Manga / No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!
aka: Its Not My Fault Im Not Popular

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_bf33fea2830c6b2eb25de7e2ba1ad6931374105898_full.png

Here we have a particular girl.
An unpopular girl.
And her story...that really doesn't matter.
Tomoko: In other words, an ugly girl who guys don't like. That's not me at all.

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 account.

Unlike its protagonist, the series is 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 starred (and was 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 spinoff concluded after 28 chapters.

The series has been licensed by Yen Press, and the first six 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, and Kuzu to Megane to Bungaku Shoujo (Nise), also by the same authors.


This work provides examples of the following:

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    Manga tropes 
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Invoked by Tomoko in chapter 92, after Yoshida asks Tomoko to play a claw machine to get her a plushie; Tomoko convinces herself that Yoshida will beat her up or worse if she loses, and compares her situation to that of a protagonist of a death game manga.
  • Accidental Pervert:
    • In bonus chapter 27.5 Tomoko follows the Student Council President Megumi trying to greet her, only to end up accidentally witnessing a blow of wind lifting Megumi's skirt.
    • In Chapter 38 Tomoko accidentally flashes some children while wearing a skirt.
    • In chapter 74 Tomoko accidentally gropes her classmate Yoshida while trying to wake her up.
    • In the second episode, Tomoko mentally shames herself for accidentally glimpsing up the skirt of a girl walking up the stairs in front of her.
    • Every interaction Tomoko has with Ucchi. Every single one.
  • A-Cup Angst: Part of her self-esteem issues.
  • Adorkable: Tomoko, in spades.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
    • Chapter 85 revolves around Tomoko's failed attempts to make her male schoolmates pat her on the head. In the end she does get a pat... by a stray cat.
    • She gets her wish in chapter 115, as a graduating upperclassman actually pats her head.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
  • Ambiguous Disorder: There are some indications that Tomoko might be suffering from an undiagnosed case of Asperger's syndrome, or possibly another Autism spectrum disorder, perhaps even Avoidant Personality Disorder. Of course, the more depressing possibility is that she's just that bad at making friends.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Tomoko plays a ton of otome games with an erotic bend, listens to audio recordings of Yandere boys verbally abusing her, and dreams about getting a boyfriend. But while she doesn't consider the possibility of getting a girlfriend, she still lusts after Yuu and equates a number of interactions between girls, like getting her nails done or borrowing some chapstick, as intimate behavior.
  • Anachronic Order: While events in the manga otherwise unfold in chronological order, Christmas specials are the exception and are usually inserted into the past or future of the story's current timeline. The first four take place during Tomoko's first year in high school, while the rest apply to her second year. Justified because the passage of a year in the manga does not correlate to the passage of a year in the real world.
  • Anxiety Dreams: In Chapter 103 Tomoko has a dream where her cousin, Kii-chan, attacks her with good omens. It's an apt metaphor for the state of their relationship.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?:
    • In Chapter 24, Tomoko hears a girl mention being molested on a train and starts to wonder if not being molested is a sign that she's ugly. Subverted when she thinks she is being molested, and realizes that was a dumb thing to hope for (it was actually just a wooden training spear getting caught between her legs).
    • In chapter 87, Ucchi, the girl Tomoko had previously creeped out on the school trip, starts to panic that Tomoko might be following her around trying to perv on her. She resolves not to let it get to her during her cheer routine but ends up getting pissed when Tomoko watches another girl instead.
  • 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.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Tomoko shows clear signs of arousal in listening to audio CDs of Yandere boys issuing abuse. She's later seen listening to a custom performance a professional voice actor made for her to similar effect, which gives her the idea to splice it together with her own voice and record her own homebrew audio erotica.
  • Ascended Meme: Tomoko gained the nickname "Spaghetti-tan" in /v/. Nico Tanigawa drew her eating spaghetti for the licensed version of the manga as a thank you for the people who made the manga popular overseas.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!:
    • Happens to Tomoko in chapter 35, when she is sent by her mother to mail Tomoki's application to the high school of his choice. She finds a cat on her way and tries to play with it, putting the application in her bag because it got in the way; and later she goes to the bookstore, forgetting about the application altogether.
    • Happens again in chapter 96. Tomoko's trying to study for a test, but keeps on getting sidetracked by things she finds online, like videos of pole-dancers. She goes so far as to consider learning how to pole-dance in an effort to become popular, only to furiously rail at herself for falling into that line of thought again. The next day, she resolves to head home after school and study for her next test...only to involuntarily start dancing on the first pole she comes across.
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: It's the daughter this time around, but the pair go fishing to spend time with each other in Chapter 121.
  • 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.
  • Baseball Episode: As part of a promotion with the Chiba Lotte Marines, Volume 10 of the manga featured a special chapter where Tomoko, Yuu, and Kotomi attend a game of theirs. They even mention how the team is involved in a cross-promotional deal with some manga or anime that's "about a loner protagonist." It was My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: In chapter 39 Tomoko overhears two of her schoolmates badmouthing someone while in the bathroom; she wonders whether they were talking about her, but it is never resolved.
  • Beach Bury: In the Beach Episode (read below), Tomoko lets both Yuu and Kotomi bury her on the beach. Unfortunately, they load so much sand on her that she can't move, but by the time she realizes this, they've left to go get some drinks. They take a long time getting back, and Tomoko is stuck lying there getting dehydrated because she's too timid to just ask someone to dig her out. When Yuu and Kotomi finally do return, she buries them both as revenge.
  • Beach Episode: Subverted in chapter 64, where Tomoko, Yuu and Kotomi go to the beach, only to find out that swimming is prohibited there because of dangerous stingrays. Played straight in chapter 65.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Tomoko tries to get sick by spending time with her sick brother in an attempt to miss school for a few days. While it does work, she gets sick around Saturday, causing her to be stuck in bed on the weekend.
