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Welcome to the N.H.K. (Welcome to the NHK)

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  1,123 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
The novel that inspired the manga and anime!

Twenty-two-year-old Satou, a college dropout and aficionado of anime porn, knows a little secret—or at least he thinks he does! Believe it or not, he has stumbled upon an incredible conspiracy created by the Japanese Broadcasting Company, N.H.K. But despite fighting the good fight, Satou has become an unemployed hikikomori—a shut
Paperback, 242 pages
Published October 31st 2007 by Tokyopop Press Inc (first published January 28th 2002)
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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru TanigawaSpice & Wolf, Vol. 1 by Isuna HasekuraKino no Tabi by Keiichi SigsawaThe Twelve Kingdoms by Fuyumi OnoWelcome to the N.H.K. by Tatsuhiko Takimoto
Ranobes - Japanese Light Novels
5th out of 110 books — 123 voters
Battle Royale by Koushun TakamiNorwegian Wood by Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore by Haruki MurakamiThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki MurakamiAfter Dark by Haruki Murakami
Japanese Books That Are Not Manga
11th out of 164 books — 147 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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I really liked how this book led me on a journey through the main character Satou's despair, and his absolute wreck of a life inspired me to change my own. It's like... more subversive than Chuck Palahniuk, but less offensive than Mein Kampf, if you get what I mean. This book is pretty heavy stuff to deal with if you're ALREADY depressed, but it may help you realise there are good and VERY BAD ways to deal with one's melancholy and bleak circumstances.

I have a more philosophical treatment of the
Sean O'Hara
Jul 27, 2011 Sean O'Hara rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-lit, slice-o-life
The collapse of the Japanese economy in the early '90s altered the employment situation in the country, particularly for young people trying to enter the workforce. In the wake of this, several related social phenomenon grew up -- freeters (people stuck in a permanent state of, usually itinerant, underemployment), NEETs (those Not in Employment, Education or Training), and the hikikomori (a more extreme form of NEETs who lock themselves in rooms and eschew human contact). As you can see, this is ...more
Valkyrie Vu
Jul 06, 2016 Valkyrie Vu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Đọc quyển này cảm giác như đọc một cuốn manga đầy chữ . Lần đầu đọc light-novel cũng không tệ . Tuy nhiên nội dung cuốn này lại quá nặng nề so với hình thức và cách thức truyền tải của nó . Chào mừng đến NHK mở ra mặt tối trong xã hội hiện đại Nhật . Hikkikomori, otaku , lolicon .... Cách đây mấy năm xem bản anime của Chào mừng đến NHK thấy sao mà nó hại não , sao mà nó điên rồ một cách kinh khủng đến vậy . Đến khhi đọc light-novel thì lại có một cảm giác nặng nề , sầu thảm bao trùm . Tự nhìn n ...more
Jessica Severs
May 19, 2008 Jessica Severs rated it liked it
So what makes a college student drop out and shut himself away from the rest of society? According to Satou, it’s because of a conspiracy perpetrated by the Japanese TV broadcast company N.H.K.
Satou becomes one of the growing number of hikikomori — agoraphobes — after his persecution complex kicks into high gear. He sits alone in his tiny one-room apartment, rarely venturing into the outside world. He really does want to overcome his status as a worthless, noncontributing member of society, but
May 14, 2015 Lis rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, japanese-lit
There are 2 kinds if people based on how they react toward other's despair of living: those who look down such people and those who sympathize. To me, who falls into the second kind, it's a depressing story covered with some humors.

A hikikomori--people who isolate themselves from society in a room for approximately 6 months or more--named Satou blames an evil power he calls N.H.K. for his current status as hikikomori. Then, he stumbled upon a mysterious girl named Misaki and they made a kind of
Dave Lefevre
Mar 17, 2012 Dave Lefevre rated it it was amazing
This anime, story, and Manga are close to my heart. Being someone who has lived with social anxiety disorder my entire adult life I identify with the main character closely. The characters are people with sadness trying to get along, and it's very sad, touching, and great piece of work.
Mar 03, 2014 Kairi rated it liked it
Shelves: japan
"We're people, so it's painful."

The subjects of this book weren’t really joyful, still I wouldn’t say the atmosphere was gloomy, so it wasn’t one of those books you shouldn’t be reading if you’re depressed because it could make you even more depressed. In fact, it could even give you some insight on your situation (or rather, on life in general).

"Who in the world are we, anyway? If I could answer that question, maybe our destination would change."

I don’t think the characters really come to
Nov 21, 2009 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-ya-fiction
First off, yes, this is a Japanese *novel,* not a manga, despite the manga-style cover. There is a manga version of the story also.

