Review: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita

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Published: 17 April 2018

Publisher: Kodansha Comics

Category: Manga/Romance/Contemporary

The awkward, romantic comedy manga about geeks in love that inspired the new anime! Can a professional man who’s secretly a hardcore gamer and a woman who’s secretly a fujoshi date without their hobbies getting in the way, or revealing each other’s secrets?

Extra-long book includes 2 Japanese volumes!

Narumi and Hirotaka are, by all appearances, a power couple. They’re young, good-looking professionals. But they have secrets from everyone but each other: They’re serious geeks! Narumi is a fujoshi, and Hirotaka’s a hardcore gamer. Their sweet, awkward love story started life as a webcomic before becoming a full-blown manga series by popular demand, and is about to become a major anime series!work.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

I am a big fan of books that are about characters I can really relate to, such as Genshiken or Lucky Star which feature manga/video game nerds. Wotakoi seemed like a perfect addition to this list because not only does it have characters that are interested in various aspects of otaku culture, but they’re older than the usual cast (in their 20’s as opposed to teens).

Wotakoi started off pretty well with the introductions and the revelation of what kind of things the main characters Narumi and Hirotaka liked. Their best friends/co-workers are also introduced (Hanako and Taro) and it looks like they’re not as alone at the office as it seemed in regards to their interests.

There’s a lot more energy in the first volume, but as things progressed, it felt like the focus was not as much on the otaku aspect so much as the office and personal relationships of the cast. I was expecting a lot more emphasis on the characters playing video games or reading manga, but aside from one trip to Comiket and topical references I didn’t feel like there was the joy of any of these things.

I’ve read slice of life manga and otherwise traditional manga; Wotakoi felt like a strange blend between the two and it affected the streamlined feel I’d expect from a manga book. A longer story it was not; it felt disjointed. A slice of life manga it almost was, but it didn’t have the same individual strip/larger story synchronicity.

As for reading farther in the series, I might pick this up from the library or if offered for review, but I didn’t enjoy it enough or find any characters that hooked me enough to want to purchase any volumes of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

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