I’d like to take a quick moment here to look at what is easily the best series I’ve seen involving A-1 Pictures this season. No, not Darling in the FranXX, and definitely not Record of Grancrest War. I’m talking about slice-of-life romcom Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii.
Similar to Net-juu no Susume, the show consists of a slightly older cast of characters; we primarily follow the lives of small group of otaku in their mid to late 20’s. Wotakoi is unique, though, in that it begins where most other romantic dramadies typically end—with our protagonists actually in a relationship. The story is hence about awkward people trying to maintain their relationships, rather than simply end up in them; it’s a fresh and enjoyable take on the genre.
Yoshimasa Hiraike (Amagami SS, Kaleido Star) is both director and series composer, while Michiko Morokuma (Kiss Him, Not Me) and Takahiro Yasuda (Wolf Girl & Black Prince) take care of art/character design, and Masanori Tsuchiya (Plastic Memories, GJ Club) and Akimitsu Honma (RIN-NE, theme song arrangement for Assassination Classroom & DBZ: Battle of Gods) handle sound design and music, respectively.
Our characters encounter enough personal and interpersonal obstacles to keep things interesting, but they also handle them like actual adults. That kind of conflict resolution is nice to see every now and then.
It’s apparent in the artwork that there wasn’t too much of a budget to work with here, but they get along well enough via cost/time cutting measures like shot selections that don’t require a whole lot of actual animating. The soundtrack is fitting, and both the OP and ED have grown on me since the beginning of the season.
Wotakoi is not the prettiest or most comical show in the world, but it is endearing in its own way. It’s sweet, and as a geek now some years removed from high school/college, I found it super relatable. This is a good one either wind down or wake up with. You’ll chuckle a couple of times, you maybe even hold your breath once or twice during a surprising moment of suspense, and ultimately, you’ll feel good watching it.
Music/Sound Design: 7.5
I’ll round up to 8 for the final score on here on Weeabros and on MAL.
The series is available stateside through Amazon Prime Video.
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