WataMote ep8: liar, liar, life on fire!
Let’s stop pretending. Shouldn’t this show be given a different, but equally ridiculously long title like, A Series of Unfortunate Failures of a Unfortunate Fool? No? Yeah, no. That was a failure all by itself.
Liar, liar, lick spit,
Your tongue shall be slit,
And all the dogs in the town
Shall have a little bit
– some old book of nursery rhymes
There’s something to be said about the ability to consistently fool someone. And that’s that it’s a commitment. Everytime you lie to someone, you have to make the decision how far you’re going to go with that lie, how far you’re willing to follow it up. Because the option to dump that lie is always there, but the farther you take that lie, the higher the price is for giving it up. After all, the longer you’ve been lying to someone or something (an organization or your family for instance), the more embarrassing and ingrained the lie. So you can only imagine what would happen when Tomoko has to face her cousin, who she’s been lying to for some time about her love life (by saying she has one) and her popularity (by insinuating that that’s even a possibility for her).
House of cards people. House of cards.
Tomoko’s morning is basically shattered when she learns that her boring, pointless summer routine is going to be shattered by news of eventual arrival of her cousin. The problem with this isn’t that the girl is really nosy, or annoying. The problem is another problem that Tomoko has created for herself. She’s been lying to her cousin for quite some time now about having a boyfriend who’s really horny and really likes her. Of course, this problem isn’t a two-fold dilemma. First of all, she’s nothing like the stories her young naive cousin has heard. Secondly, her young naive cousin may not be so naive anymore, and is a little less younger. She’s a middle school student now, so Tomoko’s worried her fairy tales won’t hold up nearly as well. This is a call to action! Tomoko has to do something now!
Tomoko decides to go with her fairy tales and live a lie. She figures that she’s been telling her cousin slutty stories about her for so long, that she needs to transform into a slut. So she decides to call her friend (yes, I’ll use her name finally), Yuu. Unfortunately for her, Yuu is busy having summer fun with her friends, and is too busy to help. HA! That’s what you get for calling your only friend a slut just for having a boyfriend and social skills!
Not wanting to fail so easily, Tomoko takes matters into her own hands and goes to local clothing store to find the latest in “slut gear”. To her surprise, she’s chosen quite a popular place for all sorts of fashionable girls. She’s appalled to see grade school kids much more fashionable than her (it doesn’t take much). What she ends up deciding on is rather lazy, but not bad. A cute jean skirt, a tank top and – and some star covered knee socks. Ok, maybe it’s not such a decent outfit. She’s not satisfied with the look though, thinking that it lacks some nuanced touches, like hickeys. Hickeys! She tries to create them herself using her own mouth, but the suction isn’t strong enough to get the marks to stick. This is when I thought, “oh please don’t let her find a vacuum cleaner!” And that’s when Tomoko’s mother walked in saying she needed to vacuum her room. You can guess how this goes – almost. Tomoko ends up putting disgusting marks from the vacuum cleaner all over her body, and almost kills herself when the powerful Dyson-like machine attaches to her mouth. What a horrible and stupid way to die that would be. When Tomoko’s mother comes in to see if she’s done, she sees her daughter covered in these horrible marks and flips out on her – as she should! And for some reason, Tomoko has had enough and lashes out back at her. Bad idea.
A lot has happened before Tomoko’s cousin shows up, but she finally arrives, though it’s too a most awkward scene. Tomoko’s been forced to put on a long sleeve shirt over what she’s wearing to hide all the bruises from the vacuum. But what her cousin really notices is the bandage over the huge throbbing slap mark Tomoko’s mother left not too long ago.
Putting initial weirdness aside, Tomoko accompanies her cousin to the library, where she is able to give herself more time to come up with impressive lies to tell her cousin. After all, she’s been too busy trying to look the part to have time to figure out the elaborate backstory to back it up. To her great surprise, one of the guys she met a few episodes ago greets her at the library. It’s the guy with brown hair who left her the umbrella. He did commit a slight social faux pau by calling her by her first name. At this point I was just hoping she wouldn’t blow it by saying the wrong thing, fighting with him (a bit out of character, I know), or drooling on his crotch. And for the meantime I wasn’t disappointed. Awkward as their encounter may have been, he was a nice guy and she didn’t act too strange – for her. At the very least, got some social interaction experience under her belt and learned that his name was Kosaka.
Tomoko takes her little bit of experience too far though, when later that evening she lies to her cousin, telling her that Kosaka is the boyfriend she’s been talking about. Right then a loud “ka-ching” sound rang off in my head, as I imagined the virtual capital she had borrowed, and the skyrocketing interest this would entail. She just attached a long standing lie to a guy she had only recently and rarely met. To make the lie more true, she’s put her eggs into one basket. This mistake shall be her downfall, the failure of years’ worth of lying.
The next day, a rainy day (less than subtle foreshadowing I assume), Tomoko and her cousin anxiously return to the library, only to see Kosaka happily escorting another young lady into the building. A detour is made into the bathroom, where Tomoko tries to find a way to cope with what she’s seen and how she’s going to explain it. That problem will only be amplified though, as her cousin takes matters into her own hands and confronts Kosaka about the perceived problem. Tomoko leaves the bathroom only to find out that her cousin is unraveling everything she’s done, exposing her in the most embarrassing way to a guy she likes. Tomoko tells her cousin to go somewhere while she attempts to explain things to the guy, but the damage is too great. She has no choice but to make a full apology to the guy, one that includes bowing to him on her hands and knees. Her cousin sees this, and it’s the beginning of the end for their relationship as they know it.
Tomoko can tell from the look in her cousin’s eyes that something’s changed. So to help elevate her standing again, she takes her to one of her favorite hangouts. It’s a convenience store where a bunch of kids play magical card games in the back. At first, Tomoko seems like the big dog in the area and her cousin begins to believe that she does this to help kids out and be friendly with them. It’s a little silly that she plays with kids so much younger than her, but they seem to admire and look up to her. But as the encounters continue, she sees that Tomoko isn’t really that nice. And even worse, she witnesses her swindling a kid she was losing a game to by using slight of hand cheats! And with that, her innocence is lost!
Tomoko’s cousin’s visit ends that afternoon. She says goodbye to her relatives, but takes special care to be nice to Tomoko. It seems abject admiration has turned to abject pity.
End of Episode.
What more can be said about this situation? It’s the saddest fall from grace. Tomoko is unable to keep her dignity even in the presence of a naive, young admirer. And as usual, it’s all her fault. Her dishonesty to her cousin was already deplorable enough, even before this episode. But here we see her take the shortest length of rope possible and still hang herself. She easily could have kept it simple and rode her small, baseless lies for another summer. She could have said she was taking a break from boyfriend for a chance summer fling, or that he was out of town for some camp or event. But as usual she cracks under pressure.
I’d say that this episode was one of the sadder, more pitiable ones, and less one of the embarrassingly funny ones in my book. While I have no reason to pity Tomoko in this situation, it was still painful to watch. Still, a decent episode that I’m sure more than a few people will relate towards. But at least let me leave you guys with some words of advice. If this episode has taught you anything, it should be that lying and cheating are bad things. Unless you’re good at them. Then either become a pro wrestler or a politician and you’ll get far in life. That last part wasn’t part of the show, it’s just my own personal advice.
Note: “talking out of your hymen” is definitely a new phrase I’ve never heard before. I’ll have to put that in my “phrases I learned from anime” folder, right next to “wet as an otter’s pocket”. Thanks a lot Aku no Hana.