Manga: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular
Tomoko Kuroki in her natural habitat.
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
.No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!
(Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dō Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!
), also known by its official shorthand "WataMote
", is a Cringe Comedy
manga published online by Nico Tanigawa
(actually two people
) with a cult following on /a/ and /v/
. Even Tanigawa herself communicates with Anglophone fans on her Twitter
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 addition to an anthology and a fanbook, in January 2013 a Spin-Off
, No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault My Friend's Not Popular.
(Watashi no Tomodachi ga Motenai no wa Dō Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui.
), began running in Monthly Joker
. It stars (and is written from the point-of-view of) Yuu Naruse, Tomoko's best friend from middle school who crossed the threshold into adolescence far
more gracefully than she did.note
The series has been licensed by Yen Press, and the first five English volumes have been released. A one-cour
anime adaptation premiered in July 2013 as part of the Summer 2013 Anime
lineup. An OVA was released in October 2014.
The anime can be legally viewed at Crunchyroll
for people living in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
See also Choku!
, an earlier manga by the same authors.
This manga provides examples of:
The anime further provides examples of:
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Tomoko is a little cuter in the anime due to its less sketchy art. Also some of her more grotesque faces are toned down somewhat.
- Adaptation Distillation: The anime adapts and combines some chapters out of order.
- Art Shift:
- During Tomoko's fantasies. One shounen TV show-style parody is presented in a lower aspect ratio with less animation. The opening song is also done in punk rock tone and style compared to the actual show and the ending song.
- In episode 12, Tomoko talks to her brother one last time about their talks they've been having. For a few moments, the art shifts into the same animation style used at the end of previous episodes when they discuss the next one.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Happens to Yuu in episode 12. She chases after Tomoko when the latter runs away from school due to another failed attempt to socialize. When Tomoko turns a corner, Yuu suddenly spots a cat. She stops to pick it up, forgetting all about Tomoko.
- Bittersweet Ending or Downer Ending: The last episode broadcast on TV, after showing Tomoko failing to start a conversation with Megumi, seeing a Panty Shot, and running away in embarrassment, ends with Tomoko alone in her room, looking up the meaning of the term "mojo" on the Internet just like she did at the beginning of the first episode, and then suddenly exploding with laughter. In her last words in the episode she says that "it doesn't matter". It is left ambiguous whether she is responding to the Internet page she just closed - which would make the ending closer to a Bittersweet Ending as Tomoko comes to terms with her own unpopularity and decides that, unpopular or not, she doesn't care either way - or whether she is agreeing with the narrator that her story doesn't even matter, which would make it more of a Downer Ending. Either way, the ending also has a glimmer of hope in the form of Megumi saying she'll need to keep an eye on Tomoko.
- Black Blood: When Tomoko accidentally cuts herself.
- Bland-Name Product:
- WcDonald's, Cola-Cola, and SterTully (Starbucks)
- Spirit Blade IV
- In episode 6 Tomoko reads The Oranges of Wrath.
- In episode 7 Tomoko asks a question on Yahuq! Answers, visits MyTube, orders a webcam from Konozama, and tries to hold a livestream on Hera Hera Douga. Tomoki drinks a bottle of Pukari Sweat.
- Book Ends: Episode 1 starts with Tomoko looking up the definition for unpopular girl online. Episode 12 ends with Tomoko once again looking up the definition for unpopular girl but this time having a different reaction to it.
- Cat Smile: Tomoko's expression while trying to choose a cake in episode 9.
- Color Failure: In order to show Yuu's extreme differences with Tomoko, Tomoko turns grey up until they start talking about crappy anime like "EFB" ...then Yuu declares that she had a fight with her boyfriend and Tomoko goes green and brown.
- Tomoko turns grey again to represent her attempt at emotionlessness, with the grey background characters going full color while she does so.
- When Tomoki sees the old video where he wants to marry Tomoko, everything turns grey.
- It's Tomoko's turn for everything to go grey when she gets a worrying phone call from Yuu.
- Tomoko goes grey upon arriving at the cafe where Yuu's working, signifying how out of place she's feeling.
- In episode 10, it's her change in seating that triggers the color failure.
- Happens twice during episode 11 - once at the beginning, while the rest of the class is preparing for the cultural festival, and again while Tomoko's waiting for Yuu to turn up.
- In episode 12, after realizing killing a cockroach only seems to have pushed her classmates away, Tomoko turns transparent for a brief while, before going grey as she determines to carry on. There's also a brief color failure during PE.
- Credits Jukebox: The commonly used ED song is the Stylistic Suck one sung by Tomoko's VA, but episodes 2, 5, and 11 have endings sung by a band named Velvet.kodhy and episode 6 has Hatsune Miku (of Vocaloid fame) on vocals.
- Credits Running Sequence: Tomoko does one in the ending. And manages to trip up more than once.
- Evolving Credits: The standard ending credits sequence is sometimes modified or replaced to reflect the episode's events, with new songs to go with it.
- Done at the start of episode 10. With the new school term, Tomoko's seat is reassigned from the back corner towards the front center of the classroom. After distressing about it for a while, she does an Art Shift, screams, and then transitions into the opening credits.
- Expressive Accessory: In episode 11, Yuu's ribbon jumps in excitement when she hears Tomoko.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the beginning of episode 4, while Tomoko is surfing the internet, her screen shows the Gangan Online website, which is plastered with pictures of her and ads for the TV show.
