Watamote Anime Review
Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (Watamote)
Aired from Jul 9, 2013 to Sep 24, 2013
For my anime review this time around, I’ll be doing an anime by the name of Watamote. There are many things that this anime did well, yet there we’re a few things that held me back from really enjoying it in the end. It was definitely a realistic show, which made it stand out from other anime in its genre, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good just because it’s realistic and unique. At times, this anime was quite cringe-worthy and hard to watch. I really did sympathize with the poor main character as I watched her fail time and time again. There were a few funny moments, but other times I wasn’t exactly sure if I should laugh or not. I wish that the humor wasn’t so blatantly dark during the show. At times, it was like watching a poor cat getting bullied. Don’t get me wrong, there were some good times, but this was quite grim at times. In the end, this anime frustrated me, as there wasn’t much progression from the first episode to the last. Tomoko, the main character, was just as sad and hopeless as she was in the beginning. Sure, I enjoyed watching her do things every episode, acting out her daily life, but I wished I did see some progression. This anime was fun to watch, regardless. There were some things that the show presented and did wonderfully, to make up for the bad qualities. Still, don’t go into this anime hoping for amazing character development or moments that will cheer up. Overall, I still had fun watching this show, after all. It was one of those shows that was fun to watch occasionally, but sort of gave you a sad feeling afterwards. Let me explain my thoughts more clearly on this anime to show you what I mean and get down to the details.
Story of Watamote
The story of Watamote isn’t really all that great, since there is barely any story there at all. You have Tomoko every episode trying to get popular, but in the end fails in some sad and awkward way. The story can be quite depressing too, as it falls into this pattern for most of the time. I really wished that I could see some character progression and any kind of progression, but alas, Tomoko is pretty much the exact same person in the beginning, except for some new memories and experiences. In the beginning of the series, she really wants to be popular. In the end, she still wants to be popular. If she really wants to be popular that bad, she should gain some common sense and learn something new about forming relationships. Still, I actually enjoyed watching each episode. Even if there wasn’t that much going on in the overall plot, each episode is still amusing and managed to hold my attention. I’ll go a little more in depth to elaborate what went on each episode and more details on the actual “plot”.
In the start of this anime, we are introduced to Tomoko. She is shows wasting her time away on miscellaneous things on her computer. The audience quickly learns how she is socially awkward and pretty hopeless when it comes to everyday conversation. Yet, her ultimate dream is to become popular. In the first episode alone, she easily fails her goal and ends up making a fool of herself. The first episode was funny in a slightly twisted way, but it also made my heart break for the poor girl. Her brother hates her, her parents don’t even know what to think of her, and she only has one friend, who moved away a while ago (luckily for Tomoko, they hang out every once in a while, but still….). She has a fairly miserable life. The things that she does to try to improve things, only end up causing her more misery and embarrassment. I liked the first episode quite a bit, as it showed some potential and seemed like an interesting idea to tinker with, instead of having another generic happy rom-com. That was when I hadn’t seen the other episodes to know that the show was basically kicking a poor bunny around, but the bunny never makes a drastic change to stop all the pain.
Even without the progression happening, there were still some memorable moments in Watamote. There were times where she wasn’t totally helpless and actually slightly improved her situation in a way. Most of all, I liked seeing her weird way of doings things and pervertedness that reminded me of myself somewhat. There were some funny moments that weren’t too dark or brought poor Tomoko down. I really did like most of the episodes even though I usually felt really bad for the main character. There were some good moment sprinkled here and there. It definitely wasn’t all bad.
Tomoko has to deal with many interesting and slightly amusing situations throughout the anime. There was an epispde where she tried to show off to her cousin, but ended up making her cousin feel sorry for Tomoko, instead of admiring her. One episode was focused around her pervertedness and having one of those really pleasant dreams if you catch my drift. As I stated before, most of these situations ended up badly for poor Tomoko, but some were kind of funny in a way. I especially liked the episode where she was hanging out with her friend, as everything felt more at ease and less twisted when she had her friend with her. It wasn’t so sad for Tomoko when she had somebody around who cared for her. There were some funny moments sprinkled here and there each episode for the most part. The most depressing episode was when she was trying to see fireworks with a friend, but the end result was a lot different from what she was expecting. There was definitely some high and lows in this anime.
The ending was quite a let down and made me surprised that it was actually the last episode for this series. Nothing really has changed in her life, which was definitely sad and disappointing. Whether you’re reading a book, watching a movie, or watching an anime, you want things to change throughout the story. Sadly, for this anime the ending may as well been the first episode. It left me feeling frustrated and wanting a better closure for the series.
For the story, I decided that this anime should get a 5 out of 10 for the category. There were some good moments, but the story felt unfocused generally and didn’t really show any development. I did laugh out loud at some parts, but for the most part it was just abusing poor Tomoko. I liked the idea of the story, but the anime didn’t present it very well.
