If you're looking for anime similar to Welcome to the NHK!, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
In the year 2075, humanity has spread to the stars, along with their technology, colonies, and... waste? At such great speeds in orbit, even a tiny bolt can cause a tragic disaster. Enter the team of the half division. Their job? To gather the garbage and debris that circles the Earth, in order to keep space safe. From broken-down satellites to bolts and nails, there's nothing that the underpaid and underappreciated staff can't salvage. Join Hachimaki, Tanabe, Fee, and the rest of the gang as they risk their lives to keep space clean, and keep their wallets... empty.
Both Planetes and Welcome to The NHK! are not average series; they are both intelligent and ambitious anime titles that can watch without feeling like you wasted your time. There are no mecha and no superpowers, just some people and their everyday problems. And yet, these anime have an intelligent message (that is, if you are smart enough to understand it). Keep in mind that these series are aimed at an adult audience.
True, Planetes is sci-fi and NHK is not, but I cannot think of any two series more perfect for each other than these. These are two slice-of-life titles that are hilarious, poignant, addictive, entertaining and indescriably brilliant all in equal measure. They have memorably shiftless guys in their early twenties searching for meaning in life and a younger, more idealistic woman who makes a lasting impression on him. If you loved one, it is absolutely imperative that you try the other as well!
Asai Mugi's everyday life is very much impacted by a singular problem: she suffers from extreme shyness. Her sole friend Touyama Kayo would like to help her out as they've just entered high school, but Mugi's shyness is the sort that steals her voice entirely. It is too bad for Mugi that a freak shout on her part attracted the attention of Nono Ichinose. Nono is on a mission to save her Drama Research Society, and she isn't prepared to accept shyness as excuse from on-stage performances! With a small group of close friends to encourage and educate her, Mugi will be given a chance to be more than she is now. But, can someone so terribly shy really become a stage actress in just a few short months?
If you like anime with interesting character development, you could try watching Hitohira (just keep in mind that it's a much lighter series than Welcome to The NHK!). There isn't much that connects those two series, but I would consider both to be motivating. If Welcome to The NHK! was motivating for you then you might like Hitohira, but then again if NHK was a comedy for you, you won't find Hitohira very entertaining (even though it has a bunch of comical scenes).
P.S. Also the main character from Hithohira does look bit alike one of the characters from NHK. Guess which one! ^^
In both Hitohira and Welcome to the NHK, the plain character is half forced to do something that is in contradiction with his/her normal personality, but will eventually become a passion after working on it sometimes. Both are also the stories of friendships that revolve around those passions and involve more than mere common projects, but also influence on each other's personalities and dreams. If you liked one, you'll also like the other.
On a chilly December evening, Hana, a transvestite, Misaki, a teenage runaway, and Gin, a retired bike racer, found little Kiyoko in the trash. For three homeless people, finding an abandoned baby might not have been the best of luck, but with good intentions and two cents to chip in, the trio set out to find the parents of the child. But locating the mother will not be an easy task, and all they have to go on is a small key...
Stories about the misfits society leaves behind make very good sob stories. By cruel twists of fate or psychological problems, the characters in NHK and Tokyo Godfathers have sunk to the depths of low. Each character in both these titles has a tragic past to explore. Tear jerkers alternate with jokes, sometimes within seconds of one another, to keep everything light enough to be pleasant.
Welcome to the NHK and Tokyo Godfathers are both sharp comedies with elements of drama (or is it the other way around?) about the outcasts of society - social recluses, or hikikomoris, in NHK, and the homeless in Tokyo Godfathers. They're also, to various extents, about people helping the less fortunate to fill some void of their own. Some of the funniest and, at times, some of the most touching anime out there. Strongly recommended.
In another world, there exist many countries, each with different cultures, customs, and traditions. From technological marvels to folk legends, each location yields a vast wealth of insight of its people: their hopes and their dreams, their failures and fears. Kino is a traveler whose goal is to visit as many new places as possible, learning about others' ways of life, but also making sure to stay clear of their affairs. Together with the talking motorrad Hermes, Kino sets out to explore the beautiful world and meet its inhabitants, wherever they may be.
After watching this you'll think wow that's life for you. Thats what life is about. When you watch Kino's Journey it'll also make you think "wow thats their life." It's very psyxhological and lonely at the same time.
Probes deeper into some of the psychological and philosophical questions NHK brought up.
In an era when ordering on the internet has become the norm, online vendors have a new favorite customer: Sakurada Jun! From voodoo dolls to x-ray specs, there's nothing this middle schooler can't get enough of -- until a strange package arrives one day. Inside is a sentient doll named Shinku, who is one of a special hand crafted set of dolls called Rozen Maiden. Luckily for Jun, not only does he get to keep her, but she's decided he'll be... her new servant?! Join Jun as he struggles to keep his sanity in a house full of dolls who all want his servant skills for themselves!
The main theme in NHK and Rozen Maiden is being a hikikomori and dealing with it in everyday life. Both of these anime are pretty dark and sometimes harsh, but there are some good moments and smiling faces in them too. After all, you only get one life...
Rozen Maiden's lead male is. like Sato from NHK, a hikikomori. Beyond that, each of these series have a darker focus that are more or less centered around trying to get someone to fully live their life.