mwolson.org logo Website - Welcome To the NHK

Characters
Anime
Visuals
Music
Reflection
Manga
Other sites

Welcome to the NHK was originally a light novel, but has since been re-made in anime and manga forms.

It involves the life of a hikikomori (basically, a shut-in who most likely uses a computer frequently), the people in his life, conspiracy theories, and so on. It is at various times incredibly funny, rather edgy, sad, and dramatic — in other words, a slice-of-life kind of series.

Characters

Satou Tatsuhiro
The main character. Male, 22 years old, a hikikomori, sometimes liked by the ladies.
Nakahara Misaki
A 17-year old girl who wants to help Satou no longer become a hikikomori. Her reasons for wanting this are secretive.
Yamazaki Kaoru
A 20-year old male anime otaku who Satou helped out once while in high school. He is Satou's next door neighbor.
Kashiwa Hitomi
A female upperclassman of Satou's who convinced him to join the Literature club in high school. Their idea of having club activities was playing 2-person card games.

Anime

Visuals

I can't find much to complain about. The character drawings seemed to have a little less definition, compared to the manga.

Music

I love the first ending theme (used for episodes 1-12). The choreography is spot-on, the music is nice and edgy, and it is downright hilarious. I couldn't get it out of my head for days.

The opening theme for the first 12 episodes is more subdued, but catchy. For the remaining episodes, they switched to a different version of the same song, preferring guitar instead of the trumpet highlights, and that really degraded the overall appeal of the song.

The music during the episodes tended to fit the mood quite well. Occasionally there would be a new song being played during momentous parts.

Reflection

This section has spoilers.

This was a very fun watch. It triggers a variety of emotions. Disgust at the uncleanliness of Satou's room whenever he nurses an obsession. Admiration of Misaki-chan. The shock of the sudden wedding announcement, especially after Satou tries so hard to be social. Sadness and a little empathy at learning of Misaki's past. Incredulity at Satou's attempt to "save" Misaki in the last episode.

One thing of interest was how Satou and Misaki dealt with the issue of how there could be evil in the world. Conclusion: there is either no god, or the primary and most powerful god is evil. They choose to substitute "conspiracy" for "god", and go with the assumption that there are no gods. While the "no gods" quotes made me happy, the conspiracy stuff was kind of annoying. I tend to believe that mass ignorance and irrationality (read: religion) are the primary sources of conspiracy-like effects in society. To some extent corruption does exist, and increased power does emphasize corruption, but this is secondary to the aforementioned factors in my opinion.

I was somewhat disappointed by the relationship of Satou and Misaki. After the 8th episode, he gradually begins to no longer see her in a romantic light. She becomes just a sister, and then an essential friend at the end of the last episode. I would have liked for them to reach a more amorous state by the end, but that's just my opinion. Despite my stated preference, the last two or so episodes were very moving, worked well, and provided a plausible alternative. We see Satou's friends generally achieving some happiness (though not in the way most of them expected), Satou running out of money and finding a job, and Misaki finding someone who can take away her loneliness and help her self-esteem.

Manga

I'm only on volume 2 at the time of this writing (Jun. 2007), but I am enjoying what I'm seeing so far. As with most series where I both watch the anime and read the manga, I prefer the manga. (The only exception to this so far has been the Someday's Dreamers series.)

The manga has a slightly edgy drawing style, and is just plain fun to read. The English translation is very well done, and manages to deliver some incredibly funny dialogue.

I like the manga's handling of the "offline meeting" scenario much better than that of the anime. It made that a much shorter (and more plausible and random) experience. Also, having Misaki tell Yamazaki about why she chose Satou seems more probable than having her shout that information via loudspeaker to Satou himself.

I'm very interested in seeing where the manga goes, so I will definitely continue to buy it.

Other sites

Here are some other sites with info about the series.


Works page