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EP. REVIEW: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku


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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2942
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:02 am Reply with quote
Maybe I miss interpreted but did she brag about how good looking her boyfriend was as girl after using photoshop on the picture... I mean, what's the point then?
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kaorv



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 30
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 11:51 am Reply with quote
The latter half of this episode really made my blood boil.... Kabakura got away with saying anything he wanted to Hanako to the point where she cried. I don't really care if they were drunk.... I really can't feel the chemistry between them.
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murdock_tm



Joined: 06 May 2018
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 12:15 pm Reply with quote
Dumas1 wrote:
I love the manga and as someone currently lacking an Amazon subscription, I gotta ask: Does Hirotaka really have a Switch in the anime, or is the reviewer misidentifying his handheld? Because he's definitely a PSP dude in the manga; that single joystick and big circle on the back are unmistakable. On the other hand, the PSP was already a bit outdated when Wotakoi started and Hirotaka owns a ton of Nintendo hardware anyway.


They are definitely playing the Nintendo Switch, and in Episode 4, they are definitely playing a Wii or a WiiU. The end credits even credit "Monster Hunter Nintendo Switch Version" (c) CAPCOM, so the system and games being played are legit.

In Episode 4, spoiler[the flashback has the young Narumi and Hirotaka playing Donkey Kong Country 2 on a definite Super Famicom - they mention the differences between Dixie and Diddy]!
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Merida
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Joined: 21 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 12:27 pm Reply with quote
kaorv wrote:
The latter half of this episode really made my blood boil.... Kabakura got away with saying anything he wanted to Hanako to the point where she cried. I don't really care if they were drunk.... I really can't feel the chemistry between them.


Well, too bad for you, they've got great chemistry in my opinion!

Teasing each other mercilessly is obviously one way of expressing their affection and it's obviously been like that right from the beginning. It just happens that Koyanagi is a bit of a weepy drunk and unable to take as much as she dishes out in that state, so maybe Kabakura could have been bit a bit more sensitive in this situation...but i'm pretty sure they both know how far they can go after all this time and they did make up rather quickly after all.
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Maleko Ai



Joined: 06 May 2018
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 1:55 pm Reply with quote
kaorv wrote:
The latter half of this episode really made my blood boil.... Kabakura got away with saying anything he wanted to Hanako to the point where she cried. I don't really care if they were drunk.... I really can't feel the chemistry between them.


I'm glad that I'm not the only one, I don't understand why this couple is more popular, they're so toxic together. I like them separated.
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MJKS



Joined: 28 Jul 2017
Posts: 102
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 3:14 pm Reply with quote
Merida wrote:
kaorv wrote:
The latter half of this episode really made my blood boil.... Kabakura got away with saying anything he wanted to Hanako to the point where she cried. I don't really care if they were drunk.... I really can't feel the chemistry between them.


Well, too bad for you, they've got great chemistry in my opinion!

Teasing each other mercilessly is obviously one way of expressing their affection and it's obviously been like that right from the beginning. It just happens that Koyanagi is a bit of a weepy drunk and unable to take as much as she dishes out in that state, so maybe Kabakura could have been bit a bit more sensitive in this situation...but i'm pretty sure they both know how far they can go after all this time and they did make up rather quickly after all.


I've gotta say, it really came off as abusive (on both sides) to me.

Let's plot the flow of interaction between them at the restaurant.

