Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku

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Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku
Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii, Volume 1.jpg
Cover of the first volume of manga as released in Japan by Ichijinsha, featuring Hirotaka Nifuji and Narumi Momose.
ヲタクに恋は難しい
(Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii)
GenreRomantic comedy
Manga
Written byFujita
Published byIchijinsha
English publisher
DemographicJosei
MagazinePixiv
Comic Pool (November 6, 2015 – present)
Original runApril 17, 2014 – present
Volumes7
Anime television series
Directed byYoshimasa Hiraike
Written byYoshimasa Hiraike
Music byAkimitsu Honma
StudioA-1 Pictures
Licensed byAmazon Video (streaming)
Original networkFuji TV (noitaminA)
Original run April 13, 2018 June 22, 2018
Episodes11 + OVA (List of episodes)
Live-action film
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku (ヲタクに恋は難しい, Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii) is a Japanese webmanga series written and illustrated by Fujita. It was first posted on Pixiv on April 17, 2014. It later began serialization in Comic Pool (a joint web manga publication project by Ichijinsha and Pixiv) on November 6, 2015. Ichijinsha began publishing the manga in print on April 30, 2015 and seven volumes have been published as of March 2019. An anime adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired from April to June 2018 on the Noitamina programming block.

Plot[edit]

Narumi, a female office worker who hides her fujoshi lifestyle, and Hirotaka, a handsome and capable company man who is a game otaku. The two seem perfect for each other, but love is difficult for otaku.

Characters[edit]

Narumi Momose (桃瀬成海, Momose Narumi)
Voiced by: Arisa Date[1]
Narumi is a fujoshi otaku, who also likes otome games, and idols. She blames being an otaku for difficulties in her life and attempts to keep it a secret, especially at work. She is also the childhood friend and girlfriend of Hirotaka Nifuji.
Hirotaka Nifuji (二藤宏嵩, Nifuji Hirotaka)
Voiced by: Kent Itō, Mutsumi Tamura (Young)[1]
Hirotaka is Narumi Momose's otaku friend and boyfriend, who has been in love with her ever since childhood. Hirotaka is a gamer otaku who spends most of his free time gaming and unlike Narumi, he does not care if everyone knows that he is an otaku. He is also considered to be very attractive by girls, although he doesn't seem to care.
Hanako Koyanagi (小柳花子, Koyanagi Hanako)
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro[1]
Hanako is Narumi Momose's senpai at the office, she is secretly a famous cosplayer otaku who usually cosplays as a male character. She also plays games and reads yaoi manga. Hanako is dating Tarou Kabakura.
Tarō Kabakura (樺倉太郎, Kabakura Tarō)
Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita[1]
Tarou is Hirotaka Nifuji's coworker at the office and a less intense otaku; he likes heroes and bishojo. Tarou is dating Hanako Koyanagi.
Naoya Nifuji (二藤尚哉, Nifuji Naoya)
Voiced by: Yūki Kaji[1]
Naoya is Hirotaka's cheery younger brother; a university student. Naoya cares very deeply for his brother, and quietly worries about him and his introverted nature. Unlike his brother, Naoya is not an otaku, and is very bad at video games.
Kō Sakuragi (桜城 光, Sakuragi Kō)
Voiced by: Aoi Yūki[2]
Kō is a socially anxious solo gamer from Naoya's university with a habit of saying "I'm sorry". Kō's reclusive nature initially reminds Naoya of his brother and thus decided to become Kō's gamer friend. Unbeknownst to Naoya, Kō is actually a girl.
Narrator
Voiced by: Aoi Yūki

Production[edit]

Initially, Fujita began posting the manga on Pixiv (a Japanese online community for artists) as a rookie author.[3] Ichijinsha then launched a digital manga magazine with Pixiv titled Comic Pool, and started serializing the manga on a regular basis.[4][5] The manga was selected for Comic Pool because it was the most popular work on Pixiv.[6] On April 30, 2015 Ichijinsha started the publishing of the manga in print.[7]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The first volume was released on April 30, 2015 and seven volumes have been published as of March 2019.[8] The manga was released in English by Kodansha Comics.[9][10] Each volume contained 2 volumes of the original release.

Volume list[edit]

No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 April 30, 2015[11]ISBN 978-4-75-800846-4April 17, 2018ISBN 978-1-63-236704-4
2 March 31, 2016[12]ISBN 978-4-75-800899-0April 17, 2018ISBN 978-1-63-236704-4
3 December 23, 2016[13]ISBN 978-4-75-800934-8June 12, 2018ISBN 978-1-63-236705-1
4 July 26, 2017[14]ISBN 978-4-75-800951-5June 12, 2018ISBN 978-1-63-236705-1
5 February 2, 2018[15]ISBN 978-4-75-800979-9November 27, 2018ISBN 978-1-63-236706-8
6 July 31, 2018[16]ISBN 978-4-75-800987-4November 27, 2018ISBN 978-1-63-236706-8
7 March 29, 2019 (w/BD edition)[17]
March 29, 2019 (regular ed.)[18]
ISBN 978-4-75-802020-6 (w/BD ed.)
ISBN 978-4-75-802019-0 (regular ed.)