  • Black Comedy
  • Bland-Name Product: In chapter 19, she is seen playing a PFP. Could also be a shout-out to The World God Only Knows.
    • Also Winners Eleven for PF 3.
    • She has also been seen wearing a parody of "beats" designer headphones, Palette Swapped from red to blue and with the "b" flipped into a "d".
    • In one episode/chapter, Tomoko plays Magic: The Gathering with a bunch of kids. The cards are simplified and have a lot of details changed slightly (like the backing and logos), but it is obvious what they are supposed to be from the layout. You can even tell Tomoko is playing an all-Black deck and draws a Crypt Ghast as her first card.
    • The English dub of the anime mentions "Brutal Royale" at one point. The logo used is almost identical to the Battle Royale logo, except it has an ampersand in the middle.
    • In episode 2, Tomoko tells Yuu she watched a series called efb.
    • In chapter 97 Tomoko mentions that she watches "Attack on Kabaneri".
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In chapter 108, after being told by Tomoko that Kotomi is a raging pervert and being told by Akari that Kotomi is a very pure person, Tomoki concludes that she must be a very pure pervert.
  • Briar Patching: In chapter 45 Tomoko sets up a prank she wants to play on her brother by telling him that she has dates with her boyfriend in a certain place and telling him not to go there; her plan is to wait for him there and mock him when he comes to peep. Her plan fails because Tomoki doesn't show up for several days; when he finally does it's by accident and Tomoko's prank falls flat.
  • 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.
    • Chapter 19 establishes that Tomoko considers eating one's lunch in the bathroom to be pretty much the rock bottom of loserdom. In chapter 48 she catches her Sitcom Arch-Nemesis Kotomi eating her lunch in the bathroom, and it gives the opportunity to offer her rival some Condescending Compassion.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In chapter 61, after Kii pulls a scary prank on Tomoko, Tomoko lectures her on the difference between pranks that are OK and ones that are not, stating it would not be OK if - purely hypothetically speaking - Kii had scared her so much that Tomoko would have wet herself.
  • 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.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • Invoked in chapter 25 by Tomoko towards Tomoki. While she's deliberately trying to get sick by spending time in his room when he's sick, she jokingly asks if he's finding her interesting as a woman. He vehemently denies it.
    • In chapter 6, she becomes convinced she's become sexy enough that he's lusting after her (in reality, he thinks she looks a mess).
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Tomoko gave Kotomi a really hard time in middle school, but while Kotomi still bears some bitter memories, Tomoko doesn't even remember her by the time they meet again.
  • Call-Back: In chapter 35, when Tomoko tries to apologize to Tomoki for forgetting to send his application to his chosen high school, she greets him at home wearing her school uniform in the same way she did when she looked in the mirror in chapter 1.
    • In chapter 89 Tomoko, who just realized that she left her cell phone (with some compromising materials) at school, tries to calm herself down, pointing out that she went on living even after everyone found out she looks at dick pics in class - which indeed happened in chapter 43. The incident is brought up again by Tomoko's classmate during the class farewell party in chapter 120, where he asks Tomoko what that was all about.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: One of Tomoko's most infamous traits. She can't carry out a normal conversation with anybody without stammering, whispering and tripping over her words. However, she begins to overcome this trait during her second year of high school, especially after the school trip.
  • Caretaker Reversal: Tomoko tries to invoke this trope in chapter 25. She succeeds, but ends up regretting it; see Sick Episode below.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Poor Tomoko has these over and over while trying to have an erotic dream.
    • "Where's the Gorilla!?"
  • Cat Scare: In chapter 18/episode 9 of the anime, Tomoko is eating cup noodles by herself when she hears a rustling bush and fears it's a pervert. It's just a cat, of course.
  • 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.
    • At the beginning of chapter 15 Tomoko is implied to narrowly avoid this as Kii entered her room while Tomoko was playing a game. We don't get to see what the game was, as it gets censored, but Tomoko is visibly unpleasantly surprised and embarrassed, blocks the game from Kii's view and tells her to knock before entering her room. Fortunately, Kii, while confused, apparently did not figure out what exactly was happening.
    • In Chapter 73, Ucchi catches Tomoko in the bathroom with literally no pants on. While Tomoko was trimming her pubic hair, Ucchi was of the opinion that she was doing something a lot more inappropriate in there. She brings up the incident in Chapter 80 after Tomoko claims she just recently lost her virginity, causing the latter to immediately clam up with embarrassment.
  • Chekhov's Armory: The writers seem to love this trope. Only enough characters to count on one hand haven't become recurring characters, and even then they still reappear as background characters
    • The emoji girl sitting with Tomoko on the bus in one chapter later becomes a recurring character
    • Yoshida gets mentioned in chapter 69, and becomes a recurring character in the field trip arc
    • In chapter 69 Yuri and Mako are shown having an argument. Both become recurring characters after the field trip arc.
    • The girl who drops by Tomoko's house to see Tomoki in one of the early chapters becomes a recurring character almost 70 chapters later.
    • The girl with an interest in make-up briefly shows up in chapters 71 (sitting next to Tomoko on the train) and 90 before getting seated next to Tomoko in their class and beginning to interact with Tomoko semi-regularly.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The field trip Tomoko hears about in her first year becomes a plot point many chapters later.
  • The 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.
  • Chocolate of Romance: Chapter 47 reveals that back in middle school Kotomi wanted to give Tomoko's brother Tomoki a Valentine's Day chocolate. Unfortunately, she picked Tomoko as the one to tell this to Tomoki, and it all went downhill from there.
