Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku – Ep. 9

As promised last episode, Hirotaka took Narumi on a “normal” date but what actually surprises me is his self-imposed limit that they act “normal” as well. As penalty for every time they geek out, they have to donate some yen to a piggy bank. It’s like a swear jar except for being an otaku. I’m sure the last two episodes will have some good material in store but I think this piggy bank will go down as my favorite visual gag in Wotakoi. By default, I have to wonder who owns that piggy bank; probably Hirotaka though it’d be funnier if he had bought it specifically for this date. I think the big takeaway though is how limiting that piggy bank is on both main characters. Hirotaka effectively gated off a lot of his small talk potential. Narumi technically has dated “normal” guys but she’s so used to freely geeking out with Hirotaka that going back must feel like the dark ages for her. It must’ve felt so liberating after the rule’s lifted at the end of the episode.

By complete coincidence, Hanako and Kabakura are also attending the theme park. This episode did a really job keeping their presence a secret for a solid ten minutes so when the four accidentally sit with the wrong date at the horror-themed ride, the joke landed even harder. Actually, the mix-up ended up helping Hirotaka feel more at ease with his relationship insecurity since Hanako’s there to tell him there’s nothing wrong with taking things slow. Come to think about it, this is probably the first scene Hanako and Hirotaka actually interact and it’s smart on Wotakoi‘s part to have it be a very meditative moment. And considering that Hanako has been in a relationship for much longer (a very peculiar relationship even), she’d be a good person to consult with.

I don’t know how insightful Kabakura and Narumi losing their minds over cheap Halloween props was but it was really funny. I particularly lost it when Narumi argued Kabakura should keep looking at what’s scaring him simply because he paid for the ride. That’s actually really sound. What was a little interesting though was how both characters cross their arms to avoid holding each other’s hands. Both of them have admitted to finding each other good looking but this scene really cements how platonic their relationship is.

Aside from a really brief heart-attack at the end of the episode (Narumi, choose your words more carefully), Hirotaka ultimately didn’t need to worry all that much about his relationship. Bringing up the earrings again was a really clever way to contextualize his character development. Just like how he wanted to grow up sooner, Hirotaka wanted the romance to evolve faster and like last time, he realizes that things are actually moving along just fine for him.

ED 2: “Ashitamo Mata” by halca

Cute pictures but this better not be the last time we see that piggy bank. I mean it.

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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