Watamote: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! - Reviews

Alt title: Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!

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RoyalOss's avatar
Sep 3, 2014

This anime in 1 word....awkward. It is the most awkward anime Ive seen, but I love it.

Introduction
Tomoko Kuroki is a very lonely very perverted girl who likes manga, anime, dating-sims and an occasional BL game. Tomoko is in search for a (boy)friend to cure her loneliness. We see her struggle through everyday life while getting ignored, being misunderstood and her making a mess of everyday tasks/events.

Story
Its a schoollife / slice of life anime so expect to see everyday events but through the eyes of a very lonely girl. There is no developmend which is captured/recapped nicely in the last episode. As she is basicly the sole character and has no friends you can expect alot of inner monologues. The humour is slow and awkward so perhaps not for everybody but despite that all I personally found it a very entertaining anime.

Animation
The animation is very good, the background characters may appear as grey and have no faces which is not unusual for anime. But it also fits the anime style because Tomoko thinks all popular ''bitches'' and boys are the same complaining about trivial matters.

Sound
Pretty good, good background songs and a very intense and interesting opening song, altough that kind of music isnt my style it was very refreshing. My favourite is the background song of Tomoko whenever she is in an awkward position. The song is comedical and awkward at the same time (OST number 23). And don't forget the ED 'Dou Kangaete mo Watashi wa Warukunai' by the voice-actor herself.

Characters
As said, Tomoko is basicly the only character around so expect alot of inner monologues. But Tomoko is very versatile, she is cute, nerdy, sad, very perverted about boys and even girls, creepy and sometimes even like a psychotic killer.

The re-occuring characters excist of her mom, brother, her old middleschool friend Yuu-Chan, Imae-chan and the popular ''bitches''. Of those I especially like her brother, he was the same as Tomoko untill he got in the soccer team and found some friends.
His cold reactions towards Tomoko are just hilarious. ''Is she really an idiot?'', ''I can't play along with her idocy, I'll just ignore her.'' and dont forget ''Whoa, who's this freaking ugly chick?! Oh, it's just you, Sis?''.

Overall
A strange show, perhaps not for everybody but it is very entertaining, definitely worth a shot to watch.

7/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
Qplayer's avatar
Oct 18, 2014

Watamote is an anime that either speaks to the deepest parts of your soul or causes one of the most uncomfortable, awkward viewing experiences in anime history (that doesn't involve an anime called “Boku”). The whole purpose of the anime is to show that there are stories to be told even about the most introverted, socially anxious people in our society. The way that the anime gets inside the head of someone so reclusive is paralleled only by the cult classic Welcome to the NHK! In some ways, Watamote is even more relatable, since most social introverts are forced to actually live “in the world” and therefore how Tomoko actually behaves is closer to real life social situations. Of course, her form of social anxiety is very extreme, but her emotions and thought processes definitely reflect those of someone who is shy or has an intense social phobia (speaking from experience).

 

Figure 1: Talking to the opposite gender is one of the many challenges of being really shy

I've described Watamote to my friends as “Welcome to the NHK! meets B Gata H Kei but without the interesting girl from NHK or the boring guy from BGHK.” Without the complimentary character, the enjoyment of the anime solely centers on how much you like Tomoko. As an isolated introvert, she hardly interacts with others, and a good 75% of the anime is focused on her thoughts as she goes about her day. It's the epitome of slice of life, with its honesty being brutal at times and little left to the imagination. At times one might get frustrated at Tomoko for her fundamental lack of understanding of social norms, but if it weren't for her ineptitude, there'd be no story. If she really developed into a social person, the humor would instantly cease to exist. In the end, the anime is played for laughs, exaggerating the elements of social anxiety and otakuism to their logical extremes. What often results is a brilliant observation into our main heroine's slow decent into a sort of insanity brought about by her inability to interact with others normally. Other times it's just cringeworthy awkwardness, which while honest, isn't any less painful to watch.

