WataMote Episode 1 Impressions

Watamote PosterHey guys, today I wanted to talk about my first impressions after the first episode of *insert long Japanese title here* — Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! AKA “No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault, I’m Unppoular.” I didn’t initially watch this episode during its actually airing in the summer season of 2013 but I had a few friends and many strangers over the internet, emphasize JUST HOW GOOD this anime is…

The story goes like this, Tomoko Kuroki is a really, really, and I MEAN REALLY anti-social otome otaku gamer girl that really has no idea how to interact with the outside world. Upon entering high school, she decides that she wants to learn how to be more popular and social with others. What ends up happening is… a lot of awkward somewhat comedic tragic fails. She tries really hard. And I mean, REALLY HARD, but it just doesn’t work out for her…

I’m sorry to say that I just didn’t love this anime as much as everyone was raving about it. It falls in the categories of shonen, slice of life and comedy. It’s definitely shonen because I don’t know if I could categorize Tomoko in the moe category like some people have. I thought that I would come to like Tomoko for her clumsy personality in social situations but… her story’s, kinda… sad. And aside from the really bad makeover and facial expression she adopts in order to try and appease people, she just doesn’t understand anything about social convention. Is it supposed to be that funny? It’s almost a tragic reflection of what the most extreme shut-in gamers may become. Izumi Kitta is a really amazing voice actress though and she really brings out all the stammers and stutters that comes with extreme self-consciousness.

I think what kind of annoyed me the most about Tomoko in this opening episode was how she mentally bashes on others who decide to go out with friends. I found that she’s really too focused on herself and even from the title, she’s blaming everyone else for the reason that she’s not popular. Her greatest flaw is that she’s not self-aware of her surroundings nor is she able to sympathize with others. She sits in her room playing an otome game and wonders why her real life interactions fail so badly even though her simulations go so well.

I mean, I do understand what it means to be socially excluded because for a time, I was bullied in elementary school and I only had a handful of close friends. However, I never hit Tomoko’s kind of rock bottom and as horrible as it is, I know there are some people out there who do experience what Tomoko is feeling. Still, serializing your worst social nightmares into an anime and then poking fun at it? Can’t help but feel really bad for Tomoko. That girl needs a hug… and then an explanation of the who, what, where, when, why and how behind the hug cause she’ll totally overanalyze and panic over it. And still, it was adorable seeing her so happy after mustering up the courage to say “bye” to her teacher or even properly talking to the hot guy in the convenience store.

I wasn’t a big fan of the opening either. I really didn’t expect hard rock music to go with a slice of life series. Overall, I was really depressed after watching the first episode but the ending song did pick me up a bit, the bit with the phones was pretty interesting. I admire Tomoko for her efforts in trying to improve herself, but I just don’t think this anime is my cup of tea… it was just a mess of uncomfortable feelings for me.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments, does it get better? Or hilariously worse? Or just tragically worse? And do all the extremely anti-social otakus out there really feel this way? Pretty controversial throughout…

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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