Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Stream: Prime Video
The slice of life genre is one of the most popular genres in anime today. The genre usually captures the many little quirks that life has to offer, which tends to be relatable to the viewer. We often see our favorite characters go through regular occurrences, but usually, everything feels so much bigger on the screen. This especially goes for romance, which tends to go hand-in-hand with slice-of-life. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii, also know as Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku, perfectly balances the genres to create an adorable love story for a couple of couples.
Wotakoi focuses on four adults in their 20’s who all work an office job together. Two of them have been dating for years now, while the other two just met and decided to give a relationship a go. The show puts a magnifying glass on the pair of couples as they work, drink and play together. Each character is an otaku in their own way. Hirotaka has a passion for video games, Narumi loves shoujo manga, Hanako loves cosplay and boy’s love manga, while Tarou likes yuri manga.
What makes Wotakoi special is the way it takes a look at adult relationships. It’s refreshing to see adults deal with their relationships. The series successfully juggles realistic moments with larger-than-life interactions. Adults will be able to watch this show and laugh knowing that they have been through similar situations, especially if they are otaku as well. Most everything in this anime is relatable, from the romantic beats to the characters’ passion for their fandoms.
The other thing that sets Wotakoi apart from the rest of the genre is its ability to bring up conflicts and resolve them within the same episode. Most romance anime stretch conflicts out over several episodes, which can be exhausting for the viewer. If Hanako is mad at Tarou for the millionth time, you can bet that Tarou will find some way to make her feel better. The characters feel human and like humans, they don’t want to draw out confrontation too long. This creates an anime that does the episodic format well, giving the viewer a peek at a new part of their lives every episode.
Every episode feels special and while the show doesn’t do anything that surprises the viewer, it executes everything it does perfectly. Its references are integrated organically, every joke hits the mark, and every moment feels significant. The soundtrack makes every cue hit more effectively and includes an OP that gets stuck in your head. The voice actors deliver every line perfectly (especially Arisa Date – Narumi’s voice) which enhances the chemistry between the characters. Even the few secondary characters that get introduced in the second half of the season are entertaining, as they provide a much-needed counterweight for the couples.
Besides being fun to watch, the show is just pretty. The art is simply colorful and cheery. Every color strikes the perfect tone and the expressive characters are nothing short of cute. The animation is smooth and I never noticed a scene that felt choppy or poorly drawn.
Overall, Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku perfectly nails the adult romance anime. The characters are incredibly relatable, the scenarios are realistic, and the characters make every interaction entertaining. It would be nice to see more anime show not only adult relationships but focus on the actual relationship rather than the journey towards starting a relationship. Wotakoi is a breath a fresh air for those who are familiar with the genre, and a great opportunity to pull in those who might not yet be a fan. This is an incredibly thoughtful anime that I looked forward to every week for all eleven episodes.
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku
Wotakoi is a refreshing change of pace for the romance/slice of life genre.