Home > Episode by Episode > Watamote ep5: it’s just not that easy!

Watamote ep5: it’s just not that easy!

I should feel ashamed of myself for looking forward to watching the shattered dreams of this girl on my screen. but they really are too hilarious. Here we go, week five of Watamote.

This week’s adventure begin with another bright idea that Tomoko has come up with from watching someone or something else. Watching a Haruhi knock-off anime (aren’t most anime that now- HA! Clever!), she gets the impression that expressionless character types are popular. She makes her goal for the day to go through the entire day completely expressionless. And as you can expect, it leads to a myriad of problems.

For one, she hasn’t accounted for he usual antics and their consequences. She’s once again pilfered food from her brother, and when he confronts her her expressionless demeanor just comes off as a callous insult to him. This leads her to having her face receive a brutal Iron Claw. A classic technique, and one of my favorites for disciplining children.

Then when she gets to school, she realizes that she actually has to have people talk to her for them to notice that she’s not very talkative. it’s sort of a “if a tree falls in the woods and no ones’ there to hear it” situation. If someone is acting weird, but no one notices, does it even matter? In this case, it’s a hard no.

Her expressionless endeavor only leads to more problems when she goes to a local cafe to pose and look cool with a coffee in by her. But her lack of social grace leads her to get a giant cappuccino, without any idea how to drink such a thing, she then ruins it with too much everything, and finally she falls flat on her face trying to leave the establishment. I’d say it’s only natural for her to break out in tears as she did after all that, especially after landing on your face.

Tomoko’s next attempt to be popular? Get sticker photos taken with a friend. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the plan. The one friend she does have is busy for the week, so she asks her brother, who barely manages to decline the offer without punching her. So Tomoko is left to take the pics by herself. This may be one of my favorite gags so far of the show, as she just ends up taking horrible, ghoulish pics, and then sticking them all over her brother’s room. It’s just a moment you have to see.

Attempt number three for the episode involves Tomoko once again taking something in pop culture, and completely underestimating what it takes to actually get involved. On TV she sees a successful cabaret girl talk about how getting into the business has improved her conversational skills and popularity. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous as well. Tomoko sees this as a quick and easy opportunity to shoot into the high life, figuring that if she can survive the cutthroat feminine world, then she’ll be on easy street.

He plan is very well thought out though, as she attempts to master just two skills, and only accomplishes her goal in her pitiful delusional mind. She then heads to the red light district to find a place to hire her, but all that ends up happening is a neon accented panic attack as she sprints out of there. It looks like Tomoko wants to hold on to her innocence just a little bit longer.

End of episode.

I get the feeling that the director is having a lot of fun working on this show. It shows, and I appreciate it. All over I see little narrative and artistic flourishes that help illustrate Tomoko’s demeanor creatively. Also, this show has a love for parody that really appeals to me. It’s similar pop culture kind of angle that Kami Nomi does, though this doesn’t focus as much on video game tropes. Best of all, the show is just funny. I especially love how often when Tomoko tries to do something nice for her brother, it comes off as a clever troll attempt from her, when it’s really not.

The show still doesn’t hesitate to kick it’s main character when it’s down as much as possible, but at this point I’m not nearly as concerned about her mental well being. Five episodes into this show, it seems pretty clear that most of the problems presented here are manufactured through Tomoko’s own broken delusional mind. There’s still plenty of pity, I still think she’s on the verge of needing professional help. And I still think deep down she’s a tainted, yet adorable character. It’s just that I no longer have a pressing need to see her improve very much. If there is progress being made here, it’s because she’s beating it into herself through failure.


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