Watamote Episode 2: BURRRRNNNN!

Yep, this was the show I was planning on blogging alongside Free!. Granted, I’m still not sure if that was the correct idea, because as psgels said, it seems a bit of a one-trick pony. But I’m not really watching anything else that gets me fired up to write episodic entries for each week, so what the hell?

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Now if you follow me on Twitter (or read the timeline I recently put on the side of this blog), you’ll know I had my complaints regarding this episode and whether or not I really wanted to watch this series throughout its entire run. The big problem with this thing is that most of the comedy revolves around Tomoko making snide remarks regarding her reclusive lifestyle without any sort of straight man or other supporting cast members to back her up. Unfortunately, from what I’ve been told about the source material (and there’s no way Oonuma is going to change it), that’s pretty much the only joke delivery this thing has. Not that I’m really interested in analyzing comedy or anything (otherwise, I’d be blogging Genshiken), but the main thing that attracts me to Watamote is the social recluse stuff that supports the jokes. And if that part never evolves, then I’m not going to be able to last.

Personally, the only real part I had any interest in was Tomoko meeting her nerd friend, Yuu-chan, from years ago. Sort-of-predictably, she’s now beautiful ala Fatty Magoo from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or any other romantic comedy that has used this trope. Because I’ve seen this cliche so many times (and because it reminded me of Princess Jellyfish, which is not something an anime should ever do), I only found it slightly more interesting than the tolerable sixteen or so minutes prior to it. Still, I was happy she was at least interacting with someone besides her brother, and the contrast between the two was kind of cool. The ending was definitely my favorite part because it was the only real area the writing got creative, but I wasn’t exactly enthralled by it, mostly because of what happened previously kind of sapped my energy.

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After a quick chat with some of my online buddies regarding whether this episode was good and some thing though, I’ve come to realize that the ending was pretty brilliant depending on how you see it. Min from Metanorn thinks that you could interpret that scene as Tomoko actually being able to socialize if she tries, but she just won’t make the effort to. I came up with an additional theory specially regarding Yuu-chan herself. You see, Yuu-chan may be pretty, but she’s still a nerd just like her. However, that hasn’t stopped her from being social and getting a boyfriend, which was pretty much the deathblow of knowledge that Tomoko suffered this episode (and it was an awesome one too, let me tell you). I realized at that point that Yuu-chan is basically what Tomoko could have been if she had put effort into escaping her current lifestyle. Both theories aren’t the most profound an they’re both interrelated to each other in that it’s Tomoko’s fault she’s the way she is, but they’re still relevant to this day and I still find them very interesting. Once I had those thoughts in mind, the episode got a lot better for me in hindsight and I can laugh harder when I replay that ending and the sad credits that accompany it.

That’s right, I laugh at Tomoko’s misery. Can’t really relate to her too much since she’s no Houtarou Oreki, although that doesn’t matter to me as long as I find her interesting.

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So yeah, I’ll probably stick with this to the end. It’s not going to win any awards from me or anything, but if it at least gives Tomoko somebody new to play off of each week or so, or at least explore new methods of social reclusion, I might able to get into it. Don’t fail me now Watamote.

4 responses to “Watamote Episode 2: BURRRRNNNN!

  1. I found the ending incredibly moving. It marked the first time she ever admitted out loud that high school hasn’t been going well. And while I agree that theoretically there’s nothing impeding her from changing like her friend, the show derives it’s humor (and emotional charge) from the fact that really, she CAN’T change. For all of her narcissism and delusions, she’s socially awkward to the core of her being. She could get the best makeover in the world, and unlike her friend, she’d still be who she is.

    I don’t know how they can end this show and stay true to the manga, but so far, they’re doing an amazing job of portraying the real awkwardness of being a teenager in high school, something you don’t see very often in any media.

    • I really hope that’s not where the show derives it humor, at least not with the current method of delivery it’s going. Having a girl narrate how pathetic her life is and how she can’t change isn’t funny. You need to mix your jokes up ala It’s Always Sunny or something similar if you want to keep this premise fresh.