「モテないし、ちょっといい夢見るわ」 (Motenai shi, Chotto Ii Yume Miru wa)
“Since I’m Not Popular, I’ll Have a Good Dream”

Watamote is quite adept at walking on tightropes, and so far there hasn’t been a major slip.

Without any question, this is a series that plays with your emotions in a big way.  It makes you laugh, then feel bad about laughing, the gasp and groan and laugh again.  There’s a difference between being manipulative and emotionally effecting, though, and Watamote (so far at least) is on the right side of the line.  It’s not as though this show is presenting manufactured crises and asking us to care – what it does instead is go to the real places that most series simply don’t want to visit.  Hell, I don’t necessarily want to either – watching this series sure as hell isn’t easy.  But it packs quite a kick.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, one of the dominant themes in this show is that people are almost never mean to Tomoko – despite the fact that she provides them ample opportunity.  There’s Tomoki and the mutual and mostly harmless sniping that happens there (she’s way harder on him than he on her, anyway), but if anything I think that’s the most normal thing in Tomoko’s life – they’re adolescent siblings after all.  In fact, as absurd as it might sound, I think Watamote may even be sugarcoating Tomoko’s school life for dramatic purposes.  A girl as anti-social and just plain weird as Tomoko could very easily be picked on and downright bullied, but if that’s happening we’ve seen no signs of it.

No, this is a girl who’s resolutely, spectacularly self-destructive in the way only the truly disordered can be.  She continually creates conspiracy theories in her mind, none of which actually come to pass.  But for Tomoko life is truly a minefield – danger lurks everywhere, and one wrong step means disaster.  Just because her invented crises and paranoid delusions about her fellow humans don’t happen as she imagines them doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen to her – they most certainly do.  But they’re bad things that are different than what she imagines, and almost always a direct result of her own unerring radar for choosing the wrong road in life.

Let’s start with the first chapter, a metaphorical case of Tomoko producing her own bad dreams.  As always overflowing with sexual tension (another "normal" element of Tomoko’s life) she stumbles on an article telling her that she can have sexy dreams by sleeping on her stomach.  All it gets her is nightmares about bugs "I’m not into bug rape!" she cries indignantly), but when she gets to school the next day she’s so tired she passes out during a quiz – and promptly has an erotic dream.  So what does the teacher do when he finds her?  He doesn’t call her out, or embarrass her – he just walks the other way and lets her be (though in truth, it was mostly because he was so freaked out about what was going on).

Tomoko’s next self-afflicted disaster takes the series to some of its edgiest and darkest material yet, as she laments the fact that no one molests her on the train.  I’m not a girl and I’m not Japanese, so I can’t say for certain if that’s completely unrealistic – but to me the whole thing comes off as ridiculously naive and also very sad.  She even calls Yuu-chan under the premise of asking advice, when in reality she just wants to know if Yuu was ever molested herself (apparently yes, in middle school).  When Tomoko’s wish seemingly comes true on a packed car during morning rush ("Wait!  Do those things bend?  Do they bend that far?"), of course she panics and repents her foolish wish, silently pleading for help.  As it turns out, we again have the same pattern – no one was doing anything evil to her at all, and it was all in her head.  The whole scene builds up to the money moment when she delivers the memorable punchline: "I just got raped with a naginata."

Next up, Tomoko’s convinces herself that her social problems come from the fact that she always wears the 2 for 980¥ panties her mother buys her at the soopa.  So she arranges to meet Yuu-chan for a shopping trip (in a call that comes off as hilariously wrong) and thus begins a brilliantly awkward scene at the lingerie shop.  Everything about this scene is uncomfortable – Tomoko doesn’t belong in such a place, and she knows it.  As soon as she lets herself be aware of where she is, her skin practically crawls with embarrassment, and all she wants to do is get out of there.  As well, being around Yuu is torture too, because Yuu is a reminder of how uncute and unsexy Tomoko considers herself, but Yuu is the one person she actually doesn’t want to hate.  Tomoko at least manages to get a pair of panties out of the deal (1680¥) but even if she could work up the courage to wear them, she has a huge problem – she can’t let her Mother see them in the laundry.  Finally she loses them, only to have them turn up again at the most embarrassing moment possible – but again, despite getting a fat fastball down the middle, the guy who notices Tomoko wiping her brow with her panties doesn’t take a swing – he just walks away.

