Tomoko Kuroki is a legendary high-school girl with over fifty years' worth of romantic experience and over one hundred male admirers... in the otome gaming world. In the real world, she is an unattractive, lonely, creepy fifteen-year-old Otaku schoolgirl with severe self-esteem issues, so much so that she avoids all contact with her classmates.When she enters her first year of high school expecting her life to suddenly turn around, she is stunned when absolutely nothing changes. This forces her to take a hard look at herself for the first time, and resolve to become more sociable and popular. Hilarity Ensues.It's Not My Fault I'm Not Popular! (Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!* lit.: No matter how you look at it, it's all your fault I'm not popular!) is a Cringe Comedy manga published online by Nico Tanigawa* who are actually two people with a cult following on /a/ and /v/. Even Tanigawa herself communicates with Anglophone fans on her Twitter account.The first volume is available for a mere 500 yen, and can be bought on Amazon JP, BK1, YesAsia, and CDJapan. The second volume can also be found at those sites for the same price.Despite the title, the series is in fact quite popular, with the third volume selling more than 170,000 copies in the first month. In December 2012 Gangan Online announced an anime adaptation.In January 2013 a Spin-Off, It's Your Fault My Friend's Not Popular!, began running in Monthly Joker. It stars (and is written from the point-of-view of) Yuu, Tomoko's best friend from middle school who crossed the threshold into adolescence far more gracefully than she did.Now licensed by Yen Press under the name No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!
This manga provides examples of:
Accidental Pervert: In bonus chapter 27.5 Tomoko follows the committee girl trying to greet her, only to end up accidentally lifting her skirt up.
In Chapter 38 Tomoko accidentally flashes some children while wearing a skirt.
Annoying Younger Sibling: Played with. Tomoko's younger brother Tomoki does tend to get on her nerves; however, it's not because he's particularly obnoxious but rather because he's guilty of such "crimes" as staying home sick while Tomoko has to go to school, having friends come to visit him, and getting praised by their mother for cleaning his own room and making his own lunch. Also inverted, as Tomoki definitely sees Tomoko as his annoying older sibling.
Arms Dealer: Back in middle school Tomoko had the desire to become Japan's first female dealer in illegal weaponry. By the time the main story started she apparently gave up on it, and even finds the idea embarrassing.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: A non-romantic version of this occasionally occurs between Tomoko and Tomoki. However, chapter 35 has a subversion: Tomoki reveals that he isn't angry at Tomoko for forgetting to send his application to his chosen high school, and for a moment it looks like a setup for "Aww, look! They really do love each other" moment... but then Tomoko ruins it by whining that she got lectured by their mother because of the event, and blaming Tomoki for it because he didn't say so sooner. Tomoki promptly kicks her out of his room.
Brick Joke: At the beginning of chapter 30 Tomoko mocks in her thoughts people who have trouble running the marathon and finish it dead last while being cheered on by their schoolmates. She claims that if that happened to her she'd feel pathetic. Needless to say, this is exactly what happens to her at the end of that chapter.
Broken Pedestal: Tomoko's cousin Kii-chan starts out seeing Tomoko as a Cool Big Sis, but starts having doubts about when Tomoko lies about having a boyfriend and realizes the whole truth after catching Tomoko cheating in a card game with little kids just to impress her. The next time Kii appears, she treats Tomoko like a rather pathetic puppy.
Caught with Your Pants Down: In Tomoko's case it was being caught by her mother while redubbing a sex scene from an otome game with herself as the protagonist, but it seemed to be equally embarrassing.
Chekhov's Gunman: Tomoko's flashback to her middle school times in chapter 30 briefly shows her and Yuu with a third, unnamed girl. The spin-off series reveals that she is Yuu's other friend from middle school, and starting with chapter 2 she has a bigger role there.
Chikan: Was the focus of chapter 24 aptly titled, "Because I'm not popular, I'm going to get molested". In the chapter, Tomoko hears one of her classmates complain about how she was molested on her way to school and laments that no one wants to molest her. Eventually, she does get molested only to find out that her "molester" was in fact a large staff.
Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: In a flashback to her middle school times in chapter 31 Tomoko is shown using this pose while daydreaming about becoming an arms dealer.
Closet Otaku: After entering high school, Tomoko's middle school friend Yuu became one of these to fit in.
