• Reanne

'Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku' manga by Fujita

An adorable story about geeks and love

I’m just gonna cut right to it and say that Wotakoi is a delightful manga, especially if you’re a games/manga/fandom geek. The characters are interesting and cute, the relationships all have their own dynamics, and all of them are easy to root for. There’s a couple who’s been together for ten years, a new couple established at the beginning of the story, and a perspective couple that we get to see fumble their way through all the awkward stages from their very first meeting on (so far, as of this most recent volume, that couple has not gotten together, so we’re still watching that progress). I love all of the characters, but I’d have to say my favorites are the youngest couple. They’re just too precious for words.

I like that even though the story is about twenty-somethings, it isn’t particularly sexual. In fact, if there are any references to sexuality at all, they are very subtle and hard to spot. The language is also pretty mild. Which is great, because it makes it very accessible for people who like cleaner/sweeter stories (or who just find those sorts of stories more relatable), without appearing to deliberately be censoring itself. (This is all the case as of the most recent volume, which is the fourth double volume in English and the eighth volume in Japanese.)

As for the fourth volume in particular, I really enjoyed it, but maybe not as much as some previous volumes. It’s all very episodic, with each chapter pretty much being one little vignette, and a couple storylines that transpire over a few chapters each. These multiple-chapter storylines are the ones that progress the overall story the most. I do wish there was a little more focus on the larger story arcs, but this volume was still a lot of fun even if it was mostly short micro-stories that didn’t tie in very much to the larger plot. (I suppose I would say that this volume seemed more slice-of-life than romance to me because of this.)

If you like adorable, sweet romances with humor and occasional moments of awkwardness, with a lot of focus on various aspects of geek culture (especially manga, gaming, and cosplay), you should absolutely check this manga out. There’s also an anime of it (which was on Amazon Prime the last I checked), though it is subtitles-only and doesn’t get as far into the story as the manga does, but it’s definitely worth watching as well.

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