Figure 2: Have I ever told you the defintion of insanity?

On a technical level, Watamote wasn't really that impressive. The voice acting was overall average, although Izumi Kitta as Tomoko Kuroki deserves special mention as she really portrays the desperate yet cynical attitude Tomoko has towards relationships. She reminded me of how Aya Hirano portrayed Konata Izumi in Lucky Star if Konata had no friends. Kana Hanazawa puts on a fairly good performance as Tomoko's best friend Yuu, but she's certainly had better performances in her storied career. The opening song sounds like it would be more appropriate for a dark action show like Mirai Nikki or Death Note, which was jarring but certainly unique. Everything else, the animation, the other voice actors, the music, was generally average with nothing standing out as either good or bad. The focus is really on the story and main character rather than the technical aspects of the anime.

 

Figure 3: The face of mercy?

On a personal note, this anime really struck a chord with me. I consider myself a very insular person with a very small circle of friends and spending most of my free time in front of a computer playing games. I saw a lot of my own actions and habits reflected in the main character. Of course, I'm not so socially inept that I can't hold a normal conversation with a stranger, but I remember when I was younger the times I would be so nervous that I wouldn't be able to order food from a cashier at Taco Bell. The attitudes that Tomoko has towards popular cliques definitely echo my own, which in the anime (and in reality) can come across as simply excuses to stay alone. I say all this because what I see as brilliance may simply be a result of the strong relationship between Tomoko and my social experiences. On the other hand, I doubt that I'm alone in this regard.

Overall, I'd highly recommend Watamote if you're into anime about otkau lifestyles or just want to see a slightly different take on a slice of life. If you relate to Tomoko, it will be fun simply relating to her dilemmas and seeing that some author somewhere does in fact understand what you're going through. If you can't really relate to her, I don't see much value in this anime. However, unless you're really a social butterfly I think many will at least somewhat empathize with her. Personally, I really really want to give her a hug.

Figure 4: A hug please :(

Or as my buddy Corvus Corax put it so succinctly


8/10 story
5/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
PurplePeopleEater's avatar
Jul 12, 2015

Waste of time.......... Seriously......why? Why did I even watch that?

What is Watamote? It's a story with a beginning and no end. It's sad in a pathetic way. It is hardly even a story and certainly not worth animating and making into an anime. 

Story (what little there is)- Watamote is about a first year high school student who is socially awkward and wants to get a guy to talk to her, although towards the end she just wants someone to talk to her. It's not exactly a unique story or a very interesting one unless it is done really well, which it isn't. A story has a start, a middle (climax to the turning point) and an end. Watamote has a rough start, then as the snail races by in a blur, it makes it's way to the climax, and then it never really makes it. It's the little engine that couldn't. I suppose you could argue that it does make it to a very bland and tiny climax and even gets over the hill all the way, but I think a story about me brushing my teeth has more climax that Watamote, and it has an end. In the last episode, the main character isn't much better off than she was in the beginning. There is an open possibilty for things to turn around with the help of a student council member who takes a liking to her, but it doesn't actually turn out to be anything by the end of the last episode. Therefor, there was no point in watching those twelve episodes. I wasn't entertained with a story. I wasn't laughing, although this is supposed to be a comedy, I found it more sad, pathetic, and annoying. I wasn't moved because I didn't really feel anything for the characters and there was no story to be moved by. Perhaps if they hadn't taken the comedy route, maybe something would have come of it, but as is, I just feel annoyed that I wasn't my time and internet usage on that. As for passing the time, at moments, it made time go slower I swear. In other words, this is a waste of time and I won't even give it a 3 for story.

Animation- Average. The animation wasn't bad. I rarely see any that is really bad though so it may just be I don't know what I'm talking about. I do not understand why the main character and her brother have the blue under their eyes. If it's just from lack of sleep, why don't any other kids have it? If it's genetics, why don't parents have it? If it's lack of sexual pleasure or pleasure period, why don't others have it? Is it just there to make them ugly, and if so, why does the brother still have friends and a life and everything. However, I don't blame the animation for this, I blame the story for not explaining. I just put that in the animation section to make this section look longer.

