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!
To make money, high school student Shinkurou Kurenai works for the secretive Benika as a "dispute mediator," acting to intervene in the disputes of clients – often violently. One day, Benika gives him a much different assignment: to protect Murasaki Kuhoin, a seven-year-old girl from the wealthy Kuhoin family. This turns out to be a more troublesome task than he expects, as Murasaki is spoiled, naive, and completely unaware of what life is like outside of the luxurious one she had previously. He also has no idea why Murasaki needs his protection, though he is slowly obtaining details from a well-informed classmate. Adding to his problems, Shinkurou still must continue to do his previous work for Benika and take care of his social relationships in school while protecting Murasaki, complicating his entire life. Nonetheless, as time passes, he and Murasaki grow close; however, trouble brews in the shadows as everyone - including Shinkurou - seems to be harboring secrets...
Both Kurenai and Welcome to the NHK! are slice-of-life comedies involving characters who are anything but ordinary. But that's part of the charm - watching these out-of-the-ordinary individuals trying to deal with life's ordinary circumstances, leading to outrageous humor as we view life from their own unique perspectives. The animation style of both are very similar and fit the overall slice-of-life comedy style very well.
After having lived elsewhere for several years, Sana returns to the town in which he grew up in, and quickly begins to reacquaint himself to his surroundings and new high school. While there, Sana runs into his four childhood friends: Shuu, Shuri, Aoi, and Nanaka; but for some strange reason Nanaka gives him the cold shoulder. As he goes about his new daily life, can Sana rebuild his friendship with Nanaka while trying to deal with a troubling secret from his past?
Nozomu Itoshiki is in despair… again! Condemned a traitor to a religious cult he'd never joined, Nozomu finds himself pursued far-and-wide by its mutated, fanatical worshippers. In his final escape-turned-suicide-attempt, he plunges headlong into the oceanic depths. Sometime later he is discovered - beached, naked, and unconscious -by the unbearably cheery Fuura Kafuka, who drags him to her all-girl high school for care. To his dismay, he is instantly appointed teacher to Kafuka, and her class of extraordinary misfits. What ensues is an unending series of schizophrenic absurdities, beginning with the re-introduction of Nozomu's troubled students; and their problems - tail fetishes, stalking, closet-hiding – quickly become his problems. Thus the grand question arises: will Nozomu finally succeed in ending his life, or will his students beat him to it?
Watching ZSZS, I realised that it would be a very difficult show to make a recommendation for. The visuals hit you hard, the audio is slick and constantly changing, anfd you never feel like you comfortably settle into part of the show. I don't think any other show can reach the strange heights of ZSZS...
However, Welcome to the NHK does its damndest to keep up. Although not as disprate and visually bizarrel, it does have an eclectic mix of genres that will appeal to the otaku viewer.
Both shows are aimed specifically at people who know some of the nuances of the Japanese culture, and will keep you laughing along the way.
Yukino had it all. Brilliant, athletic, popular and pretty, she was the perfect school girl with many friends and admirers. But then one fateful day she met her match: a handsome young man named Arima. Now, not only is he beating her at her own game, she's becoming more and more dismayed to learn that she's developing her first real feelings of romance. Can Yukino maintain her model student appearance, or will love ruin all her plans?
I can think of very few anime that are as giftedly brilliant in their moments of comedy as they are also in handling their drama. Welcome to the NHK! is basically by far the best of these, but Kare Kano - despite the lack of an ending and unfortunate tendency to include massive recaps - is most definitely another. Each have elements of romance, though it is a much more major issue in Kare Kano, and both have elements of psychological introspection on behalf of the characters. Both of their soundtracks are really superb and sound very similar, too. While on the surface very different series I think they work for much of the same reasons.
Meet the bizarre and twisted psychiatric doctor Ichirou Irabu. Occasionally taking the form of a lime green bear, a young man or even a small child, this freaky physician and his seductively sadistic nurse Mayumi deal with all manner of patients. Though in order to satiate his rampant injection fetish, everyone receives the same treatment: a large vaccination, whether they need it or not! From a trapeze artist suffering from insomnia, to an office worker tormented by a permanent erection, to a romance novelist with OCD and stress-induced vomiting, no one is safe from Dr. Ichirou's unique and psychedelic medical practice.
Both Welcome to the NHK and Kuuchuu Buranko take serious subject matter and turn it into dark comendy. Both comment on present day urban culture and individuas experiencing clashes with it and within it, and both are loaded with wild humor. The themes of social anxiety and insecurity run deep in both.
Whereas Kuuchuu Buranko is the more pyschedelic of the two, Welcome to the NHK concerns itself more with social commentary. And both have a touch of the other aspect too.