Anime[edit]

An anime television series by A-1 Pictures aired from April 13 to June 22, 2018 on Fuji TV.[1] The series is directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike who also oversee the scripts. Takahiro Yasuda designed the characters, while Akimitsu Honma composed the music.[19] The opening theme titled "Fiction" (フィクション) by Sumika and the first and second ending themes titled "Kimi no Tonari" (キミの隣, lit. "Next to You") and "Ashita mo Mata" (明日もまた) (ep 9) respectively are performed by halca. Amazon streamed the series on their Amazon Video service. The series ran for 11 episodes.[20] An OVA entitled "Youth" was released on March 29, 2019 to coincide with the release of the seventh volume of the manga.[21]

Episode list[edit]

No. Title[22][a] Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Narumi and Hirotaka Meets Again, and..."
"Narumi to Hirotaka no Saikai. Soshite…" (成海と宏嵩の再会。そして…)
Daisuke TakashimaYoshimasa HiraikeApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)

26-year-old Narumi Momose is a die-hard fujoshi otaku who recently switched jobs, in hopes of being able to play off an image of a perfect, beautiful young lady. However, her hopes are crashed when she reunites with her middle school classmate Hirotaka Nifuji, an avid gamer otaku that knows about her secret. Both reconnect over alcohol and Hirotaka promises he won't tell on Narumi's otaku secret, commenting on how love is difficult for people like them because others think they're "abnormal" and "weird".

Two weeks later, Narumi while working promises to meet Hirotaka at 6pm for drinks but is unable to finish her work on time so Hirotaka stays behind for her. As they drink, Hirotaka asks Narumi out, offering to help her pass her game levels as a benefit. Excited, Narumi accepts.
2"Are We Now Dating?"
"Koibito? Hajimemashita" (恋人?始めました)
Matsuo AsamiYoshimasa HiraikeApril 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Narumi avoids Hirotaka at work because she is unsure how to interact now that they are in a relationship. Koyanagi and Kabakura step in to address the conflict between Narumi and Hirotaka but end up fighting with each other. Hirotaka reveals that he is romantically interested in Narumi, not just because a relationship with another otaku would be convenient. All four visit a bookstore to purchase manga.
3"Sales Event and Gamers Meetup"
"Sokubai-kai to Gēmu-kai" (即売会とゲーム会)
Gō TobitaTomoko ShinozukaApril 27, 2018 (2018-04-27)
Narumi, Hirotaka, Koyanagi and Kabakura attend a comics expo. Hirotaka helps Narumi with her BL stand while Koyanagi cosplays. Later, Narumi goes to Hirotaka's house to play video games; she is nervous about being alone in his home but soon Koyanagi and Kabakura join them. Narumi reminisces about her childhood with Hirotaka after she and Koyanagi search for any porn hidden in his room.
4"Is Mature Love as Difficult?"
"Otona no Koi mo Muzukashī?" (オトナの恋も難しい?)
Satoshi SagaSeiko TakagiMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)

While on a break, Hirotaka was surprised to see Narumi crying only to find the reason being Sailor Moon. Narumi showed off a picture of her and another girl to Kabakura and Koyanagi. Kabakura ended up praising the other girl and asked Narumi to introduce him sometimes. Turns out, it was Hirotaka. The following day, Koyanagi and Kabakura approached Narumi and Hirotaka steaming with anger. Koyanagi vehemently wanted Kabakura to cosplay as a woman as Hirotaka did, while Kabakura strongly refused. After continuously exchanging angry retorts between one another, Koyanagi praised Narumi and Hirotaka for getting along. Narumi commented how they had different interests which accommodated them well, Hirotaka playing games and her preferring manga and anime. Hirotaka ended up angering Narumi for commenting how she's "beyond saving". Later Kabakura came home to find a whole photo session setup by Koyanagi. Left with no choice, he ended going along Koyanagi's plan. She showed the result to Narumi and Hirotaka, which greatly surprised the couple. It was revealed that he was bribed into agreeing. The exchange being a high quality Yudachi Kai-II figurine.