1. Narumi remarks that Hanako and Kabakura fight all the time. Kabakura dismisses it as acceptable because they've been dating a long time; Hanako strongly disagrees, saying "It's not okay!"
2. When Narumi asks who initially confessed to whom when they started dating, they disagree heatedly.
3. A little later, Hanako asks Kabakura to call her by her first name. This makes Kabakura visibly angry, and he reacts to his long-time romantic partner's request for additional emotional intimacy by insulting her appearance. A short fight ensues where Hanako responds with in-kind insults. Kabakura asserts by way of a pop culture reference that he likes physically small/petite girls, dissimilar from Hanako; Hanako at this point openly refers to Narumi as an example fitting his stated preference, and he is rendered speechless (thereby humiliating his partner).
5. Narumi attempts to diffuse the situation by imploring the pair to calm down and asking them to say one nice thing about each other. Kabakura is again speechless until he mutters that he like Hanako's breasts. Hanako lunges at Kabakura but restrains herself from hitting him. She then reveals her insecurity about not matching his physiological sexual preferences. She then flees the booth, at which point Kabakura, who his having difficultly expressing himself emotionally, calls after her with a question again referring to pop culture. Hanako throws a shoe at him, striking him on the face.
6. Narumi chases after Hanako, prompting her to discharge all her relationship insecurities on her friend. Hanako states: "I can't take it anymore. Why did he say that? We're always fighting. If things stay like this, he's going to get tired of me someday. Whenever I'm with him, I can't stop myself from thinking about it. Is he satisfied with me? What if he's making a compromise by dating me?" Kabakura is within earshot of and listening to this entire conversation.
7. At this point Kabakura emerges from the booth, apparently to make amends with Hanako. He asks Narumi to leave them so he can speak to her alone. Kabakura starts by admonishing her for being a "pain" when she drinks, commenting that she made their friends worry, and that she should apologize to them. Hanako then asks for confirmation that he was listening to her earlier exchange with Narumi, to which he replies: "Well, you're right. I'm sure I could find plenty of otaku girls who are cuter and easier to handle than you. And who have bigger boobs." Hanako reacts by attempting to slap him across the face with a large amount of force. Kabakura blocks the slap, grabs her, and says "You finally looked over here, ugly hag."
8. Hanako voices her confusion about why he always says mean things about her and never anything nice.
9. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
10. Everything's fine now, I guess.

In summary: Kabakura is depicted as emotionally insensitive and manipulative, and Hanako is depicted as frequently resorting to physical force in conflicts with her partner.

I'm not even against zany/violent emotional and physical interactions in media on principal, not at all. And I realize there Japan has different sociocultural mores when it comes to expressing romantic intimacy. But, bearing in mind the kind of show that Wotakoi has been so far (a relatively transparent portrayal of healthy romances between adult nerds), what the hell was I supposed to take about their relationship from this entire scene? It left a bad taste, especially after the previous three episodes.
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Punch Drunk Marc



Joined: 04 Oct 2013
Posts: 1596
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 6:35 pm Reply with quote
MJKS wrote:
I've gotta say, it really came off as abusive (on both sides) to me.

In summary: Kabakura is depicted as emotionally insensitive and manipulative, and Hanako is depicted as frequently resorting to physical force in conflicts with her partner.

I'm not even against zany/violent emotional and physical interactions in media on principal, not at all. And I realize there Japan has different sociocultural mores when it comes to expressing romantic intimacy. But, bearing in mind the kind of show that Wotakoi has been so far (a relatively transparent portrayal of healthy romances between adult nerds), what the hell was I supposed to take about their relationship from this entire scene? It left a bad taste, especially after the previous three episodes.


Right? I agree. There is a difference between "we argue a lot but that's how we work" and "We aren't good for each other and should call it quits", and I think Kabakura and Hanako are definitely the latter.

To add to Hanako, based on her drunken rambles she seems very needy when it comes to her partners. This is either do to her own hangups about her appearance or the things Kabakura has said during their relationship. It just looked troublesome to me when she bascially laid her soul bare to Narumi about her fears of him leaving her, and then Kabakura does nothing to assuage them In fact he looks to reinforce them by calling her ugly and saying he could probably find someone better.

Hell an easy fix would have been if he said all that "I could fins someone better" crap and then say "But I don't want to. I love you" or whatever.

I think it would be very mature if the series actually had them break up and them still try to work together.


Last edited by Punch Drunk Marc on Sun May 06, 2018 9:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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kaorv



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 30
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 8:54 pm Reply with quote
Punch Drunk Marc wrote:
Hell an easy fix would have been if he said all that "I could find someone better" crap and then say "But I don't want to. I love you" or whatever.


^^^This. It was where I was expecting the scene to go but instead there was a weird anticlimax where we don't know if they truly reconciled.

It's particularly disappointing because the type of couple they are on the surface is very appealing to me. I love no-nonsense type couples that don't mince words with eachother because they want to succeed together. This didn't really turn out to be that.

I hope the third couple enters relatively soon and that they have a chemistry similar to Narumi and Hirotaka's, because I find them really sweet. I'm totally open to Hanako and Kabakura's relationship developing on these fronts, but I'm not gonna raise my expectations too high.
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SkyLETV34



Joined: 12 Feb 2018
Posts: 115
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 9:43 pm Reply with quote
Punch Drunk Marc wrote:

Hell an easy fix would have been if he said all that "I could fins someone better" crap and then say "But I don't want to. I love you" or whatever.

