Watamote 02 – 04 — Living a Fulfilling Life by Saturday


With goals like this, it’s no surprise we’re running into some difficulties.

Tomoko has problems making friends, for sure. But I don’t think that’s really her problem. The larger issue is that she has this ideal view of what her life should be like, and refuses to be happy with anything else. She does have friends, as we see from her relationship with Yuu. Yet Tomoko isn’t happy with this. She wants something different.


Tomoko wants to be popular and have a boyfriend. But if her dream were to come true, I think she would only be more miserable than she already is. Her friendships would be shallow and petty, arising only from Tomoko pretending to be someone she isn’t. Her boyfriend… well, I don’t think Tomoko even knows what she wants from a boyfriend aside from the abstract idea of having one so she can rub it in her classmates’ faces.

It’s like people often say: “If you want to be rich, don’t add to your wealth, subtract from your greed.” That’s not to imply that Tomoko’s current life is any lesser than the life of popularity she imagines.

Making Friends

Regardless of whether it’s a worthwhile endeavor to become super-popular, let’s discuss why Tomoko is unable to make friends. The reason is simple: she’s trying too hard.


When she does interact with someone, she’s too afraid of the impression she’ll make to do anything. Literally shaking in her boots.


And when she sees someone else who already does have friends, instead of trying to become their friend as well and join the circle, she gets jealous and pushes others away. She even does the same with Yuu when she learns Yuu has a boyfriend. What a perfect chance to get close to a boy and introduced to his friends! Yet it’s quickly tossed aside due to Tomoko’s pride. Instead she has these ridiculous plans of how she’ll instantly become popular with very little effort, like buying new underwear. The way to make a friend is simple: you have to be a friend, like Tomoko already is with Yuu. Although I guess the first step, prior to that, is that you need to actually talk to someone.

Personal Aside

Yes they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness / But it’s better than drinking alone.

I’ve never had much trouble making friends. I remember there was a survey going around a while back where a lot of other bloggers said they could count their close friends on one or two hands. I can’t, and I’m not even close. So I probably can’t relate to this show as well as many others can.

But it may make the people who do relate closely to Tomoko feel better (or worse, I’m not sure) to know that even people with many friends feel lonely. You’ll go home after spending the entire day having fun with your family and friends, crawl into bed, and feel incredibly alone. I think it’s part of the human condition.

But you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. They’re just as lonely as you are. Be lonely together instead of alone.

For those with religious inclinations, this is one of my favorite passages, from Stringfellow’s Instead of Death, courtesy of Experimental Theology:

 Loneliness is the experience in which the fear of a man of his own personal death coincides with his fright of the death of everyone and everything else. Loneliness is not a unique or an isolated experience; on the contrary, it is the ordinary but still overwhelming anxiety that all relationships are lost…[L]oneliness so vividly anticipates the death of such other lives that they are of no sustenance or comfort to the life and being of the one who suffers loneliness.

And yet…

 You are not alone. Do not be so proud any more of your loneliness. It is only the shadow of your death, and your death, your loneliness, is like the death of every other person. But your death is overpowered in the patience of God’s love for you. Your fear that you are not loved does not negate the gift which God’s love is. Your loneliness does not avoid God’s love, it only repudiates His love for you. You cannot flee from God’s presence. You are not alone.


 Unwelcome, misunderstood, despised, rejected, unloved and misloved, condemned, betrayed, deserted, helpless–He was delivered to death, as if He were alone.

Christ descended into hell: Christ is risen from death.

4 thoughts on “Watamote 02 – 04 — Living a Fulfilling Life by Saturday

  1. As much as the anime tries to create a story about a girl trying to be popular… I read the manga and…well… so far, the entirety is played as a pure tragic comedy with all punchline, but no payoff, not a lot of options, and no development. Basically every chapter is Tomoko spelling out “NORMALFAGS SUCK! I wish I WAS AN ALPHA NORMALFAG! MUST RELY ON ANIME AND GAMES! IT FAILED! I WILL NEVER BE POPULAR! T_T”

    It’s sad since it seems like she can be REAL popular in 2ch if there ever is one in the anime world. She is HEAVILY famous NOW in IRL 4chan for her… social awkward quirkiness. But I’m guessing they are following the “No Girls Online” anime route.

    Well, it’s really better to have a few close friends than loads of distant “followers”. If I wanna be a friend to others, I should know if this is in the long run. because I lost a lot of friends in the past. Friends come and go and it’s human nature… True friends is where shit gets great.

    1. Yeah, they do have one trick and make little progress, and eventually it will get old. But for the time being I still find it very entertaining.

      And “followers” are a poor substitute for friends.

  2. Anyone can relate to this and some more than others. Although I dont consider her bitterness too attractive outside of the pity me thing, shes still a victim of the circumstance of her personality. I wont blame the victim.

    Its better not to pretend these situations merely in fiction. I….(I hear you groaning because you know where this is going)….I moved and changed schools several times as a kid and was awful at making friends and even when I was no longer the new kid I couldnt fit in. There were also consecutive years when I had none at school. In my case bullying helped condition me, and by high school I had mostly given up and just tried to be invisible so Id be left alone. It worked and I preferred it to bullying, though I still had a hard time. Watamote is fortunate in that by high school bullying tends to be less common than more managable ostrachization.

    At my high school I only had one real friend, and when he moved I spent my junior year eating alone between buildings like in the latest chapter of watamote. This friendless and forgotten at school phenonmeon has happened enough times that someone….the watamote author I mean…. also experienced it and wrote about it. Someone who hasnt experienced the extent this firsthand would have trouble understanding the problems and scope of deepening emotions faced. Honestly i do not think she’s drawing as much from her imagination as from experience, and the realness is what makes it relatable and is what keeps people watching.

    The show is a little too close to home, and what someone else would find funny I’ve experienced and the memories still make me cringe. But its perversely reassuring knowing tragedy still loves company. I don’t expect a cheap miracle ending, but I’m looking forward to what watamote thinks is her best solution at the close of the cour.

    1. Thanks for sharing. You’re right in that I can’t entirely relate. I’ve mainly seen this from the outside. I’m kind of weird in that I have a lot of friends, but many of my friends are loners that don’t have many friends, so I’ve known people in similar situations. I try to include them in things but there’s only so much you can do as the problem is partially self-inflicted, much like Tomoko’s.

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