Sound- Normal. The only thing I can really comment on are the openings and endings. I actually liked the opening (rare!). The endings were interesting because they were different sometimes. It wasn't always the same song. I actually liked one of the ending songs too. Actually, the use of different songs for the endings is the main reason I won't give this less than 1 point overall.

Characters- Not boring. Other than that, there isn't much to say. They weren't flat and we had some background on the main character. On the other hand, other than the main characters best friend, none of the characters changed over time. Technically the best friend didn't change during the story so she doesn't count. In other words, none of the characters changed. Even though the characters felt developed, they weren't developing throughout the story, there was just enough background and flashbacks to make them seem developed. 

Overall, the story doesn't move. You know how you watch Pokemon and Ash is like the same age FOREVER. Watamote is kind of like that, only worse. At least Ash sort of progresses. The main character in this doesn't progress. Despite several doors of opprotunity, the writers keep the character in her in the hallway. Perhaps they wanted to focus more on comedy than on story, but they failed at both. 

Also, if you do bother watching it, you will notice throughout the anime there are scenes and thoughts/dreams that reference other animes. Perhaps this is another poor attempt at comedy, but I found it somewhat fitting. After all, Watamote is far from an original idea and it wasn't able to take the old tired and used idea and give it new life, so why not reference other animes.

On the other hand, I do like when animes reference or use the name of actuall animes in them. It feels more like they are in the same world as me and it sounds better than beeping things out or making up stupid names or coming up with a bunch of crappy little ideas. 

So overall, I give this a 2.5. It's not the lowest I ever rated something. I did consider giving it a .5, but if I gave the third season of Shakugan no Shana a 1, then this should at least get a 2.5. Besides, I liked the changing of ending songs and the references to real anime, and I was actually able to watch the whole thing, so a 2.5 is deserved I suppose.

1/10 story
5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
1.5/10 characters
2.5/10 overall
laws16's avatar
Sep 24, 2015

This is one of the most humorous anime I've seen in a while. Whether it be from laughing at the awkward moments or... Oh yeah all the funny parts were at awkward moments. The concept of this anime was one of the greatest I've seen. The opening was also really nice(I have a weak spot for anime with good openings). All-in-all, not many anime, or anything in general, I find funny. So it says a lot if I thought this was hilarious. You can't help but feel bad for all the troubles she goes through in this though. Definently something you should watch.

8.5/10 story
7/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
delolmo's avatar
Mar 27, 2016

Watamote explores the social life of Tomoko, a high schooler with severe social anxiety. She overthinks her social interactions and wishes to improve upon those to become more popular. I never imagined an anime with this story line, but I think it is very interesting and original to see anime exploring topics such as this one. I think a lot of people can be socially awkward but it is even more difficult when you deal with anxiety. The anime sheds some light into social anxiety while making it fun to watch and easy to relate (for all of us nerds at least). Despite the originality of the work, I felt that the anime lacked purpose other than to offer some insight into the topic at hand. We do not see Tomoko really improve on her social interactions or get over her fears, we only see a glimpse of Tomoko coming to terms with her situation.  While this may be powerful in itself, it did not satisfied me personally.

The animation was good, but not great. A bit generic in my opinion. The music was pretty fun to listen to, so no complaints there.

Other than Tomoko, there is really no character development in this anime. Perhaps it is because we see the story through Tomoko’s eyes and hear her thoughts only.   I actually liked her brother Tomoki who agreed to hear her out every day in order to help her improve her social skills. It was also interesting to see the opposite personalities of them both. With this being said, there is no further exploration of characters’ personalities or personal growth so this is not a good point for this anime.

7/10 story
5/10 animation
8/10 sound
4/10 characters
6/10 overall