10/10 for that Saekano product placement. Actually, make it 11/10 because Narumi understands that Megumi Katou is the best character of all time.
I went into Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku with pretty safe expectations. The big reason for caution is simply that I’m an otaku/weeb/nerd/disappointment so if any work of art is going to depict these kinds of people, it better get it right or get the hell out. Deep down though, I was really hoping that Wotakoi would be good. Just the fact that it’s about young adults, an already unusual age group for anime leads, piqued my interest especially with the otaku premise added onto it. It’d be a huge shame if the show screwed it up.
Fortunately, I’d say this anime is off to a solid start. Wotakoi centers on two young adults: Hirotaka Nifuji (Kento Itou), a gamer, and Narumi Momose (Arisa Date), a fujoshi. From the get go, Hirotaka is the more nonchalant and chilled of the two. In fact, very little seems to provoke a big reaction from him and he largely just expresses a poker face. He’s also quite public about his hobby; playing his Switch at the office during break times even if his coworkers give him weird looks. Narumi, meanwhile, is a lot more expressive and sociable though she acts all hush about the fujoshi side of her life. Apparently, she had a boyfriend who dumped her after the cat got out of the bag so she is trying to keep things a secret to avoid a similar incident at her new job.
I really dig the chemistry between these two. They’re apparently childhood friends and while that bit of backstory isn’t elaborated too much in this episode, the small talk these characters make as adults conveys that there’s a lot of history between the two. There’s some really funny moments between these two as well. I really love watching Narumi get all paranoid about Hirotaka accidentally revealing to the world of her fujoshi passions and drunkenly vent about life with him at the bar.
One thing that is a little surprising but also refreshing to see is that Hirotaka proposes that he and Narumi date within the first episode. That was bound to happen though usually the hookup is reserved as the endgoal in a romance anime as opposed to the inciting incident. It’s an exciting change of pace though because now the question isn’t “will these two hook up?” but rather “will this relationship actually work?”. It’s actually hard to say if it is a match made in heaven as even the most romantic moments in this premiere comes to a screeching halt (which were very funny but still). Even Hirotaka’s proposal, in character though it may be, came across as him making a friendly gesture as opposed to actually confessing to a girl he loves. Narumi also kind of responds with a rather neutral expression and is only ultimately convinced to take on the offer when Hirotaka offers to be help with her table at the next con.
Chances are, the answer to the question raised here is that, yes, this relationship will work and blossom into something romantic. Given the show’s title though, it’s also safe to say that Wotakoi has no intentions in making that development an easy and breezy one. Hopefully, this’ll be a compelling ride.
There are two other characters introduced in the premiere. The first is Narumi’s “senpai”, Hanako Koyanagi (Miyuki Sawashiro) who Narumi later realizes is a cosplayer she’s a big fan of. The second is Hirotaka’s friend, Tarou Kabakura (Tomokazu Sugita) who seems like he could play off as the straight man in the cast though the OP suggests that he is also an otaku. I was a little worried that Wotakoi was going to have its two leads be the only otaku in the office so I find it a relief that they went a little more realistic and included more of those kinds of characters in the cast. It also appears that Tarou and Hanako are our secondary couple so hopefully, we’ll see these two interact next episode.
I’m really sold on Wotakoi. It has solid comedy going for it and the direction the show is taking with its romance is quite compelling. I would actually like to blog about this show but as I’ve mentioned in past posts, I don’t want to take on too many shows until things cool over at my end. Still, I’ll be keeping an eye on this show and I’ll let you all know in some way how I think it’s turning out.
OP: “Fiction” by Sumika
That hand dance better go viral. It’s so adorable and I can’t get it out of my head.
ED: “Kimi no Tonari” by halca
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Post Last Re-Edited: July, 31, 2018