Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku Volume 2
We’ve lost most of the office setting I enjoyed in volume 1, but the various fannish activities and the humor that comes with them are entertaining enough I didn’t care in Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku volume 2 by Fujita.
There’s a continuing sequence, running through multiple chapters, where Hirotaka and Narumi go on a real date to an amusement park, where they bet each other they won’t behave as fans. They’re not very good at that. We also see the two women debate which of their boyfriends would be dominant if they had a BL-style relationship together; the group go manga shopping together; and swapping ghost stories.
We also follow Hirotaka’s charmingly clueless younger brother, who’s made a gaming geek friend of his own. That allows for a couple of chapters inside the game, where we see the characters as cute avatars. Another sequence flashes back to how Hanako and Taro met in high school as fellow volleyball players.
There are a few hints of romance — including a teased missed kiss and a goofy nude shot — but mostly, I enjoy this series for spending time hanging out with fellow fans talking about topics such as which manga/anime/game character they had their first crush on or trying to get the person you date to share your hobby. Every time things get a little predictable, there’s a change of pace chapter, as when each character shows how they peel clementines based on their blood type. It’s odd but revealing.
Like the first English book, this contains two volumes’ worth of manga. I appreciated that, early in each volume, there’s a character rundown that tells us more about them while serving as a convenient reference to their first and last names. I was hoping for a workplace comedy, and while there are a few chapters set there, that environment no longer defines this series. Instead, it’s about friends sharing hobbies, and reading this, I feel like one of the gang.