    • She tries it again in Chapter 113, and this time actually gets the chocolate to him. Unfortunately, some hilarious mishaps cause the chocolate to partially melt and fuse together into a decidedly phallic shape.
    • Averted in the case of Tomoko during the Valentine's Day arc. She gives and receives chocolate to and from her various acquaintances for platonic reasons. Possibly not-so-averted in the case of Ucchi, who went out of her way to leave Tomoko a surprise batch of chocolate in her locker.
  • 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 Geek: After entering high school, Tomoko's middle school friend Yuu became one of these to fit in. Also, Tomoko's classmate Hina Nemoto likes Slice of Life anime and wants to be a voice actress, which she hides from her friends. In chapter 97 she tells Tomoko they can talk about anime from time to time, but only in secret.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: In chapter 106, Yuri prevented Tomoko from saying something to Yoshida that would get her punched. Overall, she has a better grasp on what kind of person Tomoko is than the rest of the school.
  • 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.
  • Condescending Compassion: In chapter 48 of the manga Tomoko expresses this to Komiyama after finding her having lunch in the bathroom.
    • Kii-chan's attempts to help Tomoko, albeit unintentionally. While her intentions are well meaning, it's a little too obvious that she also looks down on Tomoko as something of a charity case, which usually leaves Tomoko feeling more resentful and put-off than anything else.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Taken to comically absurd levels in Chapter 93. Yuu just so happens to cut her hair the same way Ucchi does, Tomoko just so happens to use her as a model for some panties that match a pair she inadvertently stole from Ucchi during the class trip, and Ucchi just so happens to pass by to witness the proceedings. Needless to say, it only reinforces the emoji-faced girl’s paranoia that Tomoko has an obsession with her.
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: In chapter 93 Tomoko buys Kotomi a towel set as a birthday present. Kotomi ends up liking this present much more than Tomoko intended, because Tomoko's mother mistakenly placed the towels in the laundry basket with Tomoki's clothes for a while and they ended up smelling just like Tomoki's bed.
  • 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.
    • Chapter 32 reveals that Tomoki actually saw Tomoko as one when they were younger.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Both Tomoko and her brother.
  • Cringe Comedy: Tomoko's like David Brent's Japanese niece.
  • 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.
  • Cry Cute: Poor Tomoko...
  • Deconstruction: Of the cool otaku character archetype. Haruhi, Keima, and Konata have friends, talent, and looks to balance out their otaku tendencies. Lacking these three attributes, Tomoko's life is for the most part lonely, depressing, and frustrating.
    • All the children think The Queen has the power to take exactly the card she needs from her deck... but the truth is that Tomoko is a Card Sharp.
    • Being a Cute Clumsy Girl gets deconstructed in an omake. Sure, it may be cute, but it's also going to get you fired.
    • The series also deconstructs the idea of social anxiety as a "cute" trait. In real life, social anxiety is a MASSIVE detriment to anyone who has it, as humans are inherently social creatures. We need to communicate, and the inability to do so causes nothing more than pain and self-hatred, and WataMote displays this in all its terrible, depressing glory.
  • Despite the Plan: In chapter 48 Tomoko plans to make her rival Kotomi jealous and miserable by getting along with Tomoki, whom Kotomi has a crush on, in front of her. The plan deteriorates quickly as Tomoko accidentally crashes into Tomoki and gets a nosebleed; however, Kotomi gets to see Tomoki taking Tomoko to the infirmary and this does make her jealous in the end.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Whenever she's around Yuu, Tomoko has a bad habit of voicing her lustful thoughts for her friend out loud.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In chapter 47 Kotomi privately admits to Tomoko that she didn't like her back in middle school, immediately adding that she thinks they might get along in high school. This, combined with remembering an old misunderstanding they had, enrages Tomoko so much that in response she embarrasses Kotomi in public.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Inverted example. In chapter 25, after Tomoko purposely drops some hot porridge onto her brother's face, he responds with a swift kick to her back. Although it seemed painful, he claims he didn't kick her that hard, which may be true considering she was still holding the porridge in her hands instead of dropping it due to the force of his kick.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first chapter, Tomoki calls Tomoko "Hella Ugly"; later chapters establish him as being much more mature with a Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Tomoko
  • Emotionless Girl: Tomoko tries to invoke this in the tenth chapter, but she fails. Hilariously.
  • Erotic Dream: She tries to self-induce one after reading an article on what causes them. It doesn't work ... until the next day ... when she falls asleep in class.
  • 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.
  • Exact Words: In chapter 18/episode 9 of the anime, Tomoko wishes on a meteor shower for a boy to be with her. Shortly afterwards, she discovers that the cat that showed up is a male. Never said anything about a human male, after all...
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Eyeless Face: Appears frequently on random people.
  • The Faceless: Tomoko's father. He has his face cut off by a panel or hidden behind a text-balloon when he appears - even in chapter 121, where he has a prominent role. Though one of his eyes (very similar to Tomoko's) can be seen in a mirror reflection in this chapter.
  • Family Theme Naming: Chapter 18 reveals that Tomoko's brother's name is Tomoki.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Tomoko tries to invoke this to show Kii-chan how cool she is. But Kii-chan already sees through the ruse.
    • Later, in chapter 83, Kotomi kicks off another "Fawlty Towers" Plot when she meets Tomoki's classmate Akari Iguchi, doesn't deny it when Iguchi assumes that Kotomi is Tomoki's sister, and tries to discourage her from romantically pursuing Tomoki by telling her that Tomoki prefers older girls. The entire chapter 91 revolves around Kotomi's attempts to sustain that lie when she runs into Tomoko and Iguchi, and later when they are joined by Tomoki himself.
  • Foil: Yoshida is pretty quick to judge, a trait she shares with Tomoko.