I classified this as a "teen" book despite the main character being an adult, because it has many elements that will appeal to older teens. Our (anti-) hero is a 22-year-old "hikkikomori," a person who has pretty much withdrawn from life--dropped out of school, no job, no social life. The book deals in an understated yet realistic way with the phenomenon, as well as
"Non preoccuparti, Yamazaki. Devi sapere che, in quanto a hikikomori, io sono un professionista. Finche' starai con me la tua situazione non potra' peggiorare piu' di cosi'!" (p. 54)

"Be', e va bene, lasciamo perdere. Allora mettiamola cosi': tu quali capacita' hai?"
"In che senso capacita'?"
"Sai disegnare, comporre musica, oppure usare qualche formidabile programma informatico? Qualcosa?"
"Io... non so fare niente. A volerne proprio trovare una, so stare per un anno intero senza vedere nessuno..."
Jan 10, 2015 Sylwia rated it really liked it
After a few days of thinking, I am finally able to put down my thoughts about this novel.

The author made subtle but wise commentary about socializing, misogyny, agoraphobia/social phobia, and purpose, and I really enjoyed reading those aspects. This book made me think about these concepts and more, and I felt a little bit wiser after finishing. I enjoyed how it made my wheels turn.

My only complaint about this book (and the reason I took off a star) is that the author ends the story in a more ent
May 13, 2014 Myk123 rated it it was amazing
Another book in my 'One of theeeeee best I have ever read'! I read it quite a while back and I also saw the anime series, and one day I was browsing the internet when suddenly the name comes before me and I begin reminiscing... And I get it and read it again... One of the quickest reads because of the stupendous and really interesting way the character is set up and the whole story plays out.... A classic for me.. I know that I will be going back and reading it in the future a few times again at ...more
Oct 17, 2008 Josh rated it liked it
Recommends it for: older teen/college age
Shelves: light-novel
I have trouble thinking of the right way to express how I feel about this book. I definitely enjoyed it, which is apparent by the fact that I read it pretty fast. But it's not something I would go back and make an effort to read again.

This book is also another example of why TokyoPop's Light Novel line didn't succeed. They slap a manga-style image on the front and shelve it with other manga titles. Not only that, but the synopsis on the back of the book doesn't even come close to mentioning wha
Jan 23, 2016 Christian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
While truly quite funny at times this book totally bummed me out. I simply see too much of myself in Satou. I've been somewhat of a hikikomori since I graduated college last May and there are indeed times when I feel as though fate is conspiring to marginalize me. I say this only to attest to the accuracy of Satou's feelings throughout the novel. It made me sadder still to read the afterwords of this book, which make it apparent that Satou's struggle is very much the author's struggle as well, a ...more
Nov 24, 2013 Mizujin rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Manuel Paradela
Sep 23, 2015 Manuel Paradela rated it really liked it
A fucked-up, broken Caufield who doesn't even get any 'phonies' to hate. Or perhaps a weaker, less angry Durden. Quite Radiohead-y. Things and people who seem destroyed by design yet were never designed.
May 27, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it
Takimoto's Welcome to the N.H.K. is a novel about depression. The protagonist, Satou, is a hikikomori, the Japanese term for a person who has a blend of agoraphobia and social anxiety. Hikikomoris typically live in isolation and rarely leave their houses.

Takimoto was a hikikomori himself, and he paints an accurate depiction of depression. Satou knows that he is a failure in the eyes of others but isn't motivated enough to do something about it, so he spins these elaborate lies, both to himself a
Isaac Cooper
Feb 25, 2014 Isaac Cooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a second, she raised her parasol and looked directly into my face. She was smiling brightly. It was an adorable, mocking smile. And I wanted to die.

In this world, conspiracies exist.

The most powerful one, concocted by the NHK, drives ordinary people to shut themselves off from society, destined to live in six-mat, one room apartments forever.

Having initially watched and thoroughly enjoyed the anime, I knew what I was getting into when I started reading Welcome to the NHK. I wondered to my
Jun 12, 2015 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite books. The anime is also really well done. A word of caution to the reader, however. You'll get more out of this book if you avoid trying to attribute social withdrawal, lolicon, etc. to some kind of Japanese pathology (because they're not). Instead, look at it as a frank and darkly comedic portrayal of the way people choose to cope with fear and feelings of inadequacy in modern times.
Nov 29, 2015 Ivy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2014 Filippo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decisamente una bella lettura.
Ho iniziato questa light novel prima ancora di portare a termine la visione della serie animata e, devo ammetterlo, il fascino esercitato dalla carta stampata è stato di gran lunga più alto. La storia è ben sviluppata, introspettiva quando serve, ma divertente e comica allo stesso tempo, pur mantenendosi comunque riflessiva. L'autore, raccontando una storia tutto sommato autobiografica, affronta un tema delicato come quello degli hikikomori, ossia i giovani disoccup
Julian Patton
Oct 11, 2014 Julian Patton rated it it was amazing
I feel like making a review of the book for me personally will be a little bias considering I had already read the manga, watched the anime twice, and generally love the story as whole. Plus I already reviewed the series as a whole in the last volume of the manga, so this isn't really a review of the series, but a short review of the book. Basically its the same story as the manga and anime with characterization shared from both mediums as well as actually giving the supporting cast less of an e ...more
Sep 14, 2016 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, humor, japan, tragedy, 2000s
I read around half of the full run of the manga before it started to get a bit too soul crushing. Also they switched up some of the way it was presented with nonlinear storytelling which i wasnt a huge fan of. But its well worth checking out until at least that point. Especially for anyone who is an autiste, an agoraphobic, or some other sort of nerdy socially peripheral person, which is probably most people who know about this comic. Presents the hikikomori thing really nicely and writes from a ...more
Giang Nguyen
Mình có thể nói là một đứa đã kinh qua khá nhiều thể loại, nhưng phải thừa nhận đây là một tác phẩm "khó đọc". Khó đọc không phải do ngôn ngữ chuyên ngành, văn phong hàn lâm hay quá đen tối mà vì nó phản ánh một hiện thực - mặt trái quá khốc liệt của xã hội nước Nhật mà bản thân mình không tưởng tượng được hoặc vốn dĩ không muốn nghĩ đến.

