What's So Special About Dating an Otaku...?
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Romance, Comedy, Shoujo
- Airing Date : April 4, 2018 to June 20, 2018
- Studios : Hoods Entertainment
3D Kanojo (Real Girl) Introduction
Hikari Tsutsui is a socially awkward otaku who finds himself paired with the popular Iroha Igarashi on pool cleaning duty after they are both late for school. After they fall in the pool while cleaning it, Iroha asks Tsutsui out. Despite her many boyfriends, Iroha has never really loved somebody, which causes Tsutsui to at first think she is just teasing him when she asks him out. Despite his initial reservations, Tsutsui agrees to go out with Iroha and the two begin their journey towards their first real love. Along the way, Tsutsui and Iroha befriend Yuuto Itou and Arisa Ishino while also meeting Sumie Ayado, and Mitsuya Takanashi who serve as love rivals that get in the way of their relationship.
What We Liked About 3D Kanojo (Real Girl)
The most enjoyable part of 3D Kanojo (Real Girl) is its ability to hit you with many different emotions and themes. The anime has great comedy and relationships with its characters. Scenes like Tsutsui and Takanashi in the park or Tsutsui and Ishino's first meeting are some of the best and most comedic the show has to offer. 3D Kanojo: Real Girl also does a fantastic job at showing Tsutsui learn to fall in love making him very relatable. Tsutsui is shown to struggle with everything from how he should interact with his girlfriend to his jealousy and insecurities due to his appearance and hobbies.
1. The Characters
Tsutsui and Iroha are both great leads for a romantic anime, although they start dating early, they build up their relationship organically throughout the story while going through both the ups and downs that come with being in a relationship. While the story of 3D Kanojo (Real Girl) focuses mainly on the budding relationship between Tsutsui and Iroha, the story also gives four of the supporting characters a decent amount of development and screen time. Itou and Ishino get the most development out of the side characters with Itou supporting Tsutsui in his endeavors and finding love of his own, and Ishino helps keep Tsutsui and Iroha's relationship from falling apart and proves time and time again that she is the most supportive member of their group.
2. The Comedy
3D Kanojo (Real Girl) focuses heavily on the romantic and drama aspects of its story, but one of the biggest selling points is the amount of comedy in the series. Many of the jokes come at the expense of Tsutsui, his nerdy nature, and his romantic struggles, giving the viewer plenty of laughs while also serving as moments where Tsutsui becomes a much more relatable character. Scenes like the park meeting between Tsutsui and Mitsuya Takanashi are when the show's story really excels, combining the serious drama in the episode with a solid bit of comedy to lighten the mood.
3. Heartwarming Romance
Multiple romances appear throughout 3D Kanojo (Real Girl) with the main focus on Tsutsui and Iroha. The anime shows off many of the struggles of their relationship in the early parts of each episode with the couple fighting due to a misunderstanding and usually ends each episode with a more heartwarming scene between the two that gives you hope for their future. Later on, we get to see the side characters fall in love with each other and confess their feelings for one another. With Tsutsui being new to romance and Iroha never being in a committed relationship, we are given a wonderful romance that you want to see succeed.
1. The Characters
One of the anime’s biggest selling points is also one of its biggest weaknesses. Many of the characters are heavily influenced by anime tropes with Tsutsui and Takanashi being the worst offenders. Tsutsu is the nerdy loner who gets an attractive girlfriend and Takanashi is the cool kid that everyone likes trying to win over the protagonists girlfriend. While Tsutsui is able to show more of his character over the course of time, Takanashi and some of the other side characters are stuck being nothing more than their tropes. The story also fails at showing the characters grow, like with Iroha going through the same events over and over again and never really growing from her experiences.
2. Meaningless Conflicts and Overuse of Plotlines
The conflicts presented throughout the story to add drama oftentimes fall flat and are unnecessary. The scenes where Tsutsui is struggling with his growing feelings for Iroha are executed well, but then the anime throws in the added drama of Iroha getting mad which only complicates both the actual story and negatively affects how watchable the series is. Iroha's anger and jealousy is overused with Iroha being angry at Tsutsui making up the main story for half of the episodes and being a major storyline in four other episodes.
The story sets itself up to fail with a predictable story that cycles through the same beats every episode or two. The story of each episode consists of Tsutsui offending Iroha, Iroha Telling Tsutsui she is mad and won't tell him why, Tsutsui struggles to find out why, learns what he did wrong with the help of his friends, and then Tsutsui and Iroha make up in the end. This cycle is present in many of the episodes and only occasionally breaks from the pattern to give the viewer a breath of fresh air. Ultimately, the repeated story beats lead to many of the episodes being disappointing due to the refusal to move away from the formulaic ways the story progress each episode.
3D Kanojo (Real Girl) has a lot going for it in terms of its story and characters, but it often gets in its own way keeping it from being so much better. On its best days, 3D Kanojo (Real Girl) is really good romantic comedy filled with great characters and a heartwarming romance, but on its worst days, 3D Kanojo (Real Girl) is an average romantic comedy that relies heavily on tropes and has an originality problem. If you are willing to overlook the flaws of the anime, there is a great story waiting for you to sit back and enjoy.