In Review: NHK ni Youkoso!

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Satou Tetsuhiro, is a part of a modern phenomenon called hikkikomori, and a NEET. One day, he comes to a conclusion that his predicament is part of a conspiracy. That conspiracy is mastered by the Nihon Hikkikomori Kyokai.

However, a girl named Misaki mysteriously tells him that he has been selected for her ‘project’. Will Satou be cured? (circa 2006. Rating: Average)

At the start, I was put off by the show’s seemingly controversial topics and the over-all negative atmosphere of hopelessness/deviation it projected. And for the reason that the ending seemed quite alright (read: not depressing) to me, I decided to pick it up again. And my time doesn’t seem to have been wasted.

Animation

As usual, I’m not that very picky with the animation. Looks OK to me most of the time though.

Characters

Most of the characters here are probably not the type you’d really love or would want to identify with. You’d think that they create situations of blown-out proportions from their perceived fears. Everybody has a flaw. If I were to pick a favorite character, must be Satou’s former class president, explained later below. As for most annoying character, the title goes to that blue mascot thingie.

Music

Nothing truly impressive or memorable, though I have mixed feelings of like and dislike for the ED. That Purupuririn-something song was also kind of annoying.

Story/Plot/Dialogue

NHK was adapted from the manga of the same name. I’ve read comparisons to the manga, but since I’ve never even read the manga (and never intend to) I’ll never be able to explain what’s different from the manga and the anime. What I do have is the perspective from an exclusively anime viewer. From my POV, it’s a fresh concept, a 2D example of this condition/phenomenon called NEETs and hikikomoris. I have mixed feelings for Satou; sometimes I feel some pity for his condition. On the other hand Satou’s hallucinations are too hilarious to be taken seriously. Because of his insecurity, he resorts to lying, and of course it results to some ‘funny’ consequences. I don’t think this show will go down as a classic anime series, but definitely I can’t classify it as mediocre either.

Entertainment value

One thing about NHK is that this show has low rewatchability (at least for me). Satou’s delusions turn out comedic, however dark comedy has never been one of my favorites. It was still entertaining enough though, since I managed to finish it. To compare, I didn’t even manage to finish Muteki Kanban Musume, which was supposed to be real comedy. With NHK, the funny moments generally outshine the dull moments. Though there are ‘themes’ that aren’t for general viewing. It was mostly during that time when Satou was trying to make galge and really over-indulged on the porn.

Best Arc: The one where the former class president of Satou comes around. It was hilarious and kind of sad at the same time. Even pyramiding exists in Japan! But why did I like this? Because it certainly hit home. Imagine being desperate for a job. There are probably some who don’t even worry about getting a job because they’re super rich in cash and credentials; but I was once of the unemployed masses I certainly can attest to how depressing it is when you can’t land a good job. How she tricked Satou (and later his entourage too) was downright funny.

Recommendation

Not really something for kids to watch. But if you’re looking for a light treatment of NEET and hikikomori life in Japan, this is for you.

  • Animation at 0.50/0.75.
  • Characters at 1/1.
  • Music at 0.50/0.75.
  • Story/Plot/Dialogue at 0.75/1.
  • Entertainment value at 1/1.5.
  • Total: 3.75/5
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6 responses »

  1. I’ll have to agree with you on the rewatchability of the series. Definitely a one-way trip. Maybe two, if I waited a while before watching it again. It’s one of those shows in which you have to be in the correct mood.

    > Most of the characters here are probably not the type you’d really love or would want to identify with.

    Unless you happen to be a slightly schizophrenic NEET or a lonely soul looking for validation in others. If anything the characters were developed. We understood there motivations by the end of the series.

    My philosophy on anime has always hinged on the thought that the view is part of the art. Like many stories, the closer one can identify with the characters the more they get out of the story.

  2. Perhaps there could be something we could relate to in this show no matter how small. However, the extremeness of their traits makes normal people less able to identify with the characters. Though I myself could also be in some sort of denial, regarding this anime hobby of ours. 🙂

  3. I really liked it, you wont get like a revolutionary thinking after watching or anything like that but it was pleasant and funny at times.
    I felt like anything was really solved there, I mean life is such that if u are starving u will have to stop hiding in your room and go outside to find food so hikikomori no more then rite?
    anyway maybe I just need part two T-T

  4. >>I mean life is such that if u are starving u will have to stop hiding in your room and go outside to find food so hikikomori no more then rite?

    If we define it like that, then the true hikikimori will be a chosen few. I do understand why they want to hide, being an introvert myself.

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