- Gainaxing: Tomoko in her fantasy about becoming sexier, and Yuu while chasing after Tomoko at the end of the series.
- Gainax Ending: Inverted and parodied in the OVA episode, which begins with a Mind Screw sequence quite obviously inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In episode 7, Tomoko watches what is implied to be porn (or at least a video of a naked boy), with headphones and a box of tissues in front of her. She grabs a tissue and the screen cuts away. Not extremely risque, but still the most obvious scene of female masturbation seen on TV Tokyo.
- Grasp the Sun: Done near the end of the opening.
- Hypocritical Humor: A meta gag. In-universe, Tomoko ridicules many current anime shows as pandering to moe fans, while she herself is arguably moe.
- Imagine Spot: Expands upon the ones in the manga, and adds some more as well, like a sequence where Tomoko imagines going on Nico Nico Douga.
- Lemony Narrator: At the start of the first episode and the end of the last, narration proclaims that this is a trivial, insignificant story of a high school girl.
- Letting the Air out of the Band: Happens when Tomoko encounters a disappointing situation, i.e. often.
- Metal Scream: The opening theme starts with one.
- Mundane Made Awesome:
- A scene of Tomoko browsing the internet for cuteness-enhancing tips receives an epic soundtrack, exaggerated mouse gestures and rapidly-changing camera angles, Death Note-style.
- Another one has Tomoko epically play a rhythm game.
- Mythology Gag: Episode 9 of the anime has Tomoko being made to help her mother with cleaning their house, and protesting over being made to do it even though it's a hot summer day and not a New Year's Eve. While the events of the episode take place during the summer break, the events of the chapter it was adapted from (chapter 32 of the manga) did take place shortly before a New Year's Eve.
- Names to Know in Anime: Tomoko is such a unique character that the producers had to find a relative unknown to fit the role, but they're making up for it with the rest of the cast. Makes perfect sense, though.
- One Degree of Separation: In the OVA episode. Aoyama, the boy Tomoko tried to impress, is apparently friends with Tomoko's brother.
- The Rashomon/Once More with Clarity: The subject of the OVA episode. A boy named Aomatsu has two encounters with a strange girl on the rooftop. Afterwards, the same events are shown from Tomoko's perspective.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The grunge and cutesy feel of the opening and closing themes, as opposed to the Cringe Comedy feel of the anime. Also Lyrical Dissonance for the latter song.
- Stylistic Suck: The main closing theme is sung by Tomoko's voice actress in-character amateurishly. It gives an adorkable effect though. Until she starts having an emotional breakdown it's actually quite good with just a few slips.
- Taken for Granite: Tomoko is in this mode a lot.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: In episode 3, after suffering through a series of bad events, including a wind gust breaking her umbrella, Tomoko is forced to wait out a rainstorm underneath a shelter with two guys. Both she and them attempt to make small talk, but she constantly ruins it, then runs off to a nearby bathroom. When she returns, she finds out the two boys are gone, and falls asleep on the bench. Turns out the two boys left to buy umbrellas, and one of them bought one for her since he saw her broken one earlier. When she wakes up, she finds the umbrella, and then wishes that a boy would do something nice for her. While the original manga chapter was this as well, it wasn't to the same extent, as most of the bad events were taken from other chapters.
- Title Theme Tune: The opening track.
- You Wanna Get Sued?: Episode 12. During junior high Tomoko said that she wanted to be an arms dealer like Torn*** and needed bodyguards from Del** Force, Navy SE**s or the SA*.
The spin-off manga provides examples of:
- Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: How Tomoko and Komiyama overhear two of their schoolmates badmouthing them in chapter 3.
- Closet Geek: The third chapter reveals that Tomoko was one in 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.
- Hair Antennae: Tomoko and Komiyama try this in chapter 3 but people just think they have bedhead.
- Heroic BSOD: Played for Laughs in chapter 13, where Tomoko has one when she finds out that a caterpillar fell on her head and it gets worse when Yuu accidentally crushes it while it's still on Tomoko's head.
- Hypocritical Humor: In chapter 5 Tomoko mocks Komiyama for not having any guy friends. This backfires on her when Komiyama finds out that the only guy she saw Tomoko talking with was her brother Tomoki.
- When Komiyama reveals she likes a certain anime, Tomoko dismisses anime as kid stuff. When Yuu says she likes it too right afterward, Tomoko flip-flops immediately.
- When Tomoko suggested Komiyama would spend her Christmas tracking everything her favorite male voice actors do, Komiyama is disgusted, then immediately starts tracking everything her favorite baseball players do.
- Lonely Together: The first chapter 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. Yuu later befriends Komiyama in the same way.
- Otaku: In addition to Tomoko and Yuu themselves, Yuu's other friend from the middle school, Komiyama, is revealed to be one as well.
- Perverted Drooling: Tomoko does this in the first chapter, when she rides a bike with Yuu and fantasizes about groping her.
- Roadside Wave: Happens to Tomoko, Yuu and Kotomi at the same time at the end of chapter 14.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: In chapter 4, when she doesn't wear her glasses and lets her hair down, Yuu's almost immediately swarmed with people.
- Umbrella of Togetherness: In chapter 14, on a rainy day, Tomoko offers to share her umbrella with Yuu when she finds out that Yuu forgot her own. Then Kotomi mentions that she forgot her umbrella too, only for Tomoko to rebuff her and state that there's only room for two under her umbrella.