That’s my main problem with this show. Not moe, but the lack of romance. There’s barely even any chemistry between the main characters. It’s really just Hirotaka being in love with Narumi (but still being dense and clueless as usual), and the girl slowly building up her love for him. To a certain extent, I understand why it has to be this way. He’s not her type, and she wasn’t enthusiastic about dating him in the first place. She simply went with the flow. But geez, if we’re going to do that, why not just keep them as friends for the time being? Anyways…
— The major theme this week is that Narumi has priorities in her life — priorities that easily come before Hirotaka. Maybe he’ll become one of her priorities one day, but not now. Not yet. There’s a big dojinshi event coming up, and she’s nowhere close to finishing her contribution. Does Hirotaka mind? Of course not. It sounds like he’s been in love with her since childhood, so he can stand to be a little more patient. In fact, he even helps her out with her doujin. Who knew he could also draw? He also has to remind her to sleep.
— The big day arrives, and Narumi is busy schmoozing with her fans. Hirotaka remains patient. When the girl fawns over one of her favorite artists, he actually gets jealous. But he keeps it to himself. Still, would Narumi ever fawn over him like that one day? There’s so little chemistry between them that I can hardly see it. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe dating for otakus just doesn’t come naturally or something. Still, a little communication would be nice. Telling her that he’d like some attention from time to time would be nice.
— This cosplayer stares at Hirotaka as he walks by… it must be Hanako.
— It is Hanako. And look at Narumi. She’s in a state of complete rapture. Her own boyfriend can’t get that reaction out of her.
— Huh… Hirotaka refers to Hanako as Taro’s girlfriend. When did they start dating? Did I miss that?
— But he’s ever so patient. When she realizes that she’s about to miss out on buying some important doujin, he volunteers to take over for her. On her way back, she overhears some girls marveling over her table, but it doesn’t really get Narumi mad or jealous. She just rushes back to Hirotaka ’cause she doesn’t want him to be inconvenienced (to be fair, he did get harassed). Again, I’m just failing to feel any sort of romantic connection between these two characters. He likes her, but he’s too placid to show it… and I’m not sure if she likes him at all.
— When the day is finally over, Hirotaka tests the waters and sees if he can finally spend some one-on-one time with the girl. Unfortunately, she’s already looking forward. Still, this wraps up the first story. It seems like every episode comes with two short stories.
— In the second short story, Hirotaka invites Narumi over to his place. Her mind instantly goes to sex. I know it’s a thing, but I don’t think most guys really care what color underwear a girl is wearing. I know I wouldn’t. I’ve never really been big on lingerie anyways.
— To the guy’s big surprise, the girl finishes the day before him. Even though she’s nervous about what might potentially occur later that night, she got herself a laser focus.
— On the way over to his place, Narumi muses that they just became childhood friends one day. She can’t even remember how it ever happened. If they somehow stay together in the long run, she’d probably say the same thing about their romantic relationship. Gosh, we just started dating one day! I don’t even remember how it started! Weird, right?
— Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Narumi or anything. She doesn’t have to like anyone. Love is one of those things in which you can almost be as picky as you’d like. Still, this relationship just feels weird. If she doesn’t like him in that way, why is she “dating” him? And why is he okay with her treating him like just a friend-plus? I guess he really likes her, so he’ll just take what he can get. Or maybe he’s not that experienced with dating (just like how he’s not used to having friends), so again, he’s just taking what he can get.
— Anyways, they finally get to his apartment, and the girl’s so nervous that she starts saying weird stuff. She tries to calm herself down by telling herself that Hirotaka is not that type of guy. He’d never make a move on her. So of course, he leans in close, and all of a sudden, she remembers the color of her underwear. She even thinks of stopping him in his tracks, suggesting that they should try this again when she has pink underwear on. But ahaha, it turns out that he was just reaching for a couple of Wiimotes. Gosh, how zany. Top comedy, guys, top comedy…
— There are two types of gamers in this world…
— All of a sudden, Taro and Hanako show up for a “sleepover.” I didn’t know adults did sleepovers. Also, Hirotaka thinks he told Narumi that he had invited their friends, but I don’t think he did. Narumi is initially annoyed, but she relents when she sees how “happy” he looks to have so many friends at his place at the same time. Gosh.
— At one point, Hirotaka goes to take a bath (or shower), so Hanako suggests that they go looking for his porn stash. Honestly, it’s 2018. Who still has a physical porn stash? Hanako can insist otherwise all she wants, but the idea that any guy would just have a stack of physical porn lying around somewhere is kinda silly to me. It’s outdated, inefficient, anachronistic, quaint, old-fashioned, so on and so forth!
— During the search, Narumi notices that Taro and Hanako are wearing couples necklaces. Hell, those two started dating offscreen, and they’re already made more progress than our main couple.
— She spots an indistinct blue box, so she starts digging through it. Before I go on, I also gotta add that it’s a little odd for Hirotaka’s friends to just rummage through his stuff. I know he technically gave them permission, but still… I’d never violate someone’s privacy like that. I used to have girlfriends who wanted to share passwords for everything — emails, social media, chat clients, you name it. I always found that weird. Don’t you guys like having your own personal space? But I digress. The girl finds a bunch of old trading cards in the box.
— At this point, Hirotaka finally emerges from his shower to reminisce about the good ol’ days with Narumi. He also reveals the exact moment they became friends. For him, she was his only friend so he treasured every moment that they shared. On the other hand, making friends always came easy to her. Also, he had his games, which he could share with her. On the other hand, Narumi had a lot of things she couldn’t share with him. The same dynamic remains between them even now, but he’s okay with it.
The girl starts to feel bad; she starts to feel as though their relationship isn’t entirely fair to him, so she wants him to be a little more open about his feelings. She even jokingly encourages him to punch her if she’s being terrible, so he takes the opportunity to lean in and kiss her instead. There. After nearly 20 minutes of nothing, we finally get a bit of sappy romance between these two characters. It’s maddening.
— Narumi awkwardly responds by headbutting the guy. She wasn’t expecting a kiss, but he responds that he’s still a man after all. It looks like she wants to kick him, ’cause she was expecting sex earlier tonight, but she chooses instead to harp on his love for big boobs. I’m not gonna comment on that preference.
— The girl wants to whine to Hanako, but when she and Hirotaka open the door to the living room, they are reminded that their friends are way ahead of them. Ah well.
— After the credits, Hirotaka surprises Narumi with a pink Wiimote. Get it? ‘Cause he thought she was talking about gaming when she was actually talking about her underwear! Oh this guy!
— Meanwhile, Taro finds a porn stash hidden in his desk. Okay then.
— Wotakoi is better than 3D Kanojo Real Girl by a long shot, but I think Tada-kun is at the very least more fun to watch. The jokes here often fall flat because they’re just referential humor. Hey, are you an otaku? Then you’ll totally get this! On the romance angle, I think I might be unfairly harsh on the show. Yes, there isn’t much of a romance here, but it’s also a different story. It’s a one-sided love that may or may not become something more… but at the same time, it might reinforce the mistaken idea that you could patiently love someone long enough for them to love you back.
That might work for Hirotaka — and it certainly helps to be a 6’0″ and handsome — but don’t hold your breath. If you find yourself in a similar position, don’t you think you deserve someone who is as enthusiastic about you as you are about them?