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Author Topic: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui  (Read 12731 times)

Offline Pebble

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Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« on: July 09, 2013, 04:40:05 AM »
Or  'No Matter How I Look at It, Itís You Guys' Fault Iím Not Popular!'

1:

This is this season's tailor-made-for-loners show. Its not really trying to be anything like last season's Oregairu, and I can respect that, but its quite often just too obvious its going for a "Aww, look how sad she is" reaction. There is, nevertheless, a good deal of relateable stuff, like Tomoko planning her escape route from Mcdonalds(Ok, yeah, I've done that), getting tongue-tied at the Mcdonalds counter(that too), getting pissed off at the cool crowd(and that), and her brother's reaction to her walking into her room(haven't done that, but its happened to me).
Come to think of it, I had a pretty terrible first year of high school.

I also like the visuals, especially the lighting effects, which remind me of Humanity has Declined and TLOZ:The Wind Waker.
And oh my god that OP. Havent lolled that hard at one since Chuunibyou's ED. That, Tomoko netsurfing and "I'm coming soon" were easily the three funniest things this episode.

What I really want to know is why ImperialX hates/hated this so much.

Offline MCAL

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 10:24:59 AM »
What I really want to know is why ImperialX hates/hated this so much.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say ImperialX doesn't like using MC's suicidal depression for comedy. Which is understandable, but we can't help find funny what we find funny and I mostly- Didn't find MC threatening suicide exactly funny to me- found this show funny. Reminds me of NHK slightly. Although NHK (obviously) treated things more seriously then Watamote seems to be doing.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 10:34:13 AM by MCAL »

Offline Kiniest

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 10:43:31 AM »
1: That wasn't too bad. It's an interesting perspective to look at this character from. It's got an interesting tone, and, to be honest, it doesn't oversaturate our requirement to empathize with the MC. But using her suicidal depression as humor is less funny than using Dog and Scissor's died and became a dog as humor. This could be a good show, nonetheless. I'll set the stakes at around a 6.
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Offline Pebble

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 11:53:09 AM »
Quote
At times Haganai would put the viewer in the awkward position of not knowing whether something was intended as comical, or just sad considering the semi-serious subject matter at hand.
I just picked that up from the Reckoner's haganai review because it suits the suicide gag perfectly.

As a joke, the suicide joke is, in and of itself, not really funny; it's only mildly amusing if viewed as Tomoko blackmailing her brother. As something serious, it's held back because I don't think anyone would say it out loud to anyone, even/especially a close family member. Though thoughts like these leak out in actions somehow.
The way I say it makes it sound like a fail in both departments, and yes, it is in some senses, really stupid, but its also fitting. Social isolation generally makes people vicious, apathetic and deliberately politically-incorrect. I think Tomoko ponders suicide with as much anger as she does with genuine depression or a desire to emotionally lacerate herself further.
Another thing that I've noticed happens is that people tend to lose a sense of privacy. Privacy is, in a sense, just a facade; it stems our desire to portray a specific image of herself to others. In isolation, there no outside audience to portray an image to, just yourself. The only person you can play your role in front of is yourself, and Tomoko, being herself, cannot hide the socially despicable elements of her life from herself. The interesting thing is that she is in a position where society's demands can still reach her(difficulty level/good ends&bad ends), so she has a yardstick to judge herself by. Oregairu's Hikigaya, in contrast, had already become aware of such social yardsticks and had divorced himself from them. So in her state, not only is she depressed, she's also amoral and has somewhat low self-esteem. Thats why she sees nothing wrong with contemplating suicide out loud, and does it that easily.
She's also had plenty of time to f*** herself up, if the bit about her middle school experience is any indication.

What's the point of all of this? I dont know. Maybe that the entire haganai-esque tone of the show emphasizes Tomoko's self-judgement. Its even more evident in the ED's lyrics.

I'm probably reading waaaay too much meaning into this show right now.