On their break, Hirotaka invited Narumi to go drinking with him, along with Kabakura and Koyanagi. Koyanagi was surprised to see how talkative and expressive Hirotaka is in his mails. While drinking, Koyanagi got drunk fast. They started talking about how Koyanagi and Kabakura started dating. Thy got into worse arguments, stating their types. Koyanagi accidentally revealed her hidden insecurities because Kabakura preferred small and cute girls like Narumi. She confessed to Narumi that Kabakura might have just been settling for her because otakus usually find it hard to be in a stable relationship with non-otakus. It end with a tearful reconciliation between Koyanagi and Kabakura. This line of thinking also bothered Narumi because of her relationship with Hirotaka. Hirotaka implied that he preferred big boobs which annoyed Narumi. He reassured her that he wasn't dating her just because they were both otakus or because it was easy. They started teasing each other and went to the arcades before heading home.
5"Introducing Naoya and Gamers Meetup (Part II)"
"Naoya Tōjō to Gēmu-kai Pātsu Ⅱ" (尚哉登場とゲーム会PartⅡ)
Jin IwatsukiTomoko ShinozukaMay 11, 2018 (2018-05-11)

Narumi headed of to a cafe alone. The barrista asked her if she were "Narumi-chan". Narumi recognized him as "Nao-chan", and started catching up during his break. Koyanagi and Kabakura seeing this, assumed that the barrista was a former boyfriend of Narumi. Being curious about the unnatural closeness between Narumi and Nao, as well as being worried about Hirotaka seeing them together, he debated about whether calling him to the cafe with Koyanagi. All of a sudden, Hirotaka arrived with a cup of brewed coffee. As it turns out, Koyanagi already told him to come. Hirotaka noticed the person with Narumi. Kabakura, still thinking he was a former boyfriend, loudly call Hirotaka to stop him from making a scene. Bothe Hirotaka and Nao responded to the name "Nifuji". Narumi introduce him as Nifuji Naoya, Hirotaka's brother who was younger by 7 years.

Nao asked to sleepover Hirotaka's place to which he reluctantly agreed to.Narumi, Koyanagi, and Kabakura agreed to hang out at Hirotaka's place. While talking about games, they realized that Nao was a non-otaku and started to be careful about talking around him. Narumi proposed to play a game focused on team play. She forced the Nifuji brothers into a team, with Hirotaka constantly refusing due to Nao's inexperience and lack of player skills. Nao ended up self destructing, which made thing easier for a Hirotaka as a solo player. Hirotaka fell asleep on the couch after playing games. Nao offered to walk Narumi to the station. Kabakura decided against it due to his suspicions with the unnatural closeness between the two. Getting the idea, Nao thought that Narumi and Kabakura were dating which greatly embarrassed Kabakura. Koyanagi settled the misunderstanding by kissing him, then told Nao that Narumi and Hirotaka were dating. Nao started crying, saying that he was glad because he was worried that Hirotaka may end up alone because of his personality. He hoped that Narumi would stay by his brother side, being his only friend. Kabakura was touch by the Nao's incredible sincerity towards his brother. While leaving, he advised Hirotaka to take better care of his younger brother.
6"Bleak Christmas"
"Yūutsuna Kurisumasu" (憂鬱なクリスマス)
Kazuomi KogaSeiko TakagiMay 18, 2018 (2018-05-18)
7"Online Gaming and Their Respective Nights"
"Netoge to, Sorezore no Yoru" (ネトゲと、それぞれの夜)
Daisuke TakashimaSeiko TakagiMay 25, 2018 (2018-05-25)
8"Weakness is Thunder and Years of Insecurity"
"Nigatena kaminari to, Ki ni naru otoshigoro" (苦手な雷と、気になるお年頃)
Matsuo AsamiTomoko ShinozukaJune 1, 2018 (2018-06-01)
9"Go Out on a Date with Me!"
"Dēto e ikou yo!" (デートへ行こうよ!)
Jin IwatsukiYoshimasa HiraikeJune 8, 2018 (2018-06-08)
10"Introducing Kou-kun and Online Gaming Revenge"
"Kō-kun Tōjō to Netoge Ribenji" (光くん登場とネトゲリベンジ)
Gō Tobita
Satoshi Saga
Seiko TakagiJune 15, 2018 (2018-06-15)

Nao meets a customer at his part-time job playing games which reminded him of his brother. The following day, he sees her at the university cafeteria. He patiently waited for him to finish playing, before introducing himself. He finds out that his name is Sakuragi Kou, but doesn't realize that Kou is, in fact, a girl. He invites her to play with him, but due to his lack of experience in gaming, Nao reaches out to Narumi and her friends for helpl. While battling to clear quests, they got overpowered by monsters. They asked for help from Hirotaka, when a mysterious character saved them with a single blast then mass-healed everyone. Hirotaka came into the game only to find the game cleared. Only Nao knew that it was Kou who saved them. Hirotaka broke his glasses, which raised difficulties in doing his job. Since he was absurdly near-sighted, Narumi couldn't help but worry about him. His female co-workers, seeing a new side of him, became conscious of Hirotaka which made Narumi distracted and jealous. Kabakura sent them off early to get new glasses for Hirotaka and for Narumi to regain her concentration.

