There’s no shortage of romance anime to choose from, and a lot of them are really good. But most of them also share one thing in common (that can actually be found in a lot of anime): they revolve around school age protagonists. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but just like in real life, the kind of romance that kids in middle school and high school will share is very different from the romance that two adults would share. Hormones are flying as kids are changing into adults and figuring out who they are, so their romantic relationships tend to be on the immature side; it’s simply a realistic way to portray how kids think and act.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku stands out among it’s romance anime peers because of this. It’s an anime that focuses on the new relationship between two adults who are well into their careers and lives. Some of those good cliches are still around, like the fact that they’re childhood friends that share deeply nerdy interests, but the feel of the relationship you are watching is incredibly different. Misunderstandings are cleared early and often because they realize the importance of open honesty in a relationship. They aren’t as held back by embarrassment and awkward dealings with their peers. They are simply two adults who are trying to figure out how to be in a relationship with each other.
There’s a heavy comedy element to the story as well, with jokes centering around otaku culture (these jokes seem to be aimed at people who are in/around 30 years old now and grew up with classics such as Sailor Moon and the original Pokemon games). They’re gamers and manga addicts and figurine collectors. Like real people, they don’t share the exact same interests, but as part of their relationship, they find ways (little and big) to support and look out for one another.
It’s the simplicity of showing the little things that makes it charming. It’s not filled with big relationship deepening moments in an effort to accelerate growth and devotion. Instead, it builds on the foundation bit by bit, creating something as close to real life romance for adults as they can. It’s honestly refreshing. Like I said before, there’s nothing wrong with the more dramatic flair that typical anime romance depicts (to an extent; I have my limits), but seeing something that aims for the simple and genuine is a great way to break up that trend.
Bonus, it also has one of my favorite OPs in all of anime, though it wasn’t quite good enough to be featured in Challenge Day 5. Here’s an extended version of it:
If you’re looking for a romance anime that’s a little less about the drama and more about the growth and sincerity of adults, definitely give Wotakoi a try. If you’re still on the fence, check out my full review on it so that I can try to convince you to give it a try.
What’s your favorite Drama/Romance Anime?