Today I wanted to talk a little about Social Anxiety using the anime No Game No Life as an example. This is a topic close to my heart as someone who is recently going through something similar and after watching No Game No Life I couldn’t help but think about my personal situation and how others in this position might feel.
No Game No Life touched on many aspects of anxiety and the concept of escaping from ones reality. The anime centers around a brother and sister gaming duo who go by the anonymous handle, “Blank”. They are notorious for displaying beyond exceptional skills when it comes to gaming of all forms.
Hikikomori and NEET
Our protagonists Sora and Shiro are certified Hikikomori. The idea of social interaction in the busy and bustling working society fills them with absolute dread, as is made obvious at various points throughout the anime. They want no part of it and prefer the isolation of their home. They could also be classified as NEET due to the fact that they are not in employment nor are they seeking any kind of work.
Personally I relate mostly to being Hikikomori. I’m not saying I am one by a long shot, I don’t have a huge problem with leaving my home for extended periods and I tend to enjoy the company of friends above most things. I just mean I can relate to the siblings in NGNL. Somehow I have developed a slight adversity to crowds and going places I don’t know. I used to love going out and meeting new people, but now I would much prefer the confines of my own home and play an online game. (I still like meeting people)
I think many people can relate to the siblings in this way. Its not uncommon for people to want to find an escape from reality and the need to withdraw from society completely can be overwhelming. I for one, find my escape in the form of an MMORPG. I have made some great friends there and I even have in real life friends who play with me now. I think having people I know outside the game who play are what help pull me back to reality and keep me grounded, but I can completely understand why those who don’t have that luxury can become enthralled in their own fantasy world.
I think the fact they wanted to call themselves “Blank” speaks volumes about how they feel. Talking about mental health is something that is difficult for everyone, especially the individuals involved. In the anime, even when it is painfully obvious they are having an anxiety attack they don’t speak about it. They don’t try to explain why they feel this way because anyone who knows anything about anxiety understands that it is incredibly difficult to explain.
I feel like calling themselves Blank is a way of saying that they don’t want to be known or bothered by anyone. Preferring their Hikikomori lifestyle over anything else. They seek to win all their games, constantly saying that “Blank never loses!” and I feel that this is more about self validation than wanting to be known as the best.
No Game No Life was an incredible anime. I enjoyed it throughout and I highly recommend it to anyone. I’m not someone who always reads too deep into something whilst I’m watching it, so many of the themes in NGNL became apparent to me after I watched it, which only made me love it more.
This was a totally different kind of post for me especially because it was quite personal and I’m sure there are others out there who may relate to the issues brought up. If you are reading this and you feel you are overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings you cant control or explain, I want you to know there is help available and the first step is seeking it.
If you know of any helplines or helpful contact information for other countries that i can add to this list, let me know in the comments 🙂