December 23, 2007

Welcome to the NHK

So on the advice of a friend I watched "Welcome to the NHK".

This is the er, heartwarming story of a rather paranoid 22 year old hikikomori (a recluse/ agorophobic...currently considered a disturbing trend in Japan) who having given up on life sits in his apartment...consuming O2, ramen and pr0n.

Tatsuhiro Satō is agorophobic, poorly socialized and increasingly seeking to blame his emotional problems and poor choices on a vast conspiracy.  He finally makes a determination to get his crap together and do something with himself....OK he has to take baby the door...and he'll get around to opening it...eventually....Honest!

 The issue is forced when there is a knock on the door and he is visited by a couple of missionaries an old lady and a cute girl ( in a..gasp...dungrrreeeskirrrrt) who are talking about...well they are there to talk about the crisis of people descending into the hell of Hickikomoriism. Sato rather too angrily protests that he's not 'one of those freaks' and slams the door.

However, this, a need for food, the loud music of the 'idiot otaku next door' and a realization that his finances are coming to an end convince our mentally unbalanced hero to venture into the world and try to get a job...his first attempt is stymied...but he catches the eye of the young lass who was at his door...she decides that he is going to be her project...SHE'S GONNA SAVE HIM....

One of the worst qualities that a show can possess is a lack of respect for its audience. Welcome to the NHK takes this affliction and turns it into a plus...or embracing their lack of respect and becoming one with it. Not even the Evangelion movie displayed such utter contempt for their target audience.

The first four episodes follow our hero through the narrowing corridors of his sanity as he ables through Otaku culture. Filled with examples and even thoughtful analysis of the sorts of pathologies that has been blogged about here and here, this show is brutal and painful to watch at times...but I LOL'd


It hasn't gotten actually vulgar yet (aside from some implied ick), but it is absolutely merciless to the fans who will likely be thanking God that they haven't slipped quite that really....never...have...

I laughed out loud...
I cried silently in shame...

I'm going to have to get volume 2.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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