Welcome to the NHK – 1st Conspiracy (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)
September 21, 2007 by Dennis Amith
ANIME TITLE: Welcome to the NHK
DVD INFO: Volume 1 of 6, episode 1-4, DURATION: 100 minutes, 16:9 – Anamorphic Widescreen, rating TV MA
DISTRIBUTED BY: ADV Films
Sato’s life is going down the drain. A college dropout, he rarely goes outside and sleeps sixteen hours a day. Amidst his internet porn site, he finds himself falling further into a pit of despair.
Sato has now decided that a sinister broadcast company known as “The NHK” is trying to transform their viewers into jobless, societal recluses by showing cutesy anime girls.
Unable to resist these charms, innocent victims like Sato are soon too busy watching TV and play pornographic computer games to pursue a normal life. In his darkest hour, Sato has a chance encounter with a beautiful girl named Misaki, who claims that she can cure him of his perverse ways. Is she really an angel of mercy? Or a devlish agent of the NHK? Swimming in a sea of corruption. Sato prepares for the battle of his life. Welcome to the NHK!
A beautiful, fun and very perverted anime series. Welcome to the NHK!
I have to admit that I found this anime series to be very enjoyable and hilarious because it manages to poke fun on current situations happening in Japan.
In Japan, the government has the NHK. In the US, we have PBS. In Japan, the NHK comes to collect money each month and due to indiscretions of top staff with financial situations, many people in Japan have refused to pay for their NHK fee. But for this anime, the term NHK means “Nihon Hikikomari Kyoudai” (Japan Useless People Club).
The term “hikikomari” is typically a term for those who are reclusive and stay indoors all day. But the main character Sato is “hikikomari” but he is also a NEET (Not in Education, Employment).
Lately in Japan, there has been a growing number of NEET’s (people who are unemployed and really not doing much with their lives). There have been countless articles of how NEET’s who have no employment (some now are homeless) are staying at Manga and Maid cafe’s, some which is getting so bad that they are homeless and stay and sleep at those cafe’s.
With “Welcome to the NHK”, the series is like a hilarious and perverted (no nudity) way of poking fun at extreme otaku culture, NEET’s and hikikomari.
So, why I enjoy “Welcome to the NHK” is that its a series that not only pokes fun at Sato’s feeling of conspiracy at the government NHK channel (feeling that it corrupting peoples minds with too much anime, so otaku’s become unproductive NEET’s) and the main character who suspects a conspiracy by the government and his paranoia has led him to become a NEET or worse a recluse who has not ventured out of his apartment for a year.
For Sato, his paranoia runs wild inside his porn and tissue-infested apartment and someone next door keeps blasting idol moe music. But things change when his door knocks and a woman and her niece are trying to get magazine subscriptions sold and one magazine was featuring an article on NEET’s.
Sato automatically thinks he’s being watched and decides he needs to change his life and to help him is Nakahara Misaki (the woman’s niece) who feels she can cure him and his recluse tendencies.
The animation is beautiful and what I like a lot about this series is the attention to detail for locations and objects in Sato and his friend’s apartment. GONZO really did a great job showcasing the animation.
The voice work in both languages are done well and for the English dub, there is a bit of profanity but it fits with the type of character and livelihood that Sato lives because he is essentially a pervert.
As for special features, “Welcome to the NHK – 1st Conspiracy” features the clean opening and ending themes and a information segment on the terminology used on the show.
“Welcome to the NHK” (NHK ni Yokoso! is truly an enjoyable, surreal anime series that shows otaku culture to the extreme.
Not only is it an anime series that pokes fun at anime series and the otaku culture, it also goes into Japanese pop culture especially the Akihabara/moe vibe that some fans are hardcore for.
Despite the perverted situations, this anime series is not hentai but the mature situations are there and easily you can put 2 and 2 together with what is going on with Sato when you see a lot of kleenex and explosions happening after he plays erotic girl games and looks at porn.
Also, I really enjoyed the overall feel of the animation. Each scene and background shows Japan instead of the rehash of homes and trees that you tend to see with some anime. There is detail on the backgrounds, the bedroom of Sato and little intricacies that would make a Japanophile proud.
Also, the acting is done well both in English and Japan. The English dialogue is a bit more profane but fits with Sato’s character.
It’s really great to find an anime series that is unique and enjoyable all across the board from storyline, animation and acting and I just can’t wait to see what happens next!
“Welcome to the NHK” is a very unique, enjoyable and perverted anime that can poke fun at otaku culture and successfully grasp an anime viewer’s attention because more than likely, we know of someone who may live their life like these characters.
Come to think of it… that would be scary indeed.
DVD RATING: A
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