Anyone who has ever suffered from or known someone who has suffered from social anxiety disorder will struggle to watch this show. So perfectly have they caputred the pathos that the presentation of the main characters struggles as comic have sparked controversy. However you may feel about that, WataMote is both genuinely funny and deeply heartbreaking. The kind of show everyone should watch, even if it isn't exactly appropriate to call it "enjoyable."
Beyond the subject matter, the show is very well done. The animation style, particularly when it lapses into Tomoko's moments of frenetic anxiety or when the screen splits between internal and external realities, is refreshingly different. Both the voice acting (of the main character particulary, which is noticable even if your Japanese is poor) and the music are top notch.
There are real drawbacks however, one of which is that basically all of the characters are two-dimensional. Part of this can be explained by the way the main character sees the world, but even so the lack of depth becomes frustrating. The other area that might turn people off is that the story isn't really a story so much as a series of variations on a theme: Tomoko's fruitless struggle to tackle her anxiety. Growth, change, sustained tension, they're all largely missing. That's a bit like real life, admittedly, but at the same time it makes for unsatisfying fiction.
Altogether though, WataMote is definitely worth giving a try.
It's Not my Fault I'm Not Popular!, No Matter How I Think About It, It's You Guys' Fault That I'm Not Popular!, Watashi ga Moteinai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! or it's shorter title WataMote! is by far the funniest anime this year. At the same time, it's also the saddest and most cringe worthy anime this year. WataMote! focuses on a girl named Tomoko Kuroki who has a bad combination of Social Anxiety Disorder and narcissism. Tomoko longs to be popular or at least have some friends but reality turns out to be much crueler than she ever imagined. Time after time, Tomoko completely makes a fool of herself and fails in every attempt at being noticed by her peers.
Needless to say, WataMote is certainly one of the most cringe worthy anime I've seen in a long time. Before I even continue with this review, it should be stated that this anime IS NOT for people who are incapable of laughing at themselves or at other people's misfortune. The comedy involved in this entire series revolves around laughing at Tomoko's constant failings. The majority of those who have come to enjoy this series tend to see some part of themselves in her so you may have to be an individual who is willing to laugh at your own short comings if you wish to find the comedy in this series. Thankfully, I'm that type of person so I can enjoy WataMote for what it's worth.
Even though the goal of this series is for Tomoko to become popular or gain some friends, you quickly realize that the entire plot is nothing more than Tomoko constantly striving and failing. Each episode is another moment in her life where she attempts to find something to do with her life or try a little harder in overcoming her social anxiety disorder. Instead we're given comedy gold brought on by the crash and burn attempts of our heroine. I identify with her on a massive scale. If I had to tell you how many minutes out of a day I spend, verbally talking to someone; it would be about 20 to 40 minutes in total. I avoid verbal conversations as much as possible but like Tomoko, I do have a lot to say which I keep locked up in my head. Yeah I understand exactly what she's going through even though I haven't failed as hard as she has at making an attempt at friendship (thankfully). Even if you're not as bad as I am, there's a good chance you'll find some part of yourself in Tomoko.
Animation: (8/10) _ Music & Sound: (8/10)
WataMote's music isn't very noticeable except for the music that plays during Tomoko's depression scenes but the opening and ending theme songs are each amazing in their own right. WataMote has multiple pieces of music but the main ending theme is called "Dou Kangate mo Watashi wa Warukunai" sung by Tomoko herself and it is beyond hilarious! The opening theme which is named after the series' title is a hard rock song embracing the difficultly of being Tomoko. WataMote's animation is thankfully much better than the art from it's original manga artwork but still allows for many of Tomoko's greatest facial expressions. (I'll just let your mind run wild with this picture.)
When it comes to characters, Tomoko comes across as a person that deserves an immense amount of sympathy. She tries hard and fails hard but at the end of the day, you have to give her some points for effort. Everyone else in this series have to deal with the many awkward situations and events Tomoko's social anxiety disorder produces which leads to some hilarious and some screwed up moments. Each character Tomoko interacts with have a different way of dealing with her so every side character in WataMote! has some kind of special moment with our heroine.
Overall + Entertainment: (78/90) + 7
As much as you will enjoy the comedy you will still want to see Tomoko have a happy ending and this may be the most frustrating part of WataMote because Tomoko comes across very few truly happy moments. As the series goes on and on, you begin to realize, she will never and I mean NEVER receive a truly happy ending so don't expect to find a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Overall, WataMote is just a downright hilarious series built of top of despair and depression that will definitely get to you in one way or another.
I’ve been staying clear of most anime lately because it either A.) doesn’t interest me in the least, or B.) is Attack on Titan and I swear I’ll watch it sometime when everyone shuts the hell up about it. In the case of Watamote, I ended up watching it because a friend showed me the opening sequence, told me Tomoko Kuroki is me as a Japanese school girl, then got mad when I wouldn’t shut up about how fucking perfect Tomoko is.
The show is like Welcome to the NHK lite. A girl, Tomoko Kuroki, is completely socially awkward, demented, in love with anime and nerd culture, and doesn’t understand how the world works. It follows her life as a freshman in high school, a world where everything sucks, no one is her friend, and she can barely do anything without failing. Most of the failure come out of normal, everyday social situations while the rest come from demented fantasies. It’s a show aimed at a demographic that rightly knows who they are and rightly understand the situations that Tomoko gets into. The show gets a lot of hate from some people who rightly know that they are just like Tomoko and reject the fact that someone made a show aimed at them, but to me, I’m not afraid to laugh at myself. Just like Welcome to the NHK, it’s there for people with social problems and total nerds who aren’t afraid to look at themselves in the mirror and laugh.