Later on, Nao and Kou started playing multi-player games together. Nao starts of in beginner level quests with Kou advising and aiding him. Someone strated calling him, which drew him away from the game. Out of curiosity, Hirotaka used Nao's account to play. Kou playing solo got shocked when Nao's avatar suddenly showed out of nowhere. She was surprised to see the skill only to find out the it was Nao's brother playing. They decided to continue playing together.
11"Love is Hard for Otaku"
"Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashī" (ヲタクに恋は難しい)
Daisuke TakashimaTomoko ShinozukaJune 22, 2018 (2018-06-22)

Film[edit]

On July 26, 2018, a video promoting the sixth volume of the manga also revealed that a live-action movie adaptation was in production.[23]

On September 18, 2018, the cast for a live-action movie was revealed, it will star Mitsuki Takahata and Kento Yamazaki as double lead to play Narumi and Hirotaka, distributed by Toho and will be released in Japanese theaters in 2020.[24][25]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ All English titles are taken from Amazon Video.

Reception[edit]

The manga's compiled book volumes have frequently ranked on Oricon. Volume 2 was ranked first, and has sold up to 208,765 copies in its first week.[26] Volume 3 was ranked fourth, and has sold up to 209,102 copies in its first week.[27] Volume 4 was ranked first, and has sold up to 283,523 copies in its first week.[28] The manga has up to 4.2 million copies in print as of July 20, 2017.[29] It manga was ranked first in the 2016 edition of Kono Manga ga Sugoi! (This Manga Is Amazing!) guidebook.[30] The manga was ranked ninth in the Zenkoku Shotenin ga Eranda Osusume Comic 2017 (Nationwide Bookstore Employees' Recommended Comics of 2017) poll on February 1, 2017.[31] It was nominated for the 41st Kodansha Manga Award in the Best General Manga category.[32] In September 2017, it won the Web Manga General Election.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii Anime Premieres in April 2018". Anime News Network. July 21, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii Anime Casts Aoi Yūki". Anime News Network. December 29, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  3. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい". Pixiv. April 17, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  4. ^ "一迅社×pixivのWebマンガ誌・comic POOL誕生、「ヲタ恋」など連載". Natalie. October 30, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "Ichijinsha, pixiv Launch 'Comic Pool' Digital Manga Magazine". Anime News Network. November 2, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "ウェブで人気 単行本化続々". Yomiuri Shimbun. August 5, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  7. ^ "ヲタク同士の恋描くWEBマンガ「ヲタクに恋は難しい」書籍化決定". Natalie. April 17, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking". Oricon News. April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "Amazon Lists Release of Fujita's Otakoi: Otaku Can't Fall in Love?! Manga by Kodansha Comics". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Kodansha USA Confirms Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Manga Release". Anime News Network. January 26, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  11. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい (1)". Amazon. April 30, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  12. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい (2)". Amazon. March 31, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  13. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい (3)". Amazon. December 23, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい (4)". Amazon. July 26, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  15. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい (5)". Amazon. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  16. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい (6)". Amazon. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  17. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい 特装版(OAD付き)". Amazon. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  18. ^ "ヲタクに恋は難しい (7)". Amazon. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  19. ^ "Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii Anime Reveals Promo Video, Staff". Anime News Network. January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  20. ^ "Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Anime Listed With 11 Episodes". Anime News Network. April 14, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  21. ^ Inc., Natasha, (September 18, 2018). "「ヲタ恋」7巻特装版が来年3月発売、樺倉&花子の高校時代描く新作アニメ付き - コミックナタリー". コミックナタリー (in Japanese). Retrieved May 30, 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  22. ^ "ストーりー" (in Japanese). Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  23. ^ "Fujita's Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Manga Gets Live-Action Film". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  24. ^ 高畑充希×山崎賢人、福田雄一監督作「ヲタクに恋は難しい」で初共演!歌うラブコメに挑戦. eiga.com (in Japanese). Retrieved September 18, 2018. Invalid |script-title=: missing prefix (help)
  25. ^ "Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Live-Action Film Casts Mitsuki Takahata, Kento Yamazaki". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  26. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, March 28 – April 3". Anime News Network. April 6, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  27. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, December 19–25". Anime News Network. December 28, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  28. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, July 24–30". Anime News Network. August 2, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  29. ^ "Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii Manga Gets TV Anime on Noitamina (Updated)". Anime News Network. July 20, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  30. ^ "Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Reveals 2016's Series Ranking for Female Readers". Anime News Network. December 10, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  31. ^ "1位は「からかい上手の高木さん」!書店員が選んだマンガランキング2017". Natalie. February 1, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  32. ^ "41st Annual Kodansha Manga Awards' Nominees Announced". Anime News Network. April 2, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  33. ^ "Fujita's Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashi Wins Web Manga General Election". Anime News Network. September 15, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.

External links[edit]