「恋人?始めました」 (Koibito? Hajimemashita)
“Lovers? Nice to Meet You”
There has to be some equivalent to the uncanny valley for experiencing otaku culture through an anime. Because if there is, this anime is getting awfully close to hitting it — AND I’M NOT SURE IF THAT’S A GOOD THING OR NOT.
I think it’d be pretty clear to anyone watching that we could split this week’s episode into two distinct parts. One part being the awesomely cute romance element between Hirotaka and Narumi and the other being the insanely accurate depiction of living life as an older adult with otaku-centric friends. Before we dive into both though, let me just say that it’s kind of weird to be using otaku as a term here since in Japanese it refers to someone who’s super enthusiastic about something. If It were up to me, I’d consider replacing every instance of otaku with the word weeb for us in the States since I think it provides a slightly better nuance to what this show is trying to depict. Anyways, back to the post.
Starting with the adorable romance part, god I love how this show doesn’t mince words with the romance between Hirotaka and Narumi. Unlike many other romances that will leave you hanging, there’s a distinctly fresh feel when the stone-faced Hirotaka is able to express his feelings without leaving anything to chance. Sure, he may not have the most expressive face since he is a true ikeman and all, but I think it’s precisely because of his stoic nature that moments where he show emotion feel so damn good. Using this week’s moment at the elevator as a prime example, I’m sure we were all wondering just what kind of face (and blush) Hirotaka was making when Narumi expressed just how much she likes him. It’s a shame that the moment was somewhat interrupted by Hanako and Tarou fighting, but based on what we’ve seen thus far, I think it’s only a matter of time until we get some real good romantic moments.
Changing to the other side of things, let’s talk a little about the depiction of otaku culture and just how much it stings to accept that it’s a little too accurate especially when you’re in a similar situation to the main characters of the show. Drawing from some personal experiences here, it’s definitely a little disheartening when you have to hide your interests from your coworkers. What sucks the most is when you work at a company that revolves around the very thing you enjoy, but the people who work there are all normies who couldn’t care less about the IP involved and just want to push out a successful product. Which is why, not only do you try to hide the things you like, but have to constantly be worried about slipping up and letting others discover you’re just another gross otaku. Fast forward a little to the point where you have a small group of friends who all roughly share similar interests, but you still have reservations because of just how much you’ve trained yourself to not “show” your interests and you have this great but somewhat awkward situation where you eventually get to the point where you can just start recommending things left and right without a care in the world. All of which are things that I think Wotaku did a fantastic job depicting through the past 2 episodes. Such a fantastic job that I wasn’t sure whether or not I was supposed to share the character’s feelings in both awkward and awesome moments since I was having my own internal struggle as memories of similar situations came flooding back.
Anyways, this week felt like another strong showing for Wotaku. Even with the otaku-centric references coming off a little strong, I think there was just enough to keep things grounded just enough not to scare away people who have trouble handling these kinds of things. Anyways, I’ll probably catch you guys next week for episode three. See you then!