Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Boxset Celebrates Geekdom

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Boxset Celebrates Geekdom

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Boxset Celebrates Geekdom

by Danica Davidson
April 1, 2023

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku is a manga series about otaku having relationships, but it’s also just a love letter to geekdom. The main character, Narumi, has lost each of her relationships after her boyfriends find out she’s an otaku. More specifically, she’s a fujoshi, interested in BL, doujinshi and the likes. When nothing else is working out, she ends up in a relationship with Hirotaka, who’s also an otaku and whom she’s known since childhood. But rather than being a fudani (though some people mistake him as such when he’s standing around Narumi’s stuff) he’s into video games. Besides having different types of otaku interests, Narumi and Hirotaka have very different personalities. She’s spirited, bubbly and easily excited, and he’s more easygoing and calm. Can they make it work when their past relationships haven’t panned out?

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku is not one of those series with a strong, complex plot. Instead, it moves gradually along, showing Narumi, Hirotaka and their friends in various geeky situations, all shown in a cute, lighthearted way. Episodes might deal with them watching scary movies during the summer, or Narumi and her friend arguing over who’s the seme and who’s the uke in relationships. (When they start arguing over which of their boyfriends would be the seme and uke in the relationship if their boyfriends were dating, they get really worked up.) Because of the subject matter and the many otaku references, this is a series that would be best enjoyed by fellow otaku, especially fujoshi. The otaku references do get explained in the back or in little footnotes, but it’s not quite the same as enjoying a joke immediately because you already understand it.

The manga has been popular enough to get an anime adaptation. It’s now being released in an official box set from Kodansha, and along with having all six volumes of the manga (some of the volumes contain two volumes from the Japanese release) they have sticky notes with images of Narui and Hirotka.

Story & Art: Fujita

Publisher: Kodansha

Translator: Jennifer O’Donnell


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.

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