Did you ever feel lonely in a crowded room before?

Have you felt embarrassed, because in your first year of high school you did your best to speak to someone, but the words went through a shredder?

You always say to yourself, you’re not a bad person, and then you ask, why won’t anyone try to understand me?

If you can relate to any of these questions, don’t worry. Watamote or in full, No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! is for you.

Nico Tanigawa is the creator of the original manga and it was turned into an anime that is directed by Shin Onuma. Tomoko Kuroki is the star of Watamote and she is ready for popularity in her first year of high school. There are no worries at all, but one problem, you actually have to socialize in order to be popular.

Wait, did I say one problem? Okay there is more; in order to be popular you actually have to look a certain way and actually be friendly.

SO, that’s three problems?

Wait, there’s more… You cannot have any weirdness whatsoever, or else you will be lost in the obscurity of being a lone wolf. Not to mention, no one will understand you because everything you say comes out awkwardly.

Also, being off the wall and having unstable emotions does not help. Compulsive obsession with how others perceive you is a no-no.

If these problems are coupled with your own family letting you wander a path of low self-esteem, then popularity will be out of reach.

Or so you think! Tomoko has all these problems and believes she can overcome them all. She will defy the odds and jump to instant popularity.

Here's Tomoko

First impressions on the image above? This is Tomoko. I thought this girl seriously needs some sleep and might be gothic. But, dig a little deeper and you get someone trying to fit in. Tomoko is trying to make herself popular and she is longing to prove that she is awesome.

But, would you be friends with her or anyone like her? A creepy, morbid, and dark aura, does not scream be my friend. Eyes that show sleep deprivation, or possible drug use, is a bit disturbing.

How about being friends with someone who forces a smile? But, behind that smile is the sadness and false bravado of a shut in.

But, that’s our Tomoko, she has qualities that turn people off, but she believes everyone should line up to be friends with her.

Trying to fit in can be hard when you have a lot of insecurities, but being Tomoko means being a social outcast. If you look in the mirror and you do not like what you see, how do you live with yourself? Watamote attempts to answer that question.

Despite being extremely isolated, in her mind she is just fine and everyone else is just too dumb, lost in some fad, or fake as hell to understand her.

Everyone in one point of their lives has felt awkward and we do our best to find our place. In order to be comfortable, people stay home. But, in Tomoko’s household she is a black sheep and she has trouble finding any sort of comfort zone.

Tomoko talks to herself with commentary that is truly one of a kind. Her attempts to reinvent herself reveals she lacks confidence in who she is. When her only friend becomes super hot Tomoko has trouble relating to her. She awkwardly attempts to bond with her brother and that results in him being annoyed by her. Tomoko’s entire family seems to avoid her and her little cousin loses all respect for her. Things only go downhill for Tomoko with few bright spots.

The moment when Tomoko is holding a balloon and is hugged by a pink dog mascot really captures the sadness of being alone. But, sometimes all you need is a hug from a friend. During a school festival she stands up for herself and urges her classmates to let her cut some paper. I find this to be another huge step for her and viewers should applaud her efforts to get involved. Moments like these really open your eyes to how difficult and tragic things are for Tomoko. I find myself asking, is being popular worth all the stress Tomoko has to go through?

Watamote blends comedy and the slice of life genre to create a relatable anime about a high school girl who struggles for acceptance. Depression leads to a person creating their own reality and in Tomoko’s reality she is beautiful, smart, funny, and experienced with boys. Eventually Tomoko believes she is destined for popularity in high school, but in the course of twelve episodes what becomes clear is she is destined to struggle. She struggles to accept herself and in crazy comedic situations her actual lack of social skills, awkwardness, shyness, and massive misconceptions of how others think, leads to isolation. You will laugh, but understanding Tomoko will inspire sympathy. On one hand, you will wish someone will just talk to her and be her friend. But, on the other hand you feel she’s her own worst enemy and lives in denial. People who know the pressure of trying to be popular in high school will instantly be drawn to this anime. If you have tried so hard to fit in, but failed, don’t worry because Tomoko will serve as your inspiration. She struggles in all aspects of social interaction, but continues to try again, and fail again. She tries harder, and fails harder, but from failure a new hope arises.

For more Information visit: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/anime-spotlight/2013/summer/watamote

Watch Watamote: https://www.theanimenetwork.com/Anime/WATAMOTE-No-Matter-How-I-Look-At-It-It-s-You-Guys-Fault-I-m-Not-Popular/Info

Review on Watamote: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/watamote/episodes-1

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