Wotakoi | 11 Episodes | SUB | Amazon Prime Video

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Final Verdict: This was unbelievably cute and accurate to adult relationships and hit all the right notes for a love story.

This anime is all about Narumi and Hirotaka who are, at their core, cute and utterly perfect for each other. They are childhood friends who are all grown up now. Both of them are otaku, although, Hirotaka is into games and Narumi is into anime and manga – specifically of the yaoi variety. They run into each other at work after Narumi changes jobs and things sort of take off from there.

There are so many good things that I enjoyed about this anime. I love that the anime is about them navigating dating instead of falling in love. They’re both otaku, and while Narumi has had boyfriends in the past, they were always normal guys so she hid her otaku nature. This makes dating Hirotaka different, because he already knows she’s an otaku and accepts that part of her which is nice to see. I also thought it was a nice touch, that Hirotaka has wanted to date Narumi since they were younger.

I also really enjoyed that they didn’t become awkward and actually acted like adults who had known each other their entire life. I’ve never had a childhood-friend-turned-romantic-interest relationship before, but this is what I imagine it would be like. They’re extremely comfortable with each other and talk about how they were growing up together and how they’ve changed. They also know each other better than anyone else. Of course, there are awkward and blushing moments, because they’re dating, but the core of their relationship is their friendship.

There was so much about this that I loved, I could really go on forever probably. I loved that they were working people with normal jobs, that they didn’t want to hugely expose their otaku nature, that they made friends who were otaku as well and hung out, that there was often a comparison between their relationship and their friends. It was just so much goodness wrapped up into one show.

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I also really loved Hirotaka as a main character. It probably helped, that as far as romance anime guys go, I thought Hirotaka was one of the most attractive I’ve seen, personality wise. It’s purely subjective, but he’s cool, calm, and nerdy on the outside, but still pretty much a goofy person on the inside. That combination really appeals to me. I also liked that he wanted to date Narumi from the beginning and wasn’t afraid to speak up about it — and that he wasn’t afraid to kiss her after they started dating. In a lot of anime, the otaku / nerdy guy is usually too shy or absorbed with his games / anime to do anything, but I like that even though he’s a nerd, he’s still a man. I think they got that part of his character right.

As much as I loved this, there were times when I thought it wasn’t perfect. My biggest dislike was the fact that Narumi often treated Hirotaka as less than her boyfriend. She found it weird that other women found him attractive and found it hard to wrap her mind around doing “girlfriend” things for him. That was the only thing that kind of irritated me with watching this, but it does tie into the whole childhood-friend-turned-romantic-interest thing. She’s known him as Hirotaka “The Otaku Friend” all her life and so it’s hard for her to switch him to Hirtoaka “The Hot Boyfriend” which, to some degree is understandable.

Overall, there is so much to love about this anime that I didn’t even touch on, such as their friends relationship — which I think is done incredibly well too. Their friends romance touches on insecurities, hot-n-cold love, compromises, fights, and a comfortable kind of love that I think is more well-rounded in some ways. This anime is 1000% worth a watch if you like romance anime. It kind of reminds me of MMO Junkie. I really enjoyed that one too, but this one takes on the approach of knowing the person on the other side of the screen before you play with a lot less social awkwardness. I’m not sure where else you can watch it other than Amazon Prime Video, but if you can find it, watch it. It’s definitely worth every second of your time.

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The Otaku Couple

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Verdict: It’s beautiful; if nothing else, it is simply beautiful.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride is one of the few anime where I notice the artwork and detail of the anime. It’s a gorgeous anime and nearly every frame of this show is screenshot and wallpaper worthy. That being said, it’s artwork and detail are not it’s only redeeming qualities.

This anime follows the story of Chise Hatori (pronounce Chee-say). She is a red-headed, green-eyed, fifteen-year-old girl who sells herself at an underground magic auction in the first episode. She is then bought for an astounding amount of money by a mage named Elias. We found out later that Elias is not human. He has human qualities be he is a halfling entity — a dark spirit manifested by the forest. He is extremely tall, well dressed, and has a bone for a head. He buys Chise because she has a rare trait that allows her to draw in incredible amounts of magical power, however, this also makes her body frail. This is important to note because one of the only downsides of this anime results from Chise’s frailness and portrayed brushes with death. However, Elias buys her because of this trait she has, to not only teach her magic but for her to become his bride, hence the title.

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The story progresses slowly and quickly all at the same time. There is effort put into the fine details of the visual aspect (such as Chise’s hair growing and her constant change of outfits), and a certain subtleness and flow to the story that makes it fun and relaxing to watch, but it also has action and high stakes at certain points. This anime had a 24 episode run, and we learn a lot about these characters in that time. Chise has had a hard life up until this point, which is evident in that she sold herself to the highest bidder at the age of fifteen. Ancient Magus’ Bride follows her story as she grows and overcomes her past and becomes someone who wants to not only live but be a part of the world she’s in. She learns magic, she makes friends, and ultimately she finds a home.

