Anime Club: Welcome to the NHK
Hellop everybody! Today we have the conspiracy filled anime Welcome to the NHK.
WELCOME TO THE NHK
DIRECTOR: Gorō Taniguchi
EPISODES: 50 episodes
GENRE: Mecha, Alternate history,Supernatural, Drama, Tragedy
YEAR: 2006 – 2008
Welcome to the N.H.K. revolves around the lives of several young-adults all living in or around the city of Tokyo. Many different lifestyles are shown though most of the time the story focuses on the concepts of being a hikikomori, anime otaku, and having most of the characters experience intense feelings of depression and loneliness.
The main protagonist is Tatsuhiro Satō, a university dropout entering his fourth year of unemployment. He leads a reclusive life as ahikikomori, ultimately coming to the conclusion that this happened due to some sort of conspiracy. One day just when his life seems entirely unchanging, he meets Misaki Nakahara, a mysterious girl who claims to be able to cure Tatsuhiro of his hikikomori ways. She presents him with a contract basically outlining that once a day they would meet in the evening in a local park where Misaki would lecture to Tatsuhiro in an effort to rid him of his lifestyle. During these outings, many subjects are discussed, though they almost always pertain in some way to psychology or psychoanalysis.
The show’s greatest strength lies in its characters, whose various quirks make the story all the more affecting. Satou himself is quite likeable, for underneath an outward shell of cynicism and skepticism, he’s a complex person: good-hearted but also somewhat obsessive, socially inept to the point where little occurrences have driven him into his current state but still salvageable as a person, and, thankfully, devoid of arrogance. Misaki, the mysterious “savior” is endlessly fascinating, and the show was quite skilled at changing my opinion of her back and forth. I loved her at times, despised her at others.
Artistically, Welcome to the NHK is a mixed bag. Although Gonzo has a reputation for making some downright strange-looking shows (Gantz being the prime example), this show largely escapes that pitfall, and most of it looks great. Indeed, in spite of being labelled as a dark “comedy”, the show really only attempts to tickle our funny bones in the first few episodes, after which the light tone largely disappears with only the occasional bit of comic relief. I was laughing so hard in those episodes that I expected the ride to be very different from the one it turned out to be, and I sometimes wonder whether the commentary may have been best done complemented with the same sort of utter hilarity I got from the earliest stages.
- Couldn’t keep my interest.
- Longed for it to end.
- Nothing special on animation front
SCORE: 6.2 / 10
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