Characters: Welcome to the N.H.K.

Tatsuhiro Satou

Voiced by: Yutaka Koizumi (JP), Chris Patton (EN)

  • Classical Anti-Hero: He is a highly unstable NEET who places all of the blame for his highly unstable life on a conspiracy organization known to him as the NHK. Yet he is ultimately a good-hearted person who wants to be a productive member of society, and most of his angst stems from feeling he is unable to lead a productive life.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Thanks to Hitomi's influence.
  • Cosmic Plaything: While he lives in a painfully mundane world, he thinks he is the target of this type of cosmic conspiracy.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Has a lot of tissues in his room.
  • Fatal Flaw: Appears to have a very addictive personality, seeing how quickly and easily he becomes obsessed with internet porn or MMORPGs or whatever new thing he's discovering.
  • Hikikomori
  • Loser Protagonist: He's a hikikomori who does nothing but stay in his house all day, has never attended college,has paralyzing anxiety issues, is a barely concealed pervert, and acts like a jerk on a fairly regular basis.
  • Meaningful Name: It's actually in the fact that it doesn't mean much. The surname Satou/Sato is so common in Japan that it is meant to represent the majority of Japanese society and what they struggle with. The English equivalent would be naming the main character Smith.
  • Porn Stash: At one point, Satou downloads 120 gigabytes of porn.
  • Shrinking Violet: Why else would he be a hikikomori?
  • This Loser Is You: May as well be the entire premise of the show.

Misaki Nakahara

Voiced by: Yui Makino (JP), Stephanie Wittels (EN)

  • Abusive Parent: In the novel and anime, it's revealed that Misaki was physically abused by her stepfather. The abuse ultimately caused her mother to commit suicide through falling off a cliff.
  • All Take and No Give: Partway through the series, Satou begins to fear and hallucinate that Misaki may be trying to trick him into becoming completely dependent on her. She is.
  • Break the Cutie
  • Broken Bird: She flinches noticeably when she presumes another character is going to strike her because of the fact that she was forced to live with her abusive stepfather who constantly beat her, and she also attempts suicide by throwing herself off the same cliff her mother did years before.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Misaki goes past it after Satou refuses to be in a relationship with her.
  • Deuteragonist: She's been a part of the story for as long as Satou himself, and the basic plot gets kicked off because of her project.
  • Driven to Suicide: Almost, in the novel and anime.
  • Girl Next Door: Her innocence and rather plain beauty is, at first, an integral part of her relationship with Satou, combining this trope with Manic Pixie Dream Girl. However, both tropes become subverted when she is slowly revealed to exhibit nearly every symptom of a textbook case of Borderline Personality Disorder, including extreme self-esteem issues, self-harm, skewed social perspective, and an unhealthy (suicidally so) obsession with Satou.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: Misaki spends most of the next-to-last episode talking to Satou about suicide notes, and particularly about one famous suicide note where the writer complimented his parents' cooking. She leaves a suicide note of that form on her bed ("The New Year's grated yams were delicious. So to everybody, goodbye."), which is Satou's cue to start looking for her.
  • Limited Wardrobe: She almost always wears the same sweater and miniskirt, even under freezing conditions.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed, as she gloms onto the Satou because she needs to have the company of people she considers even more pathetic than herself..
  • Manipulative Bitch: In the manga.
  • Stepford Smiler
  • Weakness Turns Her On: A rather brutal example. Misaki selects Sato for her "project" of curing him from being a hikikomori, and the time they spend together eventually leads to there being quite a bit of romantic tension between the pair. It's later revealed that Misaki chose Sato, because she wanted to find someone who was even more "worthless" than she was and prove she could fix them because of her abusive stepfather telling her that she was a useless human being. As a broken recluse, Sato fit the bill.
  • Woman in White
  • Yandere: In the manga. She's much more innocent in the anime.

Kaoru Yamazaki

Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (JP), Greg Ayres (EN)

Hitomi Kashiwa

Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (JP), Luci Christian (EN)

  • Broken Bird: She appears to be successful despite her constant ravings about conspiracies. However, in the middle of the series, it is shown she is a bit of an outcast at work and unhappy in her relationship, even to the point that she joins a suicide pact and seems intent on jumping off a cliff over the ocean, until her boyfriend asks her to marry him, thus saving her.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: "It's a conspiracy" is practically her Catch Phrase.

Megumi Kobayashi

Voiced by: Risa Hayamizu (JP), Monica Rial (EN)