  • 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.
  • Foreshadowing: In her mind, Tomoko laments about Nemoto's hair looking like an anime character's. as it Turns out, she's an otaku, and dreams of being a voice actress. Later on she says she hates violent anime like "Attack on Kabaneri" which may, or may not be true.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: At the end of special chapter 6, created in collaboration with Chiba Lotte Marines, Tomoko and Kotomi start to talk about the team doing a collab with some "anime or manga or something" about a loner protagonist. It turns out they are talking about Oregairu.
  • Generic Cuteness: Tomoko is drawn in the same style as everyone else, with the bags under her eyes, unkempt hair and unflattering clothing the main things that make her look worse than the other characters.
    • Also used as a plot point. During a partner portrait drawing assignment, Tomoko's partner draws her this way. She doesn't realize this, and assumes that he finds her attractive.
  • Genius Book Club: Upon turning 16, Tomoko tries to act mature by reading Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood, but it mostly goes over her head except for the sex scenes.
    • Tomoko tries to invoke this trope in chapter 48 in one of her attempts to one-up Kotomi by making a show of the fact that she read books written by (expies of) Murakami and Ango Sakaguchi, and by claiming that they are much better than "kiddy books" recommended by the school library. This backfires on her as Kotomi (the library assistant) turns out to be a much bigger bookworm, and gleefully notes that Tomoko acts all high and mighty despite the fact that she actually read only a few books of the aforementioned authors (and borrowed "kiddy books" herself just the other day).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The manga is able to depict an image of male genitals completely uncensored because the components are really a chocolate baseball bat and balls arranged in an unfortunate way.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Yoshida is seen playing a crane game for a plush kitty, much to Tomoko's surprise.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Sometimes, Tomoko's plans do succeed. Just not in the way that she likes.
    • In chapter 50, Tomoko decides to stay in school until dusk so that she can attract someone's attention by looking pretty and mysterious in the waning light, as is typical for a lot of anime protagonists. It works...she catches the attention of her homeroom teacher, who thinks Tomoko was interested in the after-school tennis matches
    • Tomoko tries to have her group for the class trip decided for her. When she tells Ogino she'd like to fill in an empty space for a group, the teacher obliges her...by making Tomoko the leader for other leftover students.
  • Gonk: Tomoko when she tries to use a duckface expression.
  • Gratuitous English: "It's a true world" in one of Tomoko's Inner Monologues in chapter 28 where she fantasizes about being a hostess in a Red Light District. Later she drops a few English words while calling for someone to free her from Beach Bury in chapter 65.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Tomoko puts on her headphones in order to ignore Yuu after the latter reveals that she has a boyfriend.
    • They seem to be Bland-Name Product Beats by Dr. Dre as well.
    • 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.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Played for Laughs during the athletic meet. Tomoko's brain short-circuits and she falls into a comical state of catatonia after fate conspires to have her partner up with an attractive guy in every event she participates in.
  • Hikikomori and NEET: Invoked in chapter 63, where Tomoko comes up with the idea to become one, living with and off Tomoki.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: One wonders if Tomoko is heterosexual at all, given the way she seems to constantly fantasize about Yuu and other girls. At this point, calling her only Ambiguously Bi wouldn't be all that truthful.
  • Hope Spot: Near the end of chapter 27/episode 10 of the anime, Tomoko gathers the courage to form her own club much like in other anime shows and manga. In the anime there is even a very serene song playing as Tomoko looks at her newly formed club with two other people, and they just spend the afternoon doing random things in the classroom. Then her mom starts shouting her name, and it turns out said serene scene was just an Imagine Spot she was in. To make matters worse, her club application in real life was rejected for being too vague in its goal.
    • In chapter 47, after ignoring Tomoko's attempts to befriend her for a while, Kotomi finds out that her old crush, Tomoki, ended up in the same high school as her. She then starts to treat Tomoko nicer, hoping that she might introduce her to her brother properly, and even suggests that in the end they might get along... but then Tomoko remembers a misunderstanding they had in the middle school, decides that she doesn't want to be friends with Kotomi after all, and humiliates her in front of Tomoki.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Done a lot since Tomoko mentally disparages people for allegedly being or doing what she herself aspires to be, or already does.
    • 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.
    • In chapter 44 finding out that the guy sitting next to her in a café watches an anime on his notebook makes her think of him as a loser. She then immediately starts watching the anime herself.
    • Tomoko is also a Covert Pervert in general, and repeatedly tries to make Tomoki lust after her, but when she convinces herself that Kotomi is sexually interested in Tomoki, this enrages her and makes her disgusted with Kotomi. The fact that she accuses Kotomi with great indignation of "being after dicks" and wanting to see Tomoki's penis is also funny considering Tomoko's own actions from chapter 43.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The format is: Mourning (Fail in the official translation) [Number]: Since I'm Not Popular, I'll [Subject].
  • I Have This Friend...: Yuu tries this in Chapter 36, but Tomoko sees straight through it and gets Yuu to confess other things her "friend" has done.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat:
    • Invoked and immediately subverted in chapter 56, where Tomoko tries to pull off a pass straight from Kuroko no Basuke while playing basketball during her P.E. class. All it gets her is a sprained wrist.
    • Tomoko tries to invoke this trope in chapter 62 when she tries to ride a bike, thinking she might have learned how to do that from watching biking anime. Needless to say, she fails.
  • Imagine Spot: Tomoko's prone to this.
  • Indirect Kiss: In chapter 51 Tomoko (wrongly) thinks that her classmate Hina Nemoto tried to invoke this trope when she lent Tomoko her chapstick. Later she gets jealous when Hina lends her chapstick to another girl.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Tomoko does this sometimes. It's much more pronounced in the anime. God, the SOUNDS she makes!
