WataMote

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No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!
Notpopularcover.jpg
Cover of first volume published by Square Enix featuring the protagonist, Tomoko
私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い!
(Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!)
Genre Comedy, parody, slice of life
Manga
Written by Nico Tanigawa
Published by Square Enix
English publisher
Demographic Shounen
Magazine GanGan Comics Online
Original run August 4, 2011 – ongoing
Volumes 5
Manga
Watashi no Tomodachi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui.
Written by Nico Tanigawa
Published by Square Enix
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Gangan Joker
Original run January 22, 2013 – ongoing
Anime television series
Directed by Shin Ōnuma
Written by Takao Yoshioka
Music by Sadesper Record
Studio Silver Link
Licensed by
Network TV Tokyo, TV Aichi, TV Osaka, AT-X
Original run July 8, 2013September 23, 2013
Episodes 12[1] (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Directed by Shin Ōnuma
Written by Takao Yoshioka
Music by Sadesper Record
Studio Silver Link
Released October 22, 2014
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys' Fault I’m Not Popular! (私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!?), known as WataMote (ワタモテ?) for short, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nico Tanigawa. It began serialization on Square Enix's Gangan Comics Online service from August 4, 2011 and is published by Yen Press in North America. A 4-panel spin-off manga began serialization in Gangan Joker from January 22, 2013. A television anime adaptation by Silver Link aired in Japan between July and September 2013. The anime adaption received critical acclaim, particularly for the main character and her voice actress, but was also controversial in its treatment of social anxiety.

Plot[edit]

Fifteen-year-old Tomoko Kuroki believed that she would become popular upon entering high school because she'd become well-versed in the world of otome games. In reality, she finds that she has become an unsociable loner and she is forced to take a long hard look at herself for the first time in years. The story follows Tomoko as she attempts to improve her social status as she progresses through high school.

Characters[edit]

Tomoko Kuroki (黒木 智子 Kuroki Tomoko?)
Voiced by: Izumi Kitta
The heroine of the series, who is often depicted as desperate, lonely and often deranged, going to various lengths to try and be more popular with others. She has a grim outlook on life and often has heavy bags under her eyes. She is also rather perverted at times, often imagining dubious situations with boys or lusting after her friend, Yū.
Tomoki Kuroki (黒木 智貴 Kuroki Tomoki?)
Voiced by: Yuichi Nakamura
Tomoko's younger brother, a year younger than her, who is often bewildered by Tomoko's odd behaviour. A popular and talented soccer player, Tomoko occasionally comes to him for advice. He later enters the same high school as Tomoko.
Yū Naruse (成瀬 優 Naruse Yū?)
Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa
Tomoko's best friend in middle school, often referred to as Yū-chan (ゆうちゃん?) by Tomoko, whom she nicknames Mokocchi (もこっち?). Initially a dorky looking girl, Yū changed her appearance to have prettier dyed hair upon entering high school, but still enjoys hobbies such as anime and regards Tomoko as her best friend. She has a boyfriend, which often disheartens Tomoko. She is the protagonist of the 4koma spin-off manga.
(きーちゃん Kī-chan?)
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya
Tomoko's cousin, who is a first year student in middle school. At first she looks up to Tomoko as her big sister, but her view of Tomoko soon changes upon realising that the things Tomoko boasted to her about were all lies.
Tomoko's mother (智子の母親 Tomoko no Hahaoya?)
Voiced by: Risa Hayamizu
Tomoko and Tomoki's mother. She is worried about her daughter's strange behaviour.
Megumi Imae (今江 恵美 Imae Megumi?)
Voiced by: Ai Nonaka
The student council president at Tomoko's school, a year older than Tomoko. She is quite friendly towards Tomoko.
Ogino (荻野?)
A PE teacher and Tomoko's homeroom teacher during her second year.
Hina Nemoto (根元 陽菜 Nemoto Hina?)
Voiced by: Yūko Kurose
Tomoko's classmate, who occasionally talks with her during their second year.
Kotomi Komiyama (小宮山 琴美 Komiyama Kotomi?)
Tomoko and Yū's classmate in middle school, who first appears in the spin-off manga. She and Tomoko do not like each other very much and are usually forced to get along with each other when Yū is around. She is later revealed in the main manga to have gone to the same high school as Tomoko, though Tomoko had more or less completely forgotten about her by then. She has a crush on Tomoki, but Tomoko had more or less squandered her chances of being with him.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The series, written by Nico Tanigawa, began serialization on Square Enix's Gangan Comics Online service from August 4, 2011. The first tankōbon volume was released on January 21, 2012, with 5 volumes and an Official Fan Book released as of September 21, 2013.[2][3][4] An anthology was released on June 22, 2013.[5][dated info] The second volume, released on May 22, 2012, ranked #10 in the Oricon charts in its opening week.[6] As of July 2013, the series has printed over 1.5 million copies.[7] The manga gained popularity overseas after fan translations of the series were posted on the English speaking imageboard 4chan, the Western equivalent of Japan's Futaba Channel.[8] Yen Press has licensed the manga in North America and the UK and began releasing the series from October 29, 2013.[9][10] A spin-off 4-panel manga series, Watashi no Tomodachi ga Motenai no wa Dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui. (私の友達がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い。?, lit. No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault My Friend's Not Popular.), known as TomoMote (トモモテ?) for short, launched in Square Enix's Gangan Joker magazine from January 22, 2013.[11]

