Thoughts on WataMote

It’s not my fault I didn’t really enjoy this!

People use that joke much too often.

What to say about a series about an unpopular girl? It’s unpopular. I take that back; according to certain anime sites, this series is very popular. Why? Hell, I don’t know. Girls? Whatever.

What is it about this series that gets people so riled up? Good question. It will never be answered, me. Sorry. Damn. Watamote is a series that was enjoyable to watch, at first. I remember really enjoying the first few episodes of this series. But then, the series continued. And it continued. And it continued. And it continued. And it continued. And it continued. Repetitive, huh? Just like this series. What does this series consist of? A girl who wants to be popular but is unable to do so because she is lacking of any knowledge of how to be popular. How does she combat this? By trying to grab the attention of others through idiotic situations. What does this prove? That this entire series is a giant pity-fest.

When I watch this series, I’m reminded of the wholesome, family-friendly shows on TruTV. The programs that show people acting stupid in front of a camera as all of the viewers point and laugh at how stupid they are. Apparently, this is popular television. Seeing that this is popular television, Japan took this idea and Watamote was born. The point of the series? To see a single character act unlike a typical human being as a means of self-promotion. Anyone can say “Oh, I may be bad, but at least I have friends, unlike Tomoko!” after watching this series. But is this really necessary? Is this whole show just a pep-talk? Am I looking WAY too much into this? Probably. But if I don’t, who will?

The fact I’m trying to put out is simply that this series is meant to be pitied. The main character is pitiful. Her situation is pitiful. Her thinking is pitiful, if not unrealistic. Everything about her, from her long skirt to her baggy eyes is pitiful. This has been the mascot of pity for the past three months of watching this. Even everyone around her in the series pities her. This series is light-hearted at first, but as the title continues, it becomes harder to watch, as it thinks of new ways to make you pity her. I’m not one to empathize easily, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. However, once we empathize too much, we begin to take on the role of Tomoko herself, eventually depressing even ourselves as we compare our lives to hers and to those around her. This is not a series to turn your brain off to; this is a series to turn your heart off to.

While Tomoko herself needs no further explanation, the people around her at least make the series tolerable. Her brother, Tomoki, is such a likable and realistic character. Her Mother is just as realistic. Every other character in this series is so much more realistic than Tomoko that it’s almost, wait for it, pitiful. This shows that the series has the potential to make this series a lot more realistic and pleasurable than it was, but their goal remains to make us shake our heads. Congratulations series. I’m shaking my head, for the wrong reasons. Tomoki is sarcastic, ruthless, merciless, and despite his devoid of sleep look, is still shown to be fairly popular at his school. His conversations with his sister are fun to watch, as he’s basically an outlet for what other characters think of Tomoko without having to say it. Point being: She’s a pest. The only other character outside of Tomoki that’s given a little attention is Tomoko’s friend, Yuu. She’s the vision of what Tomoko wanted to become in high school. A “bitch” as she calls her. She’s shown as a very kind-hearted person by nature who still views Tomoko as someone who isn’t completely devoid of likability. Watching Yuu alone is enjoyable simply because we don’t have to watch Tomoko. Watching them together is, wait for it, pitiful.

The art is the most outstanding thing about this series. Silver Link has shown to be an outstanding animation studio in the past with shows such as Baka-Test and CubexCursedxCurious. It still shows with WataMote, in more ways than one. Tomoko herself looks different than every other character in the show. Her eyes are enormous, and her school outfit is purposely altered to make her stand out. It could almost be considered, wait for it, pitiful. The most noticeable thing about the animation is the realism put into Tomoko’s facial expressions as she expresses such appealing emotions like fear, depression, anxiousness, disgust, and defeat. They don’t make it pretty, either, but that’s a good thing. When she cries, she cries. With snot running down her nose and her face morphed into one of severe dread, making her look, wait for it, pitiful. Animation is fluid as well. Some of the best animation I’ve seen in a long time. Silver Link has become one of my favorite animation studios to watch since I started my anime watching career, and it made this series colorful, at least.

My comments are, wait for it, pitiful. I’m really tired of using that joke. Anyway, this series is exactly that: pitiful. I didn’t use the joke. Everything this series sets out to do is make the viewer feel pity for the main character. Holy frijoles this gets old fast. After episode two, I was sick of it. Did it stop there? Of course not. There were moments within the series that made me go “Aww~”, but those were as rare as me admitting my faults. It started off enjoyably, but then I ran out of feels, so the series tried to take them out by force. Episode after episode after episode after episode after episode.

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