First Look: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Alternative title(s): Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
Manga Adaptation by A-1 Pictures
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video (currently UK and Canada only)

Premise

Two friends who haven’t seen each other since middle school coincidentally end up working at the same office. They discover they are both still huge nerds and should probably date.

Jel’s verdict: Easy to Watch

I was kind of waffling back and forth on this show thinking they were going to drag out the main couple getting together, so the fact that they do start dating by the end of the episode automatically put this on my watch list. In fact, there are quite a few good things going on here. I like that the characters are adults with some life experience. I also like that even though they are otaku they are not the usual awkward, anti-social stereotypes that you would expect. Probably my favorite thing though is how comfortable Narumi and Hirotaka already are with each other. They already have a very honest relationship, which gives me hope that we can avoid the usual lazy misunderstandings that come with most fictional romances.

If there’s one criticism I have, I’d say so far it seems a bit shallow. To compare with another recent example of an anime about nerds in love, Recovery of an MMO Junkie, that show was told from a very personal first person perspective in which we got to connect with the main character’s realistic, relatable insecurities. In Wotakoi we do get to peek into Narumi’s inner monologue, but it feels like we’re only seeing the surface level or worse, there’s just nothing interesting there.

That said, it’s not like Wotakoi has to be a serious examination of the themes it brings up in order to be enjoyable. At surface level it’s still a cute and entertaining romantic comedy with the older cast giving it a unique feel for an anime. I’m happy with just that, and if they can add some more depth later then that will only make things better.

Artemis’ verdict: Worth a Shot

Despite the weird and completely unnecessary fixation this show seems to have on a certain body part (sigh… are we really still not over characters commentating on other cast members’ breast sizes?), this was a fairly enjoyable episode. I’m not quite sure what I think of our main character, who seems strangely judgmental given her own self-proclaimed otaku status, but I do like what I’ve seen so far from Hirotaka, who helps make up for Narumi’s personality problems, and I think the other two could bring some potentially fun dynamics to the table. Wotaku also just seems like a fun, easygoing title in general, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a (decent) anime about working adults rather than teenagers going on this season.

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