On 13 April 2018 the first episode of Wotakoi aired in Japan. The story is said to be about the office lady Narumi Momose, who is secretly a fujoshi and Hirotaka Nifuji, who might look good but is a severe game otaku. It sounds like a simple synopsis but from what we saw in the first episode, I want to rename this anime into #relatable. Because that’s all it is. I will use the tag in the future throughout my texts to prove my point. I just hope they will keep it up.
Also, you might want to check out our short introduction to Wotakoi. It explains the kinds of otaku we meet in the series, which I didn’t introduce again here.
Introducing Geeky Rom-Com Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku
Japanese Title: 成海と宏嵩の再会。そして… (Narumi to Hirotaka no Saikai. Soshite…)
Episode 1 – Narumi and Hirotaka, Reunited. And then…
Narumi Momose starts work at her new job today… and oversleeps (#relatable)! Thankfully she arrives in time. Her greatest desire now is to make it work that nobody at work finds out that she is an otaku. She seems to have had problems at her old work for that reason (#relatable)… And the first person she meets when her new colleague Hanako shows her around the office is her middle-school classmate Hirotaka, who promptly asks her if she will have a table at the summer Comiket this year. Thankfully, nobody seems to mind or notice too much and after arranging a after-work beer with Hirotaka, she explains that she doesn’t want anybody to know that she is an otaku. She also explains that her past boyfriend broke up with her after finding out about her passion. He promises he won’t mention it and her life at work seems to be save for now. She also really thinks highly of Hanako, who seems to be so cool and knows what to do at all times. When she thinks about how she could approach a cool co-worker like that, she realizes that Hanako is in reality a famous cosplayer called Hana and that she is a big fan of her cosplays. Hanako on the other hand realizes that Narumi is a fellow otaku and draws her own stories, from which she is a fan of. For that reason the two of them hit it off pretty well (#relatable), which their co-workers also realize. But no matter how close Narumi gets with Hanako, she still is clumsy at work and has to work overtime and Hirotaka accompanies her even though he finished work before her, just to go and get that after-work beer with her, where they complain that they just can’t find a partner…
You know with otaku series, there is always this thing where we have to be scared if they do it right. Sometimes they try to make it more understandable for the broader audience instead of the fans, sometimes the original creator doesn’t have a clue. Whatever it is, there are many things that are messed up. This one however, as far as I can say from the first episode, is the real deal. First of all, the main characters are not some geeky school children. They are grown ups and have to obey the rules of society. In the West it might not be necessary to hide that you are a fan of anime and manga, but in Japan people will really look at you funny because you say you like anime and manga. So the way she handles her inner fangirl seems very realistic to me. On top of that we have Hirotaka, who doesn’t hide it and plays around and he waits at work until she finishes with his game, because seriously, he doesn’t mind, because he can play wherever and does it get more real than this? Even the point where he says they can’t leave yet because he needs to finish a battle. Yes. Loved the interaction.
Yes, she is cool and amazing and we knew before that she is a cosplayer. Seeing her like that and having Narumi admire her does show us to never judge a book by its cover. Not all otaku are creepy guys, not all otaku are fanatic fangirls, not all otaku are the same. I am not sure yet if Hanako tries to hide her geek-ness, even though she did sit at that table alone to eat… So maybe other people know and that’s why she’s alone?
All otaku are gross
It’s funny because you can be into anime and go to conventions yourself and still think that some anime fans are gross. Of course you wouldn’t want to have them as your boyfriend! (#relatable) It’s a funny double standard as Hirotaka pointed out, but it’s true and I thought it was hilarious.
I am not sure if I should call it confession or rather proposal? Like, a business proposal. The last scene, where Hirotaka makes the offer to be her boyfriend was made so well, I literally sat in front of my screen going ‘Aaaaw!’ and was all excited and heart-y eyed because I thought it was perfect. If he keeps what he promised, he will be a great boyfriend for any otaku girl out there.
I want to learn that dance. I am sure there will be tons of videos on the internet copying this opening, because it is great and creative and fun and I need to go and watch it right now! Who wants to learn it with me?
If we ask the internet, a fujoshi can’t be explained without explaining Boys Love. It’s a genre of anime, novels or manga, where to two males fall in love with each other. Fujoshis are fans of that genre. To be honest the word also translates to ‘rotten woman’, because fans say that they are the bad ones for making up sexual relationships between two male characters of a series, who weren’t originally in such a relationship and never will be. Male fans who like boys love are called fudanshi.
See you next week
That’s it for this weeks review. Out of fear that the first episode review will get to long, I didn’t include some of the amazing moments in this series. The first episode always gives so much information and introduces so much, but I can say that I recommend any fan to watch this series! It already is heartwarming, I feel like it is very relatable to someone like me, who also is an adult and works and has to balance the fandom with business. I can’t wait to see the next episode and get to know all the other otaku – hidden or not!
Wotaku: Love is Hard for Otaku
Spring 2018 | Anime Info