Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku – Ep. 2

Now that I have finished student teaching (and got over a flu I got after that…), I can finally get back into the full swing of things.

I figured I’d check up on Wotakoi first since this was my favorite non-sequel premiere of Spring 2018. As I expected, I quite enjoyed the second episode. It dials into a slower, more slice of life-based pace but there’s still some solid comedy and character interactions to be had here.

I mentioned in the premiere that I am glad that Wotakoi hooked up its two main characters from the get go and judging from the second episode, the show is enjoying the freedom of exploring that dynamic. Things are off to an awkward start as both Hirotaka and Narumi adjust to the fact that they really did make such a commitment the other day (perhaps by impulse even).

Evidently, these two characters are not quite sure how exactly this relationship should work. Some of their efforts in making the experience digestible is via prior knowledge provided by video games (and you see RPG affectations throughout the first half of the episode) though fortunately, Wotakoi does not target games as the reason why they have no experience. They’re clearly sociable individuals not entirely defined by their hobbies so them being unsure of how to get this relationship going feels like standard dating stuff to me. For all we know, Hirotaka has never been in a relationship, thus making this stuff new to him, and while Narumi has dated before, she’s never gone out with someone stoic and blunt like Hirotaka. I frankly had no problem with Wotakoi perceiving Narumi trying to get out of jam as an RPG battle as a result. Besides, it was really funny seeing Narumi’s inability to successfully “Run Away” from her boyfriend when she says something best kept to herself.

You do get to see more of Hanako and Kabakura in this episode. According to Hirotaka, these have been dating long before this series began though I’m with Narumi that it’s kind of hard to tell. They sure argue with each other more often than a couple normally would. I imagine this anime will explore this dynamic in greater detail.

For now, I’m liking how these two interact with the primary couple. Hanako has quickly become the best friend Narumi has always wanted — an otaku she can freely talk about her hobbies with, including the boy’s love stuff! I particularly relate with how Hanako very insistently eggs Narumi into consider cosplaying in the near future. I’ve personally had a few friends encouraging me to cosplay at conventions we go together so I get how awkward and even scared Narumi feels during this scene. Kabakura meanwhile remains the straight man of the group. I like how much more conscious he is about how his hobby is perceived. He’s not afraid to admit that he likes CGDCT stuff (a man of culture, I see) but he would prefer not to be seen shopping in his professional work clothes. It’s a nice contrast that plays well with Hirotaka giving jack shit about people seeing him play Monster Hunter on his Switch.

Honestly, the whole book store scene was just a fun scene to sit through. It’s very slice of life but it feels so believable and down to earth. Anyone who goes shopping for manga or really anything weeby will likely relate with this scene. There’s a more exciting and engaging atmosphere when you are browsing with friends who share your interests. It’s that kind of attention to tone that I’m really liking in Wotakoi. It feels as though this story is coming from a mind that has had these experiences before.

It’ll be fun catching up on Wotakoi. I’m curious to see how both the primary and secondary pairings will play out in the next episodes. More importantly though, I really need to know if Hirotaka will be able to properly wink. Seriously, that was such a random character detail that I actually need to see the resolution to it. What is more likely to happen first? Hirotaka blinking or Narumi finishing her work on time?

Thanks for reading!

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku is officially available on Amazon.

For all of my Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!

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