While Amazon Prime doesn’t often have new anime that interest me, a couple have come along lately. The only one that blew my mind was Made in Abyss, which I regrettably have yet to write about. The other one that I enjoyed was Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku, which is about the intricacies of two people at work who are otakus. It’s a reality I’ve never seen displayed in an anime and I found it pretty cool and funny! The references to the various anime, video games, and other nuances of otaku/geek culture were great. I suppose the fact that otaku culture not mentioned in media very often makes me smile when it finally is.
Being an otaku or geek can be a little lonely at times, as there aren’t many outlets to talk about what we are watching, playing, or getting excited about. Yes, there are Discord, conventions, and online communities like Facebook or forums, but at least for myself, it’s been a side of me that I don’t openly discuss at work, church, or in large gatherings. I am extroverted and love to talk and hang out with friends, but bringing up the latest anime episode or the free game I got on PS Plus isn’t the greatest topic of conversation.
Watching Narumi and Hirotaka deal with not revealing their “otaku side” at work made me totally understand how they were feeling. They didn’t want to seem weird and be isolated from their co-workers, so they would indulge in their hobby during a break or after work (I watch an episode of anime on my lunch break with headphones). I tend not to mention that I have a video game blog or write for this website because of the odd looks I will get. Most adults don’t even know what anime or the latest AAA game is, aside from all the other nuances of the anime/video game industry. Why even mention it at all? Again, I felt connected to both of the main characters in this way.
Seeing the dynamics of their relationship got me thinking about my own marriage with my wife and how she isn’t into video games or anime, and also how I’ve navigated that.
I used to think, before I got married or met my wife, that I would end up dating a fellow gamer or anime fan. It just made sense to me that if those are your interests, then those are the types of people you would naturally be attracted to. In fact, while in high school and later college, I did like a girl that was my friend and she the first big anime fan I met. We never dated or anything, but she got me more into the genre and finding out about obscure titles or seasons (I had no idea there was more Sailor Moon than what was dubbed!), but the point was that I thought a person like her was who I would end up marrying.
On the contrary, my wife has no interest in anime or video games, which are my main geeky hobbies. She doesn’t mind what I do or watch, but I learned that hobbies are not the right foundation for a relationship. Our anchor has always been Christ, and nothing else. We share the same values, worship the same God, pray together, explore God’s word and learn more from Him. I know for a fact that when times get tough, an anime or video game won’t be able to give me the supernatural peace (Philippians 4:7) or wisdom (James 1:5) that God gives me when I need it. Sure, they are great to relax, have some laughs and even learn from, but life can get difficult and unfair at times. It’s a lie to think that everything will always be simple, easy, and totally justified, but with Christ by my side He always helps me to get through it all.
I’m glad that Narumi and Hirotaka have found love, but as the series continues (I haven’t finished watching it), I hope they find a stronger foundation than just their hobbies. Helping each other, being there in the good times and the bad, and respecting each other is key to having a lasting relationship.
Have you ever had issues at work, church, home, or anywhere because of your hobby? What has been people’s reaction when they find out you watch anime or something else similar? Let me know in the comments!
Wotakoi can be streamed on Amazon Prime.