This leads to the discussion about how Tomoko remains a jerkass, but being worse off in high school may make readers overlook her less savory traits. In the main series, she still has the same jerkish tendencies but she's depicted more pitifully. At present, Yuu, her only friend, attends a different school while she's making no new friends on her own, and she's also a massive Butt-Monkey, whereas in the prequel, Tomoko is less pitiful since she regularly hangs out with Yuu and Komiyama, and isn't as much of a Butt-Monkey. The main manga also mainly shows Tomoko's point of view while the prequel mainly shows what other people think of her.
To what extent is Tomoko's situation really her fault, and to what extent is it under her control? Does she have some Ambiguous Disorder or is it more self-fulfilling?
Is Tomoko bisexual or just so socially awkward that she doesn't know how to be friends with people? It doesn't help that her desperate need for some form of affection might be overriding her sexuality. Or alternately she could just be invoking Yuri to be more popular.
Tomoko's classmates typically don't bully or mock her, but they don't take much notice of her either. Though whenever they talk to her, they treat her normally. Even considering Tomoko's own issues, are her classmates more nice or indifferent people?
Did Komiyama really want to reconcile with Tomoko for her sake or did she just want to get close to her crush Tomoki? Or both? Was Tomoko ironically on the right track when she accused her of only craving his cock? On one hand, Komiyama only responded to Tomoko's own overtures of friendship when she found out Tomoki attended their school too. On the other hand, she honestly admitted to Tomoko that she didn't like her back then, and said she hoped they could get along now.
Audience-Alienating Premise: If the show hits too close to home in a way that's uncomfortable or painful rather than funny, or if you've ever been compared to Tomoko (especially by people who find her irritating or hilarious), it might give you the urge to avoid the series altogether.
Awesome Music: The opening has gotten very positive reactions. This could be because the music is more for a battle manga than a slice of life story.
Opinions are divided on Hina Nemoto. Some like her for her (usually) friendly attitude towards Tomoko. Meanwhile, others are more leery, seeing her as a more antagonistic figure who's not as nice as she seems. Even in-universe, Tomoko doesn't know what to make of Hina. After getting in a few bouts of Passive Aggressive Combat with her, Tomoko tends to act suspicious of Hina, only to get caught off-guard whenever she does something genuinely nice.
As the series goes on, it becomes apparent that Tomoko's not as much as a social wreck as she was when she first starts high school. You'd be surprised at the amount of people who say that this is a bad thing for her, since it takes away from the fun of the story. On the other hand, others say that she becomes a bit of a Weirdness Magnet, since as she becomes more normal, everyone else's quirks become more prominent.
Due to the series leaning heavily into Cringe Comedy territory concerning Tomoko's Social Anxiety, there sprung a debate over whether the humor of the series was too mean-spirited given the subject matter. Others find it fair game since majority of the bad things that happens to Tomoko end up being self-inflicted.
Counterpart Comparison: Tomoko to Konata from Lucky Star. Tomoko is a much less socialized, more awkward version of Konata (or for more cynical viewers, a more realistic version of her). They even both have green eyes and similar hairstyles. The resemblance is increased when you remember a series of popular Lucky Star fan-comics that depicted a "realistic" Konata, who is very much like Tomoko.
Creepy Cute: Tomoko. Her Creepy Shadowed Undereyes, disheveled appearance, gloomy demeanor, extreme perversity, violent thoughts, and crippling awkwardness make her very uncomfortable to watch and be around, but her childish looks and inability to do anything right do much to make her endearing, instilling more sympathy than disgust. In-universe, this seems to be Ucchi's opinion of her, as while she thinks Tomoko is creepy, she notes that there's a strange charm to her creepiness.
Ear Worm: The opening and some of the endings, such as the cover of "Natsu Matsuri" featuring Hatsune Miku.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Tomoko's petty annoyances on Tomoki, such as hogging the shower while he's getting sick and playing a prank on him purely on a whim, becomes less funny considering that this behavior is what made him start hating her in the first place.
The manga rapidly gained a fanbase outside of Japan via 4chan's /a/ — mainly out of empathy. It also has a fanbase on /v/ as well, despite their eternal rivalry with the former. The cover of the first volume even acknowledges the foreign fanbase.
This has also become a Colbert Bump - a significant number of people have bought copies of the tankōbon (despite not knowing the language) simply to support the authors, which in itself has drawn even more attention to the manga.
