WataMote Review

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One good thing about WataMote: It contains a simple and heart-rendering message I presume most people can get behind, if not find acceptable. Another good thing: It has a very facetious way of getting to it that will make you recoil in pure delight.

Information

Series Name: Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (Aka WataMote)
Studio: Silver Link
Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-life


Synopsis (Via MAL)

Kuroki Tomoko is a super popular, high school girl who has had 50 years of dating experience and 100 boys… in the Otome game world. In the real world, she is a 15-year-old shut-in who has all of the qualities of a “mojo” (a gloomy or unpopular woman).However, when school isn’t going as she expected, and she isn’t as popular as she had thought she was, she takes a look at herself in the mirror for the first time in a few years, and has some shocking revelations…


Review

Ah, never in my life have I cringed so much…and enjoyed?! Why is that you ask? Well, when you have a socially inept character such as Tomoko Kuroki and seeing all the various faux-paus she makes because she think she is popular (or will make her so), there is no helping it. If you fancy yourself unpopular, socially stagnant, or just plain unlucky – I am sorry to say this but: Tomoko is the empathy of it all. This series is her journey of misery and laughs to find out if she can make something out of her less than idea highschool life. Well, you will be laughing…she will provide the misery, of course.

watamote1As far as what Watamote actually is, it accuracy describes itself as a comedy/slice-of-life hybrid, with most of the comedy coming from Tomoko’s cordial missteps and also a slice-of-life element that captures her unsuccessful attempts at getting noticed. This not one of those series that will try to pull the old sappy: “Your on the way to a fulfilling life” or “you can make friends if you try”, but more of one that is tongue-in-cheek in its style of comedy and the way the story present itself. Of course, for anyone that deals with social anxiety, socially awkward, and inept with conversing with others – it provides a little a relief through the eyes of someone similar and lead to a nice little takeaway about dealing with it all like Tomoko tries to. She is overshadowed by her popular younger brother and her nerdy turned gorgeous friend who have fulfilling lives and she just wants a piece of a real estate like that, too, Didn’t we all and still, don’t we? Think about in these terms, besides the comedy aspect,  actually works as comedy, but nice commentary on the side or at least an anthem for social misfits.

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If there is of anything great to note about WataMote it would have been the animation. Being no stranger to Sliver Links previous undertakings such as: Baka Test or C3, I think the studio shows off what is capable of here. If the jarring, Thrash metal opening is not enough proof of that, it becomes apparent when the viewer gets a dose of Tomoko’s wild fantasies and delusions that make a drug addict seem normal. Of course based off the normal dysfunctional teenage mind, that comparison is quite accurate, with Tomoko usually displaying her awkwardness with her figure being translucent and her perpetual gloominess display a rich ebony color. Known for its usage with vibrant and bright hues,  compared its juxtaposed subject matter, I think the two work really well together and nothing else to say or lack of saying that can not be seen. One area that did not go unnoticed was the musical, mainly due to its uninspired and limited tracks. With a large exception granted to the opening and ending themes, the background music was awfully generic and stale. Provided the freelancing Sadesper Records, music must have not been of much concern (and really not a problem), but disheartening either way.

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Despite the series ending on a rather contemplative note as exemplified by the final faded out, I think the show provides a nice “It’s okay” message. I doubt it will exactly probably speak volumes to those caught in social limbo, but for people like myself that had various insecurities coming up through the formative years, it was a poignant and power message that compliments such a weird, but inventive series. At the end of the day, I suppose WataMote does more than the normal comedy/slice-of-life is originally meant to do. It replaces comfort with an uneasy topic, but makes it moderately enjoyable, with a simple and enduring message to top it all off. It certainly had a lot of competition during the Fall 2013 season in the comedy category, but when it comes to something interesting to say and the way it wants to say it, I think WataMote beats its competition handily.

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Pros: great slice-of-life/comedy elements, nice character designs/interactions, animation work,

Cons: unnoticeable musical score

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5 thoughts on “WataMote Review

  1. Watamote is perhaps one of the very few shows that I don’t know if I should laugh or cry throughout the show. It’s the show I probably cringed the hardest, due to how realistic it seems, and how the anime turned such realism to a comedic direction. Chances are, if one empathize the socially inept Tomoko, one will had a hard time finding a balance between laughing or crying as well.. xD

    I also find the use of colors quite fitting. Often times, when Tomoko was left alone “isolated” from the other people, the other people are colored very vibrantly while Tomoko herself was in a full splash of grey, a very direct symbolism of being left alone and isolated. There are also a lot of wacky visuals the studio was also able to came up with, also quite fitting and nicely and abstractly reinforces Tomoko’s negative emotions.

    • Actually did more cringing and laughing than I did crying, but there were a few rare parts of it that were sad. Overall, I think the main adjective was to make the audience laugh and not be taken to seriously.

      Yeah, I noticed the whole coloring scheme with Tomoko, which probably is how most people who are socially isolated feel. Still think the opening theme did the visuals justice.

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