Comics in a Room. Hikikomori and NEET in the Ninth Art

  • Lisa Maya Quaianni Manuzzato
  • Simone Marchisano


In ninth art, hikikomori and NEET turned into a storytelling inspiration for many works: manga such as Welcome to the NHK, Mēteru no kimochi and Asano Inio’s works; in the Italian production, some examples are Zerocalcare’s works or Habitat by Raffaele Sorrentino. In this paper, we analyse these social phenomena and how the private space is represented in comics, reflecting changes in social context.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Lisa Maya Quaianni Manuzzato

(Milan, 1984) has a master’s degree cum laude in Performing Arts, Cinema, and Multimedia Communications (Università degli Studi di Milano, 2010) with a dissertation on History of Animation. She has written about Japanese animation in the books: Animation: A World History (Focal Press, 2015) and Animazione. Una storia globale (UTET, 2017), curated by Giannalberto Bendazzi. She extends her interests to Spanish comics and animation production and self-produced comics, issues that she covers in her participation in the Congreso Cómic y Compromiso Social (Universidad de Valencia, 2015) and in the CongresoInternacional de Estudios Interdisciplinares sobre Cómic (Universidad de Zaragoza, 2017). She is Communications Manager at WOW SpazioFumetto – Museo del Fumetto di Milano, where she has led exhibitions and events related to Japanese Culture and DIY comics. Shealsocollaborates to the comics critic website Lo Spazio Bianco.

Simone Marchisano

(Naples, 1989), has a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities with a dissertation on “Homosexuality in Contemporary Indian Literature and Culture” at Università degli Studi di Milano, and he received a Master’s degree cum laude in Journalism and Publishing Culture at Università degli Studi di Parma, with a dissertation in Modern Comparative Literature. He is interested in comparative and cultural studies and he studied the relationship between literature, comics and digital media at university. He worked at WOW SpazioFumetto - Museo del Fumetto di Milano dealing with communication and exhibitions and he has collaborated with Fumettologica, online magazine about comics’ culture. He works in digital communications.


Asano, Inio, Buonanotte, Punpun, Modena, Planet Manga, 2011-2014.

Asano, Inio, “Dead dead demon’s dededede destruction 1”, Big Comic Spirits (2014-in corso), Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction, Modena, Planet Manga, 2017.

Asano, Inio, Solanin, Modena, Planet Manga, 2010.

Asano, Inio, “Umibenoonnanoko”, Manga Erotics F (2009-2013), trad. it. La ragazza in riva al mare, Modena, Planet Manga, 2012.

Barbieri, Daniele, I linguaggi del fumetto, Milano, Bompiani, 1991 (2016).

Bendazzi, Giannalberto, Animation: A World History, Boston, Focal Press, 2015.

Bendazzi, Giannalberto, Animazione. Una storia globale, Torino, UTET, 2017.

Bouissou, Jean Marie, Manga. Histoire et univers de la bande dessinée japonaise (2010), trad. it. Il Manga. Storia e universi del fumetto giapponese, Latina, Tunué, 2011.

Brancato, Sergio, “Il segno dei tempi. Fumetto come fonte di storia, fumetto come narrazione della storia”,Mediascapes journal, 8 (2017): 115–130,, online (ultimo accesso 23/01/2018).

Carcillo, S., et al., "NEET Youth in the Aftermath of the Crisis: Challenges and Policies", OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, 164 (2015), OECD Publishing, Paris,


Carey, Peter, Wrong about Japan (2005), trad. it. Manga, fast food& samurai. Un Giappone tutto sbagliato, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2006.

Crepaldi, Marco, “‘L'hikikomori non è una malattia’: lo dice anche il Governo giapponese”, Sito dell’associazione Hikikomori Italia, (2013), web (ultimo accesso 29/12/2017).

De Palma, Daniela, Storia del Giappone contemporaneo 1945-2000, Roma, Bulzoni, 2003.

Freedman, Alisa, “Train Man and the Gender Politics of Japanese 'Otaku' Culture: The Rise of New Media, Nerd Heroes and Consumer Communities”, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 20 (2009),, online (ultimo accesso 23/01/2018).

Gabrielli, Ettore, “Habitat di Raffaele Sorrentino: l’inquietudine è di casa”, Lo Spazio Bianco, (2016), online (ultimo accesso 23/01/2018).

Galbraith, Patrick W. - Kam, ThiamHuat - Kamm, Björn-Ole (eds.), Debating Otaku in Contemporary Japan. Historical Perspectives and New Horizons, London, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.

Gravett, Paul, Mangasia: The Definitive Guide to Asian Comics (2017), trad. it. Mangasia. La guida definitiva al fumetto asiatico, Milano, 24 Ore Cultura, 2017.

Griner, Massimiliano - Furnari, Rosa I., Otaku. I giovani perduti del Sol Levante, Roma, Castelvecchi, 1999.

Hauser, Arnold, 1974, Soziologie der Kunst (1974), trad. it. Sociologiadell’arte, Torino, Einaudi, 1979.

Heinze, Ulrich - Thomas, Penelope, “Self and salvation: visions of hikikomori in Japanese manga”, Contemporary Japan. Journal of the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo, 26.1 (2014): 151–169.

Howe, Neil – Strauss, William, Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, New York, Vintage Books, 2000.

Iwata-Weickgenannt, Kristina - Rosenbaum, Roman, Visions of Precarity in Japanese Popular Culture and Literature, London, Routledge, 2015.

Katsura, Masakazu, Video Girl Ai, “Weekly Shōnen Jump” (1990-1993), trad. it. Video Girl Ai, Bosco, Star Comics, 1992.

Kinsella, Sharon, “Japanese Subculture in the 1990s: Otaku and the Amateur Manga Movement”, Journal of Japanese Studies, 24.2 (1998): 289-316.

How to Cite
Quaianni Manuzzato, L. M., & Marchisano, S. (2018). Comics in a Room. Hikikomori and NEET in the Ninth Art. Between, 8(15).