In this week’s episode, Nao befriends a girl who likes games as much as Hirotaka. Unfortunately, the guy is too dense to even realize that he’s talking to a girl.
— Out of all the precious photos that Narumi took at the amusement park, this is the one she stares at for more than a second. I’d penalize her like Hirotaka too.
— But enough about her, because this episode is mostly about Nao and his new friend Kou. He first meets her at “Starbocks.” She looks like she’s studying, but she’s really gaming like a fiend.
— Sure, she’s got short hair and some masculine features to her face. Kou is often a guy’s name too, I guess. So what tipped me off? Sadly, those headphones and beauty mark are a dead giveaway. Before the show even confirmed it for me, I totally suspected that Kou was a girl.
— Anyways, Kou runs off, but drops a piece of paper. Upon inspecting, Nao realizes that they both go to the same university. What a small world. Anime operates off of a series of fortunate and unfortunate coincidences. Then when people want to read more into the matter, they can attribute it to fate.
— Basically, the girl is a loner who plays games even at school. Nao being Nao, he feels bad and decides to befriend her. He ends up sitting across from her without the girl even realizing it. I guess the joke here is that gamers are so wrapped up in their games that they can’t even notice what’s going on around them.
— Remember, however, that Nao still believes Kou to be a guy. In fact, he never once realizes that she’s a girl, so maybe my title is premature. Maybe she won’t be a love interest after all. Still, they’re both in college, so if they’re not going to fall in love at some point, what exactly are they waiting for? Then again, maybe he’s asexual… I mean, you kinda get the impression that Nao is too innocent and child-like to even think of dating anyone, don’t you?
— Kou is painfully awkward in person. And when Nao calls her “Kou-kun,” just look at her face. I guess she doesn’t feel comfortable correcting him. In the end, however, she assumes that he wants them to be friends in the game that she’s playing.
— So we fast forward to Narumi, Hanako, and Taro trying to carry Nao through an advanced quest. The latter has started gaming regularly with Kou, but as we already know, he sucks at games. Hirotaka must have taken all of the gaming genes when he was born, leaving Nao with nothing. As a result, Kou pretty much has to hold his hand through all of the quests. So why is he with Hirotaka’s friends? Maybe they can help him level up and he won’t be a burden on Kou anymore!
— Here’s the thing, though… I grew up playing games, so I had the luxury of starting from the ground up. I played super simplistic stuff like Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. It’s only through the years that I eventually worked my way up to harder games like, say, Monster Hunter or Dark Souls. If you want to get a newbie into games, you don’t drop them right into an MMORPG full of mechanics and gameplay systems. You gotta keep it simple. Either Hirotaka or Kou should be playing simpler games with Nao.
— At the same time, however, most of these games should have pretty solid tutorial areas. If you can’t complete the starting area by yourself, then I dunno… I just think simpler games are more fun for newbies, then if they’re still interested, they can work their way up. I can’t imagine trying to play something like Resonance of Fate as my first JRPG. On the other hand, a JRPG like Final Fantasy I, however, is super simple as hell. It’s so simple, it’s almost dull to me now. I recently tried to replay the game, and I could barely make it past the first dungeon without being bored to tears. Still, Nao might appreciate it more than a flashy MMO that he keeps failing in. Luckily, the guy never gives up and is always cheerful.
— Anyways, back to the episode… unfortunately for the group, they’re kinda useless without Hirotaka. And as always, Narumi’s man likes to march to the beat of his own drum.
— Kou sneaks on as this ugly-looking avatar and saves the day. She then slips away right before Hirotaka finally logs in and sees the carnage. Oddly enough, Narumi mistook Kou’s avatar for Hirotaka.
— 170 cm, huh? She’s taller than the average Japanese woman for sure. She’s no Karen of SAO, of course.
— The next morning, Narumi bumps into Hirotaka without his glasses. Yep, he’s that blind. His vision is so bad, he has to put his face up to the monitor in order to read it. It’s so bad, he accidentally creates a golden yaoi moment for both Narumi and Hanako. Dude, if you’re struggling that much, just take the day off. Don’t you have any PTO?
— To Narumi’s dismay, the girls in the office finally notice that Hirotaka’s kinda attractive. Really? They saw nothing in him when he had his glasses on, but now he’s hot?
— For Narumi, she’s known Hirotaka too long to ever see him as a hot guy. That’s… that’s kinda sad. I dunno, man, I guess I just think couples should be crazy about each other. Maybe others would find this unrealistic, but I think your SO should at least find you attractive. Is that really so much to ask?
— Anyways, when Hirotaka has to get close to a girl’s face in order to read something in her hands, that’s enough to finally annoy Narumi. I guess she can get jealous, but the guy quickly smooths it over later. When she asks him why he doesn’t have to squint around her like he does around the other women, he claims that he just knows she’s there even without his glasses. I guess that’s supposed to be your “aww” moment. Enough about these two. I’m kinda bored of their slow-moving relationship.
— We also see Nao and Kou continue to hang out despite the guy’s complete obliviousness to… well, everything, really. It’s not just the fact that Kou’s a girl that he’s unaware of. He doesn’t seem to pick up on the fact that she’s kinda into him. After all, she’s waiting patiently in the lobby as he continues to die over and over in a solo stage. No matter how much Nao tries, he can’t clear it on his own. Dude, just play another game. There isn’t just one game in the entire world. I’m sure Kou has other games… I think.
— Kou stutters both in real life and in the game. She’s shy everywhere, I guess. But when she starts talking about the game, her stutter goes away. Eh. This is where I like how Steins;Gate handles Moeka. Specifically, she’s shy and withdrawn in real life, but she’s a totally different person online. Then again, Nao and Kou are on voice chat, so maybe she’s still not comfortable speaking to him. Maybe she’s different if she can just type her words out.
— At one point, Nao has to take a phone call, so Hirotaka hops onto his character. After all, big bro wants to know why Nao has suddenly gotten so interested in games. As a result, even though Nao’s character is supposedly low level and weak, Hirotaka still manages to look cool with it. He even takes out a group of mobs with one move. Uh, how does that work? If your character is weak in an MMORPG, it’s just weak. You can’t magically become stronger because someone else is playing it.
— When Nao finally kicks his brother off of his character, he tells Kou that he’ll abandon this advanced quest. But look, she’s grabbing his sleeve! That’s the mating call of anime girls everywhere!
— Unfortunately, they still ended up wiping… welp, that does it for our episode! I can’t say I can ever love Wotakoi, but at least Nao and Kou adds a new dynamic to the story. I’m getting tired of Hirotaka and Narumi because those two never change.