[Anime] Welcome to the NHK

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[Anime] Welcome to the NHK

Postby Ice_Tyrant » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:23 am

Figured I'd bring this here too.

So basically it is 12 in the morning and I can't get to sleep so I figured I would go ahead and write me this. Welcome to the NHK is basically one of my favorite shows, like, ever. Even for people that hate anime and think that anime is just rubbish, it is still pretty likely that those people could enjoy this. The protagonist of this series is Tatsuhiro Satou, a man who essentially has no life. He is a hikikomori, which basically is the Japanese version of a basement dweller. At the start of the series, he has spent nearly 4 years of his life simply just staying in his room masturbating and watching TV. He lives in an apartment by himself near a park, the only other place outside of his apartment he can relax at. His parents pay him an allowance so he can live the lifestyle he lives by himself. One day some old lady comes by his door to talk to him about how the presence of hikikomoris is supposedly a huge social problem in Japan. Her speech on the issue greatly annoys Tatsuhiro and he snaps at her. The old lady is with a 17 or so year old girl named Misaki Nakahara. She notices Tatsuhiro's behavior and decides that she must try to save him from his hikikomori status. She is not just some two-dimensional savior for Tatsuhiro though. Tatsuhiro also becomes friends with his Otaku neighbor soon after the show begins who is named Kaoru Yamazaki. This fellow was a former friend of Tatsuhiro back in grade school. Tatsuhiro tried to save him from some bullies back when Yamazaki was a middle schooler, but he was beat up. Despite that though Yamazaki came to admire him after the deed and they became friends. Not longer after their reunion does the admiration vanish though, once Yamazaki learns about what Tatsuhiro has become.

The story is very good. I suppose a good way to describe it would be Tatsuhiro's struggle to escape his status as a hikikomori and his run ins with some of the various lows in life that people can have thrown at them. Many issues are dealt with during the show such as online suicide packs, people who become addicted to MMORPG's, Pyramid schemes, and more. Something I would say as a joke to my friends is that the theme of this series is that nothing about life is good and that you might as well kill yourself. The show is terribly depressing. During the MMORPG arc I actually had to stop watching the episode in the middle of it right at the second the arc's major plot twist was revealed so I could mentally be prepared for the horrible scene that would follow the twist. Though this also might be due to the fact that the arc felt a bit familiar to the way I used to be many moons ago (Though in a different way from Tatsuhiro). There is something to all of the characters too. They all have huge problems that they are forced to fight or give in to. While I found it a bit unrealistic that everything that happened to Tatsuhiro happened to him, even considering the span of the show is about a year. However the show was much more realistic in how life actually works than what most other shows seem to have.

The music, well I don't even know what to say about the music. It is not the best anime soundtrack I've heard, but it definitely is up there. They set the mood for the various moments of the show perfectly. The songs themselves can be pretty great and even hilarious even without setting the tone for the show too. I am a huge fan of the acoustic songs with lyrics in this show.

The animation for the show is fine. I do like the character designs, and the show really gives some great shots of Tatsuhiro, my favorite subject for facebook profile pictures at the moment. The visual gags, or so I would call them, are pretty great too. When Tatsuhiro first discovers porn, it shows an explosion coming from his room after he looks at the nude picture, and repeats this at every nude picture he sees. After this Tatsuhiro than literally sails the ocean of the internet, fishing for pornographic images in a purple-coloured bit of animation that I thought was very well done. The episode where Tatsuhiro and Yamazaki go to "The Holy Land" had some weird animation, but it did not bug me to much. There was also another point where I thought two minor episodic characters had a model that was way to similar. These are just minor little gaffes though when compared to the animation most of the time. The animation for Tatsuhiro's face during certain scenes is just perfect for me.

The humour in the show is pretty great too. Some of my favorite lines, at least as far as anime goes if not past that, come from this shows. The two most memorable lines for me are "Burn in hell, bitches!" and "I'm nothing but a beast that preys on the panties of delicate young school girls" For the first line, Yamazaki, feeling betrayed by his girlfriend, goes on a rant where he repeats that line over and over again in his anger. The second line occurs when Tatsuhiro is doing just what he says he is, mainly due to the fact that he wants his friends to take pictures of him doing that so that Tatsuhiro can look at those pictures and realize how awful and pathetic he is (The logic in that makes no sense to me too...). For the most part the humour seems to be pretty dark and also takes humour out of how pathetic characters like Tatsuhiro are.

Basically for me this is one of the best anime out there. People who generally are tired of anime would probably like this too. It is something different. The show is very pessimistic but nearly completely realistic at the same time. Despite how pessimistic the show is it is also very hilarious. I'd recommend this show to everyone. Even though much of the show is very Japanese in some respects, such as the Holy Land and the Hentai Games, the problems the characters in the show have are problems that many people all over the world have.

The series is available on FUNimation's S.A.V.E. thing, which basically means the whole series can be bought for like, $20. Considering how amazing this series is, I would declare this to be an amazing deal. I might be wrong, but I got the impression it even has the same stuff on the DVD's as the regular version, which I borrowed from a friend of mine before I bought the series myself. It's up on Rightstuf and it's totally worth buying. If I had the give the show some sort of rating... how about two thumbs up?

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Re: [Anime] Welcome to the NHK

Postby chibianimefan » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:08 am

I've seen bits and pieces of this series... I quickly stopped after some insensitive people I know started claiming that I was watching my life unfold before my eyes in this show. I'll admit it angered me to a near fatal point because I really did like the show up until then, now it pains me to watch because of all the coincidences that I have seen in my life.



When I'm in a better mood, I might finish this up... right now I'm probably too emotionally broken to attempt it. Hopefully that mood change I need comes soon, I would definitely like to finish this up before I have kids...
*i am chibimetal, the chibi shoujo fan*

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Re: [Anime] Welcome to the NHK

Postby Ice_Tyrant » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:34 am

One of my best friends forced the show onto me because I would always be upset about just my general situation in life so he thought I'd really enjoy this series. When it got to the MMORPG part though it was a bit hard to watch considering how for a few years I spent all of my internet time playing Runescape back in the middle school days (Though admittedly I didn't get to waste as much time on the internet back then as I do now.). Though I did fare better than Tatsuhiro since nothing like the big twist of that arc ever happened to me.
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Re: [Anime] Welcome to the NHK

Postby chibianimefan » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:51 am

yeah, I tried to have fun watching... but it made me sad realizing that my whole high school life and my days after losing my job are starting to mirror what I once had fun with.
*i am chibimetal, the chibi shoujo fan*

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