Top 12 Best Hikikomori & NEET Anime (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
These days it feels like it’s easier than ever to live in a hikikomori paradise.
Being locked inside and spending the entire day online, it’s easy to get a taste of what it means to be a NEET. If you’re a fan of this kind of anime, even better!
If you’re looking for some anime series with this hikikomori theme, I’ve ranked the best ones that are worth checking out. From the comfort of your own living room, of course.
12. No Game, No Life
I want to start off the list with two picks that are about hikikomori people, but are far from the usual setting.
In the case of No Game No Life, the protagonist sibling duo who never left the house, are transported to a fantasy world.
Once there, most of their previous hikikomori nature disappears. They become distinguished figures in the world.
They do keep their immense separation issues, though, as they basically have an aneurism whenever they’re apart from each other.
Because the protagonists were only hikikomori in the real world, this show is worth a watch but may not be the most NEET-y out there.
In a very similar fashion to the previous entry, Btoom also starts off as a hikikomori festival. But soon dawns the isekai mask and becomes more “outgoing”.
Our protagonist is a guy named Ryouta who lives and breathes a video game called Btoom!
He plays it constantly and manages to climb the ranks to be among the best in the world.
Because of his skills in the game, he gets selected to really play the game. And is now made to murder people in order to survive (odd twist for sure).
10. The Wallflower
Now this show really doesn’t go with the whole “perks” part of being a wallflower.
Rather it’s about the struggle of four guys trying to get their female friend into society.
Sunako Nakahara is deemed as not being a “proper lady” for staying inside all the time. But her unwillingness is mostly based on her appearance.
She doesn’t particularly like all the hot popular people, as she feels she has been wronged by that crowd.
She kind of just hangs out with her messy hair, oversized clothes, pimply face, oh my god she is literally “not like other girls”.
On a serious note, the show is rather funny and definitely deserves a mention here. Worth at least checking out the pilot.
9. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Anohana is definitely a bit more serious, since it is less about “I like videogames more than people”, and it’s more about “childhood trauma is damaging”.
In short, a friend group is devastated after one person from the gang dies in a tragic accident.
This influences the rest of the cast significantly. We’re told this story through the eyes of the former leader of the group, who has now completely isolated himself from society.
However, his now-deceased friend comes back as a ghost many years later. And the gang meets up once more.
From there on it’s a path of trial and error as they collectively all try to move forward. An absolutely beautiful show.
If the semicolon didn’t give it away, this show was created by the same person who made Steins; Gate.
So prepare for a wild ride.
Instead of the usual hikikomori pastime of video games, the MCs find their refuge from their world by delving into the occult.
Through a blog, they all share little mysteries and odd occurrences they’ve seen.
But little did they know that they were all connected. And before they knew it they stumbled into the world of the supernatural, which was much larger than they initially signed up for.
7. Rozen Maiden
I just mentioned the occult and supernatural, yet this show seems to be even more out there.
As we’ve all painfully discovered by now, online shopping is amazing and addictive. And sometimes you get the wrong order.
Our MC here is a boy fed up with the bullies in the real world. So he just stayed at home purchasing different types of dolls from the Internet.
But one day a doll arrives that’s a bit out of the norm.
The norm being that dolls aren’t sentient, and won’t want you to be their servant.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, this doll is only one out of an entire collection.
But hey, at least they get him out of his shell, I guess.
6. Mekakucity Actors
The story goes like this: a true hikikomori named Shintaro locks himself inside of his room for two whole years.
At one point he gets a mysterious e-mail that contains a sentient, literal e-girl named Ene.
Tragedy strikes around the two year mark, as Shintaro’s keyboard malfunctions and he has to venture out into the world to get a replacement.
But instead of getting the usual “hit by a truck” treatment, he instead gets the “entangled in a robbery” DLC.
A group of Uchiha lookalikes save him. And before he knows it, he’s part of their gang and all of their weird occult powers. It’s a wild ride to say the least.
5. Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!
If you’re the type of person who watches cringe compilations on YouTube, I highly recommend this show.
I’m not kidding when I say that it just might be the most awkward, “oh god kill me” anime ever.
The protagonist is a young girl in the pursuit of popularity, friends, and a boyfriend.
She tries different methods of achieving this goal. But usually stumbles at hello and falls straight on her face.
There are no supernatural elements, no unbelievable glow ups, saint high schoolers or anything of the sort.
It’s such a morbidly realistic take on the awkwardness of being a teenager that you almost want to applaud it.
4. Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
Sayonara is one of those shows where you honestly can’t tell whether it will give you depression, or cure it.
We open with our MC, a teacher who’s so morbidly depressed that even the slightest inconvenience makes him want to kill himself.
And then there’s his class, which also contains an array of mental issues; one of them being a full hikikomori.
Want to know what the kicker is?
This is a comedy! So if you’re in the mood for some morbid as hell humour then Sayonara might just be your new best friend.
3. Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai ken
I thought this would go great a bit higher up on the list, since it’s also a comedy anime. Only this time the source of its humour is far more wholesome than, you know, suicide jokes.
This is an incredibly short series which you can watch in an hour or so. But hardly is any minute wasted.
It depicts the life of a married couple, an otaku NEET husband and a business woman wife.
But for once the otaku culture isn’t just kicked around on the floor. Because their relationship seems incredibly pure and their chemistry very real.
The wife tries her hardest to understand her husband’s passion, and is therefore wifey material for sure.
2. Net-juu no Susume (Recovery of an MMO Junkie)
The translation of this title is “Recovery of an MMO Junkie”.
If you got some war flashbacks from when classic WoW came back on the scene, then this show should be up your alley.
Our protagonist is a woman who quits her corporate job and decides to sink her hours into an MMORPG.
But remember, she’s a woman. Not a teen. So this isn’t her not wanting to be popular in school or fantasising of becoming the next Ninja.
It’s more along the lines of a mid-life crisis.
Over time the virtual and the real world start intertwining, and we even get some rom-com action along the way.
1. Welcome to the N.H.K.
When I thought of my picks for this list, no other anime popped into my head as vividly as N.H.K.
It’s morbid yet sometimes uplifting, and painfully realistic yet sometimes over the top.
These are just anime characters, and yet real people too.
The story follows one man and his struggle to stop being a hikikomori. The key word being struggle.
It’s not constantly downhill. But it’s also not a steady recovery either.
It is a rocky journey filled with many setbacks and disappointments.
For this reason I have to rank it at number one, because whether we like it or not, there is no one button to cure the human psyche.
It’s a long and treacherous path that you’ll occasionally stray away from, but hopefully get back on in order to truly improve. This anime will hit pretty close to home if any of this rings true.