Exactly, just say that and that's it (kinda). Because I like the couple but that scene left me with a bad taste.
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JadeDahlia



Joined: 14 May 2015
Posts: 52
Location: New York, NY
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 12:18 am Reply with quote
I'm glad I'm not the only one who's super uncomfortable with Hanako and Kabakura's relationship, and I agree that it gets outright abusive. Kabakura in particular is completely unlikeable, what with calling Hanako an "ugly hag" all the time and making some sexist comment to her in episode two about "why are all women like this". Though Hanako resorting to violence isn't great either, and even if she was well-intentioned about the cosplay thing I still think I would have enjoyed that part more if Kabakura consented to that (I mean I guess technically he did in the end, but only after being pressured for a while and then bribed).

Also, was anyone else a bit uncomfortable with the fact that when Hanako is crying and hugging Narumi, all Narumi can think about are Hanako's boobs? It comes across like both she and the narrative in general aren't taking Hanako's problems seriously in that scene, so that really rubbed me the wrong way.
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AholePony



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
Posts: 320
Location: Arizona
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 1:46 am Reply with quote
Nothing says "comedy" like a guy calling a girl an ugly pig when she's showing self doubt and has possible self esteem issues. Rolling Eyes
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Kokuryu Daimao



Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 115
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 1:46 am Reply with quote
I'm starting to think that everyone needs to take a step back and think for a minute.

Let's break these people down so we have a clearer idea of what we're dealing with.
We All know that they are a bunch of Otaku, but look a little deeper.

Narumi: Self image issue, has a complex about being an otaku and about her chest. Sees otaku as something to be ashamed of, tried hiding it from previous relationships. This led to her initially avoiding dating other otaku as she saw them as something abnormal.

HIrotaka: Generally antisocial. Emotional restrained. Has difficulty expressing himself even to those who know him.

Hanako: Crossplays attractive, confidant characters, is well liked by others. In reality has self confidence and self image issues. Constantly doubts her relationship and expresses fears of abandonment.

Kabakura: Doesn't want to be seen as an Otaku. Often argues with Hanako by calling her ugly. The reality of this is pretty obvious, he keeps putting Hanako down because he doesn't think he's good enough for her or that she'll realize that she can do better. Another person with a self-image issue.

Now the thing that some people don't get is that NONE of these people should really be in any kind relationship until they get over their own personal issues. They will bring their baggage into everything they do.

The other thing people are not considering enough is that this is a Comedy

Others have pointed out that this is a more 'Realistic' portrayal of relationships, and as one of the older people around here who have known many couples over the decades, some of which are 'otaku' couples, I completely agree. All these characters remind me of people I have meet in the real world.

At this point I should point out that Realistic does NOT mean Healthy.

Most "Healthy" relationships I know are also kinda boring. Or that the couple are so supportive of each other that normal people get sick looking at them.

Most "Unhealthy" relationships I know are where the entertainment is. I only need to point at peoples' fascination with "Reality" TV to prove that.

The reason why we are watching these 2 couples is because they are inherently unhealthy. This is where the drama and comedy of this show comes from.

Could most of these issues be solved through better communication and some therapy? Yes, but then it wouldn't be a comedy.

Kabakura and Hanako obviously care about each other, but they are so wracked by their own insecurities that they end up lashing out at the other without realizing that if the other person didn't also feel as strongly for them they would have left long ago.
its a mixture of hilariously sad once you see it, and laughably frustratingly that you can't point it out to them.

Are these people suppose to be relationship role-models for teenagers and young adults? Absolutely not.

However, people can take what these characters do right and wrong and learn from then so as to not repeat their mistakes, or be able to point out to their friends and loved ones when they see similar unhealthy behavior.

I, for one, am finding this series relatable and entertaining. I am hoping that they will show character growth as the series continues, but as far as I can tell they have not crossed any lines for me.
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Punch Drunk Marc



Joined: 04 Oct 2013
Posts: 1596
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:29 am Reply with quote
Kokuryu Daimao wrote:
I'm starting to think that everyone needs to take a step back and think for a minute.

Let's break these people down so we have a clearer idea of what we're dealing with.
We All know that they are a bunch of Otaku, but look a little deeper.

Narumi: Self image issue, has a complex about being an otaku and about her chest. Sees otaku as something to be ashamed of, tried hiding it from previous relationships. This led to her initially avoiding dating other otaku as she saw them as something abnormal.

HIrotaka: Generally antisocial. Emotional restrained. Has difficulty expressing himself even to those who know him.

Hanako: Crossplays attractive, confidant characters, is well liked by others. In reality has self confidence and self image issues. Constantly doubts her relationship and expresses fears of abandonment.

