Satou Tatsuhiro is a drug-addled "hikikomori" (a Japanese shut-in) who thinks a sinister organization, NHK (Nihon Hikikomori Kyoukai), is the cause of all his problems! He falls in love with a girl, Misaki, who he thinks is trying to assassinate him, but doesn't know how to talk to her or if he can trust her. The more he stays in his house watching anime porn, reading manga and doing drugs, the harder it is for him to leave. Only Misaki can keep him from rotting away in his own apartment!
NHK ni Youkoso! is the manga adaptation of Tatsuhiko Takimoto's novel of the same title published on January 28, 2002. The manga series was published in English as Welcome to the N.H.K. by Tokyopop from October 10, 2006 to September 16, 2008. VIZ Media republished the series digitally under the VIZ Select imprint from June 16 to December 9, 2015. It was also published in Brazilian Portuguese by Panini Comics from November 2010 to February 2012.
This is one of my favorite manga and, since it had few reviews, I thought I could add a bit more of information for those who are uncertain whether to read this or not.
Well, as it says on the synopsis, this manga follows the life of a hikikomori, who thinks an organization called NHK is targeting him. (oh really?!) xD
The main character actually posseses psychological problems, such as paranoia ,which leads him to believe his life is being controlled by NHK, and all the bad things that happens to him are their doing.
Suddenly, he meets a girl called Misaki who says he had been chosen
to participate in her "project", and that she could help him have a normal life.
Just saying this the story sounds cute doesn't it?
Well, don't be fooled, because this manga isn't by any means cute nor lighthearted. Even thought on it's genres is written: Comedy and Romance, it's story and character relations are not gonna be like anything you have ever seen before. To describe it in one word I think: "bizarre" (or to use one that's not as strong) "unusual" would be the most suited.
It is a comedy though, since it does have humor, but the humor the author uses is extremely sarcastic and cynical that sometimes even made me feel a little bit uneasy.
Another strong point is the characters, their personalities and problems are so well-made and realistic that makes you think a real person could have the same problems and, many times, act the same way the characters did.(which was probably the author's intention (lol))
Well, if you want to read an amazing manga that is not cliche, this is a must.
Ok, first off let me say that this is definitely not what you would call an 'average' Shounen manga. If anything , this is more psychological in its nature, and in turn it can be pretty thought provoking at times. However, in the same breath, it can also seem to drag in places - which makes it kinda bland. But in saying that, the good definitely outweighs the bad. The manga tends to dwell on certain psychologies of the characters, and it often gets as close to reality as any manga will ever get. Every single character has some flaw
that they have to deal with. And that makes them somewhat relate able to the reader.
This is one of those stories that never ceases to amaze you, taking into context the situations that the protagonist seems to find himself in. I must stress though that some might not be able to fully appreciate this manga, some might not even get it - although, ironically I do, which speaks volumes about me I guess. It's nothing too deep, or hard to understand - it just takes a while for it to sink in. This is very character orientated, which is something that the reader needs to be conscious about when reading it. The art is very well done throughout, as well as the character development. You really start to feel for some of the characters and what they are coping with.
The one thing that bugs me about this manga is the ending - its too abrupt for my linking and slightly inconclusive. However, it's such a small flaw to point out. Its still an enjoyable manga to read.
After re-reading volumes 1-6 before moving onto the final two volumes, I finally managed to finish reading the NHK manga just now. My feelings are pretty mixed about it... I enjoyed reading it a lot but, at the same time, I was often thinking that there was way too much needless content included - far more than in any other version of the NHK story. Because the huge amount of needless content, my enjoyment levels dropped quite a lot after the first two volumes. If only for the fantastic art I can't score it lower than 7/10, though.
Volume eight was by far the most
disappointing volume in the entire series. It all seemed so pointless and, in comparison to the earlier volumes, it was far less entertaining. There was lots of chatter included yet I never really cared about what was being said, or even followed a lot of it. The story just never went anywhere in the final volume, instead going around in circles as Misaki pushed forward with her love contract, Satou went along with it because he had nothing else and Yamazaki rambled incomprehensibly about starting a revolution. All I saw was the difficult to follow conversations of not-so-sane people that were put in to extend the story to 40 chapters.
While I'm still covering the negatives, I'll also say that I wasn't best pleased with how the original story was changed in order for NHK to become an eight volume manga. There were lots of small (but important) changes that were made in the manga version, some of which seemed to have been made as the manga was on-going, an example of which being how Satou first said he wasn't a virgin (in the novel and anime he slept with his senpai whilst still at school) and then later said he was. The most bothersome change was how, in the manga, Misaki only lied about having a bad childhood - it made her difficult to like character into an even more hard to like character. Too many changes were made in order to extend the length of a fairly short story.
On the flipside, I liked the first two chapters of volume seven a lot. The events that took place in those chapters never occurred in either the novel or anime, and they were only able to work so well because Satou was still a virgin in the manga. Kashiwa's easily my favourite character in NHK, and the so near yet so far romance between Satou and her is the most emotional part of the NHK story for me, so a few chapters that gave the pair more time together were very welcome additions. It was nice to see Satou confess his feelings in this version of the story...even if he later went back on what he said because he didn't have what it would've took for him to take his relationship with her onto the next level.
I don't like how open ended every aspect of the NHK story is, but I've always found the relationship between Satou and his senpai (Kashiwa) to be touching. I actually came close to crying during episode 14 of the anime simply because Satou let her go. The reader/viewer fully understands why Satou doesn't do what his heart tells him to with her, but it's always hard to watch when you know the two could've been happy together. If only Satou had had the balls to put his arm around her when she was crying way back when he wasn't a recluse and she wasn't a married woman - his future might have turned out slightly happier. What makes the whole thing even more agonizing is the fact that Satou is a better match for her than her the guy she ended up marrying...
