The main male protagonist.
Today’s post is for my review of an excellent 2006 anime, titled Welcome to the NHK (has nothing related to that TV station). This anime has a great chance to topple Chocotto Sister off the throne of being the best 2006 anime I have watched, so read on to find out whether this anime has really done so or not.
The absolute sum of the relationship between the three main characters in this anime.
Our main male protagonist is a hikikomori, one who are paranoid, perverted and has a very fertile imagination. He then meets the main female protagonist, who offered him a way out from his hikikomori ways via counseling. Meanwhile, his junior from the high school is prodding him to make a dating simulation game together and he also meets with a couple of other characters from his high school years.
Just like Urusei Yatsura, this anime is powered by the immense character strength of the main male protagonist. He is not as good as Moroboshi Ataru is, but he is not far behind. His complex relationships with the main female protagonist and also his junior is one of the major essence of this anime. Plus, his overworked imagination is a plot device that helps him immensely at advancing the storyline (more of the story later) and also helps in character developments. Speaking about character developments, this anime has done very well in this aspect, especially for the three major characters shown in the screenshot below. And of course, the main male protagonist is the best character of them all, but his sidekick, which is his junior from high school, is not that bad either.
The three idiots that falls prey to a dubious MLM scheme.
Unlike Urusei Yatsura, this anime actually has a good story behind it. The story starts slow for the first one-third of the anime, but the pace picks up after that. Storyline development is perfect, with seamless transitions between the major story arcs. There are some references to video games/anime/idols here and there, but not as many as the ones in Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. There are also plenty of humor in this anime, but personally I do not think that they are any good, therefore depriving this anime a potential positive point. The story essentially belongs to the slice-of-life genre, with some romance of course. I personally likes the arc that contains the chain of events that precedes the final departure of the main male protagonist’s junior back to his hometown to take over the family farm, because that arc is simply magnificent. The junior has to make many important decisions that will affect his future, and he took every success and failure in his stride. That arc, I contend, is just as good as the first arc in Clannad. At that point, I have already decided that this anime will take over from Chocotto Sister and become the best 2006 anime I have watched, but alas, the fatal flaw of this anime suddenly surfaced.
The fatal flaw I mentioned is the ending story arc, which is too predictable and cliché-laden. Coming off after such an excellent arc that is mentioned above, the ending suddenly seems very mediocre. And this applies even when I think that the plot in the last arc is simply the natural extension of the story behind the relationship between the two main protagonists. I don’t really mind the suicide plot device actually, but using the main male protagonist’s senior from the literature club as a catalyst of the arc seems out of place. In hindsight, while the ending is not the worst I have ever seen, coming off right after the best arc in the anime is really an unfortunate event.
The main male protagonist and his high school junior sidekick, in happy and sad times. IMHO, their relationship is more significant than the one between the main male protagonist and the main female protagonist.
Character designs in this anime is good, with plenty of black hairs around. The ones who doesn’t have it obviously has dyed their hair (or just being old or something). I have a feeling that they (the designs) are realistic, but it isn’t at the same time. Definitely a positive point for this anime.
Voice acting in this anime are done very well, and that is what should happen in this dialogue-heavy anime. The three major characters have done very well, with the junior sidekick and the main female protagonist standing out from the rest (of the admittedly small cast). Also a positive point of this anime.
The OST in this anime is good and has plenty of decent insert songs. But only the 2nd OP theme is good.
A parody of a quite famous MMORPG…
…which takes place at the region where I live in! IIRC, there are no medieval castles anywhere near my house, as portrayed in the game though.
The animation quality in this anime is good, even in fast-paced scenes. Choreography in this anime is almost non-existent. The directing is flawless, with the exception of the execution of the ending arc.
A powerful plot twist that happened in that MMORPG arc, the one that even I have failed to anticipate. Have to be seen to be believed.
10 out of 10, but Chocotto Sister will still hold on to the ‘Anime of the Year 2006’ title for the time being. The next three anime titles that I will watch are the ones aired this year; after all, 2009 is drawing to a close.
Tissues, a prop that our main male protagonist used a lot in this anime.