Mình dĩ nhiên biết NEET, hikikomori tồn tại, chỉ không ngờ nó điên cuồng như thế. Bản thân cũng là người thích ở nhà, không cần thiết phải ra đường nhưng tới mứ
Adam Dreaver
Mar 20, 2015 Adam Dreaver rated it really liked it
If you enjoy books like Trainspotting or Fight Club, or you're interested in the depraved life of an isolated young person living in our modern era, I recommend this book.

I found this an interesting book about an recluse named, Sato, whose living in modern day Japan. Sato is a hikikomori, which is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement. It's estimated that about 1% of
Dec 06, 2014 Radu rated it liked it
I see this book as a story about the human need to constantly deal with factors which oppose us. Whether we are talking about the bear we are fighting in the wilderness or protesting against some government reform, every human being need a clear nemesis. But nowadays many of the enemies we are fighting are impossible to detect and often come from inside us rather than from the world around us. It's a book about isolation, drugs and alcohol and parasites of society that eventually learn to accept ...more
Apr 28, 2014 Chibixio rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Socially awkward people, or people who want to understand the hikkikomori phenomenon
Shelves: novel, young-adult
I had already read the manga adaptation and loved it, but I loved the novel even more. It does a much better work in giving you an insight into Satou's mind. I could relate so much to him it was scary. Actually, I think my timing for reading this was perfect, because the story touched several points that relate to my current situation and feelings. The thing is: when I started reading the book, I was becoming sort of an almost-hikkikomori (still enrolled in university, though). But now that I fi ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Simone rated it it was ok
Since I loved watching the japanese anime tv-series "Welcome to the NHK", I was eager to read the novel that inspired it.

"Welcome to the NHK" tells the story of Satou Tatsuhiro, a japanese hikikomori, a misfit who avoids any contact with society by staying always confined at home.
I can relate to the hikikomori phenomenon, and to the japanese culture in general, and I'm interested in learning more about it.

I had great expectations from this book, but I got quite disappointed.
Some parts of the boo
Krystl Louwagie
Aug 29, 2010 Krystl Louwagie rated it really liked it
2009 review:

This book was on a much deeper level, although it is still a marketed as a comedy in many ways. It's written first person (and hardly fiction as far as I've heard and read about the author and by the 2 after wards he wrote). The man telling the story is in his early 20's, a drop out of college who does not have a job or life outside of his apartment because even though there's nothing technically wrong with him, he can't bring himself to function in society. He goes through some stru
Aug 10, 2015 Rickie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-reading
This was my first light novel from Tokyopop. A light novel that I not only still have with me to this day, but read at least once a year due to how amazing it is. The plot is enriched with something that I do not normally see in other light novels, and I really recommend this deep focus of a novel for people, especially if you have read the manga or seen the anime to compare the little things.
I read this book coz the adapted anime is one of my favourites including the music. There are many plot differences in the book and the anime. I liked the anime much more than the book.

The emotions of inferiority, loneliness, rejection were well conveyed in the anime, perhaps its the music that helped the impact. It also has a lot of comedy sprinkled which was one of the attraction was missing in the book. This review sounds more of anime review than the book but can't help.
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Other Books in the Series

Welcome to the NHK (8 books)
  • Welcome to the NHK, Vol. 1
  • Welcome to the N.H.K. Volume 2
  • Welcome to the N.H.K. Volume 3
  • Welcome to the NHK, #4
  • Welcome to the NHK, #5
  • Welcome to the NHK, #6
  • Welcome to the NHK, #7
  • Welcome to the NHK, #8

Share This Book

“Being alone is best. I mean, it's true, isn't it? In the end you'll be absolutely alone; therefore, being alone is natural. If you accept that, nothing bad can happen. That's why I shut myself away in my six-mat one-room apartment.” 17 likes
“No human beings, regardless of who they might be, want to look directly at their own shortcomings.” 15 likes
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