No one said love was easy, and that’s especially true for otaku! Pixiv artist Fujita shares the romantic journey of a group of otaku as they navigate their love for fandom and each other in Wotaoki: Love Is Hard For Otaku.

Office lady Narumi Momose is an otaku of the highest caliber. She loves manga, video games, cosplay and always keeps up-to-date with the trends. However, she guards this side of her at work, especially after every bodyfriend she’s had dumps her after learning of her obsessions. Her coworker and childhood friend Hirotaka Nifuji almost exposes her secret at work and Narumi quickly tries to think of a plan to make sure Hirotaka never speaks a word of it again. But he has counter-proposal: why don’t they just start dating? As it turns out, these two coworkers are not the only ones with a hidden nerdy side in the office.

Right from the start, Wotaoki goes straight for the comedy between the two leads and their clashing personalities and interests (Narumi with manga, yaoi, and idols and Hirotaka with video games). While they are friends and begin dating, it’s not a surprise that they don’t exactly see what the other does in their interest. As the series progresses, a few other characters enter with their own interests (Hanako Koyanagi with cosplay and Tarou Kabakura with manga and video games waifus) and add to the dynamic of how each portrays their passion. The format of the story repeatedly jumps between a classic layout to full page 4komas (sometimes even less panels). Additionally, the artwork of the manga does have a few shifts, mostly to accommodate for jokes and parodies, adding to the overall humor and charm of the series. Finally, for readers who might feel like the references will shoot over their head, the translation notes will assist by explaining the numerous homages.

The entirety of Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku has been translated and is available from Kodansha Comics. Each volume of the English translation (except for the final volume) contains two volumes of the Japanese edition. An 11 episode anime with three additional OVAs are available for streaming on Amazon Video, produced by A-1 Pictures (Fairy Tail, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War). A live-action film based on the manga was released in 2020 with Mitsuki Takahata and Kento Yamazaki as Narumi and Hirotaka respectively.