Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
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Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku (Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii) is a web manga series originally posted on Pixiv, an online community for artists that connects otaku from all over the world. The series started in 2014 and began serialisation on Pixiv’s Comic Pool in 2015. The series ranked first in the 2014 Tsugi ni Kuru Manga Taishou (Upcoming Manga Award) / Hon ni Shite-hoshii Webmanga Category (Should-be-Published in Print Category), the 2015 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! (This Manga Is Amazing!) / Female Category, and in the 2017 Webmanga Sousenkyo (Webmanga Election) / General Category. The printed volumes by Ichijinsha have sold over 4.2 million copies in print in total, and its much-awaited anime adaptation will start airing on 12 April.
Wotakoi is a romantic comedy that portrays the awkward romance between otaku. Even if the readers here do not see otaku in a negative light, there are quite a number of people who do, and all the more so when it comes to romance. As a matter of fact, many works featuring differences in values between otaku and non-otaku often introduce non-otaku characters trying to distance themselves from an otaku character once they find out about their hobbies. However, there is no such thing when it comes to this series, as most characters are otaku themselves. It may be even more preferable for fans to see the honest relationships between the characters of this series as they all hail themselves as otaku right from the start.
Perhaps you are wondering where the name Wotakoi comes from. It derives from the Japanese title Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii. It is popular in Japanese to write the word ‘otaku’ with the characters ヲタク, which is still pronounced ‘otaku’, but uses an old character for ‘o’ which is spelled ‘wo’ in roman characters. It’s often shortened to just ヲタ (wota) in the community. This means that Wotakoi is actually pronounced ‘Otakoi’!
Now, that’s enough with the lead-in. Let’s get to the summary of this new spring anime, Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, starting 12 April. I’d be happy if this article could be of help to otaku readers looking to explore the new anime series.
Narumi Momose is a female office worker who hides her fujoshi lifestyle, and Hirotaka Nifuji is her childhood friend-slash-colleague and a gamer nerd. At the beginning of the story, they hang out together in suits after work at the local bar with nibbles, drinks, and portable games. They know each other well enough that they can talk about their hardcore otaku sides without worry.
Narumi complains to Hirotaka about her boyfriend dumping her a week before and after he learned about her being a fujoshi. On the way home, he asked her out with ‘then, how about dating me?’
‘You know, I wouldn’t mind spending time gaming with you collecting loot, power leveling, or whatever, I could always wait for you working overtime. I wouldn’t need to disappoint you or make you cry – in addition, I can come along and help you at the doujinshi event next weekend as a salesperson.’
So, they start dating. Along with another otaku couple at work, Kabakura and Konayagi, as well as Hirotaka’s younger brother Naoya and his friend Kou, they weave an awkward story about love and romance. Can the hardcore otaku couples succeed with their romantic relationships?
There are 6 main characters in WotaKoi! Let me introduce them to you briefly.
1. Narumi Momose (Voiced by Arisa Date)
The protagonist of the series. She is an all-around otaku interested in a wide range of subculture fields such as manga, anime, games, and idols. She is a fujoshi, which means that she is a fan of BL and yaoi (comics, etc that depict male-male relationships) She is also engaged in doujin activities and often takes part in Comiket. She has hidden her otaku lifestyle and only a few people know it. She isn’t a very good office worker.
2. Hirotaka Nifuji (Voiced by Kento Itou)
A friend of Narumi’s since their childhood. He is a hardcore gamer and does not care about hiding it. He is good at most games but he does not play many online games because they aren’t good for solo gamers. He is a highly competent man with a handsome face and a pair of glasses. He has had feelings for Narumi for some time.
3. Hanako Koyanagi (Voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro)
Narumi’s senior at work. People generally find her aloof and inaccessible, but she is actually impulsive and enjoys dirty jokes like an elementary boy, according to Kabakura. She is a fujoshi who also likes 3D works such as stage plays. She also likes manga and anime and she is a well-known crossplayer in the cosplay world.
4. Tarou Kabakura (Voiced by Tomokazu Sugita)
Narumi and Hirotaka’s senior at work. He is a tough-looking man, but very earnest and caring like a big brother. He enjoys mainstream works, especially action stories with heroes and pretty girls. His otaku level is relatively low compared to Narumi or Hirotaka. He led a volleyball team as captain back in high school, which is where he met Koyanagi.
5. Naoya Nifuji (Voiced by Yuki Kaji)
Hirotaka’s brother, a 19-year-old university student. Unlike Hirotaka, he is outgoing and sociable. He works part-time at a coffee shop near Narumi and Hirotaka’s office, which is where he met Kou. He is the sole non-otaku character in this series and bad at gaming. Narumi gets along with him and treats him nicely.
6. Kou Sakuragi (Voiced by Aoi Yuki)
Naoya’s classmate. She is tall and androgynous, so it is often hard to determine her gender. She is also shy and very withdrawn. After she encounters Naoya, she starts hanging around with him and his friends. She is a hardcore gamer and is very good at gaming, and she can keep pace with Hirotaka’s gaming skills.
Slice-of-life and romance with various otaku couples: a game otaku with a secret fujoshi, a casual otaku with a cosplayer, and a non-otaku with a game otaku. You can definitely relate to them if you are otaku yourself. However, even if you aren’t an otaku, you can still enjoy it as a slightly eccentric rom-com.
You can’t just lump all otaku together as they all have different tastes.
For example, Narumi enjoys a wide variety of stuff including current trends and often buys lots of different manga, while Hirotaka only browses some manga that he got interested in via the internet. Hirotaka doesn’t mind reading BL when Narumi recommends him one, while Kabakura cannot accept the genre at all. Narumi loves gaming too and she plays various types, from smartphone games to online games, while Koyanagi doesn’t really care for games. When Hirotaka plays multiplayer games, he doesn’t like playing with bad gamers or beginners, whereas Kou tries to help them and enjoys playing with anyone.
It is one of the very interesting aspects of otaku that their tastes vary depending on their favorite genres and personalities. And that makes it all the more interesting to see their chemistry. Whom do you relate to the most?
The new television anime series Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku starts airing in April 2018! There is much more than I can introduce you to here, so please take a look at it.
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!