Anime[edit]

A television anime adaptation of the manga by Silver Link aired in Japan between July 8 and September 23, 2013 and was simulcast by Crunchyroll.[12][13] The series is directed by Shin Oonuma and written by Takao Yoshioka, with character design by Hideki Furukawa.[14] An original video animation episode will be released with the seventh manga volume on October 22, 2014.[15]

The opening theme is "Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!" (私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い!?, "No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!") by Konomi Suzuki and Kiba of Akiba and reached #43 on the Japan Hot 100.[16] The main ending theme, featured in all but four episodes, is "Dō Kangaetemo Watashi wa Warukunai" ( どう考えても私は悪くない?, "No Matter How I Look At It, It's Not My Fault") by Izumi Kitta.[17] It charted at #79 in Japan.[16]

The ending themes for episodes two and five are "Musō Renka" (夢想恋歌?, Dream Love Song) and "Yoru no Tobari yo Sayōnara" (夜のとばりよ さようなら?, Farewell, Veil of Darkness) respectively, both performed by Velvet,Kodhy. The ending theme for episode six is "Natsu Matsuri" (夏祭り?, Summer Festival) by Utsu-P & Toka Minatsuki, featuring vocals by Hatsune Miku (a cover of the original 1990 hit song by Jitterin' Jinn). The ending theme for episode eleven in "Sokora no Chaku-Gurumi no Fūsen to Watashi" (そこらの着ぐるみの風船と私?, Me and the Balloon I Got from the Costumed Person) by Velvet,Kodhy and µ. Sentai Filmworks have licensed the series in North America.[18]

Episode list[edit]

