A really touchy subject that I have is friendship. I don’t really hang out with people nor talk about anime a whole lot in public. The friends that I have at school stay at school, and that’s the way it’s been for a long time. I study, do my work, laugh a lot, then head home to catch the simulcasts! So looking back at my freshman year, was I excited to start? Waiting for new things? Not really, but this new freshman girl, Tomoko, expects her whole world to change when she starts high school – and for the greater good!
Kuroki Tomoko is a boring girl; she googled it. The kid spends hours, even nights, watching anime, playing otome games and browsing the web. In middle school, her best friend, Yu-chan, and herself were “really cool,” and now entering high school, she intends to keep that middle school rep. She expects her new school life to be like it is in her anime: eating on the roof, sitting by the window, casually flirting with boys . . . Instead, she’s an unnoticeable, hobbling disaster that can’t even say goodbye to her own teacher! Unsocial, flat-chested, bags so large under her eyes it’s a wonder she can even hold her head as high as she does! But she’s determined to achieve flawless, and that’s all that matters, right?
I could spend this entire review saying how relatable Tomoko is, but I’ll leave those sunrises for you. Kuroki is a fragile, shaggy black-haired little girl, her main feature being her bulbous, emerald and sleep-deprived sagging eyes. Though a failure, Tomoko always tries to do what all of the popular kids in anime do. She merely wants to fit in with her peers by trying new things and improving her social status. With that said, her perseverance is unmatched by any other character out there! She never gives up, telling herself constantly that “there’s still plenty of time left to change!” And that’s why I love this cute mess :3
Kuroki isn’t that perfect, however, as she never follows follows up on her training to become recognized by the world. Coming so close in her many new experiences, she either turns back running and crying or fails so miserably that it just becomes sad to watch her and this show. If she truly wanted to become popular, she would’ve stayed in each game just a little longer to see what’s beyond the credits, so to speak.
The other characters, Tomoko’s realistic mom and dad, her easily-angered brother Tomoki, and her transformed old friend Yu-chan are great when supporting Kuroki throughout the show. They never bring her down (except for Yu-chan being a hottie) or ruin the anime. Her family and friend are good contrast to her abstract way of thinking. Later we are introduced to the student council president, who hides in the back calmly and gracefully giving Tomoko the attention she wants; a pure role model to follow.
Visually, I am reminded of Negima!? when I watch this anime. The show features a unique geometric lighting that highlights what is important or what you as a viewer should be following. The anime even grayscale individuals, Kuroki included, to show depression or if they are unimportant. Tomoko herself gets many intense and brightly colored scenes that capture her anger or stress, which are just hilarious. As for the graphics, it’s hit or miss, really. I was fond of them.
Okay, I don’t like screamo music. At all. But this opening, “No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!” by Konomi Suzuki and Kiba of Akiba is hardcore punk . . . and I find myself drawn to it and its powerfully flashy scenes. It is an exaggerated yet symbolic song of struggle – ideal for this anime.
The rest of the OST is filled with what feels like old-timey film or game music, just updated. Many of the tracks are foolish piano melodies or outlandish tunes, while some are clearly made from a soundboard of sorts. It’s hard to describe, yet I don’t really need to since it’s nothing outstanding.
I feel a male audience is best suited for this anime, for my sister only took pity upon Kuroki Tomoko, realizing that she herself wasn’t that much of a loser and saw right through the comedy. Boys would sympathize, then move on to attempt to enjoy the hilarity behind the small details of the show.
WataMote was hilarious and tons of fun at first, but it doesn’t really resolve itself. By the end Tomoko is still an unsocial loner; however, the student council president does catch her eye. Perhaps if it had like 2-3 more episodes or an OVA for resolution so that I could forgive Kuroki for her mistakes, because it certainly doesn’t need a sequel to drag things out. I enjoyed this anime’s fresh/complex comedy, but not its tragedy. WataMote was great; it just wasn’t done quite yet.
Presently, a copy of the anime by Sentai Filmworks with a fabulously dubbed Tomoko by Monica Rial sits on my shelf waiting for a text from its best friend or a “hey” from a super hot boy – “Screw you guys.” – Kuroki Tomoki
This was a great way to spend parts of my winter vacation. I hope you are all doing well, too! A “hello” to my new followers and those already following! You’re all choosing the right cafe to relax at 😉 Hit the like or follow button for more material and until next time, this has been
– Takuto, your host