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WELCOME TO THE NHK #1-3 -- Retro Review

Not as interesting if you've watched TATAMI GALAXY first?

Murphix has recommended this several times, and it's been suggested rather insistently by you loyal users. Unfortunately, I think it might be another case where an original show has been spoiled by its followers.

WELCOME TO THE NHK isn't that old, nor was it the first title to goof on the otaku lifestyle, but considering how often it's been brought up here, I'm sure it set an example that others have been trying to capture. I'd even wager that TATAMI GALAXY took inspiration from this and, since I watched that first, WELCOME TO THE NHK comes out looking less interesting.

Honestly, it really comes down to the lead feeling more like a cipher who's there to actualize a premise, and not a fleshed-out character with anything interesting to say. I just wasn't that impressed with the opening monologue (which pretty much predominates episode #1), where he lays out his conspiracy theory about the titular NHK and otaku lifestyle. It wasn't that funny, nor was it particularly weird. It just focused on some very particular details of commerce and media, and expected us to be marveled with the enthusiasm and conjecture thrown at them.

Perhaps that's actually meta-commentary on the otaku experience, where somebody levels all this thought and excitement on something that sounds rather pedestrian to an outsider. People who defended FLOWERS OF EVIL said that show tried something similar, so maybe I just don't have much patience for that sort of conceit.

To be fair, things get more interesting when our lead gets into the eroge game business with his neighbor, and there's this demented riff on the underdog tech start-up story. However, it still felt like a B-plot - - something that would come out feeling sharper if it was a counterpoint to an A-Plot. TATAMI GALAXY basically did that rather successfully, with the creepy otaku friend hatching various weird schemes while the lead was desperately trying to relive college.

And that's what it comes down to more specifically, I guess. The show may very well be a slow burn that reveals its brilliance gradually, but after watching three episodes, I'd still prefer TATAMI GALAXY.

Watch "Welcome to the Project" and decide for yourself.

Donwunon Nov. 19, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

It gets better as it goes along.... i'm sure you'll see why it's in such high regard once you're on the other side

I think this and tatami galaxy are different enough to see why both have appeal...this show is actually more accessible imo

Kino88on Nov. 19, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.
This show was pretty much my first slice of life title, And I still think it's a classic, I have watched a ton of shows Since then and I still think this was a brilliant comedy, It deals with some pretty heavy subjects, and not just otaku Related Stuff, the ending especially had a very strong impact On me personally, I could really relate to Misaki,
Dream moderator on Nov. 19, 2014 at 1:33 p.m.

The series is also a tinge more darker with its comedy and drama in regards to the predicaments of Satou and several other characters he encounters throughout the series. It's not like many otaku-focused shows in that the lifestyle is glorified as it is as real as you are gonna get for an anime title in looking into the mind of a hikikomori, much in the same vain that Koi Kaze would be for incest and Wandering Son would be for transgenders.

YotaruVegetaon Nov. 25, 2014 at 6:49 a.m.

I really need to finish this one.

Dig Deeper into Welcome to the NHK

An introspective and comedic drama that looks at the life of Tatsuhiro Satõ as it delves into the psychological and emotional effects of his being both a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) and a hikikomori (an extreme social recluse).

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