The third chapter of the spin-off reveals that Tomoko was one in the middle school, insisting that she stopped watching anime back in elementary school. Yuu on the other hand was more open about liking anime back then.
Coincidental Broadcast: An example that borders on a parody of the trope in chapter 28: while Tomoko is upset that it is so hard for her to talk to people and wonders what to do, an interview with a hostess working in a Red Light District is broadcast on TV. The hostess mentions that she used to be shy and had trouble talking to people, but her job made her more sociable. This gives Tomoko the idea to become a hostess herself.
Conveniently Seated: When the second semester starts and Tomoko loses her back row seat by the window, she lampshades it by commenting about how lucky she was getting "the seat main characters always get in anime and light-novels" in the first period, lamenting that she now has to dwell in an awkward spot, surrounded by people.
Cool Big Sis: Tomoko wants to be seen as one by her cousin Kii-chan, apparently the only person who looks up to her. To achieve this, she lies a lot about, among other things, the extent of her love life. Kii-chan ends up finding out the truth and pities Tomoko.
Cosmic Plaything: Tomoko doesn't realize it, which might be a good thing as the truth might plunge her into the pit of despair, or bad since she can't realize why her attempts to make friends are massive failures.
Covert Pervert: Tomoko tries to peek on a girl's panties out of "curiosity" over what kind of panties a girl with a boyfriend would wear.
Crossover: GanGan Online promoted this series and Daily Lives of High School Boys, two of their biggest hits, by making flyers and posters with Tomoko and Yoshitake riding a train on the way to their schools.
Everyone Has Standards: In chapter 19 Tomoko briefly considers eating her lunch in the bathroom during the lunch break, but ultimately decides against it, stating that she hasn't become that much of a loser yet.
The authors' previous manga, Choku, began with the main character eating lunch in the bathroom.
Fan Nickname: /v/'s nickname for Tomoko is "Spaghetti-tan", because of their meme about spaghetti leaking out of their pockets during socially awkward situations, seemingly for no other reason than to make the situation even more awkward and embarrassing for them.
World Three, the primary scanlation group for the series, affectionately gave the manga the project title "loser girl."
Yuu is known as Slut-chan.
Fawlty Towers Plot: Tomoko tries to invoke this to show Kii-chan how cool she is. But Kii-chan already sees through the ruse.
Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: This seems to be how Tomoko's and Tomoki's mother sees them, with Tomoko as the foolish sibling and Tomoki as the responsible one. She does occasionally berate Tomoko, stating that as the older sibling she should be the one to set an example for Tomoki to follow rather than the other way around.
She wears headphones again at the end of chapter 39 so she wouldn't have to listen to her classmates calling things "Kuroki-level" bad.
Hypocritical Humor: Tomoko mocks the fat guy from chapter 9 in her thoughts because she assumes that he has no friends (supposedly completely unlike her, because she has her brother to talk to) and spends weekends sitting at home and playing video games.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Reading Tomoko's thoughts, she could come off as a condescending jackass if she actually had the social skills to do so. What gives her the heart of gold are those bits of humility and self-esteem that she shows every once in a while.
Lonely Together: Tomoko tries to invoke this in chapter 12, intending to convince other loners from her school to watch fireworks together. Needless to say, she fails.
The first chapter of the spin-off reveals that this is how Tomoko's and Yuu's friendship started. After Yuu moved to a new class none of them knew anyone they could eat lunch with during the break; Tomoko noticed that Yuu was alone and managed to muster the courage to invite Yuu to lunch.
Long Title: The untranslated title reads Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (literally "Whatever way I see it, it's your fault I'm not popular!").
The official English title No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! also falls into this trope.
Mood Whiplash: The stories can switch from making you laugh at Tomoko's failures to crushing your spirits at how depressing it all is. And sometimes, the two overlap.
Motorcycle Safety: Hilariously averted when Tomoko daydreams about how cool she'd look riding a motorcycle while wearing a Spy Cat Suit — only to wreck and end up in a hospital because she was too busy looking cool.
Not So Different: Subverted in chapter 41. Tomoko visits her younger brother in his classroom and sees him sitting alone and not talking to anyone; this gives her the impression that he is a loner just like her. However, when she shows up later it turns out that he is actually very popular in his class and has not only friends but also admirers. Tomoko doesn't take the revelation well.