Kabakura: Doesn't want to be seen as an Otaku. Often argues with Hanako by calling her ugly. The reality of this is pretty obvious, he keeps putting Hanako down because he doesn't think he's good enough for her or that she'll realize that she can do better. Another person with a self-image issue.

Now the thing that some people don't get is that NONE of these people should really be in any kind relationship until they get over their own personal issues. They will bring their baggage into everything they do.


That's the point. Hirotaka and Narumi just got together, they can work through stuff, but Kabakura and Hanako have been together for years at least since the end of high school which for them is almost a decade I think. Their relationship should be in a much better space than what the show has portrayed. They don't have to be perfect, but the fact that Kabakura offered no kind words to her obvious insecurities, or that Hanako always reacts violently to his words is a huge red flag in the relationship.

Later down the line they either need to either 1. Realize that after all this time they just aren't good for one another and break up or 2. Have a serious talk about their relationship and how they can improve on it.

It just leaves very bad taste in the mouth.
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Kokuryu Daimao



Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 115
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 12:56 pm Reply with quote
Punch Drunk Marc wrote:


That's the point....

It just leaves very bad taste in the mouth.


But isn't That Also the point?

If it left a bad taste in your mouth then it means it did its job of catching your attention. One then becomes curious as to what happens next.

Its a lot easier to show character growth once you establish that the starting point is somewhere no one wants to be.

The fact that they have been together for years has little to do with them growing emotionally as people.
Everyone changes at different speeds, some not at all, some can do it on their own, some need an outsider to help.

I knew a couple that had been together since high school. After college they even started living together.
15 years after High school ended they had always been with each other, but never got married.
Many people were wondering why after all this time they hadn't married, some said that if they weren't going to commit they should just break up.
But the truth was that they had personal issues that they were working through at their own pace.
They eventually married 20 years after they had got together in High school and are currently in a loving and healthy relationship.
They've told me that if they had married earlier, then things would have gone south fast and they probably wouldn't be married now.

Its still early in the series. I say just watch it and see how things go. If nothing changes in the end then that would be problematic, but to expect major character growth and change by the end of episode 4 is highly unrealistic
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mandisaw



Joined: 12 Sep 2008
Posts: 140
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 7:36 pm Reply with quote
Kokuryu Daimao wrote:
Punch Drunk Marc wrote:


That's the point....

It just leaves very bad taste in the mouth.


Its still early in the series. I say just watch it and see how things go. If nothing changes in the end then that would be problematic, but to expect major character growth and change by the end of episode 4 is highly unrealistic


This is a story, so no matter how realistic, there are going to be elements that run counter to what you would want to happen IRL. I mean, most movies would end in 5min, once the main character says, "oh, I don't want to live in a haunted house," or "I should just call the authorities and wait/go home."

Comedy requires incongruity/absurdity. In this case, the fact that all four chars have self-image & self-esteem issues is absurd - they are all objectively hot, smart, funny, and clearly well-employed. But it is also realistic, as most people are poor at objectively evaluating themselves.

Hana-chan weeps over her looks, because glasses + huge boobs + attitude != the yamato nadeshiko petite, small-busted, easy-going "Japanese ideal woman". Kabakura's calling her "ugly hag", complete with gestures like a 2nd-grader isn't meant to be belittling - it's calling out the absurdity of Hana's own warped self-image. The important message he's communicating isn't whether *he* thinks she's pretty, it's to get *her* to realize she's pretty.

As for the comments about trying to get her to stop drinking (or not even start, really), that too is clearly coming from a place of concern. She's a sad, sloppy drunk, and apparently Kabakura is well acquainted with both Hana's insecurities and how drinking makes her more vulnerable to them. A crappy boyfriend would've just left her to embarrass herself, or a controlling one might've opted-out for her. Instead, he tried to persuade her to ease off, and comforted her when the inevitable meltdown came along.

Somebody who sees you at your worst and helps you put the pieces of yourself back together - maybe better than before, if you're lucky - that's a keeper.

Also, too many folks believe in the Hollywood "Happily ever After" BS. Successful long-term relationships take hard work, have a lot of ups & downs, and in some cultures/combos, involve "raised voices". The idea that after 10yrs a "good" couple would've eliminated their personal/interpersonal hangups, or never exchange harsh words seems naive to me. Not sure about getting totally zen/balanced in yourself before getting involved either, but YMMV.

Man, this is why it's so refreshing to have a show about non-teenagers, and the "after the confession" period. Turns out that anime fans have a wide range of opinions about relationships, who'da thunk it? Rolling Eyes
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