapters, you would be given the first person perspective and the inner psyche of each and every characters when they reveal what they know about the case.

In these ‘revel’ chapters, she relies very heavily on unreliable first person narrative where you wouldn’t be sure whether the one telling the story is accurate because the character is unable to see or comprehend things outside of what he or she sees. Being an unreliable first person narrative, the character will often weight in with his personal bias and assumption of other characters’ action.

Reading a person perspective, you will form your own assumption of the other characters base on their interpretation of the story. This is often use as a deceptive device because the character often misunderstood others intention. It’s only when you read about the other characters inner psyche that you will understand their true personality and how the other person misunderstood him or her.

This unreliable first person narrative is very interesting because in one chapter, you will assume that this certain character is a cynical bastard but then in the next chapter, you would find  that the character is actually just being misunderstood. Of course, the misunderstandings can go both way because someone who may seem kind might just turn out to be one evil bastard.

Thanks to this format, she is able to outline the complex personality of her characters. Each characters are important and are trying to tell you something based on how they live their life and how they view this world. They are very interesting because the world views of her characters are very realistic with little to no embellishment. Often I would wonder if she can read my mind because what every of her characters said and act are what I believed in as well.

This format itself is already a social commentary on its own about how assumptions are really dangerous and how you wouldn’t understand someone if you are not them.

She covers a lot of interesting topics like how people love to step on those who messed up their life so they can relish on their own superiority complex. She also covers a lot about bullying and provide a realistic view on the perpetrator and the victims. There are no lovey dovey simplistic stuff where everyone became friends in the end. Most of her works are really dark and sometimes disturbing. For example, in Shokuzai, there’s a scene where a seemly loving stepfather have sex with her stepdaughter due to some complicated family relationship. This is explores in such nihilistic and cynical way that you can’t help but be tense and gasp every time you read a new page.

For now, there are no english translation for any of her works. The closest you would get is the Confession film and a TV adaptation of Shokuzai.

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I was really disappointed by Welcome to The NHK manga version due to its lack of focus and impact . What’s more , they totally forgot about the NHK conspiracy after a few chapters. Not to mention , the way it was panned out in manga form really sucks and doesn’t flow well. The whole tone of the manga can’t get you to treat the character seriously . Their jokes aren’t funny and the character’s motive and personality jumped here and there. There isn’t enough explanation for each character’s inner thoughts and the whole plot is just one big mess.That’s why I don’t have any idea why NHK was so highly acclaimed when the manga – the supposedly superior version sucks so bad . My interest of it depleted after that and I didn’t really give the anime a chance. However , I really wanted to find out the reason why NHK   captivate so many people and that is when I am got interested in the original novel .

Searching high and low for almost a year , I finally found  one at my local Border store. Man ! What an experience it was! After a few pages , I finally understand the charm and the much-lauded dark humour that everybody was talking about . The novel can be easily be one of the best that I read . It is so “human” yet funny at the same time . The strange mix of realistic and bullshit dialogue gave me a good and easy time breezing through it . The short paragraph also helped in easing through pages after pages . Nothing was dragged out and everyone’s motive and action sounds more plausible . All in all , I will go as far as saying that the manga version is an abomination of the original novel . A decayed adaption . Too harsh? Blame the original of being so good then .

That’s why to truly experience the real NHK , you must read the novel .

*The paragraphs below have little to no relevance to NHK. Press read more for fun .

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The Megamouth shark is one of the rarest shark found in the world . As of 2009 , only 30 of them were found . Not much is known about it except that it is a filter feeder . A filter feeder like the Whale Shark  and Basking Shark tend to be bigger in size when compare to carnivorous shark such as the Great White Shark . This is because they ingest more nutrient through filter feeding.

Also , did you know that the Koala Bear , even though being herbivorous can have toothache as well? Also , they can’t ingest any water except those from Eucalypt ? On the other hand ,Eucalypt has low nutrient level that’s why Koala Bears need to sleep for long hours(18 to 20 hours per day)  in order to preserve their energy.
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经过了人间失格小说的沧桑,我实在不太想再次承受同样的悲剧。但很庆幸的是,我能在最终的最终,勃起足够的勇气看完了人间失格~动画片。小说与动画的区别不必我多说,但它们想表达的宗旨却十分明确与以致。以下我会详细的说明。

不同人看了人间失格会有不同的感想,而它对我的冲击性可说是十分的巨大。那是基于我能完全体会叶藏的心得与恐惧。在这里,我想稍微说说本人的经历。我不擅长于人沟通,多次无法与别人畅谈,那是因为我完全对人类的谈话毫无兴趣。因此我尝试了个种方法来与人亲近,而得来的经验便是当个小丑来缩小我与人的距离。但我与叶臧的不同在于我归纳了小丑的本性,归纳了一个厌烦乏味无聊的小丑的本性。我想突破,想证明谈话未必乏味,未必平凡。叶藏也被迫于当个小丑,他尝试了许多,得来的经验便是当个小丑讨人喜欢。但他为此而怨恨自己,怨恨他为何必须伪装成小丑来博取人际关系。在此同时,他却畏惧人际关系但他却无法不讨好他人。在这错综复杂的心理不平衡,他崩溃,他人间失格。但他不了解他的伪装并没有任何错。他自认为他是在伪装成好,小丑,本性却是个妖怪。他无法了解,其实那些微的伪装根本不足于厌恨。

我们人类不是常常也在不得已的状况上说些,做些背道而行的举之吗?简单的便是尊唤我们的长辈行为。即使该长辈不是多么值得尊敬,内心根本不把他看在眼里,我们还是会一五一十的对他恭敬。那难道不是虚伪的表现,伪装的行为吗?而我们做了这些事情多半是为了讨人欢喜,也不至于把这些虚假放在心上,最终换来的是习惯性的恭敬表现。可是叶臧却为了这些微的虚假而厌恶自己,既表示了他十分的在乎自己必须真心的做个好人。这心意在小说与动画的一句话中,更能凸显:“在我们的眼里,叶藏简直是个天使”,显示了叶藏的行为在他人眼中并不虚假,而是他的本性。他不了解他所谓的“虚伪”只是人类基于常识与经验得来的人际知识。而这知识将会成为习惯,渐渐的变成自己的本性。因此他不能归纳小丑,好人为本性。

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