Welcome to the NHK is not a show that is going to end up on a lot of must watch lists. There aren’t a bunch of crazy powers or situations. Welcome to the NHK is about reality. That is why it is so impressive and holds a place in my heart.
Welcome to the NHK follows Tatsuhiro Sato as he battles being a shut-in and never going outside. He lives off of an allowance. He is full of conspiracy theories. He dropped out of college 4 years ago, and the outside world gives him panic attacks. Through the show Sato makes friends, battles his phobias, and tries to become a better person.
What makes this show so real is it teaches the viewer just as many life lessons as the main character. You learn the dangers of being a shut-in, how it can affect family and friends. You also learn about pyramid schemes, getting too caught up in Internet games, the value of life, and what can happen to everyday people.
The most satisfying part of the show is it is shown in a dry reality. People in the show deal with the harsh realities of life. They battle personal strife and contemplate suicide. They conquer family issues. They have to face all their problems, sometimes without a satisfying resolution. Often with no real resolution at all. Just like in life, problems can continue or get worst, and each character confronts or ignores them as best they can to keep things going. There is no slant to change perspective. There is no magic wand. They all make personal decisions that, for them, make the most sense and fit their personality.
Its because the reality is so harsh and the problems sometimes go unresolved and “lived with” that I can see this show not getting as much acclaim. But it is also the reason I feel it is a must watch, especially for people who want more reality in their anime, and should be well respected.