Awesome Series: 15. Welcome to the NHK (Boys into Men! – Shonen Week!)

Now, before you say anything, Yes this is indeed shonen. Welcome to the NHK ran in Shonen ACE so it is a legitimate shonen series. Here at slapped together shonen week we don’t care what a show is like as long as it ran in a magazine aimed at boys in Japan. That said, even though Welcome to the NHK does not look like something that would be a shonen series. It really is ment for the kind of people, specificity Japanese people that all they do is think about manga, or games or how the 3D world does not live up to their 2D reality. Because this series, mostly in its early episodes is a harsh truth disguised as a comedy.

Welcome to the NHK is about a lot of different people with horrible problems that are effecting the main protagonist, who him self has a lot of personal problems. There is one single ray of hope from this one girl who wants to fix him who also has a lot of problems of her own. It can get pretty messed up the obsessions that rub off on him from other people. No spoilers here but I am pretty sure the only one that could be only kind of messed up and mostly funny would be when he gets addicted to MMORPGS.

I think it is one of the best series that represents the the kind of shut in or “hikikomori” culture that has be going on in japan. This is not really about “otaku” it involves them but I would not say the main character is “otaku” in the Japanese sense because he is not focused on just one thing. I think the series can be very, very funny but it is also quite dark epically in the manga version. Though I do have to congratulate studio Gonzo on making a pretty good show that does not 100% fall apart after the first hand full of episodes. I think if you are interested in this kind of thing you will get something out of Welcome to the NHK at the expense of poor poor Saito.

Review – Gintama

Gintama is awesome. It has been a while since I read any of it, over a year or 2 in fact. I have gotten around to re-reading a couple of volumes in the last couple days. It amazes me how it can still make me laugh as much as it does. I am not a big fan of a majority of anime comedy for pretty obvious reasons. but things like Chromartie Highschool and Gintama really blend with my sence of humor.  They play everything so straight faced and with such great timing that it just works.

I remember in high school when I first heard of Gintama I did not know it was a comedy. I just thought it was another shonen series I would probably never get around to seeing. Then a friend of mine started talking it up and saying how good it was, I remember there were particularly ecstatic over the Death Note parody episode. I watched a coupled episode and was not too drawn in, because quite honestly when it is trying to tell its serious sotry or not doing kind of a series of one off stories it is not that good. I hate to be the guy that says you have to watch/read to a cretin place in the story before it gets good. With Gintama though, It is kind of forgivable because it has to set up its characters so that when there is character related comedy you understand it. I think once you get past the first 7 or so episodes and or the first volume and a bit of the series you are in the clear for a good time.

Continue reading