Characters: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular
aka: Its Not My Fault Im Not Popular
The main character of the series, who struggles with becoming "popular", making friends and coping with adolescence. Unfortunately, this is not helped by her social ineptitude
and unpleasant personality
Despite being incredibly anti-social, she craves the companionship and attention of others. She suffers from a raging superiority complex, vivid delusions of grandeur
, intense self-loathing, and social anxiety so severe that she can barely get out a sentence when talking to someone she is not intimately acquainted with.
The dark circles under her eyes are genetic (and shared by her brother).
- A-Cup Angst
- Adorkable: In spades, when her Jerkass tendencies aren't in play.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Although she doesn't actually hook up with a "bad boy", she seems to be fond of Bastard Boyfriend characters, as evidenced by her enjoyment of a drama CD about Yandere boys.
- Ambiguously Bi: Has pretty obvious sexual lust for Yuu, as well as being shown enjoying the memory of a stranger's panties. That said, she is constantly trying to get with boys, including her own brother, and she enjoys Otome Games as well as Bastard Boyfriend characters. Amusingly, while thinking about what it would be like to be with another girl, Tomoko thinks that her harassment of Yuu is totally normal. It could be argued that Tomoko has been very confused by all those H-Games she has played. In chapter 51 she sees the Yuri Genre Schoolgirl Lesbians Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Yuu as something natural and normal, and so too the Brother-Sister Incest with Tomoki, but she doesn't actively think about getting with girls the way she does about getting a boyfriend, or see herself as a lesbian... until it's a chance to be popular.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Acts like one for Tomoki despite actually being older. According to the volume 5 omake it was her obnoxiousness that caused their once-loving relationship to turn sour. On the other hand, one What If? omake shows that he would end up disliking her even if she were to remain kind to him.
- Butt Monkey: Any of her attempts to become popular always come out wrong for her.
- Character Development: Albeit slowly. By her second year, she's dialing down her schemes to become "popular" and noticed by everyone, just aiming to befriend and talk to people. She's also become more comfortable at cafés and other public places. However, she's also reignited an old feud with a middle-school classmate who ended up in the same school as her.
- Chronic Villainy: She's never managed to break her bad habit of doing Jerkass things.
- Classical Anti-Hero: She doesn't do anything and often is just a jerkass to everyone for whatever reason she can come up with.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: When it comes to Yuu or her brother, the latter of which she declared if he ever brought home a girl, she would take responsibility and ''kill her''.
- Cosmic Plaything: She doesn't realize it, which might be a good thing as the truth might plunge her into the pit of despair or worse, since she can't realize why her attempts to make friends are massive failures.
- Covert Pervert: Played with; since the viewers are always privy to her thoughts, it's easy for us to see that she's very perverted, but most other characters (aside from Tomoki) are unaware of how perverted she really is.
- Creepy Child: Her attempts at being cute often end up making her look very very not cute. In addition her personality has some... quirks that definitely aren't normal.
- Desperately Craves Affection: To the point of making Brother-Sister Incest overtures, with Tomoki none too pleased. Also part of why she's so attached to her only real friend Yuu, besides the Homoerotic Subtext.
- Determinator: Despite the universe doing everything it can to make her give up.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: As shown in chapters 33 and 42, she does not like it when others take pity on her, as she feels patronized by this.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- The Eeyore: She falls into bouts of self-loathing and has a lot of negative thoughts in social situations.
- Exhausted Eye Bags: Seems to be a family trait; however, Tomoko's habit of staying up late at night probably doesn't help, as she notes before trying on glasses to hide them.
- Expy/Distaff Counterpart: Downplayed very hard. An otaku Loser Protagonist who's a master of Dating Sims and has near-zero communication skills? Sounds a lot like a gender-flipped fusion of Keima Katsuragi and Tatsuhiro Satou. But unlike Keima, who is a loner by choice and is perfectly capable of dating real girls in much the same way as fictional ones (given enough encouragement, or coercion for that matter), or Satou, who eventually outgrew his Hikikomori ways, Tomoko repeatedly fails at socializing in real life.
- Failure Hero/Failure Is the Only Option: Done rather well. She can't do anything right. Every time she has a goal it's bound to fail or backfire horribly.
- The few Throw the Dog a Bone moments she gets are usually down to luck and the kindness of others, or when she's not actually trying so hard to become popular.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish to Tomoki's Responsible.
- Friend to All Children: She is fond of kids and enjoys their company. This is Played for Drama, since it serves as a reminder that she doesn't have any friends of her own age.
- Gamer Chick
- Gonk: Often, when emotional.