  • Inner Monologue: As Tomoko has very few people she can talk to, this is used most of the time.
  • Insult to Rocks: Tomoko does this to herself without realizing it.
    Calling me ugly would be an insult to real ugly girls!
  • I Wished You Were Dead: Tomoki said this to Tomoko in a moment of anger. She exploits it to blackmail him into talking to her.
  • Kafka Komedy
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The universe more often than not tends to swiftly punish Tomoko whenever she acts like a Jerkass. Tomoko herself invokes this trope at the end of chapter 55, thinking that her latest embarrassment must be divine punishment for her making fun of Tanabata.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • In one of her Inner Monologues in chapter 65 Tomoko notes that so far she failed to talk to any guys during her summer break, only hanging out with girls (Yuu, Kotomi and Kii) instead like a protagonist of some Moe Slice of Life anime or of a 4-Koma manga.
    • In chapter 39 Hina Nemoto states that she's glad Tomoko remembered her, noting that her presence is usually forgotten. Which seems to allude to her status in the story as a Living Prop until that very chapter more than to anything else.
    • While trying to make up excuses for why she was looking up dick pics in the first semester of her second year, Tomoko imagines telling the guy she's talking to that she scrolled through Twitter when "a bunch of foreign white guys sent [her] a flood of dick pics". For those unaware, the 4chan board /v/ sent Tanigawa dick pics during the early years of the manga to show their support for her.
  • Lethal Chef: One of Tomoko's classmates is revealed to be this in chapter 42. Naturally, she offers Tomoko some food she prepared; Tomoko compares its taste to that of pig food, then thinks it insulting to pigs and revises her opinion to industrial waste and actually pukes after eating it. Tomoko calls it good at first to avoid offending the girl, then out of spite once she finds out the girl was planning on making more for a boy.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: For a while, Akari was unaware that Tomoko and Tomoki were siblings, and mistook their snarky attitudes towards each other as a clear sign that they were a couple.
  • 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. Later, in chapter 67, she considers joining a group of otakus in her class who play what appears to be a game from the Super Smash Bros. series during breaks. She ultimately decides against this, as she found an otome game more engaging than the game her classmates were playing.
    • Tomoko discusses this trope in chapter 69 when, while forming groups for the school trip, her teacher makes her join a group of three other girls who did not join any other group; she believes that even thought they are loners and leftovers, they will not be alone now that they are in a group together. Then it's immediately subverted when Tomoko tries to talk to those girls, as it turns out that one of them actually plans to hang out with some other group, the second one didn't show up at all, and the third one doesn't care what they are going to do during the trip. Tomoko concludes that a bunch of loners put together in a group will stay loners, and that all loners are scumbags. Ultimately this trope is Double Subverted, as Tomoko does start to hang out with two of those girls as a result of the school trip.
  • 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.
  • Luminescent Blush: Tomoko, all over the place.
  • Mistaken Identity: In chapter 83 Tomoki's classmate mistakes Kotomi for Tomoki's sister and later mistakes Tomoko for Tomoki's suitor.
  • 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.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Gender-flipped. Tomoko really doesn't like the idea of girls dating her brother, which just adds another reason to why she's so hostile to Kotomi (and later Akari). Whether it's because she's uncomfortable with the idea of others perving over him, doesn't want to see another sign that he's more socially-capable than she is, wants him all for herself, or some combination thereof is up to interpretation.
  • Netorare: In chapter 48 this is used by both Tomoko and Komiyama against each other.
  • New Game+: Tomoko talks with Tomoki about the subject in Chapter 111, and imagined what life would be like if she played off being held back in school like a NG+. Then her fantasy exaggerates.
  • Nice Guy: They come around every once in a while, not that Tomoko notices. In fact, most of the schoolmates that Tomoko has a (very limited) contact with seem to fit; while they generally don't go out of their way to strike up a conversation with her, they do treat her with respect and kindness (at least to her face; later it's revealed some of her classmates have been using "Kuroki-level" to mean Epic Fail behind her back).
  • Nightmare Face: At the final pages of chapter 41.
    • Later in chapter 46. Compare this with this.
  • No Antagonist: Tomoko is her own worst enemy in most situations. And when she gets a better handle on things, everyone else shows that they're their own worst enemies too.
  • No Name Given: Pretty much everyone other than Yuu and Tomoko's family. Two of her classmates who've been in the background since the early chapters finally got names in the fourth volume — and that's probably only because the anime writers needed something to call them.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted (though slowly) as Tomoko has moved up a grade and had a birthday as the manga goes on. Also, she has yet to "grow up" in the other sense.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Chapter 80. When Tomoko accidentally knocks over Ucchi's luggage and spills her clothes all over the floor, she frantically tries putting them all back in before her roommate comes out of the shower and assumes she was up to something perverse. She only has enough time to get everything in save for a pair of panties, which she decides to hide under her covers and sneak back in at a later time. Unfortunately for her, Ucchi finds the panties and assumes Tomoko was up to something perverse. From that point on, she assumes everything Tomoko does is for perverse reasons.
  • Only Six Faces: In-universe, the fat geek who draws Kuroki's face always draws the same cutesy face.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Tomoko usually at least tries to restrain her Jerkass tendencies whenever she's interacting with Yuu. However, in chapter 93, in response to Yuu wondering what it would be like for Tomoko if Tomoki and Kotomi dated and eventually got married, Tomoko threatens to kill Yuu if she ever brings the topic up again.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Tomoko's dad finds her asleep in front of an eroge game, a massage wand/vibrator note  lying on the floor next to her. His reaction is to carry her to bed.
  • Otaku: The main character, Tomoko Kuroki, as well as her middle-school friend, Yuu.