The anime follows its respective manga pretty well, in fact it rarely deviates from the source material. Sometimes the anime puts a part from the manga before it happened in the manga, but that doesn’t matter. The problem the anime faces as opposed to the manga, which managed to stay pretty balanced, is that there is a slump in the middle of the series where a few of the scenarios and episodes fall into general comedy tropes. The most embarrassing offender is the panty episode. While chuckle-worthy at points, it deviates so far from the fairly original comedy of the previous few episodes. And then there’s a part where Tomoko wants to get raped on the train because she feels it would make her feel popular. While kind of funny and contributing to that skewed view of popularity that she has, it’s not as relatable or likable as her previous and later attempts at popularity.
The show is excellent when it goes through real life scenarios rather than crazy ones. The episode where she goes to Starbucks, doesn’t know what the hell she’s ordering, and ends up screwing up royally after getting her coffee is funny, but also really cute and sad in a way. It’s when she’s doing very normal things that you feel so bad that she screws up so much or can’t manage to do it. Another example is the very first episode where she has to say goodbye to her teacher. Those moments of social awkwardness that can be related to are where the show shines. It’s a new kind of humor that is funny because it’s realistic and relatable for many people. Which is why some of the more outlandish attempts at humor fall flat; they just don’t seem to fit in. They fit Tomoko’s character, but they don’t fit the style of comedy.
As far as supporting characters go Tomoki is Tomoko’s brother and a rather unattached and unlikable fellow. Her mom is just there to be a mom. Her best friend Yuu is a busty—as Tomoko would call her—“bitch” with very little personality. But that’s one of the main points of the show. That’s why I can understand the faceless background characters. Tomoko lives in a world where everyone has the same personality, everyone is looking for a girlfriend to bang. It’s seemingly one of the reasons she is the way she is, she sees the world as being totally faceless and everyone to be without a distinguishing personality.
The style of the comedy combined with the style of animation and great directing really lead to a very unique show that has a few slip ups along the way, but manages to continue being funny and original for much of its run. It’s in no way perfect, but Watamote is really damn good.
What story? It was a story? I felt it was a video journal instead, and a very painful one to watch at that. I felt so sorry for her the whole freaking show, it was very hard to finish. Nothing more can I say about it other than it just wasn't my style of entertainment and someone else would more than probably love this show 100%. So please keep in mind regarding my scores that it is just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.
This wasn't as bad as I thought it looked to start with, after a while the whole thing grew on me visually. Overall I felt like I was watching a 4 block style comic strip in video format, which isn't a bad thing from an artistic standpoint, nor is it original or particularly stunning.
I had a slight grin when I heard the opening song, not many shows have the guts to (or are already popular enough to) use heavy metal style for it, was a pleasant change. Other than that rest of the sounds were there, immersion was good and I didn't have any issues with the voice acting.
It had a pretty serious lack of characters but those it did have were well done. I really felt sorry for the main character and was always rooting for her. The side characters were not particularly unique but I don't think they were meant to be as she was. This, to me, was definitely the star for it's show.
WARNING SPOILERS CONTAINED BELOW!
The thing that ruined this show for me, other than there was no story, is that nothing changed, at all. The first episode would pretty much be the same as the final episode in regards to her overall situation and growth. I was hoping throughout the whole show that someone would save her or she'd finally make a breakthrough for herself but alas the show plodded on episode to episode with same dreary theme. Which I have to it give them ... it was plainly obvious that this was part of the main point for the show in general, sadly that doesn't score points in my book. All in all, the shows depressing theme turned me away despite the multitude of comedy they tried shoving in, or maybe even because of that too, they didn't make me laugh all that much.
I don't think I could ever recommend this to anyone, it's quirky style and somewhat unique layout/theme made it too much of an oddity to really say who would and who wouldn't like it.
It’s quite hard to rate a comedy anime without a plot, mainly because there’s very little “general” things about it to base an ultimate judgment. This time around, it all comes down to personal preferences. Well, few things do. Lack of plot and development won’t be ignored at all.
As I’ve said; there is not plot. It’s all about Tomo tryharding to become popular, in most peculiar ways possible. It’s comedy… so I’m looking at it like this: I was entertained half of the time, and found the rest quite dull (which is in this rare case, my main base for rating) Comedy was also hit or miss. Sometimes I got a small chuckle, but rest of the time I was just shrugging. Every joke has a same punchline; it’s just about how we get to it. And after some time, it stopped being entertaining.
Sure, I’ll give them some credit for making Tomo likable enough for us to care a little, but despicable enough to laugh at her misfortune. It’s a tricky thing to pull off, and this one did it quite well. But of course, there’s no development, and as such, it loses most of the charm after a brief time. When I’m fed with the same thing over and over, I tend to detest it afterwards.
Some say it’s playing close to home, but that wasn’t the case with me. Many situations were too overblown for the sake of comedy and had very little realism, which made it impossible for me to find myself in Tomo’s skin.
OP was quite memorable, and general music and animation were fine. There were some good looking scenes that definitely stood out, so that’s also a plus, but I couldn’t say that for the music beside the OP. Design was pretty generic, with only fresh-looking thing being Tomo’s facial expressions that added a lot to her personality and that little characterization she had.
All in all: it depends on the taste in comedy. I found it meh, but I could see someone liking in way more, thus rating it higher. If you’re into some cringe worthy comedy, then you could try this one.