Before I begin, an admission: I’ve wanted to watch this series ever since it came out. Why? Because it looks so damn adorable. By this I mean not the characters’ interactions with each other or the way trailers may have presented the story, but literally how the anime looks.
Everything’s so bright and cheery and the character designs are super nice on the eyes, even the male characters (coming from a heterosexual man). The female lead takes the cake, as one look at her face and I was sold. I love the color-combo of her hair and eyes, and the way they all sort of blend into more than one color but still generally one color. Whoever was in charge of coloring deserves an A+. Absolutely adored looking at this anime.
Now, the fun part begins.
This is one of the most mentally-exhausting anime I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. When it all comes down to it, I think this series is generally bad, but it has likable aspects to it that pop up only every so often. It is also one of those anime that is never boring, in both a positive and negative connotation. I appreciate it for doing everything it can to always have me question what the fuck it thinks it’s doing and trying to find evidence of any sort of direction whatsoever.
This series is a tornado of different ideas, parodies, references, and what-have-you. Each episode seems to have something to it that is elaborated on (badly) that feels both genuine and soulless, as little sense as that statement makes. Some episodes have incredibly self-indulgent writing, some of them have good writing! Some of them give time to develop the characters, most of them have characters inhibiting the progress that could be made, as it all depends on the one who gets the girl in the end. I like some scenes, I despise others. Can you all feel how exhausting it was for me to watch this? Every time my expectations couldn’t get lower, the series does something cute/charming, then I start paying attention more and stupid garbage follows. God damn was this a rollercoaster of a watch.
Generally speaking, this is a “reverse” harem. I put “reverse” in quotations because I think the clarification is unnecessary: it’s just a harem anime, except the central protagonist is female and her pursuers are male. I plan on writing a post about this in the future, but more on that when it comes. This in mind, it’s no wonder the progress that could’ve been made between individual characters outside the protagonist is essentially fruitless. They’re all stepping on each other in order to win the affections of the female lead, so every opportunity they have to showcase their “good sides” (I personally think even “negative” qualities can be good in the right context), another member of the harem barges in and sweeps them to the side. Because of this, many of the episodes simply resort to showcasing the entire collective of major characters going around just hanging out and doing stuff, slice-of-life style. Not only does this get tediously boring after a while, it also creates an aura of aimlessness to this series that makes it boring, if not for all of the moments that are causing viewers to squint their eyes.
I’ll go into more detail on a few things I was thinking about while watching Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, in minute detail as to not make this post three-thousand-words long. What exactly is the writer’s intention with making this series? Is it just for some “reverse” harem fun? Is it capitalizing on pandering to otaku culture by making the female lead otaku? Is it trying to instill some progressive messaging through creating a non-desirable female (by conventional standards) who just happens to be beautiful on the outside? All this comes to mind because I can see semblances of all of this through each episode. Before the anime really begins, the female lead is a fat otaku who no one really caters to. People seem generally nice to her, but nothing more than that, aside from one character who I will describe further later. After her favorite anime character dies, she stays in bed for three days and suddenly becomes skinny and beautiful, thus making the male leads fall for her on first sight. Initially, the female lead hides her obsessive otaku side in fear that they wouldn’t accept her, but it eventually comes to light and the male leads tag along anyway.
Sounds stupid, right? How the fuck are we, as people with functioning brains, supposed to just accept that an obese character became a model by staying in bed for three days without eating? Simple: the end justifies the means. I was like you, thinking this anime is dumb and I shouldn’t take it seriously. Then I learned to accept its stupidity because it wanted to say something. Trying to make everything 100% realistic is just wasting precious time. Clearly, the lesson is that we should just accept the ones we love for who they are on the inside and not the outside, as evidenced by the episode where she eats a big box of chocolates and becomes fat again, much to the dismay of the male leads. By the end, one even genuinely accepts her fattened form, declaring that it’s her as she is that makes her wonderful. How sweet. And then she becomes thin again… Wait, what the fuck?
IT’S SHIT LIKE THAT THAT MAKES ME GO “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, ANIME?!?!?”
The female lead is a giant otaku. Okay, cool. She’s also a super pure maiden who only gets her kicks out of the 2D world. So essentially, she’s a male harem protagonist except she has a vagina and really digs BL and fujoshi stuff. Here’s an idea: flaunt her fujoshi personality and see if the boys still like her. This is highlighted somewhat, but it’s swept aside because she’s super cute. I mean, I don’t blame them; she is super cute, but wasn’t it the personality that counts? Is being ultra-obsessive over 2D dudes in fictional media to the point where you become so oblivious to real human contact that you can’t tell these guys are infatuated with you because they’ll go and do whatever the fuck you want them to and you’re willing to lose friends over whether a fictional character is a seme or a uke attractive? It certainly isn’t to me. Y’know what would’ve made this anime really interesting? If they kept her fat. I’d love to see how that would’ve played out.
At the same time, I don’t like this whole “It’s the personality that counts!” craze that’s giving people excuses to be fat and to not take care of themselves. While keeping the female lead fat would’ve made the series more interesting, I’d also find it understandable if none of them ended up attracted to her anymore. I want to say this in that stupid meme format I see on Twitter all the time, but I’ll keep it simple here:
Physical. Attraction. Counts. With. Love!
Can a hideous person find love with a great personality? Sure. Can a beautiful person find love with an ugly personality? Sure. Can there be middle ground? Sure. Do any of these scenarios have to play out exactly that way to every person? No. Sometimes a great personality isn’t enough, sometimes great looks aren’t enough. When this series played with the idea of “testing” the male characters’ love for the female lead by making her fat again, I honestly wouldn’t blame them for jumping ship. She’s super cute and has a great personality. At least two characters would be willing to accept her even if she were fat, with two others wanting her to become skinny again at all costs. Just because the two who valued physical attraction over personal attraction were put off by the female lead’s weight gain doesn’t mean they’re “in the wrong.” Yeah, I can agree that it’s probably best to value more of a person’s mind than their looks (I’m biased because I have a thing for super-capable women), but sometimes people don’t agree with that. Let ’em be themselves.
But it’s not like this is really enhanced all that much, because it lasts for a single episode and then we’re off to another thing to potentially think about as progressive messaging only to have it upend itself with lazy/stupid writing or contrived fujoshi-bait.
I am talking way too long about this show. Allow me to make one last standing point. The only character in this show that is not overall insufferable is Azuma, who is both likable and developed as a character. For most of the series, he never saw his male counterparts as rivals in love, but a big group of happy comrades. He doesn’t even realize he has feelings for the female lead until someone else brings it up to him, three-fourths of the way through the show. What follows is a short arc concerning his older brother that has him grow as a person, to be more assertive and to follow through on his ambitions. GOOD. WHERE WAS THIS THE ENTIRE FUCKING SHOW?! He single-handedly pushes the plot to its end by being so earnest about confessing his feelings for the female lead! Oh, my God! Progress! Only to have it end with… well, let’s just say it kind of makes the entire series pointless.
Yeah. It’s a really chaotic show that causes me to write over fifteen-hundred words about just how convoluted everything is with its intentions (and I could write soooooooo much more, sadly). It was definitely an interesting show, which is the highest compliment I can give it (and it is a good compliment). That and just Azuma as a character. He’s interesting just for the sake of how different he is from everyone else and how open he is to keeping things moving. For a “reverse” harem, I would love if things just kept moving.
As a final note, I would definitely watch a second season of this. Just for fun.
Final Score: 4/10
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