Home > Episode by Episode > Watamote ep4: awkward erotic asphyxiation

Watamote ep4: awkward erotic asphyxiation

I’ve read a lot of interesting articles, but it’s rare that I put them into practice. Also, I’ve usually taken as personal advice, that you shouldn’t immediately try out things that you’re told about early in the morning. Your brain isn’t working at full capacity, and usually when you hear or read about stuff that early, you’re also either drunk or a little bit high. But this doesn’t stop Tomoko in the show’s opening gag, as she sees some scientific thesis about erotic dreams being triggered by a lack of oxygen to the brain while sleeping on your face. All these effort yield are a series of horrific nightmares that continually wake her up. And this goes on until she has to go to school, where she’s way too tired to stay awake, let alone finish a test. And what does that yield us? Well, it yields an awkward scene where Tomoko passes out in class, only to be discovered by a teacher who is too creeped out by her horny face to wake her from her wet dream.

Autoerotic asphyxia . Watamote.

The pity parade continues as Tomoko overhears some girls talking about being groped on public transportation while she’s busy contemplating how to have another erotic dream. Of course their talk leads her to think they’re just whores wanting attention for other for being pretty enough to be molested. She becomes obsessed with the idea to the point of calling her friend (she only has one, so I don’t need to use names) and lying about being molested herself. Oh how low this girl has sunk, or sinks… or has sunken – you get the point!

With all this fuss about molestation, it’s only natural that our next setting takes us to a train.

With all of Tomoko’s big talk the afternoon before, it’s a strangely concise comeuppance to see this episode occur. As the train rapidly fills up with passengers, Tomoko is slamed between people to the point of near suffocation. it’s too her dismay that when she’s finally gotten a little wiggle room that something has decided to fill up the space between her thighs. Tomoko doesn’t know what it is, but she thinks she does. It’s very hard, curved and causing her quite a bit of pain. She starts to regret “crying wolf” the other day, and is seriously worried she’s about to be raped. So when the doors open for the next available stop, she makes a dash out of the train car, holding on to the offending appendage, hoping to catch the molester.

What happens is probably one of the most embarrassing episodes I think I’ve ever seen an anime character suffer through. What was actually “raping” her was a bokken, a Japanese wooden sword that a girl had dropped and was trying to retrieve.


OK, I’m beginning to see a pattern here. As Tomoko once again sits in class, she overhears her female classmates once again talking about something. This time they’re talking about swimsuits for the upcoming summer season. But what catches Tomoko’s notice this time though, is that she can see their bras through their white school shirts. She notices that she’s only wearing a tank top, and her complex begins to kick in again.

I found this scene particularly funny just because of the little touch of the old 4:3 aspect ratio, the shounen battle manga setting, and the emphasis on the price of panties as a measurement of power. Tomoko’s imagining of putting her classmates in their place through the use of panties, is just another sign that she’s horribly out of touch with what’s even remotely normal socially. But once out of her daydream, Tomoko does plan to take practical action.

Once again her friend is called, in hopes of her learning where and how to properly buy panties. We’ve already learned that her mother buys all her unmentionables at dirt cheap prices at the nearest supermart. So this really will be another horribly awkward and clueless social situation. As if we could or should expect anything less.

From the beginning, the whole gathering is awkward (my favorite word for this show apparently). Tomoko obsesses over the look of her whole outfit, and when her friend shows up, it makes things even worse. Once in the store, Tomoko is completely overwhelmed by the atmosphere and the task of being around other women and underwear. Her friend does her best to guide her, though she does get kinda hit on by Tomoko by accident when Tomoko’s inner monologue fails her.

And what does this trip yield? One pair of slightly frilly, but plain panties. Tomoko’s far too embarrassed to put them on though, and shoves them in her skirt pocket when her brother Tomoki pops in to complain about her eating his food. This comes back to bite her later though. Where an awkward encounter gives one of her teachers the impression that she’s taken off her panties to fan herself from the heat.  To top off the whole failure of an experience, Tomoko rips up the panties in the bathroom later out of embarrassment and anger.

*le sigh*

It doesn’t end there either.  Even her good luck turns embarrassing, as she goes to buy a “boy love” game, she gets entered in a raffle where she wins a prize.  The prize?  A giant “personal massager”.  Yeah, I would’ve have asked for a paper bag for both of those items.  She’s left walking down the street with that stuff out in the open.  Does the embarrassment ever end?

NO.  I’ll just say that the last scene is one of my worst nightmares as a dad…

End of episode.

I’m not sure if this show answered any questions I’ve had in terms of character development for the show, but it did sure as hell make me laugh and gasp.  As each episode passes, I’m starting to see how this show got so popular in manga format.  I’m also seeing the formula more clearly in this episode as well.  Tomoko gets the idea to do something from a misunderstanding in class or in public.  She attempts to tackle that problem in order to become more popular.  She fails, and the failure leads to hilarity or is the punchline; rinse and repeat.  Things change a bit, but I get the general idea.

I still want to know more about the relationship and the dichotomy between Tomoko and her friend.  They’re such polar opposites that it makes me want to know her friend more intimately to understand how she ticks, and what exactly the message the show is trying to get across.  It’s something I discusses with AJtheFourth on her post for episode 3 of the show.  When Tomoko visits the lingerie store with her friend, we get another glimpse of them in public, and we see that there’s no way she doesn’t know how awkward Tomoko naturally is.  Whether through phone conversations or in public, there have been several weird slip-ups that show her that Tomoko leads a very unique life, and does and says some strange things from time to time.  Does she just accept this as it is?  Or are these regular phone calls to ask about the most mundane of social situations going to get on her nerves eventually.  So far she looks like an almost unshakably positive and understanding person.  And this does give me the impression that she, or at least the circumstance is a bit abnormal.  Maybe I’m just looking way too hard into this.  After all, Tomoko is the one who’s not happy and has the problem.  I just feel like somewhere down the line, her friend is going to be the key to her grasping her social problem.  Someone close to Tomoko needs to take a close look at her life and tell her exactly what she’s doing wrong.  Then again, maybe her just attempting to talk to the girls in her class, who she keeps calling sluts, will be the simplest step to gaining some friends, and maybe even some popularity.

Further Reading:

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  1. August 11, 2013 at 00:01

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