Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku - Episode 9 Review
Wotakoi ditches its two-parts per episode format for an elongated theme park date filled with fun and character development.
Episode nine wastes no time picking up from last week’s cliffhanger by jumping right into Narumi and Hirotaka’s date. Nothing this couple does is entirely normal and their theme park visit is no exception. In order to make their experience more “serious,” they agree to penalize whoever brings up anything otaku related with a 500 yen, or about $5, charge. While ridiculous in nature for a duo heavily invested in otaku culture, their unique penalty game lends itself to great moments where Narumi imitates Shonen manga.
Outside of a good gag, the penalty game also shows Hirotaka’s struggle to talk to Narumi about anything unrelated to being an otaku. However, Hirotaka’s concern predictably turns out to be shared by Narumi and her sudden burst into anime conversation when they end the penalty game is endearing. Narumi is slowly realizing that it’s okay to be yourself even if her hobbies aren’t “normal.”
Meanwhile, Hirotaka has slowly become more social and expressive since the start of the series. His conversation with Koyanagi about Narumi exemplifies this development and foreshadows a romantic gesture. Hirotaka and Narumi have not even held hands yet. Based on genre tropes and the direction of this series, they’ll finally kiss in one of the last two episodes.
The “scary” ride scene is up there with some of the show’s best laughs. Narumi can’t handle the atmosphere of a haunted house that looks remotely scary, but instead of freaking out, she pretends Hirotaka is afraid and quickly dashes onto the ride. Unfortunately for Narumi, she grabbed another man instead of Hirotaka, leaving him alone to meet a surprise guest.
This episode’s long single segment, character development, and quality jokes will leave viewers just as happy as Narumi.
|The Long Segment Works Well|
|The “Scary” Ride Scene|