  • Perverted Drooling: Tomoko drools copiously whenever she has an erotic thought. Which is practically all the time.
  • Pet the Dog: Yuu's friendship with Tomoko is one of the few good things that Tomoko has to look forward too, seeing as Yuu is literally one of two people who are willing to not only tolerate Tomoko, but actually like her, though Kii does lose her worship of Tomoko. Yuu represents the only positive thing about Tomoko's life, a person who genuinely likes and relates with her, something that even Tomoko's own family have immense difficulty doing. When your friend likes you more than your own family does really says something about the kind of life Tomoko has.
  • Porn Stash: Tomoko is convinced her brother has a collection of dirty magazines hidden somewhere in his room, but her efforts to dig up any such dirt on him haven't been successful so far, with the implication being that he really doesn't have anything of the sort. However, Tomoko has a lot of filthy things saved up on her phone, which is enough to send her into conniptions when she accidentally leaves it at school.
  • Potty Failure:
    • Tomoko suffers a mild case of this in Chapter 13. After staying up late reading horror stories, she becomes too frightened to go to the bathroom alone and tries holding it in. Eventually, she resorts to waking her brother up so he can accompany her there, but admits she already peed herself a little and has to take a shower and change her clothes.
    • Kii-chan's prank to scare Tomoko proves so effective it implicitly causes the older girl to wet herself on the spot.
  • Progressively Prettier: Tomoko to a degree. For much of the manga, she looked messy, disheveled, awkward, and childish at best. At worst, she'd go into Gonk territory with some of the grotesque facial expressions she would frequently put on whenever she lost her nerve (which was all the time). While she's still pretty disheveled and awkward, she's gotten better at maintaining her composure, and her features have become leaner to the point where she looks more like a proper teenager. It could just be Art Evolution in action, but it certainly serves to reflect Tomoko's growing maturity.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Played for Laughs in chapter 34, where Tomoko has this expression right before crushing a cockroach.
  • Reality Ensues: Whenever she tries to apply Anime tropes in real life. For instance, several slice-of-life animes feature a high school club that doesn't serve any real purpose other than as a hangout for the main cast (the S.o.S. Brigade, the Neighbor's Club.) However, when Tomoko attempts to found one of these in episode 10, her application is promptly returned by the student council with the note "Rejected: Club Purpose Unclear."
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Tomoko believes that due to the sheer amount of dating games she's played, she would naturally be just as popular at school in real life. Then she finds out that she was quite wrong...
  • 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.
  • Rescue Romance: A low-key version: volume 6 omake implies that Kotomi started to develop feelings for Tomoki when he intercepted a baseball that would hit her without his intervention.
  • Satchel Switcheroo: Kotomi's Valentine chapter centered around her making a set of chocolate for Tomoki. When she bumps into Tomoko, they get their chocolates swapped out, and Kotomi almost gives Tomoki a penis-shaped chocolate instead of the sports themed chocolates she planned on making. Funnily enough, the box gets swapped with the right one before he can even open it, and he ends up getting Kotomi's chocolates positioned in the shape of a penis.
  • 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.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: In the Volume 8 Christmas Special, Tomoki gets one of these in a gift exchange with his friends. Having no use (or want) of it, he passes it on to Tomoko...who, unbeknownst to him, discovered a sibling incest porn DVD in his PS3 that one of his buddies snuck in. Hilarity Ensues.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Most of the chapters.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Implied with Yuu, who's supposed to have been quite average-looking during middle school.
  • Shipper on Deck: Akari's friend Sayaka ships Akari with Tomoki and repeatedly encourages Akari to make a move on him.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • 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.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Tomoko is quite often on the receiving end of some physical comedy, e.g. getting smacked by Tomoki or Kotomi for being obnoxious, getting accidentally hit with her own desk while daydreaming in her class in chapter 9, getting accidentally hit in head by a basketball while daydreaming during a P.E. class in chapter 25, crushing into Tomoki and getting a nosebleed while trying to annoy Kotomi in chapter 48, spraining her wrist while trying to pull off a pass she saw in a manga while playing basketball in chapter 56, getting hit by Yoshida for being an Accidental Pervert, etc. - all Played for Laughs.
  • 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.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Tomoko tries to invoke this trope in chapter 82 to impress her classmates. All she manages to do is set the cigarette on fire and burn her finger though. She later tries to brag about it to her classmates anyway, not realizing that her homeroom teacher is listening as well.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Welcome to the N.H.K..
    • Spiritual Antithesis: According to some people, WataMote is this to The World God Only Knows. Both works feature main characters with huge experience in romance games and dating sims, but while Tomoko is obsessed about using that knowledge to become popular and respected, the protagonist of the latter doesn't care that much about Real Life. Not to mention that Tomoko's experiences with games, in contrast, all prove to be utterly incompatible with reality.
  • Squick: invoked In an Omake in volume 1, Tomoko's brother sees an old video of himself and Tomoko playing together as children... where he says he wants to marry her, and they possibly kiss each other. He's so shocked by it that it actually drives him into a Gendo Pose.
  • Teens Are Short: Adults tower over the predominantly teenage cast without fail, even teenagers in the 17-18 age bracket. And poor Tomoko is dwarfed by most of her own peers.
  • Tempting Fate: In chapter 23, Tomoko forgets to bring a textbook to class. Since she was too late to fake being sick and going to the nurse's office, she attempts to go "stealth mode". Unfortunately, it doesn't work, since the teacher immediately spots her and asks her why she didn't have her book, nor asked the guy sitting next to her to share his.
  • There Are No Therapists: Tomoko could probably benefit from some anxiety management therapy, but of course that doesn't happen. As with most anime, this is justified, as the culture of Japan generally views the concept of therapy as weak and shameful.