Red Light District: Tomoko visits one in chapter 28, hoping to get a job as a hostess there. She gets scared by what she sees there and, after getting a phone call from her mother, decides to give up and come back home.
Rei Ayanami Expy: In chapter 10, Tomoko thinks that it would be a good idea to become one.
Security Cling: In chapter 21 during the school festival Tomoko convinces Yuu to go to the haunted house together, hoping to invoke this trope. It doesn't work because Yuu wasn't scared at all.
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. 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 "good-bye."
Sick Episode: Chapter 25 is mostly about Tomoko's brother getting a cold and Tomoko pretending to nurse him while hoping that she will catch the illness from him and won't have to go to school for a few days. This, predictably, backfires on her: she does get an infection from her brother, but it takes a few days to develop and she only starts exhibiting symptoms at the very beginning of her weekend.
Slice of Life: Only the life in question is that of a Butt Monkey. Typical plots include being self-conscious of eating lunch alone, avoiding classmates outside school so they don't realize she's a loser with no friends, and wanting to go to a festival but having no one to go with.
Those Two Guys: The guy with glasses and the blonde girl in Tomoko's class.
Throw the Dog a Bone: The biggest one so far is chapter 21, where Tomoko manages to be happy while hanging out with Yuu during the school festival and later gets hugged by someone.
In chapter 37 she finally manages to have a casual conversation with one of her schoolmates that does not end with her embarrassing herself.
Toilet Humor: Tomoko tries this, only succeeding in making her "audience" think she really needs to go.
In Chapter 30, she really needs to go. Only problem is, she's in the middle of a school marathon.
Tsundere: In chapter 41 Tomoko acts like one towards Tomoki when she visits him in his class during a break only to find that he is not particularly happy to see her. Tomoki is not amused by this.
Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Tomoko's portrayal switches between this, The Woobie and some combination of both depending on the chapter. She can be very pitiable, but at the same time she is rather self-centered, tends to look down on others (especially her classmates) and in chapter 33 she is shown to be cheered up by the misfortune of others. In the spinoff series so far she is portrayed much more unsympathetically than in the main story.
Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Tomoko in the beginning of chapter 7, when in her enthusiasm, she decided it would be a good idea to run all the way to school...after she just ate a huge breakfast.
What the Hell, Hero?: Tomoko prevents her brother from enrolling at his dream high school because she forgot to mail his application.
In the very first chapter Tomoko concludes that her experience gained while playing otome games makes her perfectly prepared for high school. Her realization that it does not sets up the plot of the entire comic.
In a later chapter watching an anime gives her the idea to become popular by being an Emotionless Girl. Since this doesn't involve any change in behavior, nobody notices.
It gets lampshaded in chapter 19: Tomoko notes that in the first semester she got the seat in the back row next to the window just like main characters in anime and light novels, and yet nothing anime-esque ever happened to her. Later in that chapter she can't eat her lunch on the school roof because the door to it is locked, and comments with irritation that it would be open for sure in an anime or a light novel.
Chapter 30: While knocking on the door of an apartment to ask to use the bathroom, Tomoko wonders if the owner might pay to watch her take a dump. Um, Mokocchi, what genre do you think you're in?
In chapter 32 Tomoko's mother's praise for Tomoki for cleaning his room and making his own lunch pisses Tomoko off (because he made her look bad in comparison), but also makes her worry that her brother might be the one who is "some kind of light novel protagonist" instead of her.
Yank the Dog's Chain: Chapter 39 has probably the biggest one so far. When her second year of high school starts, Tomoko meets a classmate of hers who not only remembered who she is but also remembered and enjoyed her introduction at the beginning of the first year. Tomoko is overjoyed thinking that maybe she managed to find a friend at last... but then the time comes for her to introduce herself and it turns out that the classmate told everyone how great Tomoko's first year introduction was and now everyone is looking forward to another great introduction. This causes Tomoko to panic and publicly embarrass herself. As a result her very name becomes a synonym for something embarrassingly bad in her class. And she didn't even make friends with the classmate, as she is alone again by the next chapter.
alternative title(s): Watashi Ga Motenai No Wa Dou Kangaete Mo Omaera Ga Warui; Its Not My Fault Im Not Popular; Watashi Ga Motenai No Wa Dou Kangaete Mo Omaera Ga Warui; No Matter How I Look At It Its You Guys Fault Im Not Popular