Heck, it's actually popular enough that it is given an English dub and BD treatment by Sentai Filmworks.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The manga club guy comments that he draws the same type of face for background characters because it is the easiest for him to draw. Later, Nico Tanigawa would publish Number Girl, a 4-Koma about... clones.
In Episode 8, the boy who brought Tomoko an umbrella sees Tomoko again, and she tells him her name. He mishears it as "Momoko" and Tomoko freaks out, which is incidentally the name of another character that Monica Rial played, from Ghost Stories.
Hollywood Homely: Tomoko, though less so than most examples, especially by anime standards. For an anti-social shut-in, she actually looks the part, with dull, baggy eyes and regularly making some rather unflattering facial expressions.
Jerkass Woobie: Tomoko responds to her social isolation by becoming really embittered and mean spirited. It's a regrettably accurate depiction of the way a lot of people do react to social isolation, especially adolescents who are usually a bit self centered and immature to begin with. Viewers can recognize this as a counterproductive personal flaw, but it's also a very relatable one. Of course, Tomoko's jerkass tendencies are somewhat softened by the fact that she's either too introverted and inept to do any real harm, and nobody is sufficiently invested in their relationship with her for her to have much of an impact one way or the other.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Pick a named character. Any named character. Chances are good someone is shipping them with Tomoko. Popular people to pair her up with include Tomoki, Yuu, Megumi, Yoshida, and Ucchi.
Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: This manga about an unflatteringly, stereotypical geek owes its success to the very type of geek Tomoko herself is. This is primarily because, as at least one has said, it hits too close to home.
The Author Avatars of Nico Tanigawa as little mammals in omakes, the avatar of the female artist in particular. When foreign fans sent them pictures of their penises, she claimed never to have seen one before. She was also bothered by the male writer perving over Tomoko's voice actress recording her lines, and by the conditions of workers in the animation studio.
Narm Charm: The opening is so incredibly unfitting that it circles back to being awesome and makes you want to cheer for Tomoko.
Nightmare Fuel: Some of Tomoko's expressions are unsettling, to say the least.
For example: In the first episode where she threatens Tomoki that she would kill herself if he didn't talk to her. With the aforementioned expressions and dark atmosphere, it makes it seem like she would seriously kill herself.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Social anxiety is not "cute," nor does it make victims appear charming. It is a miserable experience because humans need to be social in some way or another, and the psychological damage of the inability to do so is very, very serious.
Squick: Tomoko sure is bent on getting her little brother to be attracted to her. Though when he gets up close to her during such a moment (just to show her out) she freaks out a bit.
Stoic Woobie: Yuri. While she puts up a convincing front of indifference throughout, she too is prone to feelings of loneliness and has trouble coping whenever she get separated from the few friends she has.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: You'd think Tomoko's parents would have a bigger role and maybe help Tomoko deal with her problems. They're heavily ignored, which is most likely due to Values Dissonance (since in Japan many people look down on those who seek therapy; even the most compassionate parents would rather ignore the problem and hope their child just "grows out of this phase" rather than face the shame of seeking out a licensed professional. See also Hikikomori).
Ugly Cute: Tomoko. It's certainly easy to see why she isn't considered attractive, but there's definitely a charm to her goofy appearance.
Values Dissonance: One of the bigger western gripes with the plot is the overall lack of input from Tomoko's parents, or adults in general, to get her help with her glaring antisocial tendencies. In context, this isn't that surprising: Japan's take on social therapy/counselling is nowhere near as common or acknowledged as the West's.
Strangely enough, Tomoko's 2nd year homeroom teacher doesn't seem to have that memo and butts in, trying to get her to open up in very blunt ways, with Tomoko's expressions definitely looking of the "Unwanted Assistance" variety.
The Woobie: Tomoko, pretty much. You just have to feel sorry for a girl who just has no idea how to talk to people without making herself look like a total dork.
Jerkass Woobie: She can also be unsympathetic at times, which shows how she's self-defeating. The fact that she apparently can't read other people's basic emotions, to the point where she interprets an innocent crush as perverse lust (see her incident with Komiyama), makes it easy for her to be extremely cruel and rude to other people, but also a very sad individual to behold.
Kotomi has problems expressing her feelings for Tomoki, and each time she's turned to his sister for help, Tomoko would always humiliate her publicly purely out of spite. Later chapters show she's just as hopeless without Tomoko's meddling, as all Kotomi's efforts to connect with him end up just making her look like a pervy stalker that honestly creeps Tomoki out.
Alternative Title(s):Its Not My Fault Im Not Popular