Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
Length: 11 episodes, 2 Ova’s
Genre: Comedy, Slice of life, Romance, Josei
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku is one of my absolute favorite shows. It’s cute, sweet, romantic and quirky. It’s the “warm bowl of ramen with a soft boiled egg on a cold night under a warm blanket” of shows. Any anime fan, who loves romance, comedy and have their passion for a certain hobby will absolutely relate to this show in more than one way – from a teenager in high school, to an office going adult. Also, though it may not seem that way, this show has a quiet realistic take on friendship, romance and passion. And so it deserves a season 2.
A cute workplace romance that circles around 2 particular Otaku couples. One being a hardcore gamer Hirotaka Nifuji (voiced by Kento Itou) and a Yaoi fangirl Narumi Momose(voiced by Arisa Date) the other couple being a Cosplayer Hanako Koyanagi(voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro) and a slightly less intense Otaku who loves heroes and Bishoujo Tarou Kabakura(voiced by Tomokazu Sugita).
Let’s start with the absolute banger of an opening track “Fiction” by Sumika with the cutest dance that probably every weeb couple would want to do together. Adorable AF.
This show is filled with tons of tender moments of friendship, couple quarrels, make ups, fetishes, caring and romance. It may seem like a slow burner for some but the sweet time taken for their relationship to build is what makes it even special.
The group of friends itself has an interesting dynamic where both the men and women have preferences opposite to whom they are dating, but despite of it, hit it off with hilarious outcomes. Furthermore, their friendship seems to take a beautiful growth as a group of otakus where they can be themselves and share similar interests.
Koyanagi and Narumi get closer each episode as they share and discuss their interests while having the other try it as well. They quickly watch and read each other’s recommendations just so they can talk about it. Having a fun time going in details about their BL (Boy’s love) fantasies, bringing them even closer calling each other soulmates makes my heart melt. The ecstatic way they discuss their favourite characters when they feel the same way and how it turns quickly into a battle when the POV’s don’t match is hilariously displayed. #canrelate. 😛
Be it in their friendships or their relationships they have a wonderful understanding towards each other. They are okay with having to prioritise their interests over one another often; an understanding comes with them sharing similar passion for their interest. but they do always come through for each other and have each other’s back when it matters.
Hirotaka and Narumi: If they were an ice cream it would Cookies and Cream ❤
Narumi spent most of her life hiding her Otaku side in every relationship in the past. So after being dumped by her previous boyfriend on finding out the otaku side she changes jobs, where she meets her childhood friend Hirotaka. Both being Otakus, they decide to date each other as it might be convenient. But what starts off as a sweet deal for each other’s company ends up becoming an even sweeter, funny, heartwarming romance that you cannot help but gush over.
Hirotaka is the epitome of emotional intelligence. Not only does he accept her for who she is, he also takes interest in the things she likes – like reading a BL manga to know what it is that she likes about.
He wants to be there for her, be it to help her gain XP and rare items in games, help her finish her manga before her deadlines and assist her at her exhibition booths, or even just wait for her to grab a drink after work.
She on the other hand is considerate and cherishes the fact that they both can be themselves with each other. She cares for him in her own way and wants to be the person by his side to grow together. She wants to be a part of his world, and wants him to be a part of hers.
“I’m not with you just because you’re an Otaku, or just because it’s easy. I love seeing you do the things you like.”-Nifuji Hirotaka
It’s the little things: Munchies of love
I love how this anime isn’t about grand romantic gestures. It’s filled with the little things you do for the ones you love, and noticing it without taking it for granted. One of my favourite moments was when Narumi was panicking about her not having her Pink underwear on for her “night out” with Hirotaka, while he mistakes it for her wanting a Pink controller for the Wii, which he didn’t have. After a few episodes, though they outright don’t mention it, you can see Hirotaka actually buys a pink controller for her.
Knowing what you love, but also taking time out for the loved ones. Small gestures, communication, honesty and consideration. It’s filled with tiny moments of sheer butterflies. You know as they say, ‘love isn’t one grand gesture, it’s a continued effort’. This show portrays that in a subtle yet beautiful way.
