The term Otaku indicates a boy or girl who has an obsession with videogames, anime, or manga. The original meaning referred to any field, but it’s now used as a more specific term.
It has given rise to a real stereotype of a character within the anime and manga world, used in different ways.
The otaku can be considered funny, as in Genshinken or Pet Girl of Sakurasou, or even as one that takes shelter in the media to escape reality, such as in Welcome to the NHK.
So let’s see what are the best anime with an otaku protagonist and remember that this article is based on our opinions.
Table of Contents
15. Bottom Tier Character Tomozaki
Bottom Tier Character Tomozaki is an anime released in 2021 in 12 episodes. It combines romance and bland psychological elements.
The story’s protagonist is a nerdy boy who is passionate about videogames and is the best gamer in all of Japan. However, his view of life is quite distorted, believing it to be nothing but a bad game.
But there is a person opposite to him, the extrovert and popular Hinami Aoi, who on the contrary goes on to say that life is a beautiful videogame. What will arise from their clash of opinions?
Bottom Tier Character Tomozaki doesn’t go to be anything innovative, with characters that are all in all stereotypical and simple.
What makes it interesting rather are its animations, not bad for a romance, and an altogether enjoyable plot.
14. My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute
The story of My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute (Oreimo) follows the daily life of an ordinary high school boy named Kyosuke Kosaka, whose sister, Kirino, is a rather famous model.
For years the two have ignored each other, but one day the boy, on his way home, happens to find a package at the front door.
Intrigued, Kyosuke opens it, making a rather puzzling discovery. He will find a perverted adult videogame, so maybe his little sister is not as innocent as he always thought?
But contrary to what it may seem from the premise, this will give the two a way to bond and share this particular passion.
My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute is a super simple and unpretentious anime, since the story isn’t that solid and the character development is quite weak.
13. Accel World
Accel World is an action show within the classic virtual world component, with the addition of romance elements. It was released in 2012 in 24 episodes.
It’s 2046, and Haruyuki is an otaku middle school boy who is constantly bullied because he is overweight.
One day he meets Kuroyukihime, the most beautiful and popular girl in school, and his senpai, who changes his life by introducing him to a virtual world called Accel World.
Haruyuki will then become the Burst Linker, a paladin tasked to protect Kuroyukihime.
Accel World is nothing more than the classic isekai anime where the protagonist sees his revenge within the virtual world. It has no particular plot twists and is rather full of clichés, but we can’t call it a terrible anime either.
It has enjoyable animations, a good soundtrack, and a good romance, so you might like it.
12. And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online?
And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online? is a sentimental comedy with harem and ecchi with a focus on gaming.
The main character is Hideki Nishimura, a young man who, after discovering that the girl he confessed to online is a man, has lost confidence in girls met online.
But one day he meets a girl on the MMORPG game he was playing, only to find out that this time she is not a catfish, but a beautiful girl named Ako Tamaki.
But this time to hinder the boy it turns out that Ako has serious behavioral problems, and can’t relate to people in real life. So Hideki starts this particular quest to heal the girl and finally find a partner.
And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online? is a simple anime with no particular twists and turns, hiding a mild social criticism underneath its plot.
Gamers! is a slice-of-life anime released in 2017 in 12 episodes, which story revolves around the lives of some otaku high school students.
The main characters are Keita Amano, a lonely and quiet boy, Karen Tendou, the beautiful president of the videogame club, Chiaki Hoshinomori and Tasuku Uehara.
All of these characters attend the same school, and they share a passion for videogames, which makes them bond and be great friends.
Gamers! is a school slice of life like any other, with the addition of the characters’ passion to the classic formula.
This will create many situations, ranging from comic to romance, and many references to pop culture.
10. 3D Kanojo: Real Girl
3D Kanojo: Real Girl is a good psychological romance anime that goes into important issues such as depression. It was released in 2018 in 24 episodes.
Tsutsui Hikari is an otaku who tries hard to avoid a social life. He is constantly laughed at by most of his classmates for being creepy and weird, which leads him to have problems.
One day he finds himself having to clean the school pool with Igarashi Iroha, one of the most popular end extrovert girls in the school.
She is everything that Tsutsui hates in real girls, but he will soon develop feelings for her since she is the first person to treat him like a normal guy.
The issue with this anime is that it’s a low effort in terms of character development and not even consistent in terms of pacing.
9. Kiss Him Not Me
The protagonist of Kiss Him Not Me is a girl called Kae Serinuma.
At the beginning of the show, she is overweight due to eating disorders, and she can’t help but fantasize about her male classmates falling in love with her.
After falling into a depression she loses a lot of weight, causing her classmates to start noticing her. They all want to seduce her but she tries to make them fall for each other to get revenge.
Kiss Him Not Me is an excellent reverse harem that among its main themes talks about eating disorders, combining romance themes with psychology.
It’s a solid choice if you’re looking for an anime where the bullied protagonist takes his moral revenge and changes her life for good.
8. Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is an anime that combines videogames with a deep psychological and mental aspect.
Moriko Morioka is in her 30s and has just quit her job because she could no longer handle the burden and stress of work. She has thus become a NEET and now tries to fill her life with an online game: Fruits de Mer, her only escape from reality.
