Dating isn’t easy for anyone,especially when it comes to finding someone who accepts you and all of your quirks. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku (henceforth to be known by its much easier to type nickname, Wotakoi) is a fun rom-com series that gives a realistic look at love and friendship. More specifically, it shows what it;s like to be an otaku in a relationship.
Wotakoi follows 26-year-old Narumi Momose, who decides to switch companies after her boyfriend dumps her because he finds out that’s she’s a hardcore fujoshi otaku. As she prepares for a new start and vows to keep her passions a secret, she runs into her childhood best friend and hardcore gaming otaku, Hirotaka Nifuji. The two otakus effortlessly reconnect and after a couple of late-night monster bar battles, they decide to make it official. With the support of their coworkers Hanako and Taro (who are also a dating pair of otakus), the lovebirds venture into a pure relationship that allows them to be themselves.
After reading the manga, Wotakoi was my most anticipated shows of the spring season. As an anime and romance fan in her 20s, I thought it was refreshing to see a show about a relationship that wasn’t based in a school or around children. I can’t lie, it was a little weird at first how Narumi went from never wanting to date a fellow otaku to accepting Hirotaka’s offer almost immediately. However, I was able to get passed that when I saw how natural the two of them were. Hirotaka never criticized Narumi for her interests and even stayed up with her as she was drawing her boys love doujinshi. Wotakoi does a great job of showing the minor ins and outs of a relationship, also displays how you can enjoy your partner although your interests may not always compare.
From the beginning I saw myself in Narumi, wanting to hide my interests from others so I wasn’t seen as a weirdo. Being a black woman, I carried that shame for a long time. I think that’s a big reason why I enjoyed this series so much. Seeing our characters go to the bar to have a drink after work, or chill session where everyone came over to play Mario Kart at someone’s apartment was the perfect amount of realism that made me see myself in each episode. The characters are likable and easy to relate to — like when Hanako gets drunk and cries at the bar or when Hirotaka looses his glasses and gets very clumsy.