- There was also the time where she tried to change her appearance, which worked out well until she decided to mess with her face.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She enjoys the misfortune of others and frequently wishes for horrible things to happen to people that she perceives as having happy carefree lives. She also does have big green eyes, and calls girls more socially successful than herself, including her best friend Yuu, "bitches", "sluts", etc.
Tomoko: "If you're not a worthless god, I'd like to see you try and make me happy... If you can't manage that, at least make everyone as unhappy as me. If you can't, it's fine I guess... But I'll despise you forever..."
- Also why she couldn't get along with Kotomi in middle-school despite being much alike, as she wanted to keep Yuu to herself.
- Hollywood Nerd: Mostly averted. She's an introverted shut-in, with the disheveled appearance and complete lack of social skills to highlight it. In a departure from the archetype, she's also not particularly accomplished academically.
- Hypocrite: She angrily denounces anyone more popular than her as shallow, vapid and selfish, and refers to any girls more sociable than her as "sluts". She's the real shallow and selfish one, who seeks popularity above all else, and proclaims: "Without doing anything, I can get into the pants of the boys for three years!" in the very first chapter.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: ...and get laid, apparently.
- As the series progresses, there's a subtle development in that Tomoko's goal moves down from "getting popular" to just "making a friend", and at the very least "talking to people".
- Ineffectual Death Threat: Frequently wishes death and worse on her classmates for the smallest of offences, like someone apparently taking her umbrella.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: While she's rather self-centered and looks down on a lot of people for petty reasons, it's still clear that her self-esteem is actually very, very low.
- Inner Monologue: Keeps her thoughts to herself more often than actually speaking.
- In-Series Nickname: "Mokocchi"
- Ironic Name: Depending on what kanji you spell it with, the name "Tomoko" can mean "beautiful girl" or "wise child", among others. Needless to say, she's neither of these things.
- Jerkass: Downplayed. In the main series, she can come off as a condescending jackass who can occasionally show humility and self-esteem, although she most often keeps her negativity to herself. However, Tomoki and Komiyama tend to see and feel the more unpleasant side of Tomoko.
- Little Big Sister: She's considerably shorter than her younger brother. Not very unusual given he's only a year younger, but it still highlights her immaturity.
- Loners Are Freaks: Her mindset, which she desperately wants to avoid.
- Loser Protagonist
- Manipulative Bitch: She tries. Dear lord, she tries.
- Meaningful Name: "Kuroki" can literally mean "black mood". It sums up the character pretty well…
- Nerds Are Virgins: Several storylines are about Tomoko's lack of experience and sexual frustration.
- Never My Fault: Zigzagged. She often derides herself and finds faults with her social skills and appearance, but never dwells on it and immediately finds something else to blame for her social failings.
- No Social Skills: Pretty much the entire conflict of the plot.
- Otaku: of Otome games. So much that she attempts to socialize in real life with tactics from the games. See the Expy/Distaff Counterpart entry for details.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Although both of her eyes can occasionally be seen, this trope is largely in play for her through much of the series.
- Person as Verb: In Chapter 39 she tries to stand out more in her class by performing a wacky introduction during the first day of second year. For her efforts, among her classmates her name becomes a synonym for doing something exceptionally poorly. Fortunately it seems to have gone out of fashion by Chapter 42.
- Playboy Bunny: Dresses as one in a fantasy sequence (that's a Shout-Out To Haruhi Suzumiya). She somehow manages to make it look ugly and unappealing.
- The Quiet One: She once went a month and a half without talking to anyone outside her family — her streak was broken when she managed to tell her teacher "goodbye". Ironically, her inner monologues are highly eloquent.
- She's All Grown Up: A page in the anthology reveals that she grew up to be quite pretty.
- Shrinking Violet: Combined with No Social Skills, this is the reason she can barely put together a full sentence with anyone she doesn't know.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Tomoki.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Komiyama, whom Tomoko dislikes because she feels that she has to compete with her over Yuu's attention, later also because she convinced herself that Komiyama is sexually interested in Tomoki, causing Tomoko to be disgusted with her, and, as of chapter 47 of the main story, also because Komiyama admitted that she didn't like Tomoko back in middle school.
- Slasher Smile: Pretty much every attempt she makes at smiling ends up coming out as one. Combined with her permanent eye-bags the effect is really unsettling.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Chapter 1: After 5 months trying to convince herself that she is popular, Tomoko literally sees herself at the mirror and admits the horrible truth:
Now that I look in the mirror after a few years I see that I turned into some creepy entity!
