Saturday, September 28, 2013


I did a post like this for Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai as well, so... here goes.  By the way, the actual real title of this series is way too fucking long, so I'm just going to call it "WataMote" like the rest of the internet does.

Once again, something in entertainment comes along that draws a parallel to my life.  In WataMote, the main character is quite visibly introverted and has social anxiety disorder.  My social anxiety is very much self-diagnosed, but it very simply explains a lot of things throughout my entire life, so the engineer in me likes that explanation.

My only issue with this anime, and Haganai, is that the main character is totally inept, as the main group was in Haganai.  They want to find happiness, but they go about it the complete and total wrong way.  I know, there needs to be something for entertainment value, but for someone like me who finds that these things resonate fairly well with me, it's kind of disappointing.

I guess my main concern with WataMote is how nobody really notices that Tomoko is suffering and unable to figure out what to do.  Not even her mother.  This does correlate to everyday life where "if you're not an extrovert, fuck you" is an unwritten rule of society, but still.  The only person who takes any sort of notice is the student council's cultural festival chair, but that only happens with three episodes left and there isn't really time to expand on it.  The person that Tomoko is closest to being able to call a friend effectively doesn't get to do anything, except for an anonymous gesture that just confuses her more than anything else.

I'm not even talking about Yuu, who was Tomoko's middle school friend.  By the end of the anime Tomoko is referring to vast swaths of females as "bitches", including Yuu.  Yet she keeps her around to try and get the perspective of someone who she sees as "popular".

(by the way, those glasses look horrible on Yuu.  I know I'm not a fan of large-frame glasses, but still, they just look awkward.)

Honestly, one of the best things about WataMote is its opening song.  At first you're going "so metal", but then as you keep watching and see her breaking the chains and grabbing the sun you realize it's all a metaphor.

I know I'm discussing fiction here, but it does highlight a point that echoes real life for a large number of people: grade school life kinda sucks.  If you get instinctively seen as a "runt of society", you're stuck that way until college.  No joke.  You're effectively forced to mature faster as you constantly wish that everyone else around you would grow the fuck up and realize that all the things they're talking about are entirely trivial and don't matter.  You end up in "that group" that all the cool kids point and laugh at: the group of people that hang out with each other because nobody else will.

In this sense, WataMote and Haganai are kind of grafted at the hip.  Tomoko would probably have joined the Neighbors Club if she'd been a character in Haganai.  Hell, the series even references Haganai, among other things (I counted several Haruhi and K-On! references as well).

If you're going to watch this series, it does have plenty of entertaining moments.  Episode 8, however, was quite difficult for me to watch towards the end because of a scene that seemed to take forever that I knew would all end in tears.  Recalling the amazing opening song, episode 10 has the best transition to it by far.  Also, get yourself a copy of the OP single.  It has three versions of the opening song (karaoke versions don't count).  The first one is the one they used for the anime.  The second one is the opening song with just the female singer doing all the vocals.  The third one is the counterpart to that, with all male vocals.  They're pretty lulzy, especially the male version.

Anyway, I have to draw this post to a close somehow.  I'd give some inspirational words of "ignore the idiots that the grade school environment surrounds you with and make your real friends based on common interests in college" or something, but I hate inspirational speech.  It just sounds cheesy, even if it's true.

Also, WataMote is entertaining.  Hard to watch at points, but entertaining the rest of the time.

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