Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Welcome to the NHK Vol 1 1st Conspiracy|
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Meet Satou Tatsuhiro, a 22 year-old man who thinks everything around him is wrapped up in some sort of conspiracy. It's not long before Satou's conspiracies turn into one big theory? That a secret organization known as th... more »
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From a real Hikikomori...
NEET | NY, USA | 03/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, I want to say that I highly recommend this anime to people suffering from Agoraphobia and Social Anxiety for many years, without any hope in sight. Watching "Welcome to NHK" will not necessarily "cure" you, but it might "open your eyes" in many different ways and push you to recovery.
I'm not going to tell you in detail what the story is about - other reviewers done a great job here already. I will give you a different perspective.
I'm not sure if I can find the right words for this review, but I'm going to do my best... You see I am a Hikikomori, and my life is very similar to Satou's life. The story is so accurate, it's scary... I too, dropped out of college because of my hikikomori ways. I am also stuck at home living off my parents income. (not by choice) I was also sucked into the world of online games and paranoia which really damaged me.
Each character represents different people that were or currently are a part of my life. Satou - Me. Yamazaki - my friends... Senpai - The girls that tortured my soul, and continue to torture it... Misaki Chan - a "metaphor/representation" for my hope?
The anime has shown me the many dark and silly sides of myself and my life from a different perspective. It made me laugh.. It almost made me cry.. It made me see, (once again) what is wrong with me, and what I must do to put an end to all this. I think this anime is a masterpiece, and I wish I could write a "Thank You Letter" to those that created both the script and the art. (I don't even know who to write to)
PS: The only "issue" I have with this anime is the ending. I was expecting a very different ending. (those who saw it might understand what I mean). On the other hand, this ending is unique in it's own way, and perfect just the way it is."
Very Cathartic And Entertaining
Nathan D. Plain | Palo Alto, CA | 11/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably the most cathartic animation, outside of more fringe otaku favorites Genshiken and Azumanga Daioh, that you will be able to purchase in the United States.
From the start the Welcome to the NHK (from here on refered to NHK) sets itself up as a unique experience. Unlike most forms of entertainment NHK does not follow the typical "Greek Hero" model. We are presented with a weak, powerless, and most importantly, useless member of society. This man, Satou Tatsuhiro, lives only for himself. He ostracizes himself from society over a fear of the unpredictable. He is unkept, uncool, and generally, is someone you just want to grab by the choler and slap around. He, in essence, humility.
But this is also what makes him endearing. He is the type of person you love to hate. Everyone has been in a situation where they felt powerless, where they felt that the world was crushing them down. You look at this pitiful man and see yourself in him. His struggle is your struggle. If he can find validity for his life, then anyone can.
NHK is a welcome change from the standard harem, school life, romance comedies that have become such a mainstream endeavor. Characters speak with a natural tone, character changes are slow and methodical (don't expect major shifts in character behavior), and the humor is black and sophisticated.
It is rare that a show can produce such sympathy for its leading cast, and you owe it to yourself to give NHK at least a rental."
Attention Mature Anime Fans!
T. LaPonte | Connecticut | 10/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Welcome to the NHK has become quite the phenomenon. Springing from the original novel and then a manga series (both available from Tokyopop) it has also been released as an anime (produced by Gonzo and licensed by ADV). The English language version features veteran voice talents including Chris Patton as Satou, Greg Ayers as a fantastic Yamazaki (no offense, Mr. Patton) and Monica Rial (as numerous support characters).
The gist of the story is that Satou, a hikikomori (socially inept shut-in) in an attempt to impress a girl who exposes her knowledge of his condition to him and offers her help in curing him, conspires with his neighbor and former classmate to make an erotic video game. He is paranoid and delusional and comes to believe that an evil organization has made him this pathetic excuse for a human being (the NHK, which is actually a major TV network in Japan). It is both funny and strange and has laugh-out-loud moments, moments where you scratch your head, as well as moments in which you sympathize genuinely with Satou's plight.
