Sunday, December 8, 2013

Watamote Review

Series: Watamote (Watashi go Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!) 
Genre:  Comedy, School, Shounen, Slice of Life
Summary: Kuroki Tomoko is a super popular, high school girl who has had 50 years of dating experience and 100 boys... in the Otome game world. In the real world, she is a 15-year-old shut-in who has all of the qualities of a "mojo" (a gloomy or unpopular woman). However, when school isn't going as she expected, and she isn't as popular as she had thought she was, she takes a look at herself in the mirror for the first time in a few years, and has some shocking revelations... 

Watamote gained extensive popularity very quickly around the internet for its "relatable" stories of geekdom and social awkwardness. Because of this, I was prompted to watch the series to see if I would enjoy it as much as it's been glorified. As I watched it, I didn't feel humored at all. Watamote's reputation covered up its many flaws as an anime. 

Story: 4/10
 The plot of Watamote follows Kuroki Tomoko as she enters high school, expecting to be wildly popular among the boys. Of course, this turns out to be far from the truth as she is completely introverted. The show simply proceeds to show Tomoko's sad attempts at becoming a more social person. In order to stay true to the manga, there is no development in the storyline. It's merely a series of Tomoko's failures in the real world. Now, this should be hilarious and relatable, but I ended up feeling absolutely pitiful by the end of it. No one should be that introverted and lonely. While there probably is some out there that can connect to her, I barely could. Some moments of the show I laughed at Tomoko's poor decisions, but most of the time I felt uncomfortable. It ended up leaving a negative impression on me. 

Art: 9/10
This is probably one of the factors of the show that greatly appealed to me. The animators didn't skimp out and their price was nicely paid. Watamote's art is filled with ambience and bright colors. The character and setting designs are lovely to look at, even though most of the background characters were just gray bodies. The animation was high quality and nicely done. 

Sound: 8/10
The sounds of Watamote are above average. Some fields of it were definitely great while others felt bland to me. The voice actress for Tomoko did a fantastic job of conveying her personality. It really sounded like an introverted teenage girl, especially during scenes where Tomoko had to interact with other people. The opening sequence is pretty... unique compared to other opening songs and I usually skip it, save for one episode where the transition from anime to opening song was AMAZING. The ending sequence is sung by Tomoko's voice actress and pretty cute, but not good enough for me to get hooked on. Songs and voices together, Watamore has an above average sound. 

Characters: 7/10
While the plot for Watamote was pretty stagnant, I gotta say, the characters are pretty interesting. Tomoko has a lot of personality as a person. Even though she's still socially awkward and strange, she brings a lot of humor to the show. Her wild ideas and fantasies end up creating the craziest situations. It's a deal breaker that she gets absolutely no development, but she's filled with great interest as a main character. A couple of the side characters were fun as well, especially Tomoko's non-empathetic younger brother, Tomoki, who has to sit through hearing about Tomoko's sad life. Despite the zero-development, the characters are somewhat enjoyable, but not enough to be lovable. 

Enjoyment: 5/10
At first, Watamote was interesting, but as the episodes went on, my feelings for the show went from interested to pitiful. I couldn't help but feel extremely uncomfortable while watching Tomoko fantasizing about being popular while being totally introverted. At the end of each episode, I felt sorry for her instead of feeling entertained. I could not enjoy it all after the second half. Watamote should have been filled with dark humor, but ended up filling me with uncomfort. 

Overall: 6/10 
Watamote honestly could have been really good. The manga is hilarious, but the adaptation was not. While the characters and animation are great, the upsetting blatant storyline and "humor" keep me from liking it as much as other people do. 


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