Wotakoi: Love is Hard for an Otaku

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Are There Lesbians? No

What Happens?
Two Otaku couples navigate their relationships and their love of anime and games while also trying to maintain a normal front in their Tokyo office jobs.

The Verdict:
I decided to read this after seeing a trailer for the anime. I was definitely drawn in by the art-style and the promise of a slice-of-life anime that focused on awkward otaku. While the manga tended to focus more on their interpersonal relationships rather than their nerdy activities, I’m sure that will come with time, and there were plenty of references to get me through the first volume. Of course, I also love romance manga, so I wasn’t too mad. Wotakoi actually reminded me of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, in the best possible way (also the heroines have similar hairstyles, I think I have a type!).

I have been thinking about this for a while but it has become very clear to me recently that I don’t have time for things that I don’t really enjoy or works that try too hard to be cerebral simply for the sake of it. Because of this, it was truly lovely to read something that gave me not only pleasure, but the memory of pleasure. Reading Wotakoi, I was reminded of all the fun I had when I first discovered manga and anime in my early teens. Sure, looking back, a lot of that time was very cringe-worthy, but I don’t think that it takes away from the fact that this was the first time I really got to be obsessed with something and be a part of a wider community of fans. Recently, I have been falling off the bandwagon a bit, trying to reconcile within myself what it is I actually like vs what I’m good at. Wotakoi helped me regain my passion for things to be honest. Despite the characters often trying to keep the wider world from knowing their otaku lifestyles, Wotakoi is a delightful reminder that it’s not all bad to be completely in love with something. Catch me making up for lost time this year and getting back into cosplay in a big way.

I don’t think you have to be super into anime/manga in order to enjoy Wotakoi, but it probably helps a little bit. There is enough of an actual plot that not everything hinges on a prior knowledge of Japanese pop-culture, but it certainly helps to know some of the big names. If you’re looking for something a little deep or meaningful, I’m pretty sure I’ve made it clear that Wotakoi is not for you. To that end, there is no real representation of any sort, but to be honest, when it comes to anime and manga, my expectations here are quite different to what I might require from western media. I loved the depiction of one of the female characters being a well-known crossplayer, and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a huge inspiration. Apart from that and the otaku references, this is a pretty standard romance manga, however. There are plenty of laughs and cute moments and has just filled me with so much happiness! If you are a massive weeb, lapsed weeb, proud otaku or even only just dabble in manga occasionally, then I can highly recommend Wotakoi – it’s so much fun, you won’t regret it.

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