  • This Loser Is You: Look at the quote on top of the page.
  • Those Two Guys: Kiyota (the guy with glasses) and Okada (the blonde girl) in Tomoko's class.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Sometimes, but may also lead to more suffering.
    • In chapter 21/episode 11, 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.
    • In chapter 44, she creates a sort of unspoken friendship with another anime fan and succeeds in accomplishing her goal of (marginally) improving her grades.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • Tomoko tries this in chapter 5, 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.
    • When cooking Valentine's Day Chocolate in chapter 112, Tomoko makes her candy look like turds. Hilarity Ensues when she starts distributing it among her various acquaintances.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: After a couple of months trying to convince herself that she is popular, Tomoko literally sees herself in 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!
  • Tone Shift: The series started out as a rather episodic Cringe Comedy, but gradually turned into a more continuous Coming-of-Age Story. Also, early chapters (the chapters that the anime was adapted from, and thus probably influencing people's impression of the whole series the most) showed Tomoko friendless (with the exception of Yuu), isolated in her school and repeatedly failing at socializing, and switched between playing Tomoko's situation for laughs and showing that Tomoko's situation is actually depressing for her. In later chapters Tomoko gets a small circle of acquaintances and even undergoes some positive Character Development, and the humor mostly comes from the characters' interactions.
  • Too Much Information: Tomoko gives Tomoki his forgotten lunch, as well as a rice ball she made for him. When he asks her if she washed her hands before making it, she assures him she did...because she went to the bathroom first and washed her hands for that.
  • 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.
  • Unnamed Parent: Tomoko's parents have generally gone unnamed.
  • Unwanted Assistance:
    • How Tomoko feels about her teacher, Ogino, questioning her about her lack of friends and trying to help her make friends, as well as about Kii's attempts to take care of her.
    • Later, in chapter 95, Akari has this reaction to her friend Sayaka defending her by arguing with Tomoko (in public) whether Akari's interest in Tomoki's dick makes her "pure-hearted" or not.
    • In chapter 117, Ucchi is not happy when Yuri helps her leave the train (unintentionally ruining Ucchi's plan to meet Tomoko) after Ucchi lied to Yuri that her legs had gone numb.
  • Valley Girl: In the WorldThree translation, Nemoto is seen using this dialect in chapter 117.
  • 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 If?: One piece of omake explores how various situations might have turned out had things gone differently.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: To their mother's dismay, Tomoko prevents her brother from enrolling at his dream high school because she forgot to mail his application.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Tomoko is so socially awkward that pretty much all of her knowledge of social interactions comes from anime and otome games. As a result she ends up applying anime tropes to Real Life, with little success. Up to Eleven: The audience knows Tomoko’s thoughts, and so her actions seem logical enough, but for anyone who interacts with her, Tomoko’s actions seem surprising, irrational or just plain crazy.
    • 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.
    • In chapter 8 she decides to eat her lunch two periods before the lunch break, thinking this might make her look as cute as anime heroines who are always eating. Instead, all she attracts are some surprised and unflattering comments from her classmates.
    • 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.
    • The entirety of chapter 50 revolves around Tomoko being Wrong Genre Savvy, as she tries to give a proper start to her "story" by sitting alone in an empty classroom at dusk, trying to look mysterious and beautiful, and waiting for some Ordinary High-School Student to find her. This naturally does not work, which makes her briefly contemplate whether she even has the qualities needed to become a protagonist of a story. In the end she does get "found" by her P.E. teacher Ogino, who misunderstood the situation and thought that all this time Tomoko was watching her schoolmates playing tennis and wanted to play herself but lacked the courage to say so.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Sometimes it seems things are looking up for Tomoko but it doesn't last.
    • An early example has Tomoko reconnecting with her best friend Yuu and having fun all day but being crushed at the end after learning she has a boyfriend.
    • In chapter 39, Tomoko's second year of high school starts with new classroom seating arrangements. Her new seatmate Hina Nemoto not only remembered who she is but also thought her introduction at the beginning of the first year was funny. 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 Hina 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 doesn't get as close to her classmate as she imagined.
    • Later Tomoko does talk to her new seatmate occassionally, a slight improvement from talking to none of her classmates. But in chapter 43, Hina strikes up a conversation with Tomoko while the latter is searching the Internet for some NSFW pictures... during class. This surprises Tomoko so much that she drops her phone and it ends up in their teacher's hands with the images still onscreen.
    • Whenever other people (besides her family and Yuu) are being sociable toward Tomoko, she is too socially inept to respond much in turn. Whenever other people go out of their way to be kind to her, she's oblivious to the act.
    • The subplot of Tomoko reuniting with another middle school classmate led to this since she's made a potential friend into an enemy. Though they never got along in middle school, both wanted to be friends with the other now, before Tomoko ruined it.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Yuu in Chapter 8 wears a uniform invoking this.

    Anime tropes 
  • 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.
    • While Yuu is plenty attractive in the manga, the anime gives her a much more mature and buxom figure, as well as more fanservice-laden shots.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime adapts and combines some chapters out of order.
  • Animation Bump: Tomoko's massive Freak-Out in the last episode has notably more fluid and higher quality animation than the rest of the series.
  • 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.
    • Whenever Tomoko gets especially panicky, the art shifts to a still drawn in a cubist style. And the more aggravated she get, the more cubist she becomes.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • Dub Text:
    • In episode 11, a male student remarks on one of the popular girls' work with "Wow, you're pretty good at this!" in the original and "I knew you had me in you—I mean, nice job." in the dub.
    • Episode 12: a description of Tomoko's body odor is bumped up from "like old people" to "like a decaying corpse".