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Her portrayal switches between this, Cosmic Plaything and some combination of both depending on the chapter. She can be very pitiable, but at the same time rather self-centered, condescending (especially to her classmates, though this is restricted to her Inner Monologues and never expressed outwardly) and, in Chapter 33, is shown to be a devotee of schadenfreude. In the spinoff she is portrayed much more unsympathetically than in the main story.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: She has this expression a lot.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: One of the major factors behind her inability to adapt to society is the fact that she tends to "learn" social skills through anime and video games, and mistakes many character interactions therein (including those that are, from an objective viewpoint, downright outlandish) for actual practice, and tries to emulate them in real life, which more often than not only serves to further humiliate her.
- You Are What You Hate: The reason she despises Kotomi. Both are antisocial and their Only Friend is Yuu. Each one of them believes the other is below her.
Tomoko's younger and more responsible brother. He is a fairly average and well-adjusted person for his age, and treats his sister with the usual level of sibling-related intolerance. Despite this, he does
care for his sister and tries to support her when she needs it.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Played with. He does tend to get on Tomoko's nerves, though not so much due to obnoxiousness as due to the fact that he's guilty of such "crimes" as staying home sick while Tomoko has to go to school, having friends who care enough to visit him while he's sick, or cleaning his own room and making his lunch himself (much to their mother's praise - and unlike his sister, and thus making her look bad in comparison). Also inverted, as Tomoki definitely sees Tomoko as his annoying older sibling.
- To be fair given her situation it's understandable that she'd find the friends thing painful to see.
- The Beautiful Game: A player and fan of football/soccer.
- Big Little Brother: He's considerably taller and more down-to-earth than his older sister.
- Chick Magnet: Appears somewhat popular with girls, among which is Komiyama, who's older than he is.
- Deadpan Snarker: In response to Tomoko's antics.
- Exhausted Eye Bags: Like his mother and sister, although their mother's are less pronounced.
- Expy: Of sorts to Kyousuke Kousaka.
- Face of a Thug: Interestingly, while he has this look, he's still fairly popular at his school, since he seems to have regular friends and two girls bring him the class printout when he gets sick.
- Face Palm of Doom: When ticked off, he simply grips her sister's head really hard.
- Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: In a home video their mom found in episode 7, he said as a little kid he wanted to marry Tomoko. He was notably disturbed when he saw this video (also because of how much more affectionate he was towards her).
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to Tomoko's Foolish.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tends to physically rein in his sister if needed. That said, deep down he is a generally good-natured guy.
- Not So Different: Subverted in Chapter 41. Tomoko visits him in his classroom and sees him sitting alone and by himself; this gives her the impression that he is a loner just like her. However, when she visits him later she finds out that he is actually very popular in class and has not only friends but also admirers. Tomoko doesn't take the revelation well.
- Perpetual Frowner: He's always wearing a grumpy expression of some sort, at least around his sister.
- Pet the Dog: Sometimes he takes pity on Tomoko.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Tomoko.
- Straight Man: Serves as this whenever he shares a scene with his sister.
- Would Hit a Girl: He's not above lashing out when Tomoko's getting on his nerves (giving her a kick, grabbing her face, etc.). He invoked the other trope one time Tomoko was annoying him. Then when her antics went too far, he had no choice but to strike her into calming down.
Tomoko's best friend from middle school, who managed the transition to adolescence far more gracefully than Tomoko. She was originally very quiet and nerdy; however, after moving to high school she dyed her hair, improved her fashion sense and personal appearance, became more outgoing and eventually got a steady boyfriend. Despite changing so much, she remains a kind friend to Tomoko, though she remains blissfully oblivious to how different their social lives are and is unaware of the more unpleasant aspects of Tomoko's personality.
She is the protagonist of the spin-off manga It's Your Fault My Friend's Not Popular
, which details her middle-school life with Tomoko from her perspective.
One of Yuu's old middle-school friends. She immediately takes a dislike to Tomoko, who sees Kotomi as a rival for Yuu's attention. Unfortunately, Kotomi proves to be just as passive-aggressive and anti-social as Tomoko.
Kotomi is formally introduced in the spin-off manga It's Your Fault My Friend's Not Popular
, and later on she is re-introduced in the main series. Kotomi does not appear in the anime as it only adapts stories from before her first appearance. However, she will be appearing in a special OVA
, bundled with the Japanese release of the main series's seventh volume.
- A-Cup Angst
- Alliterative Name
- Ascended Extra: She first appeared in Tomoko's flashback to her middle-school years in Chapter 30 of the main series as the third, unnamed girl running the the marathon with Tomoko and Yuu; she's only seen in three frames and has no speaking lines. In the spin-off series, starting with Chapter 2, she is one of the main characters. She then makes her formal debut in the main manga in Chapter 46.
- Berserk Button: Badmouthing her crush Tomoki, as Tomoko found out in chapter 54.
- Covert Pervert: Revealed to be one in Chapter 7 of the spin-off, though she is in denial about it.
- Cross-Popping Veins: When Tomoko pisses her off. Which is often.
- Foil: To Tomoko. She's basically her but more proper looking and with more common sense.
- Game of Nerds: Her conversations with Tomoko and Yuu in Chapter 4 and 9 of the spin-off show that she is a baseball fan.
- In-Series Nickname: "Komi-something". Also: "Glasses". Both given by Tomoko.
- Opaque Nerd Glasses: Sometimes she is presented like this depending on the situation. Her glasses are a little variant of this trope because they are not so big.
- My Father Is Dead: Has revealed that her father died from an illness when she was five. Yuu gets awkward, Tomoko... not much.
- Not So Different: Apparently neither she nor Tomoko had any friends in their class before befriending Yuu. She and Tomoko both like the same anime, got the same type of hairstyle in Chapter 3 of the spin-off, got insecure with Yuu's beauty in Chapter 4, found themselves unable to talk to guys and ended up in the same high school. Chapters 47 and 48 of the main manga show her walking home from school alone and eating her lunch in the bathroom, implying that she doesn't have many - possibly even any - friends in high school either. Notably this does not make them less hostile towards each other at all.
- Their Not So Different nature is even lampshaded by the title of one of the 4-Komas from Chapter 7 of the spin-off, "Cut from the same cloth".
- Only Sane Girl: Has more common sense than her two friends.
- Precision F-Strike:
- Right in Front of Me: In Chapter 2 of the spin-off she tried to break the ice with Tomoko by telling her a story about having a laugh in the previous year when she heard that some middle schooler was still riding a bike with training wheels. Guess who that middle schooler was?
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Tomoko. She dislikes Tomoko because the latter tends to act like a Jerkass towards her for reasons she can't fathom, and only ever strikes back at her when provoked.
- Unknown Rival: When they reunite in Chapter 46 of the main story, Tomoko has forgotten about Kotomi. On the other hand, Kotomi bears a grudge against Tomoko. (The next chapter reveals that they didn't spend all of their middle-school years in the same class.) Now both are aware of the other's dislike.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: When she is surprised and/or angry.
- With Friends Like These...: Yuu is the only link that makes her and Tomoko tolerate each other.
- You Are What You Hate: The reason she despises Tomoko. Both are antisocial and their Only Friend is Yuu. Each one of them believes the other is below her.
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya
(Japanese), Juliet Simmons (English)
Tomoko and Tomoki's thirteen-year-old cousin and a seventh-grade schoolgirl. Having been fed a steady stream of face-saving lies by Tomoko, she idolises her older cousin.
- Audience Surrogate: Her reaction to Tomoko's card game.
- Broken Pedestal: How she sees Tomoko after all her attempts to look cool backfires spectacularly on her. Unlike other examples though, she takes the revelation well, and the next time they meet her admiration is replaced not with utter disdain, but with pity and appreciation that at least she tried her best.
- Death Glare: Pulled one mixed with a Thousand-Yard Stare when she was angry with Tomoko, also...
"No! Just take it."
- This has become a regular expression for her when she is angry, with an added Stepford Smile.
- Innocently Insensitive: She means well when she tries to take care of Tomoko after finding out the truth about her, but so far her actions just drive it home to Tomoko how pathetic she has gotten.
- Nice Girl: An unusual role for a Type-A Tsundere specialist like Rie Kugimiya. She's so nice she doesn't harbor any grudge against Tomoko for unwittingly breaking her good impression of her.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Until chapter 60, where it's revealed that her name is Kiko.
- Replacement Goldfish: In chapter 60 Tomoko speculates that Kii tries to take care of her because she treats her as a replacement for her deceased dog. At the end of that chapter Kii even gives Tomoko that dog's hairpin (the one she is always wearing).
- Token Mini-Moe
Voiced by: Ai Nonaka
(Japanese), Juliet Simmons (English)
President of Tomoko's (and later Tomoki's) student council.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In the anime, when she replaces the random girl holding the stack of papers that Tomoko accidentally runs into. Downplayed because this first appearance is an earlier part of the chapter/episode she would appear in.
- Nice Girl: Some female students mention that she's popular with both boys and girls at the school due to her helpfulness.
- Student Council President
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Seeing Tomoko down after Yuu leaves at the end of the school festival, Megumi borrows a mascot costume and gives her a hug and a balloon. In Episode 12, she also mentions having to keep an eye on that "cute girl" after Tomoko ends up getting flustered out of trying to strike up a conversation with her after a gust of wind gave her a good view of Megumi's panties.
Return to the main page here