Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku – Ep. 5

This episode of Wotakoi introduces us to Hirotaka’s younger brother, Naoya, who happens to be exact opposite of our main characters: a normal person. Or at the very least, video games just aren’t his forte.

As someone who can get really absorbed into video games, I really related with how everyone reacts to Naoya’s incompetence at what seems to be Smash Bros. (I guess they didn’t show gameplay because of product placement?). It is naturally polite to be lenient with a newcomer plays but I can’t blame Kabakura and Narumi struggling to act that way if Naoya really is as bad as the dialogue implies. When are you super into a game, it can be hard to not act an elitist about it. Hirotaka, for example, is a bit too honest that he has more of a winning chance once his brother loses all his lives.

Then again, I wonder if Naoya was doomed from the start. A little bit cruel to give a newbie a Wii Remote to play Smash Bros. At least give him a Nunchuk to go along with it.

One other thing that stood out to me was how Kabakura and Hanako all fit into this. They get pretty concerned about Naoya’s closeness towards Narumi, with Kabakura pretty much acting like a concerned father towards the latter (something that Hanako even points out). It all proves to be a few misunderstandings with Hanako assuming that Naoya is one of Narumi’s exes and Naoya simply not knowing that Narumi is dating his brother. Still, I think these moments say a lot about how close the main characters are as a group. It also shows how much Naoya cares about Hirotaka. His concern that his brother will end up forever alone is a bit cliche given the otaku theme but it works fairly well here in Wotakoi since we’ve been given more details about Hirotaka’s social life. Having Naoya cry tears of joy that Narumi is his brother’s girlfriend feels pretty justified.

Other Thoughts:

  • Really like the intro scene where Hirotaka reflects on an old impulse decision to get his ear pierced. There’s a lot of truth to his observation that he wanted to be an adult as quickly as possible…and that now that he is an adult, he realizes that he’d rather be a man child playing video games.
  • I can’t help but find the product placement a bit strange. Sometimes, they can name drop, say, Animal Crossing with no problem and other times, I’ve noticed that they can exactly say that Narumi was thinking of trying to play Splatoon. However, I think the fact that Wotakoi can say products directly by name at times is an improvement over the many times I saw WcDonalds in various anime.

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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