The first three episodes of the anime stick to the novel storyline pretty closely (including the talking refrigerator, et al). The only omissions are the drug use which spurn Satou's delusional hallucinations (a fact that make these fantasies in the anime a little harder to swallow) and the dulling down of the loli-con (lolita fetish) references. In the novel, Yamazaki is a crazy woman-hating loli-con freak who tricks Satou into becoming one himself for a short while. The scene where Satou drags Yamazaki to take photographs is supposed to be his way of showing Yamazaki how wrong his obsession with loli-con is, but the girls seem older and the specific reference to loli-con seems to have been turned into a general perversion issue.
The fourth episode seems to take a turn closer to the manga, where Yamazaki gets Satou further and further into the art of making the game and Satou ultimately runs into his senpai from school, a character who only makes a brief appearance in the novel, but in the manga has a longer-running role. This leads me to believe that she will also have a larger role in the anime. Ultimately in the novel nothing becomes of Satou and Yamazaki's quest to make their ero-game, though in the manga it seems a bit more comes to fruition about it, so I am apt to believe, though I haven't seen any more of the anime than this volume so far, that it will take a turn towards that direction. I do have a feeling, though, given the "special attack/bomb" references in the first episode that ultimately the anime will return to the novel storyline at the end (people who have read the novel will understand).
The anime, Welcome to the NHK, will be 24 episodes in length and 6 volumes. It is rated MA for language, (often bizarre) violence and blood, sexual innuendo and nudity, tobacco and alcohol use and adult situations. Teenagers 16 and up may be mature enough to view it, but I would not recommend this series to children. I do, however, recommend the series and suggest prospective viewers to pick up the novel as well (it's a short read, available now, and covers all of the storyline you'll have to wait for subsequent volumes of the anime and manga to have revealed).
SHUT UP IN MY ROOM
Sesho | Pasadena, TX USA | 10/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"22-year-old Tatsuhiro Sato has constructed a prison of his own device. After dropping out of college due to some bizarre psychological condition, he has found himself going out less and less. Instead he lays at home, dozing in and out of consciousness, having more and more paranoid delusions. Even household ojects like refrigerators and televisions come to life and sing and dance and hold conversations with Sato like some reefer addict's version of Beauty and the Beast. Sato has come to believe that there is an extensive conspiracy, primarily carried out by the NHK, a Japanese Broadcasting Company. He thinks that the company is involved in a vicious cycle for the express purpose of creating more "Hikikomori" like himself: people who shut themselves up in their rooms and refuse to deal with reality. On top of that his next door neighbor has been blasting a magical girl anime theme song for a month that seeps through the apartment's thin walls. But Sato lacks the courage to even open the door and complain. There's no telling where all this would end except for a knock on his front door. It happens to be an older woman handing out flyers about "Hikikomori". Through his shock Sato also notices a very pretty girl named Misaki at her side. Supposedly, Misaki has a method, if he is agreeable, to burn away the Hikikomori sickness. Sato soon gets in over his head when, in a fit of denial, he lies to Misaki and tells her that he he very rarely leaves his apartment because he is a software creator. Luckily, his neighbor turns out to be an old acquaintance from his high school days, Kaoru Yamazaki, who is studying to be a videogame designer. Together, they plot to create a new "gal game", or erotic computer game, to make some money, and to also prove Misaki wrong.
I first came to this story through the manga adaptation which has 4 volumes out so far from Tokyopop, with the original novel just being published in the past weeks. The manga was extremely disturbing, if not pornographic, at times. But it was also very funny, sad, and truthful. Gallows humor is more the word I'm looking for. The anime picks up on most of these major themes, if toning down some of the more tawdry elements a bit. For instance, I would consider some of the images in the first volume of the manga child pornography, but these are ejected from the anime for the most part by aging some of the naked girls Sato finds on the internet. What gives the story of Sato its power is the realization that we all have the potential to become a Hikikomori. Wouldn't life be so much easier if we could just stay home and never go outside? If we could just sit around and watch TV for the rest of our days and never have to deal with real problems or other people? Humans are creatures of habit. Even though Sato's situation is abnormal, it's just that he psychologically adjusted his mind to deal with the boredom of his existence. It takes just one caring human being to get him out of it....Misaki. The human frailty on display here also lends NHK its vivacious humor. While not as extreme as the manga, which makes it less powerful and less honest, the anime version is still a really good show."