Anyway, to sum it up, my thoughts are that, although still very good, the manga version of the story is the weakest of the three versions of the NHK story. It has some nice additions to the story but the majority of the new content doesn't actually add anything. We didn't need to see Satou spend time at his parents, coming up with masturbation plans whilst he was supposed to be finding work, and we also didn't need to see Satou spend some time wondering around homeless. The novel was a bit too short, the anime got the length just right and the manga dragged on for too long. I don't feel bad about spending over £40 on the manga but I do feel I should've spent the money on buying the anime instead.
Shutting yourself in your room is so tempting. Nobody talks to you; nobody harasses you and most importantly nobody judges you. Finally peace and quiet down that pool of chaos that we call our mind. But that, as many things, is something temporary.
Welcome to life! Get ready for the best and biggest journey you’ll ever have. Meet Satou Tatsuhiro. This guy will accompany you on your trip. Or actually, you will be accompanying him on his trip. Satou is 22 year old and is an amusing character with idiotic quirks. You’d probably want to know that Satou has shut himself in his room for the
past three years and is rapidly approaching the fourth one. He lives in a one-room apartment; doing things completely on his own including cooking, watching TV and being lonely. He also likes playing erotic videogames and is doing drugs.
Would you still like to accompany Satou on his trip? It’s okay, you don’t have to. It’s understandable if you think that all those things he does is disgusting and not acceptable as a normal functioning human being. So let me ask this one important question: What IS normal?
Welcome to the NHK! centers around this one question. No doubt that you and everyone around you has wondered what is acceptable and normal in this world to do so that nobody will think you’re weird. That’s human nature. No one wants to come across as somebody weird that can’t function in society. No one wants to be at the mercy of others, constantly in need of help. But at the same time, we all need help. Even something petty and small like feeling lonely can’t be overcome by one single person and could turn into a vast problem.
Satou doesn’t understand that. So what he does is something that many people would do when it all gets too complicated: shut himself in. Physically and mentally. This is what this manga is all about. Either go with the flow and live your life by the rules of society, or be an outsider and do things your way. But the thing is for Satou, it’s not a choice, he’s forced to live alone in his apartment. Not because somebody told him to, even worse, he told himself he had to. He can’t live by the rules of society. Problems like not being able to talk normally to strangers arise when trying to get a job are seriously huge rocks in his life that hinders his way. He does not choose to be an outsider and live with all these problems he didn’t ask for. He wanted to have a normal life, with a normal job and normal people around him. And it didn’t happen. Getting something so normal, so plain that many people in this world have, is so unbelievable difficult for a shut-in like Satou. And now he’s stuck in his own apartment, getting addicted to it and is rotting away.
And then there comes an angel. A savior, somebody who cares about you and thoroughly believes that you deserve a normal life. You deserve those things that other people get to have. Her name is Nakahara Misaki. An 18 year old girl who’s strangely interested in oddballs like Satou. The two meet when she and her grandma knocked on his door to talk about religion. She knew something was going in there and she wanted to help by providing Satou counseling. But why? Why would a young female stranger help somebody who has shut himself away from society? The answer is as simple as getting a feeling of self-worth.
Misaki is not different from Satou, only that she thoroughly realizes her problem and does something about it, albeit in a dubious manner. She helps Satou simply because she wants to help herself. Her feelings of defeat, hatred and resentment all flushes down through Satou and she regains new strength. In a way, she’s using Satou to make herself feel better. But is that normal? Satou is already in a position where he can’t go lower much further so any help is appreciated. And if it means that the other party gets to feel better, it’s a nice bonus. The action is what matters, not the thought behind it. Or is it?
The series makes you wonder about Misaki’s actions. It makes you realize that she’s just another human being with problems and trying to solve them. The interaction between Satou and Misaki is truly remarkable. Satou is the kind of character which you can easily relate to. Because his problems are so common, although in a less extreme form with most people, you can put yourself easily in his shoes and understand what he’s going through. This puts you at a position of a judge. You’re perceiving Misaki’s actions through Satou’s eyes while formulating your own opinion about it in your head. The manga does not tell you directly what is wrong or right, you simply see things through Satou’s eyes. And because the writer of the manga created Satou in a way that he’s in a low position and as such does not give you a solid opinion of his own, you are free to interpret the story in your own way.
Too bad that the story itself is not so special. Great characters create great stories. But in this case, it is not the case. Do not expect a manga about the psychological problems of a person shutting himself away from society. That is simply not it. All the characters are open, some are funny and some are sad but never does it take you to the depths of the human mind. The story is almost that of a slice of life series. There is no common thread through the story, events just happen because they happen. There is no goal where the characters work towards and therefore marks when the series is supposed to end. There are simply just some characters with problems and things occur. Not too deep and definitely not too shallow. It’s just that the story does not impress overall. You’re waiting to see the characters, to see how they will develop and how they will interact with each other. And therefore, you’re seeking an unfolding story to act as a playground for those things. It’s almost as if the events in the manga happen at random without the will of the writer, maybe it’s intentional but it’s probably not.
Welcome to the NHK! is a manga like none other. It’s classified as a romance series combined with some humor. If it were to have a label that’s just right for this manga, it would be ‘’fun psychological problems’’. It will never talk about the deep aspects of human psychological problems of shutting yourself away from society, but it does talk about what those problems do with you on a global scale. And with humor, something very important to note. The characters will make you instantly fall in love with them. Satou is just the nice guy next door with some problems and Misaki is not necessarily a complex characters but does make you think about her actions. And those two ultimately mix together amazingly well in a manga with an okay story and solid art.
They say desperate times ask for desperate measures. Those times may not come often, but when they do, they show which choices truly matter.