Dec 12, 2011
solkiskey (All reviews)
There are many shows bringing up real life issues, the main one being financial problems. A lot of back stories involve a person disappearing or dying because of money problem such as in [C]. Another issue would be bullying, like in most harem shows, the main character saves the bullied heroine, although I believe it is always done in such a lighthearted way that it is hardly believable. Lastly, the hikikomori issue has been pretty popular in anime lately. Example, the NEET detective in Kamisama no Memouchou and Itazu Yutaka from Higashi no Eden. The real issue is that, even though being a hikikomori shouldn't be a good thing, it is still treated lightheartedly and never faced as a real problem by anyone.

Welcome to the NHK, adapted by Gonzo in 2006, approaches the hikikomori subject (and many other problems, such as drugs, money problems, suicide, scams) in a more problematic and realistic way.

The story is about a shut-in named Satou Tasuihiro and his various problems in life, and his ascension from a hikikomori to a normal person. Not only has he been confined inside his house for four years, he still depends on his parents still lend him money instead of giving him a good kick in the back and force him to do something. Then, he is visited by a young girl named Nakahara Mai, who wants to help him get back on track. Not only do we approach Satou's problems, but we also find out that everyone around him aren't so perfect either! And so, the problem solving story begins. Yet, either they don't try to solve their problems and try to escape them with some lame excuse as a backup, or they don't solve their problems the right way, which makes it amazing because it makes the story realistic. If they had faced their problems and immediately solved them without breaking a sweat, I would call this show ''Mary Sue : The Animation.' Overall, the story was very satisfying, comedic scenes were actually funny, ecchi wasn't overdone, nor were panty shots.The ending was concluding, and not the usual bullshit open one, leaving no room for a sequel. (Who needs a sequel about problem solving anyway?)

Another problem in most anime is that characters oustide of the main cast (in some case, inside AND outside) are one dimensional, unrealistic and just plain uninteresting. Instead, in Welcome to the NHK, almost every one of them are colorized by their issues in life, having their up and their downs without playing too much with the extremes, which makes them realistic. So realistic that I can relate to some of their problems, especially Satou's issues. As the story progresses, the main characters undergo a change in their behavior, but the changes are actually believable. In anime like Clannad, the main character would suddenly find life motivating without much development in his character. Yet, Satou progressively got worse and worse, only to go back to his usual hikikomori way in the end. You call it regression, I call it improvement compared to how low he fell down during the events of the series.

Gonzo decided to use a realistic style of animation in this show. The style isn't so unique as realistic art are used in a lot of anime (a major example being Monster). It fits the mood perfectly; who would want crazy drawings that are barely related to reality in a show trying to bring up real life issues? The animation was kinda choppy at times, but at least there wasn't much CG, and that is a good thing when we're talking about Gonzo. Character designs were pretty normal, trying to fit with the realistic mood.

The voice acting was done well. I liked Satou's voice because it fits him perfectly. The background music isn't so special either. Although, there's a song that I liked a lot, which played very often, too. I believe the name was ''Youkoso! Hitori Bocchi''.

In the end, Welcome to the NHK is a show I would rewatch many, many times because it never gets old; As long as I related to their problems, I think I would keep on rewatching it. I enjoyed it so much because of all the things I mentioned, an above all, the realistic aspect. I definitely recommend this anime to people looking for an anime that isn't afraid of bringing up issues a lot of people can relate to.