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March 21, 2012

Anime Review: Welcome to the NHK!

Welcome to the NHK! is basically a story about a young man that is a NEET, lives by himself and thinks everything is a conspiracy. Getting out there is the world is a big challenge for him, until he gets selected for a "project"; it is a plan to help hikikomori like him in facing the reality of this world.

Welcome to the NHK!Synopsis:
Satou Tatsuhiro, 22 years old, thinks that everything that happens around him is a conspiracy. He even figured out who is behind it all: The NHK, an evil secret company. 

"When you think anime, you think otaku. When you think otaku, you think people that dislike other people. Those people become hikikomori (people who shut themselves in)". So Satou manages to uncover the plot of The NHK (stands for Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai), after three years of shutting himself in (and rapidly approaching the fourth). 

In reality, he is nothing more than a NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training), desperately in need of a cure from that "disease". He wants to break out from the curse, but going out and getting a job is frightening enough for him. That is until he gets selected for a "project"; it is a plan to help hikikomori like him in facing the reality of this world.

Review:
The story is simple a life of a NEET. Sounds boring? No it doesn't. Sounds like me though. The story of a young man, Satou and his phobia of the world around him. He holes himself in his apartment all day, doing nothing and just sleeping. One day, he meets a mysterious girl called 'Misaki' which offers to help him with his problem. And so, the funny, emotional, embarrassing, weird and sad moments start rolling from there. In my opinion, I found the story quite compelling, because the main character was similar to me (to a lesser degree), so I could understand the feelings portrayed by Satou. In a broad sense, the story was quite humorous is many sequences of the story. The ending was great and emotions were high.

The art was above average with some nice changes in seasons, scenery and background decorations throughout the anime. Even the RPG-game featured in the anime had its own unique style and appearance. I felt that it was really well illustrated and was appropriate to the overall theme of the anime. Characters were smoothly transitioned and facial expressions were imaginative.

The voice acting of the characters were highly appropriate, I thought. The voices really suited the characters and especially the main character. The sound tracks were decent enough to be considered worth watching all the way through.

I particularly felt for Satou and his condition. Being a NEET is not easy and confronting the problems of everyday life is a challenge for many like him. It was good that the anime correctly portrayed how Satou thought and moved. Misaki was a total mystery till the very end and it will keep you guessing. The characters were nice, and I felt a string connection between them.

Overall, I enjoyed watching this anime. The length was appropriate, the everyday life problems were appropriately placed and the jokes were actually funny. The characters were memorable and the story kept you going. It is not easy being a NEET and the anime touches on real-life society and social interactions with people a lot in this anime.

STORY: 7
A life of a NEET. Not much to talk about, but with added funny moments and randomness, it makes it that interesting to watch.

ART: 6
Good artwork and use of visual styles. Above average like your average anime. Not bad at all.

SOUND: 6
Voice acting was highly appropriate for this type of anime. The sound tracks were decent too.

CHARACTER: 6
Its pretty emotional watching a NEET try to break out of his shell. The end was emotional though.

ENJOYMENT: 7
I enjoyed it since it indirectly touched on aspects of everyday normal life.

OVERALL: 6
It was enjoyable to watch how Satou tries to break away from being "socially withdrawn" and how he finds love in an uncaring world.