Watamote 05 – 07 — I’m Losing Interest

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I really like the idea behind Watamote, but… it’s getting old. As many people told me it would. There’s only so much time I can spend watching this girl be socially incompetent before I begin losing my patience.

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Because aside from Tomoko making a fool of herself, what has actually happened in the show? Nothing. She is exactly the same as she was six months ago. Her life is exactly the same as it was six months ago. What am I supposed to be getting out of this?

It would be one thing if nothing changed and the show had me rolling on the floor laughing. But it doesn’t. In fact, it isn’t all that funny. To be fair I found it amusing in the first few episodes, but at this point they’re just digging the same old tired, used jokes out of the rubbish bin over and over again.

So come on, Watamote, try something new. Or at the very least start making me laugh again.

14 thoughts on “Watamote 05 – 07 — I’m Losing Interest

  1. I dropped Watamote around the fourth episode or so when a bunch of manga readers informed me what its pattern was going to be. Basically, my problems with Uchouten and Penguindrum and the second season of Haruhi, except without the narrative that gives the repetition some context.

    On top of that, for something that’s not afraid to be exploitative if need be regarding social problems (like when Tomoko wanted to get molested), the show lacks bite. It’s like someone took my favorite TV show, Daria, removed almost everything that made me love it, gave it Silver Link animation tricks, and threw it to me as a pity fuck. Yeah, no thank you Shin Oonuma.

    1. It does have no bite. It’s really only a criticism of people like Tomoko. Which are already really easy to make fun of, so much so that there is no point.

      What repetition are you talking about in Uchouten Kazoku? It doesn’t seem all that repetitive to me. (Then again, neither did Penguindrum, aside from the ritualized survival strategy scenes.)

  2. Yes, the manga is repetitive, but the anime does have some additional plot and jokes, That’s why I am still watching. For example:
    -dad found her asleep with yaoi porn being displayed on the television
    -mom found out about her eroge dubbing
    -she saw cats doing it on the street
    I don’t remember seeing those in the manga.

  3. I’ve always thought that the humor in Watamote, both the anime and the manga, is almost incidental to the point it’s trying to get across. Absolutely, it’s trying to be funny, but because of the “avert your eyes” nature of it, it’s not fall-on-the-floor, my-sides-ache type humor. In fact, if anything, I think the anime makes that even clearer than the manga, though I would agree that one of its small failings is that some of the humor really does seem to try too hard, and therefore fall a bit flat.

    But to my way of thinking, humor isn’t really the main point of Watamote.

    To me, Watamote is an achingly over-the-top portrayal of delusions and social anxiety, and how sometimes we can get caught in self-reinforcing feedback loops that make everything seem hopeless — even though it doesn’t have to be that way.

    As many have pointed out, no one is mean to Tomoko. In fact, for the most part, the few people she interacts with are exceedingly kind (e.g., the boy who comes back and leaves her an umbrella while she sleeps on the bench). Somehow, though, through the fog of her mind, Tomoko never notices these things.

    The end of most episodes drive home the incredible melancholy of Tomoko’s circumstances: when she tells her friend that she’ll do her best to improve her high school life, only to discover that the friend has spent the day with her because of a fight with her boyfriend; when she has to bribe her brother to watch her light fireworks by herself in the yard; and most movingly, when she tears up on the roof of the mall while watching “fireworks” with two middle schoolers, before giving into the moment and trying to enjoy it.

    I realize it’s not for everyone, but I find Watamote to be deeply emotional, at one and the same time an ode to how basically decent most people are, and how we so often fail to notice that fact.

    1. It certainly is a portrayal of social anxiety and negative feedback loops. But I don’t think that’s mutually exclusive with being humorous. I’m not sure which one should be considered the “main” focus, but there’s no reason the show shouldn’t succeed at both. At the moment, it is doing a much better job at conveying Tomoko’s social anxiety. But the fact that it’s falling flat in the humor department makes the viewer lose interest and makes this message harder to sit and listen to.

      I see this show as a sort of successor to Welcome to the NHK. Welcome to the NHK also deals with these sorts of social anxiety issues, albeit from the perspective of an adult. But it does a much better job conveying its message because the humor is drop dead hilarious, and because the episodes have a much greater variety to them.

  4. I personally find watamote’s humor to be funny a some points, but this kind of awkward humor makes it out to be very uncomfortable for me to watch at times.

    You can watch the rest of watamote if you decide to watch it some more over at my site, rawrANIME.tv in HD!

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