  • 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. We aren't shown what happens next, but it's pretty safe to assume what did.
  • 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.
  • Informed Flaw: In episode 6, Tomoki notes that Tomoko looks filthy and oily when she looks cleaner than usual, having lost her Exhausted Eye Bags. This was not the case in the manga, where in the equivalent scene, Tomoko really did look greasy.
  • 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.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The ending theme's an incredibly cutesy and bubbly song that, fitting Tomoko, is all about her introverted tendencies and unpopular status with a singer that's horribly off-key.
  • 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.
  • Older Than They Look: Kii-chan is about 13, but the way she's drawn she looks like she's about 10, driving home Tomoko's embarrassment at being looked down on by someone much younger than herself.
  • One Degree of Separation: In the OVA episode. Aoyama, the boy Tomoko tried to impress, is apparently friends with Tomoko's brother.
  • Random Events Plot: This is often the case in the anime, since each episode is composed of a bunch of unrelated manga chapters strung together. Some episodes feature a unifying theme to tie everything together, such as Tomoko trying to have some genuine high school experiences to tell Yuu about when they meet at the end of the week, but other times, it really is just a series of random events happening in her life.
  • The Rashomon: 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.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Since the anime only roughly covers the first four volumes of the manga, before it got hit with the Tone Shift, it pretty much ends where it began: with Tomoko still as friendless and socially-stunted as ever.
  • Soprano and Gravel: The opening theme song is sung by both a female and male vocalist, with the latter's tone often sinking to an angry growl. Tomoko sings along with the "gravel" parts.
  • 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.
  • Static Character: While Tomoko has some minor Character Development, by most appearances she ends the series largely unchanged. This is often pointed to as either a point of criticism or praise, with critics being put off by the lack of any clear development, and proponents tending to read this as an acknowledgement that, in real life, dealing with problems like extreme social anxiety or maladjustment is usually an incremental, uneven process that rarely has a clean resolution. The fact that the anime only adapts material from the first four volumes of the manga, before Tomoko begins to develop on any level, also has something to do with it.
  • 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.
    • Tomoko's self-recorded voice acting comes across as flat when combined with a professional's.
  • 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.
    • Episode 11 also ends on this note, with Tomoko getting a hug from the Student Council President while dressed in the mascot costume. While this scene was also in the manga and was a thrown-bone moment for Tomoko there too, it's an even bigger one here as it happens after Tomoko faces constant crushing misery for two episodes in a row, with episode 10 in particular dialing back on the comedy and playing her loneliness for drama. It applies on a meta level as well; the credit sequence features Tomoko walking home with her balloon in hand, suffering no humiliations along the way, and to the tune of a more upbeat and hopeful song.
  • Title Theme Tune: The opening track.
  • Younger Than They Look: Yuu-chan is a good deal more developed than a gangly 15 year girl would be, frequently commented on by Tomoko to highlight her frustrating lack of literal and metaphorical development.
  • 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 former is censored by a meow; the latter three organizations, by gunfire.

    Spinoff Manga tropes 
  • 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.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Tomoko decides to try this look out to make her look more relaxed and mysterious. It turns out it's pretty painful to keep your eyes squinted all the time, and it's difficult to see.
  • Hair Antennae: Tomoko and Komiyama try this in chapter 3 but people just think they have bedhead.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • Played for Laughs in chapter 12 when Tomoko falls into a nearly-comatose funk after getting in trouble with her parents. What kind of trouble exactly? Getting caught buying a Yandere CD with their credit card.
    • Done again 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.
    • In chapter 17 Tomoko runs into Kotomi at a bookstore and tries to leave while pretending she didn't see her. This plan fails when Kotomi notices Tomoko... and starts pretending she didn't, which angers Tomoko.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Implied. When Yuu asks Tomoko if the latter has any nicknames, the only things Tomoko can think of are various insults, indicating that she was likely bullied in her younger years.
  • 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.
  • Periphery Demographic: In-universe. In chapter 20 Tomoko reveals that she started to watch some Moe Slice of Life shows with characters that Tomoko describes as "girls who are basically a giant bundle of guys' fantasies and sexual desires clumped together". This is because she likes to imagine that these girls are Animated Actors who in reality are regular girls with horrible personalities.
  • Perverted Drooling: Tomoko does this in the first chapter, when she rides a bike with Yuu and fantasizes about groping her.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When a man drops a wallet containing 100,000 yen in a convenience store, Tomoko turns it over to the clerk. Not because it was the right thing to do, but because she knew she wouldn't get away with stealing it due to all the security cameras. Kotomi catches onto her motives right away.
  • Roadside Wave: Happens to Tomoko, Yuu and Kotomi at the same time at the end of chapter 14.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Exploited in chapter 24. Tomoko uses her pollen allergies to make it look like she's crying so she can bask in the atmosphere of the graduation ceremony without looking out of place.
  • 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Discussed in chapter 20. In discussion with Kotomi, Tomoko claims that everyone in the world has some sort of dark side to them and that there are no unambiguously good people in the world. Kotomi disagrees and claims that such a good person is in fact right with them - thinking about Yuu, but Tomoko thinks Kotomi is complimenting her.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: In-universe. In chapter 28 Tomoko and Kotomi have this reaction to Yuu gushing about how much fun she has hanging out with the two of them and wishing it would continue forever; the two are shocked that Yuu can say what they consider to be cliched anime lines with no embarrassment whatsoever.
  • 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.


Alternative Title(s): Its Not My Fault Im Not Popular, No Matter How I Look At It Its You Guys Fault Im Not Popular, Watamote

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/NoMatterHowILookAtItItsYouGuysFaultImNotPopular?from=Manga.ItsNotMyFaultImNotPopular