Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Welcome to the NHK Review (English)
“I see... It’s so obvious! Why didn’t I realize this before? When you think about anime, you automatically think of Otaku. And Otaku tend to be antisocial, and antisocial people tend to become reclusive. It all makes sense now. By airing addictive anime, they’re mass producing Otaku. And by mass producing Otaku, they’re contributing to the massive emergence of NEET. So that means, the NHK’s TRUE identity is....
Tatsuhiro Satō, a university dropout, leads a reclusive life as a hikikomori, ultimately coming to the conclusion that this happened due to some sort of conspiracy. One day just when his life seems entirely unchanging, he meets Misaki Nakahara, a mysterious girl who claims to be able to cure Satō of his hikikomori ways. She presents him with a contract basically outlining that once a day they would meet in the evening in a local park where Misaki would lecture to Satō in an effort to rid him of his lifestyle. During these outings, many subjects are discussed, though they almost always pertain in some way to psychology or psychoanalysis. Both Satō and Misaki, however, have a tendency of over-doing things, such as hiding the truth, especially from each other and themselves.
NHK’s story is not an action story, not a drama, not a romance (kind of), and not a mystery. NHK is a Slice of Life series with very black comedy and mature content such as Hentai games mentioned. The idea of exploring the lives of hikikomori and even otaku, and poke fun, is one of those rare series that you wouldn’t expect to hit home with it’s viewers. As an otaku myself, NHK is a series that talks more about those days when you just don’t want to do anything and just stay at home to hide from the world. It’s one of those rare gems of an anime, story wise, that you can’t help but watch over and over again. And the physiological bits involving Sato's thoughts are some of the funniest things I have seen in a long time.
At the end of it all, Welcome to the NHK is a kinda poorly animated achievement for Gonzo, but has a very interesting story and characters. It belongs in it’s own category when you think about the Slice of Life genre in anime, and will hit home for many an otaku. It gives some of the best performances from Chris Patton and Greg Ayres that I have EVER seen them do, and gives us the chance to meet Miss Stephanie Wittels as well. A new favorite of mine, and, I hope, a soon-to-be favorite of many others. Welcome to the NHK is a must see for the real anime otakus.
If you want something funny with less adult humor, Ouran High School Host Club or Fruits Basket would be my first choice. But for those guys out there, Cowboy Bebop or Trigun for you (even though those series have their serious moments).
BEWARE OF THE NHK!!