“The existence of the evil organization of the “NHK”. I happened to find it. All the reasons why I dropped out of the university, being unemployed and “Hikikomori” are due to NHK’s conspiracy. I’ll keep fighting till the day I will beat the vice organization. But one day, an assassin from a religious group, showed up to kill me. She is a neat and beautiful girl. Misaki-chan, with a parasol. Who is she? What can save our future contaminated with eroticism, violence and drugs? Love, courage, or friendship? This is an ultimate non-stop Hikikomori Action Comic!”
The story of Welcome to the NHK is told across Novel, Manga, and Anime form each based off the previous. The manga is my favorite version of this story. So now that all 8 volumes are now released in America I figure it’s the perfect time to write about it.
Satou is a 20 year old Hikikomori, college drop out, living in Tokyo. Living the good old life of staying in an apartment eating, sleeping, and getting high. That is until his “angel/assassin” Misaki-chan shows up and tries to free him of his Hikikomori bonds.
From there his life is a roller coaster of events, he meets a new friend next door who introduces him to the wonderful world of Eroge. He runs into old high school classmates, becomes a lolicon otaku, starts scripting an erogo, gets caught up in pyramid schemes, joins an internet suicide pact, and finds that life is pretty screwed up. It’s a really great adventure of self-discovery(and destruction), and I thoroughly enjoy reading it.
The Good: The over the top story. Some of the stuff that happens in this manga is enough alone to keep me away from drugs. Character designs, love the character designs, the art is also great. The climax(or in this case, darkest before dawn), and how everyone reaches it at the same point in the story. The story behind the characters are well fleshed out and actually impact the story. The twists, and especially the build up to them, so many times you think just maybe Satou will finally be free, and then everything comes crashing down in the most extreme fashion.
The Bad: The manga gets a little bit to caught up in the events sometimes. The Anime proves this by trying to focus more on the characters themselves. Out of no where jokes, there are a couple of serious sub-plots that the manga builds up to for a volume or two. But then out of no where the entire situation becomes a joke(very annoying at times).
The underlying theme of the story is well put. And I seriously think it couldn’t have ended better. The amount of time skips during the last book is crazy, but gives a good amount of closure. This is a story that I have to admit, would never work in real life, but on manga is truly special.