Type: No matter how you look at it, it’s her fault she’s not popular
Synopsis: La, la, la, la, Tomoko is not popular, she has social axieties. La, la, la, la, this girl won’t get guys, she hardly ever talks to others, possibly never bathes. But at least she tries, even if people wouldn’t notice if they were standing on her neck. Standing on her neck. STANDING ON HER NECK.
Pros: Watamote is about an introverted girl named Tomoko starting her high school career. Although she wants to be super popular, her shy nature and unsociable attitude keeps her from achieving her goal. She resents everyone around her for making friends and talking to boys, even though that is exactly what she dreams about. Most episodes involve her comedically botched attempts at becoming more sociable or fulfilling her romantic desires (she is a teenager after all), often because of her own misinterpretations of the situation. Luckily, these failure are entirely her fault, as no one is ever mean to Tomoko. Most of the people she briefly talks to are polite. Tomoko, on the other hand, can be quite petty and small, but this eccentric demeanor allows her to be relatable and carry the show mostly on her own. Being a loner means that every episode focuses solely on Tomoko, with only the slightest cameos from the supporting characters, who get as much screen time as tertiary characters in other anime. But you never really miss them, because Tomoko is a hilarious mess of a human being, but one that we can all see ourselves in. (p.s. animations is stellar, and comedy is spot on).
Cons: Watamote is somewhere in between Lucky Star and Welcome to the NHK. It follows a smaller than average girl, but one that is a extremely lonely. The tone switches between silly and cringe worthy, but never to the level of either of the above mentioned. People looking for an exploration of an introvert shouldn’t look here, nor those looking for a fluffy comedy. The show is episodic, and Tomoko never really advances in terms of personality or social position. She’s still as unpopular and as shy as in the beginning. There are some hints at her social group expanding, but that doesn’t happen here. Interestingly, this show is rare in exploring the anxiety a girl may have over her own sexuality. Tomoko is very sexually curious, and one of her fears is lacking enough femininity to attract boys. She often refers to other girls as “sluts,” (including her best and only friend), partly because she resents their relationships with the opposite sex. The show may arguably go a bit far with this, but the only time it ever crosses a very clear line is in Ep.4, when Tomoko wishes she would be molested in public. Comedic anime or not, that is not O.K.
Watch it?: Hell, some of us have lived it (4/5)
MVP: The Opening
Made my Top 5
Best Episode: Ep. 7 “Since I’m Not Popular, I’ll Enjoy Summer Vacation” (does no one in Anime have locks?)