It’s always great when the second pairing of a story is just as interesting as the first and that compliment certainly applies to Wotakoi‘s Kabakura and Hanako. They’re fun to see together and it definitely functions a lot differently than Hirotaka and Narumi’s. Right from the get go, you can tell that a lot more yelling is involved.
For all their bickering and even fighting with one another, there is a clear sense that Kabakura and Hanako have somehow made this relationship work. Hanako is genuinely self-conscious about how Kabakura feels about her and while the latter admits that he could find a woman he’d argue with less, he wants to be a part of Hanako’s life 100%. They may not show it on the surface but these two care a great deal about their relationship and as you see in the bar scene, they do make an effort (albeit in their own strange way) to make up when things do escalate too far.
While this odd song and dance seems to be nothing new for Kabakura and Hanako, it does look like having Hirotaka and Narumi around helps a ton. I can imagine the bar scene would’ve been more disastrous had our main couple not work their darnedest to defuse it. Having a couple serve as a voice of reason also seems like a two-way street here. At one point, Narumi gets mad at Hirotaka to the point that Kabakura and Hanako feel that it’s now their job to intervene.
Living the life of an otaku is always a big part of Wotakoi and the fourth episode offers its fair share of commentary. Out of the four main characters, Hanako seems to push her hobby onto others the most. She’s been encouraging Narumi to consider cosplaying and we learn in this episode, that she really wants her boyfriend to give it a try. Wanting to freely share about your hobby, especially if it’s a big part of your life, is perfectly fine but I can see why Kabakura finds it intrusive. The man likes keeping his otaku passions at a moderate level. At the same time though, Hanako makes the reasonable counterpoint that Kabakura’s approach does make him a little too reserved and close-minded. I like the balancing act Wotakoi exerts here. The show neither invalidates either approach to otaku life nor does it praise it highly. It acknowledges that there is a lot of ways you can consume pop culture and almost all of it can hardly be considered perfect.
Towards the end of the episode, Narumi ponders if she’s dating Hirotaka out of convenience. There’s possibly some truth to that as it would be easier to date someone who either shares or accepts your hobby as opposed to someone who doesn’t. That Hirotaka is both good looking and amazingly flexible also gives Narumi more reasons to find dating him even more convenient. In turn, Hirotaka offers his own perspective. Dating Narumi may be convenient but it doesn’t make it any less than ideal for him. Admittedly, the utility he offers was his bargaining chip in Episode 1 but the past few episodes have shown that he values Narumi for more legitimate reasons. Finding this out eases Narumi’s mind a little and hopefully, she’ll also look at the relationship beyond the convenience factor.
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