Welcome to the NHK! What a welcome change of scenery from the last batch of serious anime titles I’ve viewed recently. Basically:
Satou Tatsuhiro is a 22 year old man, who is a NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) and a hikikomori (meaning acute social withdrawal). He thinks everything around him is a conspiracy, including the reason why many people, including himself, become hikikomori. Satou comes up with this strange conspiracy theory which includes the Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai (NHK), a secret organization with the intention to make the world filled with hikikomori. Satou wants to break free from the NHK’s clutches, but cannot, since he finds it too frightening to go outdoors by himself; that is until he meets Misaki Nakahara, who selects Satou for this “project” to cure him of his hikikomori ways.
Welcome to the NHK! comes across as a hilariously funny comedy with a lot of serious undertones and takes on modern societal problems. The humour is over the top, but when push comes to shove, the show hits you with the drama pretty hard as well.
The animation on this show is top-notch, with only one of the later episodes having a distinct half-done look. Nowadays it is common for anime series to start and end off with high production values, leaving the middle to wallow in cost cutting techniques. Welcome to NHK! however maintains its high standards throughout the series, making it thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
The voice acting is strong and the soundtrack is thoroughly engrossing, drawing a viewer right into the necessary mood as the show takes you on its rollercoaster of emotions.
An intelligent comedy focussing on the societal problems of today, Welcome to the NHK! deserves a high recommendation.