One of my favourite anime shows is watamote, and I enjoy its comedy and protagonist. Luckily for us Watamote’s OP, unfortunately named “No matter how I look at it, it’s your fault I’m not popular”, has a lot of intrigue I’m going to explore today similar to my recent post talking about Kaiji.
Anime OP’s showcase the values, themes, characters and an idea of a show so I think it’s beneficial to explore them in this way. Let’s have a look at it:
These interpretations are my opinions, do not take them as fact – you are more than welcome to disagree with me
The most strikingly apparent thing to mention is that the show is a slice of life comedy, nothing like the soundtrack suggests and indeed nothing like the anime itself. What it is like is the nature of our protagonist Kuroki Tomoko. It brilliantly shows her anger towards the world at the worst of times because she’s not popular.
Another thing to mention is the size and power that Tomoko communicates through the OP despite being chained up constantly. She sees herself as a person of greater importance than she really is and it’s demonstrated well through this.
And obviously the consistent use of chains and other people to show her lack of attention shows her social ineptness and anxiety with talking with people. Chains are a brilliant way to show that a character is trapped and is suffering, and having her constantly try to escape those means that she’s clearly trying to avoid being this way. There are a lot of lines where their meanings are pretty obvious so I’ll only bring up ones that catch my eye!
“Yet another day begins with me, obsessing over how people are looking at me” This line shows a common trait of people with social anxiety, obsessing and worrying isn’t healthy and it’s a huge aspect as to why they have difficulty fitting in with others. This attitude is really sad, and often creates more worry, since people with anxiety will avoid conversation this opinion and mind-set can tragically get out of hand.
“I don’t like chatty people, don’t lump me with them” Tomoko has a habit of calling others “Normie fags” and judging their conversations which she thinks are vapid and pointless. The resentment towards others obviously doesn’t help her situation but her interests are completely different to everyone else’s and I can relate badly to that. I only know one person who I can talk to anime about and I’m in the anime blogging community, also that one person is in real life and not from the community. And please don’t be offended commenters (of whom I all love, including the negative commenters) I don’t really consider a conversation in the comments to be someone I can talk to anime about randomly.
“I’m on my way to finding my way” I’m really glad that this line was included in the anime because it’s a ray of hope in this pretty depressing OP and it shows Tomoko’s self-belief that she will get more friends. This positive mind-set is key to helping her situation; after all if you don’t believe you can do it, you’re far less likely to try.
“Will you notice my fortitude?” Being in a group of entirely new people you’ve never met before isn’t so difficult in my opinion if none of you have ever met. However I can relate so badly to being in a room where everyone knows everyone else except for me and it’s very difficult to try and fit in or feel like you belong. And imagining that horrible feeling being a constant presence in Tomoko’s life is tragic; quiet people stay and wait for people to notice them, to be honest it can work very well or really badly.
In this case Tomoko’s been unlucky and nobody’s seen them. On the contrary to this a potential outcome is that only the most considerate and helpful people will talk to you and try to include you and it can lead to a nicer friendship (not always). With people I’ve approached who seem lonely it’s only really been done in situational places or close proximity. As an example I met one of my old friends because I saw them drawing a picture of Link from the legend of Zelda and talked to him about Zelda for a whole hour, after that he started hanging out with us, it was a bit awkward at first but isn’t always?
“Just leave me alone and go to hell” At times Kuroki can feel judged and embarrassed and this often results in negatives on both sides, which really helps nobody.
“Fall in love. Be popular” These are Tomoko’s two main goals and they’re not really all that helpful for her nature. To achieve your goals it’s easier to make something small and achievable on the way to your goal (e.g replying to a really long, thoughtful and interesting comment that you respect yet find difficult to phrase correctly in your mind. Instead of making a massively long post or even creating a huge series of ideas and planning a release schedule that’s a month ahead) and saying these things really won’t help. A better target would be to have a conversation or something similar like that.
“I’ll see you when my entire world has changed” This statement is actually true; until Tomoko’s world changes or she changes herself to fit the world nobody will really see her!
The OP is great and sums up really well the nature of our protagonist!
If you’ve made it this far then you must really like watamote, or just relate to it too much. I couldn’t recommend the manga enough, I don’t want to spoil anything at all but if you liked the show then you’ll want to see what happens later in Tomoko’s life. Trust me; you won’t want to miss it.