Now before we begin, I would like to point out that this Anime is an exaggeration of Introvertism. Which, by the way, if you haven’t already, you should find out your personality type. I think it’s really useful in helping you better understand who you are. I’ve done multiple personalities tests for a variety of reasons and I can safely say that I am an introvert and proud to be one.
Today, we’re going to discuss whether WataMote is worth watching. Now there are two sides to this, those who will say “No” and those who will say “Yes”. I will say yes because the main character is relatable which made me really enjoy this Anime. Although a lot of the stuff in the Anime is an exaggeration of the truth, there are still some parts that are not an exaggeration.
Maybe, there are certain things within the Anime that you’ve experienced before and felt before – those were the parts I enjoyed.
So before you read on, I have a question for you, what personality type are you? (Have a nice read).
To say that Watamote is an uncomfortable anime would be an understatement. Every minute involves Tomoko failing at something in the most awkward way imaginable, to the point where you can’t help but pity the poor girl. It’s not even amusing. It’s just depressing.
Tomoko is a high school girl who simply wants to be liked by her peers. She wants to be seen as attractive by the opposite sex. She is so lonely and socially inept that even hearing a “goodbye” from a classmate is seen as a massive success. Her younger brother doesn’t care about her problems, her parents think she’s a pathetic pervert, and her only friend (who she rarely even sees) is oblivious to Tomoko’s blatant emotional issues. She is alone with nobody to help.
Does she bring some of these problems upon herself? Maybe. Does she try too hard to be somebody that she’s not? Definitely. But who can blame her? The only time she had anything even remotely resembling a normal life was when she was a toddler. Of course, she’s angry. Of course, she’s fed up with her lifestyle.
Unlike the source material which presents itself entirely as a gag manga, the anime teases us with signs that Tomoko might actually be changing for the better. But nothing ever does change. She squanders all her opportunities, leaving both her and the audience with a bitter sense of hopelessness. What’s the point in enduring so many embarrassing scenes when there is no payoff at the end? Are we meant to be masochists?
The humour of Watamote is akin to kicking a kitten, and worse – a kitten that you sympathize with. It’s a punchline where there is no punchline. The goal makes us laugh at somebody in a pitiable situation, to feel happy that our lives are not quite as bad as Tomoko’s. Is that comedy? Is that entertainment? For others, perhaps, but all it did for me was bring back awful memories and remind me of everything wrong with teenagers. Some scenes were so uncomfortable that I had to take a break or avert my eyes for a few moments. That’s not what a comedy is supposed to do.
Some of the jokes can be quite funny, though. If you’ve ever listened to porn or something equally embarrassing on your computer, only to realize that the headphones weren’t actually plugged in, well, Watamote will remind you of such times. The best moments are when the humour is restrained and situational. The dialogue between Tomoko and her brother is also well-written and reminiscent of most actual brother-sister relationships; I just wish that there was more of him.
It’s also very easy to relate to Tomoko’s situation if you’ve ever dealt with social anxiety. Sure, her feelings are blatantly exaggerated for comedic effect, but the way people act around her is very much real. Teenagers love to gossip. They love to ignore and exclude anybody that isn’t a part of their group. Watamote hits this fact home, reminding us just how idealized high school life is in anime. It is the opposite of escapism.
As for the art and animation quality, Watamote is an above-average anime. Each scene is made even more depressing by the dark, often blue-and-grey colour scheme. The animation is consistent (though there isn’t much of it) and, for once, a shut-in character does not look like a supermodel. Tomoko looks dishevelled, tired, and unclean. As she should. The animators don’t even hold back on making some scenes look utterly repulsive. There’s definitely some talent here, and it shows.
The sound is more of a mixed bag. Kitta Izumi does a fantastic job of voicing Tomoko’s character, but the background music is barely noticeable and the opening is some mixture of awful screamo and generic J-Pop. It’s a cacophony that I never wanted to sit through more than once (although I’m sure that I’m in the minority). At least the ending sequence sounds more in line with the tone of the series: delightfully disgusting, and cute all the same.
If nothing else, Watamote should be commended for daring to be different. This is not your ordinary anime. If it was an ordinary anime, Tomoko would be male and she would have a harem in love with her for some inexplicable reason. There is none of that. Watamote wastes no time on romanticizing the high school life and instead portrays it for what is in reality. Very few anime out there have had the courage to do the same.
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