Welcome to the NHK is my favorite example to use of shows where Gonzo screws up everything. It’s not a complete trainwreck where you wonder what the hell was going through their minds, or where they completely sabotage the source material, but rather where the constant accumulation of little, possibly even unnecessary changes build up to cause problems with the material later on.
The first change, almost immediately, is that it’s not apparent that Sato is a drug addict. In the manga, this is explicit, with him getting drugs from Kashiwa, who steals them from her job as a medical assistant. Instead of making it appear that Sato has hit rock bottom (and that Kashiwa is pretty scummy, rather than just kind of emo), he’s just a kind of weirdo who thinks that everyone is out to get him.
Then, Sato’s interest in lolicon is replaced with simply liking porn. The whole point of having him have that lolicon obsession early on is to make him seem really creepy as he scours the innertubes for lolicon (and I believe it implies child pornography) to the point where he ends up deleting the system files on his computer to fit in even more porn. But with the emphasis now just being on regular porn, he’s simply a red-blooded male. And hell, “filling up ones hard drive” goes from being a sign of obsession to a sign of banality when he could probably have done that by downloading a couple dozen porn DVD ISOs.
So ultimately, rather than being really fucked up, he’s kind of just weird and socially maladjusted. With that characterization in mind, when Sato and Yamazaki try to make their game, it almost seems like a good entrepreneurial idea that can give him some direction, rather than another sign of his descent into fucked uppery. Again, the filing down of the lolicon edge hurts here since it makes the whole thing sound way less creepy.
Weirdly, however, this almost makes the more upbeat ending kind of work. I have to say “almost” though because I do think that the show wants you to think that Sato is really fucked up even though it doesn’t really do a good job of portraying this.
Would I watch it even if I weren’t forced? I got about 1/3 of the way in originally until I got wary of the changes and stopped.