Welcome To The N.H.K. is Tatsuhiko Takimoto’s very popular novel. This novel came out in January 2002 by Kadokawa Shoten and its English-translated version by Tokyopop in October 2007. It also received a manga adaptation of 8 volumes that ran from December 2003 to May 2007. An anime adaptation from Studio Gonzo aired from July to December of 2006 with a total of 24 episodes. In this post, we discuss Welcome To The NHK manga and anime review.
What is Welcome To The NHK all about?
Tatsuhiro Satou, a college dropout, has been a hikikomori for nearly four years. In his isolation, he starts believing in many obscure conspiracy theories, but he has unwavering faith in the theory that the conspirator behind his NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) status is the Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai (NHK)—a secret organization that spreads the hikikomori culture.
He struggles to leave his apartment and find work to escape the NHK’s evil machinations and the disease of self-inflicted isolation. Tatsuhiro’s unexpected meeting with Misaki Nakahara may signal a turn of events, but it also forces him to confront his greatest fear—society.
Welcome To The NHK Manga and Anime: Review
Welcome To The N.H.K. may outwardly seem like a generic comedy series but it is anything but. While it is true that the story is mainly depicted through humor, the story’s underlying themes are much more serious. The story deals with psychological issues like paranoia, social anxiety, and self-imposed isolation, and the understanding of all these issues.
The manga adapts the novel completely within its 8 volumes and has done an admirable job in doing so. While fans have loved and praised its manga adaptation, it is not without its flaws. Quite a few minute details of the characters, and as a result of the story, changed mid-way. This caused some inconsistencies in the story and while it didn’t affect the overall story, fans were quick to notice this difference from the novel and didn’t exactly like it.
The anime on the other hand has received a much more favorable response. It was very faithful to its source material. While the animation is very generic and nothing outstanding, it doesn’t disappoint and matches the story’s tone. The total length of the anime is also not too long, thus the anime can be completed in a few sittings.
One complaint fans have about the story is its lack of balance between humor and drama. While the series started with a comedic tone, it later became completely dramatic with no humor whatsoever. Many fans felt that this was an imbalanced way of storytelling. Another complaint is about the ambiguous ending of the story, which many fans didn’t like. But it is also important to remember that both of these are subjective viewers and differ from person to person.
Should you go for Welcome To The NHK Manga and Anime?
Welcome To The N.H.K. is not a light-hearted series. It brings out serious issues that many people face in their daily lives but does not care about them enough to mention or even notice them. It depicts how psychological issues can affect people’s daily functioning and approach to life and how it is necessary to know how to notice and deal with such issues.
While this story does not depict the resolution of Tatsuhiro’s issues, it shows enough for viewers and readers to make their own assumptions. It is a series with mature and serious issues, therefore discretion by the viewers and readers is advised. It is best to start the series and see if it is to one’s taste or not.