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YMMV / Welcome to the N.H.K.

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  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • The anime is much more well-known than the original novel, particularly outside Japan.
    • In America, the manga sold better than the anime (due partly to ADV's imploding mid-release, partly to the poor reception the anime got due to Off-Model), although the anime is easier to find now.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • In the anime, Misaki is either just a depressed girl looking for affection and purpose, or she's a broken and manipulative stalker that's trying to force a shut-in to spend time/be in a relationship with her. It all depends on your point of view.
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    • Also in the anime, Satou is either someone who is just not sure what to do with their life, or one of the most selfish people in the series who constantly scolds others for trying to help him.
      • Manga Satou is worse. At least anime Satou attempts to improve (especially having his food supply get cut off).
    • And isn't Hitomi ultimately the one who messed up Satou's head with her terminal nihilism and constant rambling about conspiracies? One might think she secretly enjoys the power she has over him.
  • Anvilicious: Life's hardships are better dealt with head-on instead of running from them.
    • Overlaps with the Misaimed Fandom for a lot of readers. Even if it's better to deal with life head-on, looking at a character who for a lot of otaku with anxiety problems is like a disturbingly reflective mirror, it just becomes painful to read and causes them to become even bigger introverts. An understandable choice, as even the author succumbed to it.
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    • Also, the surprisingly light message in such a dark series: Even if you feel worthless and alone there are still people who love you and care about you.
    • Satou's revelation that the hikkikomori lifestyle is highly impractical and is only sustainable as long as someone pays for it which can't last forever.
  • Awesome Music: "Odoru Akachan Ningen" as the ending theme and in the final episode. In fact, the entire soundtrack is beautiful. Go listen to it. Right now.
    • It's sang by Kenji Ohtsuka when he was in his band Kingshow. This is the same singer who gave us the opening theme songs to Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, of course it's going to be awesome.
    • Puzzle is a pretty good opening song (got to love those trumpets) and Hitori Bocchi is pretty iconic. Supra Darky even nominated Hitomi no Tame no Lullaby and Make It Home from Monster as good songs despite more of a VGM guy (over 1,000 songs too!). The soundtrack is just that good.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Yamazaki's misogynist rant against women, culminating in, "BEGONE, DIRTY WHORES!"
    • Especially as he instantly abandons his previous misogynistic attitude when the girl he likes calls to invite him to go watch the fireworks.
  • Idiot Plot: The pyramid scheme/"Multi-Level Marketing" storyline in the anime. The characters genuinely believe in the scams for long enough, but it's Played for Laughs.
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    • It's not so straightforward: Satou suspects it from the start and doesn't need to see much evidence to convince him. Yet while Megumi was genuinely suckered in, she gets Satou because she tells him it's a scam, that he can use to 'take revenge' on the world. Misaki is taken by Megumi, believe it or not, trying to get back Satou's money. Megumi's pretty good at this.
  • Iron Woobie: While Yamazaki may not seem like an obvious woobie because he doesn't complain about his problems, he was bullied in school, left home because his parents tried to plan out every detail of his future, designed a game that failed spectacularly, and eventually had to give up his dreams and move back to the life he was trying to escape.
  • Memetic Mutation: Satou's T-shirt with "ХУṄ" written on it became a popular in-joke on Russian imageboards and anime forums. The reason for that? Well, the word "хуй" is a Russian vulgar word for "dick".
  • Misaimed Fandom: Let's just say that some of the series' core messages, such as "no Manic Pixie Dream Girl is going to appear out of nowhere and fix your problems for you - and if one does, she's probably just manipulating you" and "being a Hikkikomori is an unsustainable and impractical lifestyle", aren't taken the way they're intended by certain fans.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: One of the techniques Misaki recommended Sato use to get over his being a hikikomori sounded a bit like this.
  • Tear Jerker: Episode 13.
    • In particular, the first hints of what happened to Misaki are stomach-churning.
    • And the episode where Yamazaki moves back to his farm realizing that his dream is futile. Hell, all of the last 4 episodes qualify.
    • Most of the show walks the line between this and pitch-black comedy, really.
  • The Woobie: Satou. He's a good person, he just doesn't know it. Misaki also qualifies once you learn why she wants to help Satou: her mother committed suicide, she blames herself and considers herself to be worthless and wants to find a friend/lover who's more pathetic than her.
    • Jerkass Woobie - Megumi. While she scammed a lot of people, she did it to support her older hikikomori brother, who she cared about a lot. She doesn't exactly seem proud of her actions either.
      • Her brother also qualifies, once he stops being a hikikomori and puts the moves on Misaki because Satou didn't/couldn't.
      • Yamasaki. Bossy and demanding, yet he was bullied in high school.
      • Hell, every character on the show could count as a Jerkass Woobie depending on your interpretation.

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