Wotakoi Life is Hard for Otaku

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku – Review

Time to talk about another manga that I’ve had the chance to read through the whole way. This is one where it’s a pretty short manga, but what is it that caught my wife and my eye about it? Wotakoi: Love is Hard for an Otaku is set up to be one that we enjoy about nerdy main characters. But does it lean too hard into the stereotypes, does it handle them well? That’s the question and standard that Wotakoi needs to live up to.

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku follows around four office workers who are Otaku. All of them are Otaku in their own one whether it’s around video games, manga, or cosplay, it’s part of who they are. But how does that work out for them when it comes to finding love, or just comes to feeling comfortable in their own skin?

For all of them, Momose, Nafuji, Koyanagi, and Kabakura, it all shows up differently in their lives. But one thing, especially for Momose is how is it going to show up in her love life? She’s been burned before by her Otaku loves coming out and her dating life going away. Once people knew they treat her differently, so when Nafuji suggests that they date, it’s a matter of convenience for two Otaku just to be Otaku.

What Drew Me In?

I think that drew me in first are the characters. I made the comment in the intro about how does it handle the characters. And it does matter for this because manga is not always the best at handling them. By that I mean that often times when it comes to otaku characters they create kind of parodies of characters. Though, this is something that has changed over time. In fact, Wotakoi actually talks about that change in perception. So the solid way where it handles being an otaku, I think that is strong.

Wotakoi Characters
Image Source: Kodansha

It’s also very slice of life but with a plot. Now that seems like two things that just don’t go together. But let me try and explain. It’s slice of life in that a lot of the events that happen are pretty random to the people. You can hop in and out of the story without much issues, or shuffle the order around because it’s specific little vignettes that are happening. But there is enough for a through line and a romance story that you also can become connected in to that development as well.

Who Is It For?

This is one for people who are a fan of Japanese culture and in particular that as represented through anime and manga. At least in the US where I am writing this from, I think that’ll hit well for the people reading it. Wotakoi is a nice view into that life, through manga. And I think it’s one that is made to feel accepting. So it has that nice, you be you sort of storyline that it presents, which is refreshing.

Though, it is a romance. This is not or should not be an issue for a lot of people. But it’s worth noting that while Wotakoi’s plot is around the otaku characters it is still a romance. So if you are adverse to romance manga, Wotakoi is unlikely to change that for you.

Final Thoughts on Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

This is just a nice breath of fresh air to read. It’s a short manga, in that I mean that it’d 6 volumes that you can pick up pretty easily. So it’s very digestible in how we got it. I like that because it comes in with a purpose, the purpose is handled well, and then it is done. There isn’t any extra bloat to it, nothing that feels like it was tacked on for no good reason.

I like that for a manga because it makes it manageable. Right now I plan to read One Piece, that is going to be a lot. I already buy other manga as they come out to keep up with the story. And some of those are getting into the ten to fifteen range with no intention of slowing down. So it is a lot, which is nice for Wotakoi to be less. I’ve noticed that a lot of romance tend to set a story timeline. And Wotakoi is the same way.

Is Wotakoi a manga that you’ve read or one you want to?

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