Good whatever-time-it-is-you’re-reading-this, I am The Luminous Mongoose, and it’s time for a monthly seasonal series review!
I will preface right now that I won’t be watching EVERYTHING this season, only the shows that interested me personally. I only have so much time in a day after all, and I also need to catch up with a lot of older anime classics since I am a very recent anime fan. For the curious, I am watching Assassination Classroom and Cowboy Bebop.
Today, I’ll be talking about the first three episodes of Wotakoi, my favorite romance anime of the season.
In a stunning turn of events, Wotakoi is a romance anime between two adults who like each other and start dating. Why is this so special?
Because on the first episode, without any sort of filler, unecessary drama, or miscommunication, two adults who like each other mutually agree to start dating without making a big deal out of it.
What is this madness!?
Maybe I’m new to the anime romance scene, but this is legitimately the first time I have seen this happen. I love my teenage romcoms, but so many of them just skirt around the incredibly obvious resolution that it gets frustrating!
It’s honestly refreshing after the 10 episodes of foregone conclusion I had to wait for with Recovery of an MMO Junkie between two adult functioning members of society.
Oh yeah, some context about the title. Why is it called Wotaku? Well, that’s because a lot of Japanese nerds are pushing the term real hard, to differentiate themselves from what they believe to be the new boom of “fake” otaku in Japan. Think the difference between geek and nerd, except in this case, it’s nerd that they made a new word for. I foresee this not working out as well as they think, mainly because it’s basically like if we tried to push calling each other nerdlords to differentiate ourselves from the common nerd instead of just calling the casual nerds geeks.
Back to the anime at hand, I really like the characters in this show, and also that OP! I love how colorful it is and how it showcases the responsible adult side, and otaku sides.
Also, this adorable part has a lot of significance in the hand signs! :
From u/MishimaYukio on a reddit thread I found while hunting for gifs:
Kaba and Hana’s hands are with the thumb and pinky sticking out, old signs for “husband and wife” or “boyfriend and girlfriend”. They’re trying to make them line up so that Kaba’s pinky lines up with Hana’s thumb, a hint that they’re “together” but also that their roles are often reversed (the thumb is for the male, the pinky for the female). Despite how he looks, Kaba is very kind and emotional while Hana cosplays as male characters (and looks great at it, too.)
Naru and Hiro are doing hand motions that in Japan usually mean “nah” or “no way”. In America we’d probably put out the palm flat and wave the hand to express that same thing. In Japan, the palm is facing to the side and the hand waved as if waving away a smell. “Hey are you still working for that company?” >waves hand< “Nah, I quit and joined their competitor.”
Little things like this really make an OP feel that much more vibrant to me, and so, this a non-skip for me.
Like we see in the OP, the characters have two sides to each of them. Our two mains could not be anymore different, and yet they are just so compatible!
Narumi is a bit of a klutz, but also very earnest and cute. However, she has a complex about letting people know she is an otaku because of a crappy ex ruining it for her in her old company.
She is also a hardcore fujoshi.
Hirotaka, on the other hand, is a very calm and collected guy, who has never had a girlfriend (or that many friends, really.) He works hard as well, but everything is on a schedule. He also doesn’t care if people know he is an otaku or not, which fits with his general aloofness.
He also likes oppai.
You would think they wouldn’t like each other, but being childhood friends (ANOTHER FIRST) means they already know the little quirks.
Their relationship is so chill too. They like each other, so they hang out a lot after work, drink, play games, then say bye afterwards. No unecessary neediness from any side.
Even when they get into small spats, they are always quick to make up, which is such an adult thing for an anime to do.
It’s a relationship based on mutual trust in each other, and not just gut feeling. They communicate their problems, they have small arguments over dumb things, but ultimately, these two really like each other’s company. Seeing Hirotaka navigate the waters of his first relationship in such a genuinely heartwarming way is great, and Narumi is always ready to lend a hand.
Maybe not so much at work.
The other couple of the show is Hanako and Kabakura, and they are a also a treat.
I’m sure everybody has met that couple who always bicker over small things and you think to yourself, “How do these two love each other?”, and then you get proven wrong immediately after because the girl fell asleep on his shoulder and he shushes you.
Hanako is a busty and mature lady who looks straight-laced at work, but she’s actually just as much of a fujoshi as Narami. Maybe even moreso considering her hobby is crossdressing and looking really good at it.
When best boy is also best girl
Kabakura is rugged and is a bit rough around the edges, but he does look solid and dependable, as seen by his friendship with Hirotaka.
You would think he’s the “straight-man” in the group that is full of weird otakus, but as it turns out, he is super into reading moe manga.
These little subversions really help make the characters feel relatable to a certain extent, and make this show an enjoyable one for us otakus (or wotakus) .
Oh, and they KISS ON THE THIRD EPISODE, I LOVE THIS SHOW’S PACE!
Overall, I love this show so far, and look forward to reviewing it every month! Hope you enjoyed, and see you on the next review!