Book Reviews · Manga

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku

Toward the beginning of the month, I had the opportunity to participate in the Mini Manga Readathon. One of the series that I had a chance to re-read (and get caught up on) during the readathon was Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku.

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku is a manga series by Fujita. The series tells the story of Narumi and Hirotaka, two office workers who have known each other since they were kids. When they discover that they are working in the same office, they soon renew their childhood friendship.

During a night out at a bar, Narumi begins complaining about how all of her romantic relationships have fizzled out immediately after her boyfriends learned that she is an otaku. She plans to hide her interests from her next boyfriend forever, but Hirotaka, who is an otaku himself (specifically, a hardcore gamer), suggests that Narumi could just be herself if she dated him.

Narumi and Hirotaka’s love story is told in a series of short “slice of life” vignettes. The books also provide glimpses into the lives of their seniors at work, Koyanagi and Kabakura, fellow otaku whose relationship often fluctuates from loving to adversarial at the drop of a hat.

I absolutely loved this manga! Wotakoi is a very cute, character-driven series that not only focuses on romance, but also on friendship and the hobbies that people love. The manga includes a lot of funny moments, and a ton of references to popular anime and manga, video games, Japanese music, and much more.

The English translation of Wotakoi is currently being published (in the U.S. at least) as two-volume collections, four of which are currently available.

It also has some fantastic artwork! I especially like Fujita’s character designs!

This manga is rated OT, which stands for “older teens,” but it will also appeal to adult fans of anime and manga as well. Whether you identify as a hardcore otaku, or just casually enjoy anime, manga, cosplay, or video games, I’m sure that you will find something to love about Wotakoi. You will probably also find a character who shares at least some of your interests and/or hobbies.

If you do have the chance to read Wotakoi, definitely make sure that you take the time to read the translation notes at the end of each book. Not only are they helpful with regard to otaku terminology and references that readers might not be familiar with, but they’re also really interesting.

Wotakoi has been adapted into an anime, which is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime. I have not had the opportunity to watch the anime yet, but I am really looking forward to doing so as soon as possible. There is also a live action movie, which was apparently released in Japan last February, but I do not know when (or if) it will be made available to watch internationally.

If you are a fan of anime and manga, and are looking for a fun love story, I definitely recommend checking out Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku. I had a great time reading the volumes that are currently available, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released!

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