Manga Review: Wotakoi
Posted on 20 April 2018
I picked up this manga because it reminded me of Kiss Him, Not Me, which I loved. However, Wotakoi was disappointing right from Chapter 1. It had neither chemistry nor humor and the slice-of-life aspect began to drag pretty soon. I expected the romance between the main characters to grow but they are childhood friends and know each other since day 1 so there was no build up. There is practically no conflict in the manga and hence, none of the characters grow.
I also didn't like the fact that the heroine thinks her otaku-ness is something to hide, even though the hero and her work friends know about it. The manga lacked logic in many parts, and I don't think the suspension of disbelief worked.
I was disappointed that the manga didn't delve into the finer aspects of being an otaku. Though the characters read manga and play video games, it's like a hobby or a superficial characteristic, not something intrinsic to their personalities. Most of the time, they're at the office or at home, socializing like normal people. I wasn't very convinced about that. If you're an otaku or a gamer, your life revolves around your passion. Games are way too addictive. No hardcore would go get beer in the middle of a video game. Wotakoi lost on many great opportunities to explore otaku subcultures. I also didn't buy the 'secret' part of their otaku identities since the only side-characters that appear in the manga are their colleagues and Nifuji's brother, and all three know their 'secret'.
The only thing I did like about the manga was the art. The art is beautiful and met my expectations as a shoujo manga reader.
At the end of the day, I couldn't get myself to care about this manga.
- No relationship development.
- Boring characters
- Too many stereotypes
- Difficult to believe
- Not enough focus on the 'otaku' part
- Too little romance, too much slice-of-life
- No unique perspective
- Boring side characters
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️
* I received a review copy of Volume 1 and 2 from the publisher on NetGalley.