Offline Sorrows Neptune

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 01:16:54 PM »
1:

It's Watamote. The whole point of this series to make you cringe as you watch Tomoko get herself into painfully awkward situations, and then afterwards have a huge circle jerk about how relatable it is.

I really like how metal music started playing when Tomoko was trying to think of how to get past her schoolmates in the WcDonalds. The visuals and audio in general are big improvement over the manga so this is a pretty stellar adaption so far.

As for the suicide joke, it's important to note that Tomoko isn't actually suicidal or depressed, and the point of the joke was that she was trying to pressure her brother into talking with her. She has zero social skills so that behavior is certainly justifiable within the context of the setting. I personally didn't find it all that offensive and didn't care much for it either way, but suicide isn't really something that should be used for humor regardless so YMMV I suppose. (edit: Well, suicide humor is a bit more complicated of an issue than "it should never be used," but yeah it's a tricky subject.)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 02:54:45 PM by Sorrows Neptune »

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 01:03:57 AM »
1:

That was utterly charming in a black comedy kind of way.  This is kind of like watching Working! but from the perspective of Takanashi's morbid older sister instead.  I found myself completely sympathetic to Tomoko, even though she brings all of it on herself with her delusions of reality.  Relating anime?  Yeah, I think I can relate to quite a bit of this.  I think we've all had those times when we had expectations for something approaching fantasy levels only to have reality smack us right upside the head.  To her credit, she's still trying, she's just doing it wrong. 

The PROBLEM with this series is painfully obvious from the start.  Watching Tomoko struggle to become what she wants to be (which is something I'm not even sure she knows) will get old after a while.  Eventually she has to make progress, or the author has to throw her a bone (or both), or it will just get boring.  Relating is one thing, but after a while, a lack of progress is not endearing anymore, but annoying.

I would say something about her deliberately trying to become a slut, but for some reason these characters appeal to me.  I mean, this isn't the first time I've fallen in love with the plight of a would be cockgoblin.  At least she's not a prude, though I question whether her lack of a desire for purity is driven by her own wants or by her fear of not meeting that non-popular requirement.  Meh, either way, get laid, girl.
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Offline SQA

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 02:41:52 PM »
I'm not sure she wants to be a cockgoblin, but she wants affirmation and validation.  The fastest way to get a little bit of that, for a younger female, is to put out.  Though, considering the relationship between early sexual experience, life-outcomes and mental stability, it's also one of the worst options available.  Further, given all of her time with Otome games, I feel like they'll take the series in a direction where she would actually reject a "solid" suitor that isn't drop dead gorgeous.  (Think of it like being used to incredibly sweet candy, then eating one that isn't.  It isn't appealing because you're used to super-sweet things)   Plus, well, they could mine some hilarious comedy from that.

Still, this is definitely dark comedy, as all of these problems are due to her own creation.  Which, oddly enough, makes it so I can't really relate.  If I was ever being pathetic in high school, I'd realize it, stop, and then change the situation.  Which is what you *should* do.

Offline Sorrows Neptune

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 04:24:58 PM »
If I was ever being pathetic in high school, I'd realize it, stop, and then change the situation.  Which is what you *should* do.

Well that's an awfully condescending way to put it. I agree that that's what someone should do, but it's not nearly as easy as you make it sound. It takes awhile to develop social skills and get over a certain mindset, especially if you have social anxiety holding you back like Tomoko does.

That being said,
Spoiler for the manga I guess:
as of chapter 42 of the manga, Tomoko barely does make any progress with her problems. So in that case you could certainly berate her for not trying hard enough or approaching her situation from the wrong direction, but like I said it takes awhile to develop social skills and get over a certain mindset. I personally still enjoy the manga, but I can easily imagine the story losing its charm more quickly in the format of 20 minute episodes rather than 10-20 page chapters.

Offline SQA

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 05:17:08 PM »
Don't get me wrong, I liked ep 1 and I think I'll like the series.  I just can't relate, but that's not being condescending. 

