“I don’t want to live. But dying is such a hassle. I wish I could just disappear.” – Tatsuhiro Satou
NHK ni Youkoso! (literally translated as Welcome to the NHK!) is a compelling psychological dramedy that instills the painful and gleeful experiences of a paranoid, a shut-in, an introvert, an anti-social, a computer addict, and generally, a human being. This anime is a quintessential depiction of Japanese hikikomori life and the cruelty of the mind – pessimism, paranoia, social anxiety, foolishness, traumatic experiences and even anger.
NHK Ni Youkoso is an adaptation from the famous novel of Tatsuhiko Takimoto with the same name, aired on Japanese TV way back in 2006. The novel was published in 2002. The review is all about the adaptation. No content from the novel or even the manga was reviewed.
The anime follows the life and perspective of Tatsuhiro Satou, a college drop-out and a hikikomori for almost four years. The story revolves about his life, his mishaps, his idiocy, and his fateful encounters among other people, who will try to do something about his mundane and banal lifestyle. The irony is he himself is a hikikomori, and that is defined as ‘a state or condition of acute social withdrawal’. Being a socially-withdrawn individual, you are supposed to be kept away from the society, but the anime follows this old adage “no man is an island”.
In the first view, the anime blatantly poses as a psychological drama, but it is filled with the conflation of comical and emotional scenarios (the feels and the laughs). It focuses on the character development, particularly the handful of mentally disturbed characters: their behaviors, their judgments, and their personal views.
What is impressive here is the profound development of the characters. The characters are well-written, scripts and behavior are aligned to their own personalities, their tricky, foolish judgments that slightly vex the audience, and ultimately, their view in life.
This work of fiction cannot be known as fiction itself. It represents life. It is not slice of life, it is the whole of life. Every moment in NHK ni Youkoso! is a moment in life. The characters might not exist in our reality; but the anime itself is the reality.
Things to expect in this anime:
- Full of character development
- Dramatic and witty scenes
- Character idiocy and realism
- Represents the life of an anti-social, introvert
- Full of first-person views and definitely NO NARRATOR
- POV not locked within the protagonist, revolves around other characters
- Cute, sexualized women (Nihon ni Youkoso)
- Full of conspiracies from NHK
- Strictly no magic, heart-bursting action, and eye-popping explosions
- No science-fiction or fantastical devices
- Romantic scenes but not erotic enough
- Filled with pessimistic, depressing thoughts but also inspiring quotes.
- and lastly, INTERESTING CHARACTERS!
Do not watch this if:
- You fear sexy women
- You hate talking people
- You hate wimpy characters
- You hate drama
- You hate people with psychological problems
- You hate hikikomoris
- You hate anime
- You are not human
Anonymeter: 9/10 – Very remarkable, entertaining, and life-changing. More edifying than the Bible.
What do you think? Have you watched this anime already? Share your thoughts about it! Otherwise ask questions about this anime if you haven’t saw it yet!
Image retrieved from zerochan.net