Wotakoi: Love is Hard for an Otaku
Wotakoi is centered around Momose Narumi, a salary woman without any real aspirations for herself. Sure, Narumi would like a hot boyfriend, but who would accept her? She’s a diehard otaku. Narumi’s so self-conscious about her past-time hobbies that she ends up quitting her company and moving to a new job. Unluckily for her though, her old childhood friend Nifuji Hirotaka is working for the company she moves to. Not only that but Hirotaka even knows her dirty secrets!
In a strange way though, this works out for Narumi, as at least she has a fellow otaku friend in Hirotaka to bond with at work. One thing leads to another, and the two realize they’re actually perfect for one another, as neither has to hide who they are! Narumi even discovers that her senpai Koyanagi Hanko is one of her favorite cosplayers, and the two hit it off immediately. Suddenly Narumi’s life is looking pretty good, and Narumi manages to form a social circle at her work without having to hide who she is.
“Enviable” is probably the first word that comes to mind watching Wotakoi. Narumi lives the life we all wish we had. Narumi has managed to stumble upon the perfect social life, finding the hot boyfriend who’s just as much of a geek she is. Additionally she has a best friend who she can nerd out with her about hot boys. And friends she can play video games with! If this were your standard high school slice of life show, it might come off as a bit too self-indulgent. What makes it work is the setting. Narumi and all her friends are working adults who are looking for a social life! This reflects the age group of the audience. Those nerdy kids in high school that used to be the center of these romantic slice-of-life shows are now adults. And adulthood doesn’t have to be the end of their fun times.
This shift in age groups is the key to making Wotakoi more relatable to a new audience. Another good point is that while many shows, in order to skirt copyright laws, generally come up with their own “parodies” of popular franchises and just make a wink to their audience about what it’s supposed to be, but not here in Wotakoi. In the first episode, we actually watch Hirotaka play actual footage of Monster Hunter on his Nintendo Switch. Episode 3 has Narumi playing Mario Kart with Hirotaka, Koyanagi, and Kabakura, and the actual talk about getting stars and shells. To be honest, it’s probably meant to be product placement, but it helps sells the realism of the world.
The only issue with Wotakoi is that there doesn’t seem to be much of a driving goal to the series. There might be a little drama per episode, like Narumi feeling insecure over Hirotaka’s obvious preference for large boobs, or Koyanagi and Kabakura fighting over Narumi calling Kabakura cute, but overall it’s a pretty low-stakes show. Hirotaka and Narumi are already dating, and there’s not a lot threatening that relationship overall.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for an Otaku comes highly recommended! If you’re looking for a fun, breezy show with some otaku-centric comedy, this is for you. Anyone looking for a meatier series might want to look elsewhere.
While there’s not a whole lot of content, Wotakoi is a very cute romance overall!