Watamote ep2 & 3: not merely water under the bridge
Still trying to catch up on my anime from 2 weeks ago. So once again I keep this inoffensively short.
Episode two revolves around our heroine trying to accumulate worthwhile high school experiences to show off to her old middle school friend. Unfortunately, what she really accumulates is rubbish and a gross misunderstanding. And by the time she meets her friend, she’s dumbfounded by how much she’s change since their previous school year together. Fortunately enough, her get together with her now sparkling old friend turns into a very nice and cathartic rekindling of an old friendship. In a way, they ended up inspiring each other. And were both better off for it.
A pretty cute episode really, there were some nice jokes, and while the show still dwelled on the pitiful, I think the comedy and fun of the episode sunk in with me better than it did the first. I think my favorite gag either being the fat student that uses the main character face as a quick and easy fill in for anything he wants to draw, or when she vomits after eating too much breakfast and trying to energetically run to school.
Also, I can personally attest to doing what she does at th end of an episode by putting on headphones and trying to pick herself up with some upbeat music. Though I definitely can’t say I’ve done anything like listen to drama CD’s for any reason, let alone as a turn on. Ew….
Episode three literally stays under the weather for the entire episode. My god – why didn’t I get that pun until now?! Tomoko seems to try her best as usual to not be noticed while wishing for the most attention possible. And? Well, it works out in the worst way possible.
First there’s the forgotten text book, which leads to her being b*tched out by one of her professors. That little technique she tries to use is as much an illusion as any of her other delusions of grandeur. I suppose the good thing for her is that she did end up sharing a text book with a guy… though she was probably too awkward to enjoy any of it. I did like the little technique this show seems to favor where it’s as if a mosaic is rolling across the screen, peeling away one layer of animation to show another. *Thumbs up* I love it when distinct looks like that show up.
Then Tomoko’s day gets even worse, as the weather has been terrible outside all day, and now someone has stolen her umbrella. This for sure would have made me furious. I heard in Japan cheap umbrellas are used a lot, and it’s not uncommon for them to have a “take a penny, leave a penny” mentality when it comes to their rain protection. But it still seems callous to me, especially in her situation, where she obviously didn’t care about such a thing. Sorry, that was a rant just now. An unwarranted rant, you can see this is a pet peeve of mine.
Oh wait-! Heh, she seems to have parked it just a few feet away and forgot. Whoops.
Then as Tomoko heads home, she notices that the persistent, constant rain has started to make the river under the bridge overflow to the point where it almost touches it. She’s pretty amazed, but a man who happened to be jogging by doesn’t think so. He snatches her up and runs to a safe spot, where he then proceeds to b*tch her out for gawking at a spectacle in such an unsafe spot.
I guess you could say he didn’t think it was merely water under the bridge….
HA! I should make that the title of this post! Hold on a sec…. *scribble scribble scribble* There! Bet you didn’t know I handwrite all these posts before hand did you? Moving on!
Now that that nightmare is over, Tomoko continues her trek home, only to have her poor umbrella easily defeated by a gust of wind. Honestly, the tool was tripped so bare, you’d think the wind ate it and there was nothing left but bones.
She finds shelter at a bus stop, only two be joined by two (cute? handsome?) boys. They make the terrible mistake of trying to start up a conversation with Tomoko. And that just leads to some of THE WORST conversation I’ve ever heard! Seriously! I watch True Blood, and it had less non-sequiturs than she did. Between telling them it’s raining, obsessing over basketball manga and telling them that she’s gonna go take a really heinous sh*t, it was the biggest disaster since I saw the colony drop on Dublin (Zeta Gundam reference, talk about non-sequiturs…)
It’s such a shame that she falls asleep, and doesn’t realize that one of the guys was nice enough to buy her a new umbrella for her. It even stops raining not long after she leaves the bus stop. It just goes to show that she really does have good luck hidden amongst all the bad, she just doesn’t have the timing to realize it.
But the under the weather theme doesn’t stop there, nor does the theme of bad timing. Tomoko’s brother has met a similar fate to her, and lost his umbrella due to the rain and wind. And when he goes to try to dry off, he’s stopped by his sister who’s taking her sweet time in the bathroom. This leads to him getting a fever and being forced to stay home.
When Tomok hears of this at the breakfast table, she’s jealous and livid! Due to the past couple crappy days she’s had, including her encounter with a basketball that could be classified as a mugging, she wants no part of the rest of the school week. And decides to put everything she has into getting sick through exposure to her brother, through the guise of caretaking, of course.
The sh*ttiest caretaking in the world mind you.
In the end, it’s all a pitiful, pitiful failure full of jealousy, pettiness and… failure. And by failure, I mean that she ends up not getting sick and going to school. And then she gets sick and is stuck in bed for the weekend. You fool.
I’m learning that Watamote is a show that you get more out of the closer you pay attention to it. It’s been subtle, but I’m really learning to like this show. There’s an attention to detail that really sucks you in if you’re willing to engage it fairly. Tomoko is annoying, pitiful and has an ugly personality. But this show still manages to squeeze something endearing out of it. This latest episode is a good example of it.
While Tomoko is just g0ing around her brother for the benefit of missing school. She doesn’t totally ignore him, nor does she spend much time attempting to torture him. In a way, she does her own thing. It’s just done in a naturally sh*tty way. And when she does her best, she fails spectacularly, like when she tries to hide from a teacher. It’s complicated and subtle, but it shows how her life has turned for the worse. She puts all her true effort into her impossible and delusional fantasies, but we only see her make the slightest of headway when she attempts to do something in real life. There’s the slimmest of hope for her,but it’s there. More importantly, the show can be wickedly funny, and painful to watch at the same time.
While Tomoko sits at the bus stop and attempts to talk to the boys, the most basic and mundane of social situations (talk about the weather), leads to painful and hilarious interactions and comments. Strange as it may seem, but Watamote not changing anything since the first episode and just being more of itself is winning me over. Maybe I’ll really understand its appeal in time. For now, I just find it interesting and clever. And that’s more than enough to keep me watching.