Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Welcome to the NHK!

We've finished watching Welcome to the NHK!. My first episode review is here.

Sato is a 'NEET' (Not in Education, Employment or Training) -- a hikikomori. He lives off his allowance, and simply idles away. He does manage to procure food from a conbini (late at night, when no-one is out on the street), and visits a park from time to time.
His life gets shaken up when Misaki offers him her help to get out of his hikikomori ways, complete with a contract. Reluctantly, Sato signs the contract, and his "counseling" starts.
Soon after, he discovers that his kouhai from highschool is living next door, and he and Yamazaki decide to create a 'gal-game'. And during an expedition(/pilgrimage) to Akihabara, Sato meets his sempai from highschool -- the paranoid and instable Hitomi.

Even though AnimeNfo classifies this series as a comedy, it's not fun to watch. In fact, it is a long list of things that make the lives of young Japanese people miserable. Some become hikikomori, others become nerdy social outcasts. The series shows what bullying, paranoia/schizophrenia, abuse and pressure from parents does with the young people of Japan.
The series does end optimistic, but it doesn't offer a 'magical' solution, which is pretty realistic.

Visually, the series is quite good. Characters are designed in a semi-realistic style, and the animation and backgrounds are all made with great attention to detail. The psychotic episodes are done really vividly as well.
The music is really something as well, with an opening theme by Round Table featuring Nino. The first ending theme is a marvellous speed-rock piece as well -- you can see that teh animators had lots of fun tailoring the ending animation to the lyrics/music. The in-series music is quite good as well.

Good points:
- Technically, there is nothing wrong with this series;
- Honestly deals with some heavy issues.
Bad points:
- You must want to watch through all the hard times the characters go through.

Will I recommend this series? It all depends. If you think it's interesting to watch young people growing up, working through their issues, then this is your thing. Otherwise, it will start to grate sooner or later.
Tags: anime, full review

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