Welcome to the NHK started out as a novel by Tatsuhiko Takimoto which was then turned into a manga which became an anime. Filled with odd and funny, and sometimes strangely bleak, moments, I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched.
Sato is a 22-year-old college dropout who hasn’t left his apartment in almost four years. His existence in the tiny space has become depressing and a little strange, filled with dancing puddings and talking appliances. Sato is convinced that there is a conspiracy by the NHK, a Japanese broadcasting company, to keep young people inside their apartments, disconnected from the outside world with cute anime girl programming among other things.
Sato is so convinced that everything in some way is a conspiracy that he can’t bring himself to go outside and has become a hikikomori, which is basically a recluse. But everything changes for Sato when he meets Misaki... well, he really blows up on her when she knocks on his door. But of course this chance meeting is the fuel for change.
Sato realizes that he has to get a job, he has to go outside and face the world beyond his apartment. When he goes to apply for a part-time job at a café. who should be there but Misaki, and Sato freezes up, but not before he makes a bit of a fool of himself. He runs away, back to his apartment, back behind the door, swearing never to go out again.
But Misaki isn’t going to give up on him. She leaves him a letter asking him to meet her in the park, that she has chosen him to participate in her project. Sato almost doesn’t go but in the end he meets her, only to find out that she is going to rescue him from his reclusive existence. Misaki has drawn up a hand-written contract detailing the recovery and support of Sato which she asks him to sign. Though he doesn’t sign the contract he does make an effort to change his life, mostly to impress Misaki.