Hello there, it’s definitely been a while since I talked to you, lovely people on this site. Finals/exam week happened, then I was just not in the mood to write anything, and now we’re here. And since I’m now on my summer vacation, I’ll definitely be more consistent on this blog and be able to write about more of the shows I’d love to share my thoughts on!
With the Spring anime season of 2018 coming to a close, there definitely has been a handful of interesting shows worth watching. Whether it was an anime sport with horse girls intensely competing with each other in races, or a story about a yakuza member having to take care of a young, reckless girl with supernatural powers, … you can say that it has been yet another enjoyable anime season. But today, I would like to talk about a particular show from this season that can spark a good amount of interest in this anime community.
synopsis – wotaku ni koi wa muzukashii.
26-year-old Momose Narumi is an avid otaku —more specifically she’s a fujoshi, meaning that she’s a massive fan of any media involving a story about a romantic relationship between two men. After starting a new job however, she tries her best to hide her potentially-embarrassing otaku obsessions and to maintain an image that’s more acceptable in society; a beautiful and perfect young lady. But it wouldn’t be long until her secret is uncovered; Narumi discovers that her old childhood friend and fellow otaku, Nifuji Hirotaka, actually works at the same company.
As they reunite and reestablish a bond over a post-work drinking session, Narumi thankfully gets Hirotaka’s trust for him not telling anyone about her hobbies. The two even end up dating because they’ve both realized that finding love as a hardcore otaku is an ultimately difficult thing to do. While Narumi becomes more comfortable with expressing her obsessions around people like Hirotaka and another couple who happen to also have similar interests, she has another complication on her mind, which is the question whether this romantic relationship with Hirotaka really the best option or not..,..
There are a bunch of things that I love about this show, mostly relating to how A-1 Pictures has managed to expresses this kind of story. First off, you gotta appreciate the amount of authenticity they have put into depicting the otaku culture and how those kinds of people act, but also in delivering the feeling of being an otaku as natural as possible and absolutely not exaggerated. Whether it’d be Narumi gushing over yaoi relationships in a manga, Hirotaka showing his skills in Japanese RPGs and some other video games, or even Koyanagi being so good at cosplaying that she can pull off to be looking like a man … I am very sure a lot of people in this community can relate quite a bit to any of these characters involved. While I’m not as extreme as this particular group of people, it made me smile or chuckle to see a ton of references that I could relate with, such as Kabakura loving the manga series Yuru Yuri, or being like Hirotaka who owns a few figurines of his beloved characters.
Another significant thing about the story of this anime is the romance. It’s definitely enjoyable and cute to see both couples such as Hirotaka and Narumi as well as Kabakura and Koyanagi, live as boyfriend and girlfriend even though both relationships are pretty different from each other. While not blatantly lovey-dovey, Narumi and Hirotaka have a really nice chemistry thanks to their close relationship awhile back when they were both still very young, while on the other hand, Koyanagi and Kabakura tend to fight and get in intense arguments yet deep down inside they have a ton of love for each other.
But one thing that makes this romantic comedy a lot more enjoyable and unique from others, is the show is really telling about a romantic relationship between the two grown adults rather than the usual two young teenage kids. So instead of a story where two teenagers dealing with the question about love towards another human being for the first time or the drama that usually ensues whether that be jealousy or how they’ll maintain their relationship after graduating high school, “WotaKoi” will show you none of that and doesn’t even make the relationship itself such a big deal. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to watch my romance animes which filled with the high school theme, but seeing a romance from an older person’s perspective and relationships between two people who live in society as full-fledged adults … it gives more meaning towards the true word of “love” and “dating” *which I assume, is more realism especially to someone like me who is still under the age of 18— I also think Watakoi shows a good balance in both showing the everyday lives of being a huge nerd and a fan of the Japanese media, with the romance between each couple.
I think because there’s such a small casting of characters, it definitely allows each character to show off their respective personalities and behaviours as we perfectly see what each person’s otaku obsession is; Hirotaka is more on the quiet and carefree side, while Narumi is a lot more expressive and goofy, Kabakura always look scary but can have a soft side and lastly, Koyanagi has the hard-working and alluring vibe to her even though she has a much different side of her according to Kabakura. I think another thing to point out is that the chemistry between all the four characters that was splendid to watch, not only as people in romantic relationships but also as friends who enjoy otaku-related things. Watching Narumi and Hirotaka still act casual with each other even though they’re at work is very enjoyable, also the time when the four of them going to a bookstore and find out what each others’ tastes in the manga are; it’s very apparent that they’re all good friends. Even the relationship between Hirotaka and his little brother —who is basically the polar opposite of him— was nice to watch.
Character development on the other hand, wasn’t really any in this anime other than maybe Narumi and Hirotaka kind of changing a little after dating each other —a childhood friend— and being in a relationship where the person of interest is an otaku … but that’s pretty much it. I didn’t even really mind this since all of the characters were that interesting throughout the show.
visuals and arts.
There’s not really much to talk about with the visual arts side of things since I didn’t really notice anything too significant. However, the characters design for most of the personalities were nice to look at; whether it is the colour palette or the unique way they looked. I thought the voice acting in this show was really nice; each character had a voice that perfectly suited them and the seiyuu did a fantastic job of depicting their respective characters. You really can’t go wrong with Sugita Tomokazu who’ve given a perfect depiction of an intimidating, deep-voiced person like Kabakura.
As for the musical side of things, the opening, “Fiction” by the band sumika, was probably my favourite opening theme this season. It’s just so catchy and it was really hard to skip in each episode. Plus, this song did introduce me to that band and now I’m a frequent listener of their music. The ending theme was —while not as good as the opening, still— nice to listen to; Halca’s “Kimi no Tonari” is an electro-style, which a fit upbeat song to end off a good episode.
closing – al’s final verdict.
As I said earlier, this show was one of my favourites in this recent Spring of 2018. It’s a cute romance and an enjoyable comedy show, fun character interactions and most significantly, the great number of otaku topics and references that I and many other anime fans can relate to and chuckle at; it’s no doubt that I loved this show. There are a lot of things that “Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii” does differently that you may find interesting and enjoyable, such as the more realistic way they express a romantic relationship; I’m sure you can find something in this anime that may get you interested in watching it. Overall, if you like the slice of life romance comedies in general, it wouldn’t hurt to try this one out!
additional pieces of information.
- Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
It’s Difficult to Love an Otaku
Love is Hard for Otaku
- first time aired in the spring, 12.04.2018 till 22.06.2018
- al’s review of an anime tv, 11 episodes
- from the studio of A-1 Pictures
- tagged under the genre of #comedy and #romance
tagged under the subgenre of #daily_life, #josei, #manga, and #noitamina
- the age-rated as PG-13
Thanks a lot for reading this review! What did you think of this anime? I’d love to read your thoughts. Also, there’s a good chance I’ll be reviewing another show from this Spring season, so be sure to look out for that in the future. Lastly, be sure to give this review a like if you enjoyed it, as well as to follow #moe404 if you haven’t for the more anime related content!
Keep watching anime, and until next time~
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