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Meet Satou Tatsuhiro, a 22 year-old hermit who thinks that a secret organization known as the N.H.K. is out to fill the world with reclusive adolescents like himself, also known as hikikomori. Now theyve upped the ante by using media to turn unsuspecting viewers into otaku, and Satou becomes determined to stop the N.H.K. Theres only one problem-hes too frightened to even go outdoors!
As the offbeat comedy Welcome to the NHK continues, 22-year-old Tatsuhiro Sato tries to escape from his isolation, and the filmmakers face the challenge of humanizing this inert character. Misaki goads Sato into leaving his grubby apartment, something he's done only to buy basic necessities for four years. He visits the high-tech college his next-door neighbor Yamazaki attends, and surprises the writing teacher with his talent. But Sato's neuroses convince him every compliment is really a disguised insult from the amorphous conspirators ranged against him. He flees the school. A visit from Sato's mother pushes him to greater honesty, and reveals unexpected vulnerabilities in Misaki. Although it's often outrageously funny, Welcome to the NHK deals with a very real problem: the number of hikikomori--young people who withdraw from society--is rising in Japan, and the syndrome has begun to appear in other countries. (Rated TV MA, suitable for ages 15 and older: minor violence, profanity, risqué & toilet humor, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon