NHK ni Youkoso Volume 1 (R2 JP)
The TV Series chronicling the attempts by Tatsuhiro Satou to escape his Hikkikomori lifestyle has begun its DVD release with this first volume, featuring a very nice artbox.
Volume 1 contains the first two episodes, setting up the background to the story and introducing us to the main characters. First and foremost is Satou, who’s been living in virtual isolation for almost 4 years after dropping out of education. After a knock on his door by a missionary, he comes into contact with Misaki, a high-school aged girl who is convinced she can "cure" him of his Hikkikomori ways. His new next door neighbor, Yamizaki, turns out to be an old aquantance from school.
Much of the first volume is dedicated to showing the audience just how far gone Satou really is. He spends almost his entire time inside his messy flat drinking, smoking and having conversations with his household appliances. He’s also (thanks to his old senpai from his school club) utterly conspiracy obsessed. He eventually comes to the conclusion that the Japanese broadcaster, NHK, is actually a front for a group converting people into Hikkikomori — the Nihon Hikkikorori Kyokai.
Misaki becomes involved after meeting him briefly alongside her missionary-type mother and later when he applies for a job at the manga cafe where she works. Getting his details from the resume he dropped when fleeing the store, she invites him to sign up for her "project", which she says will cure him.
- Video: Anamorphic 16:9
- Audio: 2ch Linear PCM
- Series Artbox
- Hikki Bodysuit (don’t ask…)
- Promotion for other NHK ni Youkoso merchandise
The series artbox features a nice cast shot on one side with Misaki and Satou on the other. It also comes with an outer sleeve, mirroring the artwork inside but additionally having magazine style text overlayed.
The disc cover is reversible, with the artwork being much the same but with the outer having the same magazine style as the artbox’s outer sleeve.
Quite a good start to the series, although Satou’s early carryings on will likely frustrate. The picture quality is excellent, although there is a blandness to the design that rankles somewhat. The audio is good with some great background music along with the very different ED track. The voice acting is of a high standard, especially in the case of Makino Yui (Misaki) who is fantastic. The low episode count is a bit of a shame.
- Display: AWA TFTD81G 81cm LCD
- Receiver: Kenwood SAT6110 6.1ch Surround Sound
- DVD Player: Samsung DVD-HD747 upscaling to 720P @ 60Hz
- Cabling: Video via DVI, Audio via Co-axial