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Shout Out / Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

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This show has plenty of references, as this is essentially a love letter to the Otaku culture.


Anime

Episode 1

  • When Narumi boards the train while going to work, the advertisement panels all show a picture of Megumi Kato from How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend. It's also the shop banner for the following episode's Real Life bookstore chain "Animate" and returns as a poster on Taro's apartment wall in the last episode.
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  • The character Hanako cosplayed as when Narumi first met her at Comiket? Date Masamune from Sengoku Basara.
  • The video game Hirotaka constantly plays on his Nintendo Switch is Monster Hunter, specifically the Generations Ultimate Updated Re-release; in the Manga, he plays on a Sony PlayStation Portable.

Episode 2

  • A few references to Neon Genesis Evangelion are used at the beginning of the episode:
    • When Narumi is pondering over whether she hurt Hirotaka's feeling by avoiding him, she looks across the room to Hirotaka and Taro, who are respectively emulating Gendo Ikari's infamous Finger-Tenting Scary Shiny Glasses pose and Kozo Fuyutsuki's beleaguered stare; both are even positioned exactly like Gendo and Fuyutsuki in Gendo's office. Made more explicit when Hanako swaps Taro's name for Fuyutsuki. The scene is accompanied with the opening notes to Decisive Battle
    • When debating who is the "best girl", Hanako goes with Asuka, while Narumi chooses Rei. When Taro and Hirotaka are wondering what they're talking about, the narration reveals the guys select Mari and the Evangelion Unit-01, respectively.
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  • Hanako's disagreement and response to Narumi's choice for the above, "Very well. Then krieg is what you shall have", is a word-for-word quote lifted from The Major's "I love war" speech in Hellsing.
  • The sequence where Narumi tries to flee from what she thinks is an enraged Hirotaka takes elements from Eastern RPGs, senior among them being Pokémon and its battle dialogue and options, including "couldn't run away" when escape is not an option.
    • The tune when Hirotaka cuts off Narumi's escape the first time is the same 8-bit death theme from Castlevania.
  • The trip after work to Animate manages to pack in visual nods to a wide variety of Manga:
    • The Ancient Magus' Bride by Kore Yamazaki is purchased by Hanako.
    • Yuru-Yuri is one of the titles Taro picks up.
    • The pair of promotions on the automated doors are Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui (right) and My Senpai Is Annoying (left).
    • Tejina Senpai by Azu is the title that Hirotaka looks at.
    • Of the Boys' Love titles Narumi buys are Tashiro-kun, Kimi tte Yatsu wa by Yamada, Kimi wa Natsu no Naka by Nagisa Furuya, and THEO by Nachi Aono. In the same scene, Hanako holds a volume of Hashigo Sakurabi's Dakaretai Otoko Ichii ni Odosarete Imasu.
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Episode 3

Episode 4

  • In the first minute, Sailor Moon R and Dragon Ball Z are explicitly name-dropped. Curiously, viewers only see the end of one of Usagi Tsukino's Girlish Pigtails playing on Narumi's smartphone, despite the name-drop.
  • When Hirotaka asks Taro what did Hanako bribe him with in order to cross dress, the latter replies a Yuudachi Kai-II figurine.
  • When Hanako breaks down into tears at the restaurant, claiming she'll never be like Ranka, Taro asks if that means she's more like Sheryl, referencing the heroines who form two legs of the Love Triangle in Macross Frontier - the former being cute and petite like Taro's ideal girl, the latter more buxom and mature like Hanako.

Episode 5

  • As Hirotaka is slowly falling asleep, Taro wonders if he spent last night staying up to play video games. Hirotaka answers "Ikanimo!!"note  while making a squid gesture with his fingers, a reference to Splatoon. Curiously, Narumi mixes up the name of the Splatoon characters "Inklings" by calling them "ika musume".
  • Hirotaka mentions Narumi should stick with just playing "DōMori" because she isn't a hardcore gamer. The game in question is the short-form of Dōbutsu no Mori, the Japanese name for the first installment of the Animal Crossing series.
  • Another Evangelion reference appears, this time in the form of Hirotaka's younger brother Naoya: when the latter misunderstands a Pun, Narumi, Hanako and Taro are aghast and think "Pattern Blue", used in the series to indicate an entity is unambiguously an Angel. Within context, the three immediately know Naoya is not an Otaku like them.
  • While the Anime makes it ambiguous (even though Hirotaka passes Taro a Nintendo Gamecube controller), in the Manga, the game they're playing at Hirotaka's apartment is explicitly Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Episode 6

Episode 9

  • Both of Narumi's reactions after buying the churros go into Art Shifts that are based on certain Manga: the first one, about doubling down, is from Akagi and the second is from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
  • When Narumi mentions changing her smartphone's background and taking key chains off of her bag the night before going on dates, the key chain and phone wallpaper shown in the background are of Kashuu Kiyomitsu.
  • While waiting in line, Hirotaka is seen playing Pokémon GO on his smartphone, citing how he caught "Happinas", the Japanese name of "Blissey" (in the Manga, he finds a Dragonite instead); he also makes a quip about wanting to perform a "Musou Attack" when he and Narumi are stuck in the midst of a large crowd, the name of the Limit Breaks from Dynasty Warriors and its Spin Offs.

Episode 11

Manga

  • Hanako ropes Narumi into cosplay during their second Comiket together, and they both cosplay as characters from Fate/Grand Order; Hanako is dressed as Edmond Dantes, and Narumi as the female player character.

Other

  • In the manga promotions, Hanako, Taro, and Hirotaka are positioned like they'd be in a Chiemi Blouson skit, with the former in Chiemi's place and Tarou and Hirotaka acting as her hunky flanks.
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