Outerhaven Anime: First Reaction – WotaKoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

I’m a fan of romantic comedies and one of the shows this season, Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (WotaKoi: Love is Hard for Otaku) had an interesting premise since I am an otaku myself (duh). I decided to give it a try hoping that it would avoid a lot of the stereotypical tropes that Gamers! did in the previous season. Did WotaKoi accomplish that?

Let’s Go!

First Impressions

Narumi Monose is an otaku who moved to start a brand new job. Her alarm fails to go off and she’s almost late on her first day. While being given the tour of the facilities, she bumps into Hirotaka Nifuji, an old childhood friend from elementary school who is also an otaku. She’s thrilled that someone she knows works at the same company, but is afraid that he’ll reveal the fact that she’s an otaku herself. He does, but Narumi just plays it off. Her boss, Hanako Koyanagi perked up when Hirotaka referenced the Summer Comiket event which sparks Narumi’s curiosity.

Naurmi gets brave and decides to question her during lunch break, but when she goes to approach her, she notices a certain photo of a cosplayer on her phone and gushes which gets her attention. Turns out, they are both cosplayers that have participated in Summer Comiket! Narumi and Hirotaka end up going out for drinks on a couple of occasions and talk about dating until one night Hirotaka offers himself as a dating candidate and Narumi accepts! This is where our first episode came to an end.

Oh my God is this show hilarious! I found myself grinning the entire time and not because the humor was over the top or really loud and/or obnoxious. The humor in this show is very laid back and subtle, but not to the point where it’s dry or it goes unnoticed. The humor just comes casually and doesn’t seem forced and it makes for an amazing atmosphere. The characters are rather fun and while Hirotaka is a monotone, serious character, he doesn’t come across that way. He’s just a rather direct person with a bit of rationale, but he has a sense of humor about him and he’s not one to shy out of turning people down for things, especially when it involves going out with Narumi. He reminds me of someone that you meet in real life that most people don’t get until you just hang out with them and get to know them. Then you have to explain to your friends that “oh yeah, don’t mind so and so… he’s just like that, but he’s a good person.”

Narumi herself is calm and collected at first, but she opens up and has this wild, yet reserved personality about her. She doesn’t want people to know she’s an otaku but has no trouble flirting her otaku side out to those who know. I loved it when she was wondering if her boss Hanako was an otaku as well and blurted out “I wonder if she’s ‘one of us’. Just that simple delineation between otaku and normies was enough to get a grin out of me. That’s the kind of subtle humor I’m referring to and this episode is packed with it.

OP and ED Thoughts

“Fiction” by Sumika serves as the show’s opening and it’s not a song that I will go out of my way to buy when it comes out, but that doesn’t mean I hated it. I felt the opening was very lively and fun and the animation matched the mood of the song. It really sets the tone as to what this show is about and for that, I will claim that this is a great opening for the context of what we are being presented. Outside of that, the music isn’t really my cup of tea, but I may not skip it each episode just for the pure entertainment value.

The ending carried with it the same connotations as the opening, just in a softer fashion. “Kimi no Tonari” by halca is, again, not a song that I’m going to rush out to buy, but it serves its purpose in closing out the show while keeping the atmosphere light and fun.

Worth Watching?

YES – This is the first non-mainstream show that I’m watching this season and, at first, I wasn’t really going to pick it up, but decided to give it a try. I’m glad that I did because I found the show highly entertaining and it accomplished a lot in its first episode. The only thing that really bothered me was revealing Hanako as an otaku and getting Narumi and Hirotaka together as a couple all within the span of the show’s premiere. I like things to be slow burned, but given the fact that this show only has 11 episodes, I can understand the faster pacing. While it does make things feel rushed, it still was a very enjoyable first outing. My only concern from here on out is whether or not they blew all their good material straight away and the rest of the show is going to lag. I guess we’ll see, but if it can maintain this level of entertainment, then this will easily be a hit for me!

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.