Most problems, short of some physical and Acts of God, are self-created.  Which means the first issue is always "stop being stupid", then the next is "don't continue being stupid".  These are the basis of introspection and self-correction.   Tomoko is hilarious, in the dark comedy way, because she lacks either of those.  Regardless of how brutally shy she comes across, she's actually still a massive narcissist.  The inability to adjust to the "world as it exists" is all on her and her family.   That's what is going to make the series hilarious & depressing & leave you wondering if you're wrong for watching this.  All at the same time.  It's the Personality Train Wreck.

This is also probably why it'll hit a cord with a lot of people.  Modern society is based off living in the "unreality" of the Age.  Tomoko is just a version of that thinking taken to the extreme.   But she's also female, so it plays on the natural protective instincts of the male watchers.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 05:26:13 PM »
Quote
This is also probably why it'll hit a cord with a lot of people.  Modern society is based off living in the "unreality" of the Age.  Tomoko is just a version of that thinking taken to the extreme.

Yep.

Quote
But she's also female, so it plays on the natural protective instincts of the male watchers.

Not sure on this one, tho.  Yeah, there's a certain amount of sympathy that we can all have for someone who is just sad, but I think the main thing is that she provides a perspective look at being a "loser" (if you will) from a female point of view.  For males, this kind of lets them think that they aren't alone, and that women struggle with this, too.  For women, it might be easier to relate.
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Offline Sorrows Neptune

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 06:31:22 PM »
Don't get me wrong, I liked ep 1 and I think I'll like the series.  I just can't relate, but that's not being condescending.

I do agree with your points; my issue is with how you worded it as "I'd realize how pathetic I am and then change the situation," which makes it sound easier than it actually is. Which comes off as condescending particularly because you haven't been in the situation yourself. Though I suppose I might just be misunderstanding what you mean exactly because of wording.

Offline SQA

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2013, 07:36:28 PM »
Don't get me wrong, I liked ep 1 and I think I'll like the series.  I just can't relate, but that's not being condescending.

I do agree with your points; my issue is with how you worded it as "I'd realize how pathetic I am and then change the situation," which makes it sound easier than it actually is. Which comes off as condescending particularly because you haven't been in the situation yourself. Though I suppose I might just be misunderstanding what you mean exactly because of wording.

I can see where you're coming from, but if my "troubles" in life were as easy as Tomoko's, I'd be praising to Lord to high heaven.  I've relearned to walk... more than once due to a medical issue outside of anyone's control.  And while I'm doing quite "well" now, a list of everything I've gone through would make Tomoko's troubles look exactly as they are: self-inflicted. 

Tomoko is a Narcissist.  (See here.) It just happens to be merged with either severe social anxiety or simply no social skills.  (I'll leave the Jury out on the clinical significance of her issues)   While she realizes there is a problem, she simply cannot or refuses to adapt to the problem in a functional manner.  Everything still has to follow under her control.   This is how you can have people in real life with massive social anxiety problems and massive egotism at the same time.  They aren't mutually exclusive.   Tomoko just happens to be funny, when put together.  It's a very tight line to

But, I can see why a lot of people can relate.  Up until the teenage years, most people in modern societies are highly protected from consequences of life AND from the "world as it is".  After the shift in brain physiology that happens between 12 & 14, you have a young adult that has more than likely not touched base with the brutal parts of the world now attempting to make it in schools that are much closer to the real world, yet they're now always removed from quite a lot of the previous protections that existed.   This is why coddling children is so terrible on them.   But, almost everyone gets over this.   There can, however, be something of a time delay and it's not an uncommon experience for the entire Freshmen year of high school to operate, in a much toned down manner, to the way Tomoko sees the world. 

Because of that shift that happens, it opens up a way for a lot of people to relate to the character of Tomoko.  It's just a fine line to write around, though.  You have some sympathy, but you can never push it too far, as this is a self-inflicted issue.  At the same time, you can't beat her down too hard or the creator comes off as sadistic.  Fine line, that.

I'll close by pointing out that I am very, very different from the norm.   I was made fairly aware of that by age 8, when I started having adults ask me for advice on important topics.  The basics of Wisdom is "don't be stupid; if you're being stupid, stop".  Just stating your actions out loud, to yourself, will point out about 80% of the problems.  I have a brutally honest streak, in person, and that's why I can't relate to Tomoko.

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 09:59:46 PM »
What I really want to know is why ImperialX hates/hated this so much.

I've actually been avoiding this thread while browsing the forums, and I wasn't aware of this until Sorrows Neptune actually pinged me on Twitter. xD

As Sorrows Neptune has already said, this show is meant to make you cringe. I still haven't seen the first anime episode (because I do intend to uphold my reputation of never dropping anime I start), but based off what I've read from the manga, I admit it's extremely effective in doing so. In fact I'd go far as saying the entire series is more tragic than pretty much every tragedy I have ever seen. So why do I hate this series, and why do I not understand why anyone would? In my perspective there are two ways to enjoy this series. Let's take a look, shall we?

The first way is that you're actually a totally normal person in real life, having never experienced depression or social awkwardness to this degree. You will look at this series at a descending way, since Tomoko is the epitome of "loser" as everyone has already pointed out. You will watch this show and then laugh at how sad she is, since WataMote is very much a very sane World in the eyes of a rather insane individual who is obviously suffering extreme cases of both narcissism and schizoid PD and needs to be seeing a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.

The second way is that you're actually a person who has suffered from similar cases of social awkwardness, depression or psychological disorders. It's possible that you can somewhat relate yourself into the shoes of Tomoko and find solace in the fact that you're not alone, and the writer of this series understands you. From what I've seen off 4chan and 2ch, this is actually one of the main appeals of this manga. I'm shocked to find the number of people online who say that they can actually relate to the protagonist. This is a shocking revelation to me because she seems so over-written to a point that I didn't expect a shred of realism in the series. Apparently I'm wrong, so colour me surprised.

Look at these two reasons, and now think about The Big Bang Theory. To be honest, the comparison between the two shows (despite completely opposite moods) is shockingly similar. The Big Bang Theory is a show that tries to appeal to you in two ways. You're either a normal person who has no idea about geek culture, and then you're laughing at the cast for being socially awkward. Alternatively, you're a person who is a nerd, and you feel you can relate to Howard or Sheldon every time they talk about World of Warcraft. WataMote works in the same way.

But don't you think something is wrong here? I guess this is why I don't like The Big Bang Theory either.

Think about it. Both kinds of enjoyment for these kinds of shows are very cruel in nature. For the first type of enjoyment, you're generating enjoyment out of another individual's utter failures. This is somewhat tolerable in The Big Bang Theory since you're just laughing at people who are "geeks" (that's not very nice either, but it's not as bad as WataMote). If you enjoy WataMote in the first way, you're literally finding enjoyment in a person who is suffering a genuine problem many people in real life are suffering from: social awkwardness and schizoid personality disorders. It's taking a genuine problem that's affecting many people in the World, and ridiculing them, making a humour from such a real problem. I can't enjoy something like this.

For the second type of enjoyment, my gosh, I definitely think this show isn't good for you. This show is ridiculing a character with your very problems! Every time I laugh at a joke in The Big Bang Theory, I feel like I'm laughing at myself or my friends. The Big Bang Theory isn't a positive representation of us geeks - it is ridiculing us. WataMote is the same except I can't personally relate to Tomoko - but apparently many people can. If you can relate to the character, how in the World can you enjoy this? It's like having the worst kind of bully and you're suffering from masochism. I've always thought that this wasn't a real problem because I thought the writing in WataMote is too unrealistic to be relatable, but to my surprise people are saying that it is on message boards everywhere. If this is a case, how can showcasing and laughing at a character who is a representation of such a real problem in society be funny? And how can the people who find it relatable find it enjoyable? It's a complete contradiction.