Back in the days when she was still employed, she had befriended another gamer, who in turn was trying to fill the loneliness through videogames and was always ready for her in time of need.
Perhaps by playing Fruits de Mer she could meet that boy again? But in the meantime, while out shopping at the combini, she meets an attractive and popular guy which seems to be interested in her. Will this duality be able to coexist?
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is an anime that through its love entanglements goes on to examine psychological issues such as loneliness and social anxiety, all in a great romance with grown-up characters.
It is your choice if you are looking for social criticism along with a solid romance that may hold twists and turns.
Genshiken is a school comedy released in 12 episodes. It tells the story of Sasahara Kanji, a freshman at Tokyo Shiiou college.
When it comes time to choose a school club he hesitates quite a bit but eventually opts for the Genshiken, a group of diverse otaku who, for various reasons, have failed to fit in with the classic clubs.
From this point on, he will experience a great deal together with them.
Genshiken is a quiet anime that chronicles the days of the club members in a calm and relaxed atmosphere that will make you feel part of the events.
Be prepared for lots of laughs, absurd moments, and some wholesome love entanglements that will inevitably arise among the club members.
6. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb is one of the most popular sentimental comedies in recent years, released in 2014.
The anime is inspired by a series of light novels and stars Yuuta and Rikka, who are forced to live together due to a series of events.
This cohabitation will contribute to the slow development of their love, or at least until the arrival of Satone, an old acquaintance of Yuuta’s who will interfere in the young couple’s relationship by initiating a love triangle.
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb is an anime that balances romance, comedy, and a dash of drama always contextualized.
But what makes this anime interesting is its characters. Although they fall into classic romance character stereotypes, they still manage to be interesting with unexpected twists.
Yuuta himself is a different protagonist than usual, who thinks to be popular and super cool but is quite an otaku.
5. I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying
I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying is an anime composed of animated shorts lasting about 4 minutes each.
The story follows the vicissitudes of Kaoru, a serious, hard-working lady, and Hajime, an otaku who spends his days surfing the Internet.
During the shorts, we will see them get to know each other, fall in love and get married, and then witness their life and problems as a couple.
Don’t underestimate it, because along with tender and comic moments, we will also watch little psychological interludes.
I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying is another wholesome entry in this list and we can’t recommend it enough, and one of the best romance anime with a married couple you can find right now.
4. My Dress-Up Darling!
My Dress-Up Darling has been able to make a name for itself thanks to its wise use of fanservice and a pleasant cast.
The events revolve around the young high school boy Wakana Gojo, an otaku guy with his particular passions. His life will change considerably after he makes the acquaintance of his popular and beautiful classmate Marin Kitagawa.
The girl, after catching him sewing clothes for dolls, will ask for his help in creating custom-made clothes for her, as she is fond of cosplay.
This won’t only push the boy out of his comfort zone, but it will also open him up to a new way of thinking. The bizarre situation in which Gojo finds himself is good to hone his social skills and discover love.
My Dress-Up Darling! is an excellent blend of romance, nerdy elements, stunning animation, and fleshed-out characters with Marin being one of the best dominant female leads of recent years.
3. Pet Girl of Sakurasou
Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a slice of life and romance anime with Sorata Kanda, a popular boy who lives in the Sakurasou dorm.
It’s known to be housing the most famous Sumei High delinquents, the school that he is attending.
The boy must learn how to deal with all the bizarre characters living there and his goal is to escape. Things change quickly though, as the joining of Mashiro Shiina, a new transfer girl, will make Sorata change his mind.
Sorata will decide that she must protect this beautiful and clumsy otaku girl from the muggles in the dormitory. But who knows whether this sentiment will also turn into something else?
Pet Girl of Sakurasou is an enjoyable romance full of super tender romance moments and some very funny ones.
The characters are different in terms of their “otaku” interests, making them relatable just like the romance subplot.
Wotakoi is an 11-episode anime series based on a manga of the same name written and drawn by Fujita.
The series stars Narumi Momose, a serious and impeccable employee who hides from friends and colleagues the fact that she is an otaku and a nerd, who loves to play videogames.
But she will not be alone, because in the office where she works Hirotaka Nifuji, a charming old friend of hers lives his otakuhood head-on too.
In addition, Hanako Koyanagi, Narumi’s senpai, and her boyfriend Taro Kabakura are also otaku.
Wotakoi as you may have guessed highlights these four charismatic and cool characters with their absurd interactions as the love between Narumi and Hirotaka blossoms.
If you want to watch one of the most wholesome shows about pop culture and relationships, Wotakoi is the best choice.
Also, it’s a romance anime without much drama if you prefer a more cheerful vibe.
1. Welcome to the NHK
You have all probably heard of the Hikikomori at least once. They are boys or girls who totally self-isolate themselves from society by totally locking themselves up at home, out of fear of going out caused by various reasons.
The protagonist of the events Tatsuhiro Sato is one of them, due to past traumas. One day like any other to his surprise there will be a knock on his door from a religious old woman in the company of a girl.
But what Sato will not know is that the same girl will later get in touch with him, claiming that she can and will help him out of his condition.
Welcome to the NHK is one of the best romance anime with a depressed MC, and gives a message of hope to anyone suffering from this illness.
Through its well-constructed romance, it sends a clear message: if grasped by the right hand, no problem is impossible to overcome.