“Because I know it’s you, even if I can’t see you”– Nifuji Hirotaka
I appreciate the fact that they both don’t mind pacing their relationship. It’s one step at a time. Being comfortable with who they are they start off with Otaku activities as dates like their anime dates, and arcade dates or home date, but you can see them slowly take a step forward to move out of their comfort zones to help their relationship grow. Even if it doesn’t go as they planned, they are just glad that they are taking an effort. And that’s what counts.
“I’m pretty childish too, I thought nothing had changed, but it has, little by little, slowly. Things are changing at our own pace. I’m just going to leave it at that.”– Nifuji Hirotaka.
Koyanagi Vs Kabakura: French Fries Dipped in Whipped cream (Don’t lie, I know you like it)
Koyanagi has an outgoing personality, loves friendship and loves her man. Fiercely. Meanwhile, Kabakura is rather a hard headed discreet guy, who doesn’t like to show emotions and likes timid cute girls. Their personalities often conflict. And not gonna lie, they could probably work on handling their conflicts in a healthier way. But it just goes to show that not all couples are alike. I loved that they showed this contrast between both the couples. Koyanagi and Kabakura rarely see eye to eye on most things, but they have a deep intense love for eachother which they just find hard to express via usual means.
One of the OVA’s, I’d definitely recommend, shows the beginnings of their relationship since they were in highschool which explains why they are the way they are. It’s their way of expression of love. If I could describe their relationship in a simple way it would be how you crave something sweet after something spicy, and then crave for something sweet again.
That Otaku Life:
Along with the cute and cozy romance that this anime has, it’s also a joy ride of Otakus everywhere of all kind. Shojo, shonen, gaming, other TV shows like kdramas, kpop stans, or literally any fandom. It portrays our passion for these things that inspire us, makes us creative and happy, give us comfort when we need it, and at times even motivates us to do better. It is filled with relatable moments for any fan.
Have you had a bad day because one of your favourite characters died in one of your favourite shows? I am still not Over Jiraya Sensei’s death.
Watched a comfort show for the 15th time, years later and still gives you the same feels like it did the first time you watched it? Yeah, we all have that show, movie, or a song that gets us through our hard times.
Had an argument with your bestie over which anime, genre, or character is better? Or even discussed your weird fetish or kink? Yeah you know the one, that weird one you are thinking about right now. (**cough cough**)
“Every Genre Has its own fans. That’s why they exist.”– Hanako Koyanagi
For people who have interests that seem like not a lot of people share, this show hits the spot.
Adulting is hard:
This show also addressed a very beautiful aspect of growing up. As kids, we are either expected to grow up quickly, or want to grow up quickly. It sucks that we take our time as kids for granted.
I remember constantly being told to think about the future, become an adult, make money, work at a successful company. And anytime I indulged in silly hobbies as a teenager, I was told to “Grow up” or “ugh being so immature”. Hence, I started to avoid doing things that seemed “childish”. And now, apparently I am an adult, and yet don’t feel like one. I realize that I let go of my childhood passions like, performing and writing(thankfully back at it) to “seem” mature to the society or just because there were people who thought they knew what was better for me. A society that honestly couldn’t care less, yet somehow is always down to intervene.
Narumi: Did you become an adult you want to be?
Hirotaka: I want to be a kid forever.
So, I love that this show said “F*ck it” to all that. Why can’t we be an adult but still be a kid at heart? Yes, responsibilities are important but so is the passion for the things you love no matter how silly it may seem. For adults like us, being into anime obviously is one of those things. For some it is gaming, for some it could be building train models.
I often wish I did what I wanted to do back then rather than only doing things that people expected of me. Or not done something because of what people might think. And I always regret it. Almost a decade of my life giving up things I loved – to be accepted by those who don’t care about my happiness. Thankfully, I don’t care anymore either. I love what I do, I am doing what I love, and this is the happiest I have been. Even if it may seem silly, it is what makes me happy, brings me joy. So Imma do me. And You do You :*
“Everything is transient, the happy people that exist in this world cannot maintain the same state and will undergo changes. There is no need to feel jealous of them or hate them.”-Momose Narumi
So keep doing what you love. Don’t lose that joy in your life. Age, honestly is just a stupid number and You are awesome for who you are.