Characters of Watamote
The only real main character was Tomoko, but there were other characters that were involved in her life too. There were her family (duh), her old friend, and a couple people that she murmured a few words to. The other character weren’t the most amazing character ever. but they were alright. The side characters weren’t annoying or unlacking of at least a little bit of originality. I really disliked her brother. He was always mean to pathetic Tomoko, even when she was weeping and feeling really down. He was a huge jerk to her in general. Tomoko’s parents were alright, but not much is really revealed about them, except for them being standard semi-strict parents. I liked Tomoko’s friend pretty well, as she was pretty interesting and sort of brightened up the show. All the side characters were good; nothing special, but I want to focus on Tomoko, as she is really the focus of this show.
She was definitely an interesting character. There is no denying that. Her complex and weird personality made up for the sort of bland side characters. She was perverted, socially awkward, determined, and lazy. Tomoko was a realistic high school character. Still, it frustrated me when she seemed to lack common sense and such in some situations. It was really sad and pathetic at times for poor Tomoko. Although, she was also funny at times, which is definitely a good things for a character. I could relate to her in some ways, but was annoyed at the lack of character progression. That’s what really irked me in this series. Even with little to no development, Tomoko was a fun and weird character at times. She would come up with all these crazy ideas and experiment with them. Quite an oddball. If only she could learn to speak up! She could barely say goodbye to her teacher. At times I pitied her, at other times I thought she was quirky and funny. Well, at least she was fairly unique and not generic one bit.
Sound of Watamote
The best part of the soundtrack was the opening and ending songs. The opening song stood out among the sea of opening I have seen and was also nice to listen to. The ending song was more standard, but still a great song to hear after finishing an episode. There were a couple of background songs that I enjoyed listening to, but other than that the Ost was nothing special. Good to go along with the anime, but didn’t stand out on its own. On a positive note, there was nothing that particularly bothered my in the anime soundtrack, but nothing really memorable. I actually enjoy the opening and ending enough to listen to them on their own from to time.
The voice actors were pretty good as usual, but nothing really stood out for me. They all did their job very well, but nothing really worth mentioning to be honest. Tomoko’s voice actors was the best, as to be expected for she was the main character. Currently, there is no english dub, but I have heard that people are working on creating one. As usual, my recommendation is to simply stick with the Japanese one. They know how to to get the job done right.
In Watamote, the background noise are pretty good. The producers weren’t lazy with detail or anything of that sort. Since Watamote is a comedy, there were some funny sound effects that added to the humor which was a nice addition. Overall, the sound was good.
Art of Watamote
The art of Watamote was actually my favorite thing about the show. It was obvious that the animators spent a good deal of time and effort on the art. There were clevers scenes that were animated in a way to make the situation more funny or dramatic. There were plenty of cool effects that they threw in the show here and there to make it enjoyable to watch. The animation, character designs, and general quality of the art was great! It wasn’t perfect all the time, but some episodes the art was just so nice. The colors weren’t overly saturated (for the most part!) like some slice of life anime. Also, the animation for the opening was particularly good. It was all nicely done.
My enjoyment for this series varied quite a bit throughout. In the first few episodes, I really enjoyed watching every second of it, but the enjoyment tapered off after that unfortunately. Still, the show was easily watchable for whatever reason. Even when I felt frustrated with the characters and the plot, I could still stomach another episode. The ending was one of my least favorite episodes of the series, but I still wasn’t too bored with watching it even then. Still, even without being bored, I couldn’t help but grimace every episode or two. There were some moments that just weren’t that great to watch. There were some funny moments, but most of the comedy for me was a miss. I had some fun with this anime, but there were a few lagging moments here and there.
Final Notes and Overall Rating of Watamote
All in all, Watamote was an alright show. Sure, it had some flaws, but don’t get me wrong, there were some good moments in the show too. The character was pretty interesting and there were a few funny moments that made me chuckle. There were also some references to other things that made me laugh when I recognized them. Sometimes it was awkward, sometimes it was slightly painful, sometimes it was funny, but it was never that bad. All in all, it was fairly mediocre. At least there were a good opening and ending, along with clever artwork. I honestly didn’t hate the series; I just couldn’t love it either.
If you’re looking for an amazing story full of developments and a happy tale, then definitely skip Watamote. If you just want to see a more realistic and twisted tale, along with a poor character where everything never goes her way, then you might enjoy this anime. But really, I don’t think you would want to watch this show. With little development anywhere, there really isn’t a reason to. It can be funny at times, but the not-so-funny moments overshine them. If you thinking about watching Watamote, check out Welcome to the NHK instead. If you have already watched that, look for some other anime then this one. It wasn’t awful, but Watamote certainly wasn’t good.