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And though she is the main character, she is not the only one who has a back story and grows throughout the series. Elias, while he has lived for centuries, is still very much a child in many ways. He learns from Chise about humans and their emotions, as she learns from him, magic. They learn from each other and about each other. Their dynamic is very interesting to watch. There is also Ruth, Silver, Angelica, Alice, Cartaphilus and more; all of these people are well-developed and integral parts of the story.

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The great thing about this anime is that there is so much to explore. The characters have a lot of depth to them and it’s easy to tell that there is more to them than what we’re able to glean from the anime. The magic in this world is incredible and it’s another thing that is just barely touched on, on the surface. There are dragons and fairies and familiars and centaurs and monsters of all types in this show. So much could be explained about these, but the story only lightly touches on it. The world this show is in, is also vast enough to include alchemists and witches; the world doesn’t just stop at mages.

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From the title of this anime, you would think it would be a love story. I don’t think it can really be simplified to that. This story is about finding yourself. About finding and being happy. About finding a home. This story is about living life even when it’s hard and uncomfortable and painful. Chise has a myriad of scars and problems she must face, but that’s just it, she must face them. We follow her on her journey to find her want and will to live as she learns magic and creates a home with Elias and battles her inner and outer demons. Yes, there is love involved, but it’s not what this anime is mainly about.

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I would highly recommend this anime to anyone who has lived life long enough to know that roses don’t bloom in every garden. Not only is it beautiful to look at, it’s got a solid story beneath the stunning artwork. It is most certainly something you’ll want to watch.

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If you’ve seen Ancient Magus’ Bride, or want to, leave us a comment down below.


The Otaku Couple

Verdict: This anime is good. It probably won’t rock your world, but it’s solid.

Kenichi is the story of Kenichi Shirahama. From the very beginning, we learn that he is a weakling. He was teased all throughout middle school and is called weak-knees because his knees always shake and knock together when he’s scared.

We see the first example of this when he sees the girl he met earlier (Miu pronounced Me-you) is outnumbered by 3 street thugs. Kenichi struggles with whether to do something or not. He ultimately decides to jump into the fray, but his knees are visibly shaking and we can tell that he is terrified. Miu ends up handling the guys on her own, and inviting Kenichi to train at Ryozanpaku, a dojo that we later find out is owned by her grandfather.

This starts Kenichi on a journey to become history’s strongest disciple.

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Initial Impressions: I have no idea what to expect, so I can’t wait to watch it.

This is a mature anime for the gore. If you’re under the age of 15 or sensitive to blood and gore, this is not for you. Like… at all. However, this anime is very detailed in its artwork and you can tell already that each character has a well thought out personality and oddity about them. In the very beginning of the episode we meet a character with blonde hair, carrying two very large machine guns, who we later find out is from the family of the boar. Almost immediately after meeting her we see a really intense training session where her father is pushing her harder and harder.

Throughout this scene and the rest of the episode we see the dynamic between the father and daughter of the boar family. Not just father and daughter, but also dynamic between the two sisters. The older sister is slighted in a way that really on anime can depict, and so goes down a path of revenge against her sister to steal back her spot in the family hierarchy.

During this episode we also see the current time line and as the title suggests, we are introduced to the Zodiac War. In the show it is referred to as the Juni Taisen and each member there is the representation of one member of the Chinese Zodiac: the boar, the monkey, the ox, etc. The war begins after all present members ingest the poison that was given to them and the rules are explained. The rules are very vague, but also very simple and straightforward.

Kill everyone else and steal the jewel they swallowed. The winner is the last one left standing with all the jewels and they get any wish they want, granted.

After that, the floor explodes beneath them and we see the fights begin. I will honestly say that the first fight did not end the way I thought it would and it sets the stage for an awesome second episode if it keeps with this level of action, suspense, and surprise. I’m excited to watch the next episode and see what other twists and zig-zags this show takes next.


The Otaku Couple

What makes a good first episode? This is the question we consider when we watch anime and when we decide whether we’re going to commit our precious time to a new anime. Because, let’s be real here, if the first episode is no good, a lot of us are unlikely to commit to watching another 11 episodes of it.

We know this, and we’ve come up with our own system of rating first episodes. It’s usually pretty reliable in determining if an anime is going to be worth our time or not. Obviously it’s not a fool-proof system, but over our anime lifetime we’ve noticed that a lot of great anime have these things in common on their first episode.

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GA-REI-ZERO | 12 EPISODES

Initial reaction: it’s a slow start, but don’t sleep on it.

The first episode seems like, in a different anime, it would have been the last or next to last episode. You jump right into action, the characters already have great synchronicity with each other, their awesomeness (you assume) has been established and we know that they’re about to get the job done. The highlight of this episode comes during the last 10 minutes when things get EXTREMELY unexpected. You go from not really caring about this show or these characters you know nothing about, to being on the edge of your seat, eyes wide and profanity pulling it’s way out your mouth. If the second episode starts the way the first ended, we’re in for something good.
There was no intro on the first episode, so that’s always a positive sign of good, quality anime.

There was definitely some gore involved and its rated mature, so not recommended for anyone under the age of 15, in my opinion. I’m not actually sure what the characters names are, what the story line is or what’s going on. But based on the last 10 minutes, I’m okay with that.


The Otaku Couple