No. Title Original airdate
1 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Change My Image a Bit"
"Motenai shi, Chotto Imechen suru wa" (モテないし、ちょっとイメチェンするわ) 
July 8, 2013
Tomoko Kuroki believes she'd be popular upon entering high school, having spent countless hours playing otome games. However, two months has passed since she started high school and she hasn't so much as made a single friend, let alone get a boyfriend. After taking a good look in the mirror, she realizes she is not the popular girl she thought herself to be. Wanting to change, Tomoko comes to her brother, Tomoki, to try and learn how to have a conversation with a guy, which he does not appreciate one bit. The next day, Tomoko tries doing some 'high school girl' activities such as reading in a book shop and eating at a burger joint, though it does little to raise her esteem. 
2 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll See My Old Friend"
"Motenai shi, Mukashi no Tomodachi ni Au" (モテないし、昔の友達に会う) 
July 15, 2013
Tomoko receives a call from her old middle school friend, Yū Naruse, asking to meet up with her, though she becomes nervous about meeting her due to her uneventful high school life. Whilst trying to improve herself before her meeting, she ends up spending an annoyingly brief time with another boy in the art room due to skipping classes, though feels touched by the portrait he drew of her. On the day of the meeting, Tomoko is surprised to find that Yū's appearance has changed a lot since she last saw her, but feels relieved that she is still the same on the inside. After spending the day playing at the arcades, Tomoko feels encouraged by Yū to keep doing her best, only to become depressed again after hearing she has a boyfriend. 
3 "Since I'm Not Popular, the Weather's Bad"
"Motenai shi, Akutenkō" (モテないし、悪天候) 
July 22, 2013
On a rainy day, Tomoko gets an earful from her teacher and a passerby and her umbrella breaks, forcing her to take shelter. As two other boys take shelter as well, she awkwardly attempts to make conversation with them. After being sent home early the next day after being hit by a basketball, Tomoko decides to tease Tomoki who is sick with a cold (caused by Tomoko herself), later becoming depressed when his female classmates come to deliver his homework. 
4 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Have a Good Dream"
"Motenai shi, Chotto Ii Yume Miru wa" (モテないし、ちょっといい夢見るわ) 
July 29, 2013
Tomoko tries to follow a guide to have an erotic dream, but only winds up having nightmares. Later, she end up being consistently stuck on a train, where she fears she is being molested only to find that she had just gotten snagged on another girl's naginata equipment. Afterwards, Tomoko asks Yū to help her shop for some underwear, though she later ends up embarrassing herself by mistaking her newly bought panties as a handkerchief. She soon feels better after winning a massager from a raffle ticket which came from a BL game. 
5 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Boost My Skills"
"Motenai shi, Sukiru Appu shitemiru" (モテないし、スキルアップしてみる) 
August 5, 2013
Tomoko attempts to become popular by playing as a cool, silent character, but this does not play out how she would have hoped. Later, she tries to get some photo stickers taken of her, though is less than pleased with the results. The next day, Tomoko contemplates taking up a job as a cabaret girl and decides to practise lighting cigarettes and mixing drinks. However, she becomes less eager when she travels to the red light district the following night. 
6 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Go See the Fireworks"
"Motenai shi, Hanabi ni Iku" (モテないし、花火に行く) 
August 12, 2013
After noticing she looks somewhat cuter following a night of playing otome games, Tomoko believes she can grow even more cute by constantly playing games about sex, though unbeknownst to her, she is just getting greasier from not washing. Later, after spraying herself with soda, she believes she is getting looks from other boys, when really they are just noticing the ants crawling over her body as a result. The next day, Tomoko tries to find some people to go watch the fireworks with, to no avail. As Tomoko decides to go alone to an abandoned rooftop to watch the fireworks, she is joined by a pair of schoolboys and ends up watching a very different kind of 'fireworks' with them. 
7 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Enjoy Summer Vacation"
"Motenai shi, Natsuyasumi o Makitsu suru" (モテないし、夏休みを満喫する) 
August 19, 2013
After spending several days doing nothing but playing games, reading manga and browsing the internet, Tomoko comes to the realization that she is wasting her summer vacation. To alleviate this, Tomoko buys a webcam in the hopes of becoming an internet personality, only to back out under the pressure. Later, she discovers she has a ticket enabling her to meet an otome game voice actor and request a line from him. After spending the whole night looking up what to make him say, she ends up cracking under pressure when she finally meets him and winds up giving a weird jumbled request. She attempts to remix it with her own voice to form a dubious dialogue, which her mother ends up listening to. 
8 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Put on Airs"
"Motenai shi, Miewoharu" (モテないし、見栄をはる) 
August 26, 2013
Tomoko grows anxious when she learns her cousin, Kī, is coming over, feeling she needs to look like a 'slut' in order to back up the tall tales she had previously told her. She attempts to cover her body with vacuum cleaner hickeys, only to be scolded by her mother. While taking Kī to the library, Tomoko meets Kousaka, one of the boys she met while sheltering from the rain the other day, who Kī assumes to be Tomoko's boyfriend. The next day, they see him with another girl, prompting Kī to confront him, bringing Tomoko's bluff to light. With Kī's impression of her waning, Tomoko attempts to restore her faith by showing off her prowess in a children's card game. After noticing that Tomoko is nothing but a cheater, Kī starts to get a feeling of pity towards her. 
9 "Since I'm Not Popular, Summer Will End"
"Motenai shi, Natsu ga Owaru" (モテないし、夏が終わる) 
September 2, 2013
After Tomoko visits a fancy café where Yū is helping out, she decides to take up a job making cakes in the hopes of also becoming trendy, only for it to turn out to be a not-so-glamorous factory job. Later, Tomoko's mother forces her to do some cleaning, where she finds an essay written years ago by Tomoki about how he used to admire his big sister. Afterwards, dejected, Tomoko goes to watch a meteor shower, later kept company by a stray cat. 
10 "Since I'm Not Popular, Second Term Is Starting"
"Motenai shi, Ni-gakki ga Hajimaru" (モテないし、二学期が始まる) 
September 9, 2013
The second school term begins and Tomoko is still as unpopular as ever, made worse when she is relocated into the center of the class. She manages to find herself a secret spot amongst a pile of unused desks where she can eat and play games in private during lunch breaks, but it is inevitably cleaned up. As the school prepares for a culture festival, Tomoko contemplates starting her own club, but it is ultimately denied due to it being too vague. 
11 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Participate in the Culture Festival"
"Motenai shi, Bunkasai ni Sankasuru" (モテないし、文化祭に参加する) 
September 16, 2013
Whilst trying to get involved with her class for the culture festival preparations, Tomoko cuts her hand but is helped out by the kind festival committee president, Megumi Imae. During the festival, Tomoko has little reason to enjoy herself, but nonetheless receives encouragement from Megumi. The next day, Tomoko is visited by Yū, hoping to get an intimate hug from her but nonetheless appreciating the time spent with her. Noticing Tomoko feeling downhearted after Yū leaves, Megumi borrows a mascot costume in order to give Tomoko a comforting hug. 
12 "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Think About the Future"
"Motenai shi, Shōrai o Kangaeru" (モテないし、将来を考える) 
September 23, 2013
As Tomoko reflects on her uneventful past and thinks about her future, she views Megumi as the kind of student she should aim to become. When a cockroach roams about the class, Tomoko kills it hoping to be praised as a hero, only to leave a less than desirable impression on her classmates. Later that day, Tomoko tries to initiate a conversation with Megumi, but runs off after a blustery wind ruins the mood, not staying to hear Megumi's words of praise about her. The episode ends with Tomoko reading the Unpopular Girl definition from the first episode and laughing, realizing none of it matters. 

