There is absolutely nothing better than a good romantic comedy, especially when the story involves otaku culture elements. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku excels at bringing these two elements together. Amazing humor, great references, and most importantly, relatable characters that will really make you laugh and become emotional with their relationships struggles.
The story follows Narumi Momose, a girl who tries to hide the fact that she is a fujoshi otaku, in order to be able to date and work normally. As she moves into her new job, she meets a childhood friend of hers and a fellow otaku, Hirotaka Nifuji, who is now her new co-worker and who almost gets her secret out in the open. As they start spending more time together, Nifuji suggests that they should start dating, but can the relationship work between them when Narumi is always in otaku mode when she is around him?
If you loved Wotakoi and you feel like watching more anime of the same genre, MANGA. TOKYO is here with 10 anime that resemble Wotakoi’s awesomeness in many ways. Let’s get to it!
Even though this story focuses more on game otakus, both shows are all about working adult otakus falling in love. Moriko Morioka, a 30-year-old lady, is for the first time in her life unemployed and quickly turns into online video games to pass her free time. She starts a new life there where she reinvents herself as a handsome young man named Hayashi. She then meets the adorable and kind Lily who lends her a hand into getting to learn the game. Meanwhile, in real life, she ends up meeting a mysterious handsome salaryman named Sakurai Yuta, but as it turns to be, it’s not just another awkward encounter with a stranger.
Both shows are light-hearted comedies, the humor in both is very good and there is the theme of balancing real life with otaku hobbies. The cute couples both share the same kind of interests.
The characters in both shows are almost identical in appearance and personality: a loud and extroverted pink-haired female and a quiet and introverted dark blue haired male wearing glasses. Hikari Tsutsui is a high school boy that doesn’t have many friends and likes to avoid social life. One day, he ends up with having to clean the school pool with Igarashi Iroha, a popular and promiscuous girl that seems to be everything he hates. However, she is very friendly to him and is not afraid to stand up for him in front of people that make fun of him. Will he be able to handle the possibility of Iroha becoming his girlfriend?
3D Kanojo is set in a high school so it has a more shoujo feel to it instead of a workplace like Wotakoi that makes everything feel more josei. Also in this series, only the boy is considered an otaku.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Summer 2014 12 Episodes
Otaku culture, romance, comedy, and light-hearted fun. Both are relaxing and easy to watch, and will most likely put you in a good mood. The only difference between them is the age of the characters (high school students versus working adults) but overall the humor and the personalities of the characters are quite similar.
Chiyo Sakura is a high school girl that is in love with Umetarou Nozaki, another high schooler who happens to be also a very famous shoujo mangaka. In her attempt to confess her feelings to him, she is being misunderstood as his fan and ends up as his manga assistant. Nevertheless, she strives to help Nozaki with his manga and hopes that he will eventually notice her feelings.
Servant x Service
Summer 2013 13 Episodes
Another office romance comedy that includes young adults that have amusing and quirky personalities. Yamagami Lucy is a young woman that works as a civil servant because of her grudge against the lax civil servant who approved the naming decision that her parents asked for. She begins to work there alongside the flirtatious slacker Hasebe and the shy newcomer Saya who has never worked in her life before, underIchimiya Taishi, a man who does not know how to advise his team whatsoever. Following their day-to-day life, we get to see dealing with law regulations, paperwork, citizens’ complains along with office romances.
Narumi and Lucy are both very energetic, loud and fun and the couples in both shows are extremely funny and cute. If you loved the whole workplace romance of Wotakoi, you will definitely like Servant x Service.
A female protagonist that is also a fujoshi, loads of references to other anime and video games and great comedy. Both series have secondary female characters that are into cosplay. Kae Serinuma is an avid fujoshi when she sees boys getting along with each other she likes to indulge in crazy and wild fantasies. After her favorite character dies, she gets shocked and suddenly loses a lot of weight. To her surprise, the four hottest guys in her school ask her out but she is not that excited about it since she would rather see them date each other.
One difference between the two would be that Kiss Him, Not Me is a shoujo reverse harem that is set in a high school life environment, but if you loved the BL events in Wotakoi and the overall dynamic between Narumi and Hanako when they were fangirling, this series will surely appeal to you.
Wotakoi is more about mature romance but it also shows the love of the characters for video games. If you enjoyed the nerdiness and the quality comedy, you will love Gamers!, all the misunderstandings and the relationship screw-ups, as well as their constant involvement with video games.
Amano Keita is a loner who loves playing video games. One day, the school’s prettiest girl Tendo Karen suddenly discovers his love for video games and decides to recruit him to the Gamers Club. That’s when he is made aware of an unexpected side of gaming that is very different from the one he is used to and loves.
This anime is super cute. The dynamic between Kaoru and Hajime is just so great and adorable. Kaoru is a diligent office lady that is very serious about her work, but her husband Hajime is a hardcore otaku (borderline a NEET) who shuts himself in at home while making a living off his blog. Even though they are an unlikely couple, they love each other very much and they don’t mind dealing with the struggles, the challenges, and the joys that married life brings them daily.
Both shows have similar themes as they explore relationships in a very comedic way and they also show the transition of characters that live as otakus and grow up to become young professionals.
And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online?
Spring 2016 12 Episodes
Okay, this anime is a harem and it’s quite different from Wotakoi but if you like a story that involves a cute and comical relationship with a more game otaku appeal to it, you will thoroughly enjoy this one. Hideki Nishimura once confessed to a girl online but turned out to be a boy, something that traumatized him and made him decide to never trust any girl players online. But to his surprise, he gets a confession online from an actual girl, Ako Tamaki, who appears to be a beautiful loner that can’t really differentiate between reality and online worlds. As the guild that they are both members of deciding to make an offline meeting, Hideki realized that Ako is also his schoolmate.
There is also a plethora of fun references to otaku and gaming cultures that are so entertaining to watch.
Aggressive Retsuko (Aggretsuko)
2016 –2018 Spring 2016 100 Short Episodes | 10 Netflix Regular Episodes
This anime show is pure gold and I just couldn’t help myself not to include it in this list. Don’t get scared by its 100 episodes, they only last 1 minute each and they are definitely worth it. And if you want a more classic anime experience, Netflix has turned the shorts into 10 15-minute episodes with a more coherent plot.
Retsuko is a 25-year-old red panda that works in a company’s accounting department. She is always kind and never talks back to her co-workers and superiors even if they give her tremendous overtime work along with more impossible tasks. The only way for her to let off steam is by going to karaoke by herself to sing death metal. The series is as absurd as it sounds and its offbeat comedy will really remind you of Wotakoi. Both shows focus on office life and relationships between co-workers
Spring 2015 24 Episodes
Another romantic comedy that doesn’t evolve around melodrama and focuses more on building healthy relationships and friendships. Takeo Gouda is not your average high school freshman. He is tall and has a muscular build but behind his intimidating looks, he has a very gentle heart. Even though he is looked highly by his male classmates for his courage and strength, his traits and appearance don’t help him much in his love life. But one day, after saving a girl named Rinko Yamato from being molested, his affection for her grows instantly and his love life finally starts to bloom.
Even though it has nothing to do with otaku culture or gaming, this is a very unusual love story that addresses various relationship problems with the right amount of comedy.
I loved Wotakoi because it is a cute adult romance story with no overused romance clichés and that it is so god damn #relatable (as our weekly reviews writer put it), which is actually very hard to find in the overall romantic comedy genre. Honestly, I can’t think of any other anime out there that combines otaku culture and romance more perfectly than Wotakoi. Its great animation style and well thought references won me over from the very first episode. And may I add that the opening is so god damn good? That couple dance will stick with me forever.