A hikikomori by the name of Tatsuhiro Satou finally is driven up the wall by a replaying shoujo anime theme song by the next-door neighbor. He begins to believe that he is part of a conspiracy by the company of NHK in an attempt to keep him isolated in his little apartment, alone. In the midst of his internal reflection, a sudden ring of his doorbell unknowingly draws him out of his lifestyle… or so to speak.
He opens the door to find a woman and a young girl by the name of Misaki Nakahara, to who he accidentally reveals his “NEET” or hikikomori lifestyle. In semi-embarassment that he may be looked down upon by those around him (primarily Misaki), Satou decides to exit his apartment during the day for the first time in a long while. He believes that in acquring a job, he can show others (primarily Misaki) that he is in fact, a normal person.
Ironically, it turns out that Misaki is an employee of the manga outlet that Satou was planning on applying for. Flustered, Satou retreats to his apartment, but unknowingly drops his resume in the shop floor. Later that day, Misaki stops by Satou’s apartment to return his resume. Satou, upon retrieving his lost resume, notices a note written to him asking to meet him in the park at 9:30pm. He has an internal struggle on whether to go or not, but eventually persuades himself to go. Once there, Misaki arrives and states that she knows his predicament, and has selected him as part of her project to “save those from the hikikomori way.”
Yes, I know this episode has been out for a few weeks already, but since the series has only currently been aired to episode 5, I felt the necessity to do solo entries for episodes 1-4 as well, lol.
Anyhow, I must first state that NHK ni Youkoso! is quite different from most anime/manga series I’ve seen. I suppose it’s just the bizarre nature of the story and particularly, the character of Satou that simply intrigues me. It’s noticeable that there isn’t much “action” per say, and so far, there aren’t any overly showcased relationship plots; the story is still quite interesting. Initially, I never knew what the heck a hikikomori was until I saw this show, lol. While the anime doesn’t exactly “pop out” at me or pull me to the edge of my seat, it does leave enough of a lasting impression to cause further followup (of course, since I’ve been watching it still).
The beginning monologue by Satou was very amusing. I was chuckling about the entire shoujo anime theme driving him crazy. His accusations of conspircy just topped the cake, lol. I found it particularly interesting to see how the writer makes him interact with people, since he obviously has not been active socially for quite some time. The scene in the manga shop, while quite odd (done purposely?), was very amusing too me as well, lol. It’s also a bit strange, but also funny to see all of Satou’s random hentai fantasies and urges to “relieve” himself (as seen by the reference to tissueboxes and tissues in the episodes).
Episode Rating: B