Reception[edit]

WataMote has been the subject of much discussion and debate,[19] particularly in its treatment of social anxiety and the main character Tomoko. Many have debated if the series is a comedy or a study of neurosis with many varying opinions on whether the subject matter is supposed to be humorous or not. Still, the anime adaptation has been highly praised by most websites,[20][21][22] with much praise directed towards the main character Tomoko along with Izumi Kitta's portrayal of her. Among the most praised aspects of the series, the opening title sequence has received unanimous praise for its opening song, visuals, and how well it represents Tomoko's loneliness, frustration, and intense social anxiety.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Luster, Joseph (July 7, 2013). "Sentai Filmworks Adds "Watamote" and "Sunday Without God" Anime". Crunchyroll. 
  2. ^ "私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い!(1) (ガンガンコミックスONLINE)" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ "私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! (5) (ガンガンコミックスONLINE)" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ "私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! 公式ファンブック (喪) (ガンガンコミックスONLINE)". Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ "私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! アンソロジー (ガンガンコミックスONLINE)" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, May 21-27". Anime News Network. May 30, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Watamote Manga Has 1.5 Million Copies in Print". Anime News Network. July 19, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ "4Chan Used to Promote a Japanese Manga (Well, Sorta)". Kotaku. January 30, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Yen Press Adds Inu × Boku SS, WataMote, Wolf Children, Kingdom Hearts Manga (Updated)". March 30, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ "No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!, Vol. 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ "WataMote 4-Panel Spinoff Manga Series Launches". Anime News Network. January 23, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ "WataMote Anime's 1st Promo With Izumi Kitta's Song Streamed". Anime News Network. June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Crunchyroll Adds "SILVER SPOON", "The World God Only Knows: Goddesses" and "WATAMOTE" Anime to Streaming Lineup". Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Yūichi Nakamura, Kana Hanazawa Join WataMote Anime's Cast". Anime News Network. June 6, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ "WataMote: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! Manga Listed with Anime DVD". Anime News Network. September 5, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Billboard Japan Hot 100 (in Japanese; retrieved September 14, 2013)
  17. ^ "Retailer: Izumi Kitta to Star in WataMote TV Anime". Anime News Network. June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Licenses WataMote Anime". Anime News Network. July 7, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ "No Matter How I Look At It, It's Just A Podcast - ANNCast". Anime News Network. 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  20. ^ "WATAMOTE - Review". Anime News Network. 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  21. ^ "THEM Anime Reviews 4.0 - WataMote". Themanime.org. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  22. ^ "ANIME REVIEW "WataMote" Walks The Line Between Funny & Disturbing". EGMNOW. 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 

External links[edit]