Post by Old Man Dream on Sept 4, 2015 20:20:34 GMT
Welcome to the NHK is a black comedy/ drama focused on our male lead Tatsuhiro Satou, a 23-year old college dropout who has isolated himself from the public at large living life as a hikikomori. He runs into a mysterious teenage girl named Misaki Nakahara who claims that she can cure him of his hikikomori ways and this kickstarts Satou's time with Misaki and several others he knew from his high school days that have their own varying personal problems that he winds up becoming entangled in.
Outside of this being one of Gonzo's more better works quality wise, Welcome to the NHK is rather refreshing in its exploration of living life as a hikikomori through the eyes of Satou. While many anime titles nowadays tend to glorify living life as a NEET or hikikomori with their lead characters, NHK depicts that lifestyle through a more realistic lens as Satou is depicted as a mentally unstable and impulsive man-child with a deep fear for interacting with the outside world. He has his vices that he will give into such as online gaming, eroge games and downloading pornography to ease his boredom while isolated within his apartment. In addition, he gives into delusions of conspiracy to try blaming society at large for the problems he has with interacting with the outside world. His interactions with Misaki and others throughout the series lead him to gradually get over his social anxieties and come to grips with what he wishes to get out of life, while becoming entangled with the personal problems that each character brings along with them.
Showing just how pathetic Satou's character is makes up much of the black comedy to the series. The delusions that he has regarding his conspiracies and whatever thoughts he has of certain characters are both funny and sad. They are funny as said thoughts are rather over-the-top and get rather absurd, such as when Satou talks with talking electric appliances to go along with his delusions of a conspiracy leading him to be a hikikomori. At the same time, they are also rather sad as they believably depict just how low the man has gone with resorting to vices and delusions to escape from the hardships of everyday living.
The mentioned supporting characters in Satou's everyday life also get their fleshing out as we come to learn more of the personal problems each face. Issues such as child abuse, suicide and pyramid schemes are brought up in exploring the ordeals faced by Misaki and Satou's old classmates as hints are dropped of each character having more going on with them than what it would seem on the surface and arcs of the series are devoted to exploring their personal issues. The fact that NHK can explore touchy social issues in a realistic fashion while maintaining a decent balance of black comedy and drama makes it a unique title that sticks out rather prominently.
Visually, Welcome to the NHK is a bit on the average end for a 2006 title. For the most part, scenery and character designs have a decent amount of detail and shading applied to them with believable details to go along with the show's realistic focus. Characters move about in a fluid pace with no sign of noticeable shortcuts, though the animation is nowhere on par with high quality titles like Black Lagoon and Death Note made in that year. The animation does occasionally degrade in quality at points during the series with characters being off-model and movement looking a bit jerky during some animated sequences, this being quite noticeable during points in the show's nineteenth episode.
Having seen this years later, Welcome to the NHK sticks out quite a bit for an anime focused on a NEET/ hikikomori character. The series doesn't glorify the lifestyle as others of its ilk tend to do nowadays and offers a realistic and believable focus on the ordeals faced by such a person in the form of Satou. It also offers a good deal of focus on Misaki and other characters that the man interacts with as they also have their own personal issues that have to be addressed. If you are looking for a series that is strong on character exploration and offers a believable look in the hikikomori lifestyle, Welcome to the NHK is a strong title I would recommend you try out.
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Excellent review. Welcome to the NHK, sadly, isn't as popular as it should be. Aside from it being a great anime, I feel like it would help those whom thought about going down this path to reconsider some of their decisions. True story: A very close person to me was about to go down this path, until he saw WttNHK.
Add this show to my watchlist. Some folks read reviews before trying a show while others read reviews after trying the show. I'm the latter. I haven't tried shows that had a hikikomori as a protagonist. That will something new to explore.
A lot of shows you find that are diamond in the rough are usually not commercially successful.
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Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
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HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
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Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
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