Watamote – 05

All the cute she needs.

This week in Watamote: Tomoko goes to the red-light district. Yes, you heard me right. You wouldn’t think it possible, but Tomoko reaches a new all time low as she ventures into the shady part of town on a quest to improve her conversational skills.

 

The Quiet Ones

Best emotionless girl ever.

Everyone knows that emotionless girls are irresistably cute, with such classics as Yuki Nagato and Rei Ayanami. So obviously the natural thing to do if you need to gain popularity is become emotionless! Except it doesn’t work that way, as Tomoko quickly realizes. What good is your adorable little poker face if there’s no one around to fawn over it? We viewers may be able to “appreciate” it, but Tomoko’s efforts are an exercise in futility as her classmates remain ever oblivious of her existence. Still, I must say that I enjoyed the momentary deconstruction of the trope for what it was. And then there’s also the part where Tomoko miserably fails even at simply being cool and quiet. You’d think by now she’s realized that she shouldn’t try things she’s not used to. But her loss is our gain, so it’s OK.

Desperate Measures

Money shots.

They say that desperate times call for desperate measures. And maybe there’s a time and place for this. But Tomoko’s life is neither. That said, clearly Tomoko doesn’t understand this as she has pretty much no composure in facing the situation. She’s been grasping at straws from the very beginning, but this episode is definitely a new low even amongst her previous escapades. We’ve already seen her believing sketchy ads on the internet and conjuring “bright” ideas from eavesdropping on the popular girls. Now, she’s even believing everything she sees on the telly. I would have thought the internet would get her into more trouble than the television, but boy am I mistaken. Because after failing at being an emotionless girl and at having cute pictures, she now resorts to being a cabaret club girl. All because of an interview with the “number one cabaret girl” that she sees on TV.

Lost in Amsterdam

Ok, so the thought behind this new stunt is to improve her conversational skills and thus become motemote.1 But did it never cross her mind that she could simply talk with her friends and family? You know, like maybe try striking a normal conversation with her brother for once that doesn’t involve pissing him off so badly that he gives her the death grip. Heck, even just hanging out with Yuu-chan could probably go a long way considering her friend is essentially the social goal she strives for. Sure, there may be circumstances that get in the way (such as Yuu-chan not being free), but to go straight to being a cabaret girl is quite a jump in logic. Though I suppose by now we realize Tomoko severely lacks in common sense.

OHMYGOSHIMBEINGPICKEDUP

In any case, our hapless heroine makes the trip to the ‘ol red-light district and the rest, as they say, is history. A nanpa guy completely ignoring and walking past her, and now Tomoko delusionally believes that every man in the district is out to get a piece of her tight little booty.2 And then a few more guys walk by nonchalantly talking about sexually explicit material and suddenly her bubble bursts and she realizes what exactly she has walked into. Cue a hasty retreat.

 

Oh Tomoko. When will you learn. Actually, when will I learn. That she’s never going to learn, that is. The brief foray into the red-light district aside, the cherry on the top of this sundae has to be how quickly Tomoko changes from deriding cabaret girls as sluts to being proud of the fact that she’s going to have one on the popular girls once she becomes a sexy cabaret girl. Oh, and there’s also the continued gag with her brother. But now that that has devolved into mere comic violence, it’s not nearly as entertaining as the awkward familial bonds from before.

1If you haven’t figured out by now that means super popular.
2Remember she made sure to check its firmness last episode.

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A mechanical engineer who spends too much time watching anime and reading manga.
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9 Responses to “Watamote – 05”

  1. sadakups says:

    Just when I thought it was crazy that Tomoko wanted to be molested in the last episode to become popular, now it gets crazier that she wanted to be a cabaret girl. I mean, what drugs is she on?

    Speaking of drugs, seems like a lot were taken in the development of that ED.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    The cute and expressionless bit doesn’t work for Tomoko. Rather, it makes seem creepier in appearance and already that isn’t doing her any justice and increases her insecurity. It’s troubling to see how far she’s looking to go to get popularity. I don’t it’s worth it if it means getting caught up in something she may never get out of. Once again, she goes in half assed without considering the dire consequences.

  3. Highway says:

    Maybe this was a bit of a down episode, but I’m wondering if I’m starting to tire of the show’s relentlessness towards Tomoko’s self-destructive efforts to be more popular. I’m guessing that the point of the show isn’t that Tomoko gets popular and figures out life, and is more “watch as this girl just can’t get it right.” And it handles that in a way that doesn’t feel dogpile-y, but I fear that just the lack of anything different, or any sort of progress for Tomoko, will eventually end up killing enjoyment of the show.

    The thing is, she’s a character that’s really so desperate for improvement, both from an audience standpoint and from her own character standpoint. The way show presents it ensures that you root for her, yet you can see the mistakes she’s making as she makes them (although she doesn’t realize it yet). It’s never “This was a great idea and it just fell apart because of bad luck.” Even her good ideas fall apart because she is just unable to execute them. And I don’t know how much of that I, or the rest of the audience in general, can take without losing empathy for Tomoko. It still works at this point because even though it’s self-inflicted, we’re still unfamiliar enough with her to believe this is the first time she’s experiencing something like that. But if it goes on, the audience will start to think “You know, you should have learned from LAST time.” And that’s where I fear the show will really lose people.

    • Sumairii says:

      I agree with you for the most part, but I cannot say her last idea this time around was even remotely a good one.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I agree with a lot of what you’re saying and the possible outcome this series is going toward. It’s that the story is coming off as so pathetic for the desperation for popularity and the needlessly dangerous and juvenile choices Tomoko is making without thinking about the consequences that I just can’t continue watching so I decided to drop it right here and save myself some time to catch up with other shows for next season because of their sequels. It’s a shame, though because the premise seemed so interesting and funny.

      • Rol says:

        A teenager not thinking about the consequences of her actions? You don’t say…
        I think the point of the show, as I see it anyway, is that as unrealistic as some of the situations may be (this is Anime after all) the author still manages to hit on all the main themes: Loneliness and the desire to want to belong. This includes all the nasty side effects: Doing stupid things to get people to like you, hating those around you that are better off than you…etc, etc.

  4. Irenesharda says:

    Honestly, I thought this episode wasn’t as bad as the last one. Tomoko striving to be popular beyond all common sense is what makes this funny. Last week kind of went off that since it had such a large tonal shift in the middle that it never quite recovered from, causing the whole thing to be unfunny. This one however never does that even though it threatens to at the very end but Tomoko learns her lesson, at least as knowing where not to go.

    It was kind of a return to form with me. I would give this a 7.2/10.

  5. edo says:

    wait.. does it mean gintama is located in a prostitute city?

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