Overall I just can't imagine why this show can be enjoyable, no matter how I approach it.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 10:18:04 PM »
I think you touched on the key difference between BBT and Watamote.  BBT is, even when trying to make the geeks look positive, doing so in such a stereotypical anti-geek way that it really ISN'T being positive about geek culture at all; and when it wants to be down on geek culture, it is REALLY down on geek culture to the point of almost declaring geeks unfit to live.  Thankfully, they don't really glorify "normalcy" or "cool" people either.  Most of Penny's boyfriends have been outright dicks with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.  Penny herself really is the lynchpin to the series.  Though she gets lost in a lot of things, over the seasons, she's managed to bridge this gap to create a balanced environment for everybody.

Except Sheldon Cooper, but even he's improving with the help of Amy Farah Fowler.

WataMote, though, is so exaggerated in everything, and NOTHING goes right for Tomoko to the point where there can't be anybody who relates to it.  She is intentionally the extreme outlier on not just social awkwardness, but bad luck.  Again, she brings a lot of it on herself, but that doesn't mean fate has to always give her an extra dose of disappointment.  This is where the author is keeping our sad sack of a girl sympathetic.  She is the ultimate Woobie.  And yet, because of her own faults (like Sheldon) there's quite a bit about her that you can't feel sorry for.

However, to say that nobody can ever relate is a bit much.  Yes, she's an extreme, but even if nobody has actually been in ALL of her exact situations, some of us have experienced one or two of these things, even if they're not on the same intensity.  So there's nothing wrong with noticing yourself in her shoes a couple of times, I think.  You have to also consider that for every three or four people who have had a situation like hers, there's probably one or two trolls or outright liars trying to "fit in" (which is ironic).  Add in the anonymity issue, and you really don't know who is relating to what.  So I wouldn't take 4chan / 2ch as a baseline to anything.  There are a lot of people who can go part and parcel with Tomoko, just not everything.

Finally, laughing at her is fine in two different ways.  If you are someone who relates, but still laughs, you're not really laughing at her so much as yourself for your own situation.  As they say, we all look back on our pasts and laugh.  Some more than others, I would suspect.  It is also cathartic to see your own embarrassment played out in front of you, and done to such a degree as to no longer be realistic.  It makes you feel better because you can now write it off as high comedy.  For the other people who are laughing at the misfortunes of a pathetic girl, she's not real.  There is nobody being harmed by laughing at Tomoko.  She doesn't have feelings, a heart, blood, bones, or a brain.  Much like people's obsessions with the 2d world, the unreality of it allows for a cognitive dissonance in values.  Also, some people are assholes.

The thing is, Imperial, you never know how the animated adaption is going to effect you until you watch it.  Still framed manga panels are helpful, but there is something more touching about not just seeing something with the illusion of life through animation go about it's business, but also understanding the work put in by the seiyuu to bring Tomoko's awkwardness to a new level.  You might find yourself impacted more with this medium than the printed one.  This may not be a good thing to you, though.  Consider this, also, as a reader of the manga you provide a perspective of someone who can give a critique of the differences and / or the increased or diminished effect that WataMote would have on you.  Think about it.

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Offline Sorrows Neptune

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Re: Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2013, 10:29:40 PM »
I don't know why I like this show anymore. Despite having social anxiety issues myself, I find it quite difficult to relate to Tomoko because of her narcissism (which I realized after SQA's explanation,) and I usually abhor comedies which rely on a character's failures and misfortunes to derive humor (which is also why I dislike a lot of American comedies.)

Literally the only reason I read/watch Watamote is so it can make me cringe. It's like one of those ugly paintings where it being ugly is the whole point of it and you were never supposed to enjoy looking at it in the first place...except Watamote is actually supposed to be enjoyable. I don't know why I like this show anymore.
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