The last chapter is probably both the funniest and most heartwarming (not much competition on the latter point) of the episode.  To cheer herself up after the pantsu disaster Tomoko buys a copy of "Stark Naked House Steward", and with it gets an entry into a raffle.  Her luck being hers, she wins a personal massager – and apparently too embarrassed to ask for a bag, walks home with a BL eroge in one hand and what’s effectively a vibrator in the other.  Worse yet, after playing the game (“It’s ascension time!”) and using the massager (not that way, gutter-mind) she gets "warm all over" and falls asleep, naked steward on the screen and massager humming away.  That’s exactly how her Dad (Iwasaki Ryou) – we meet him at last – finds her.  And in doing so, proves himself to be an enormously kind and forgiving father.  Despite what must surely be his horror, he silently turns off the TV, puts the massager back in its box and tucks his daughter into bed.  As absurd as the situation is (and let’s be honest, it’s pretty high up the scale) this actually comes off as genuinely touching.  Yet another example of random kindness that Tomoko is completely unaware of, and this poses no threat to her well-cultivated view of the world as a hostile and cruel place that exists to torment her.  And that might be one of the saddest things of all about this very bleak character, and the show itself.



    1. That papa is so awesome. They usually just silently close the door (me included). But he actually put the vibrator away, turned that junk off, & put her in bed. Major props!

    1. I already tried sleeping facing down and believe me the results are:
      1.) 5% chance of Erotic dream
      2.) 15% chance of having a bad dream(Dreams: drowning, getting choked, heart attack)
      3.) 15% chance of sleep paralysis(does happen when over stressed)
      4.) 65% just sleeping without dreaming or maybe just unconsciously.
      Source?: MYSELF

      1. I’ll support that statement,I sleep face-down most of the time.A bit higher chance of sleeping without any dreams at all here,but that’s probably due to the fact that I’m usually very tired when I got to sleep.

  1. And this is one of the reasons why I don’t like to read the manga.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  2. I used to take 3-4 breaks while this because of the awkwardness(actually I take a break before the awkward scene to mentally prepare myself). For this episode though I only took 1. Either this show is less awkward or I am developing an immunity.

  3. Tomoko no Ecchi…

    Anyway this episode made me laugh, especially when Tomoko ripped up her panties, but those awkward scenes like the train scene when she came out. Embarrassing scenes like those make me pause the video and not want to see the rest.

    And this episode also really pissed me off at how lightly molestation is taken here. I know it’s just comedy and hell, I got my laughs off of it, but the scene I’m talking about is that scene where those 3 girls were talking about it at that one girl said she got molested with a fuckin smile on her face as if that’s ok…..wut?

    1. I think there’s a suggestion here that one or more of the girls might have been claiming to have been molested to bolster their own credentials as irresistible. Tomoko certainly thinks it, though she’s obviously paranoid and delusional. But I felt like we were supposed to at least have doubts, and to wonder if the reason the girls were “taking it lightly” is because they never actually experienced it.

      Look at what happens with Tomoko herself. She actually wishes someone would molest her. That’s only possible because she doesn’t know what it would actually feel like, and once she does she realizes how stupid wishing for something like that was.

      1. When you put it like that, it’s easier to wrap my mind around. Still though, their attitude kinda pisses me off a little. Makes me wish Hachiman would jump into the screen and start with a long philosophy on their lives.

    2. Also I would like to bring up the conversation that Tomoko has with Yuu on the phone afterwards. She does make light of it (“he just rubbed my butt a little, I’m ok”) while Yuu asserts how horrible it is. It makes me feel like Yuu is being built up as the grounding character for Tomoko that tries to keep her from going too far off the deep end.

  4. I have to say, I was extremely surprised to see the molestation chapter animated. I thought for sure they’d avoid that one, but it’s true that molestation isn’t quite as “edgy” of a topic in Japan as it is in the West.

  5. I think it’s pretty nice of Yuu to continue hanging out with Tomoko also, despite the obvious gap in understanding. I could relate to the panties segment as far as “if I do X then everything will turn around!”

      1. Actually, Tomoko is already cute.
        Like us people, we tend to say this for our self:
        1.) I don’t have a lot of friends like that person does.
        2.) I’m not handsome/cute/beatiful like those people.
        3.) I’m not a good talker like him/her.
        4.) People are all idiots.
        We actually are oblivious on what we can actually do.
        Thus we keep on self whining and secretly blame it to other people.

  6. Gosh… that was like watching Mel Gibson do depilation to experience what women do. Awkward,funny and brutal at the same time….
    Tomoko really needs help – from herself, because she probably would not accept outside one. (the only scenes where she actually accepts someone help are when she is asleep!)
    She needs to accept herself, and stop excessively worrying about being popular. It was not until I went online that I have realised there are literally thousands people in similar state out there – hell, actually like about 30% of male population is deemed completely undesirable by women nowadays, and many of them have trouble getting even friends too.
    Advice to Tomoko, not that she would have read this: use shopping bags when going to Akihabara! That saved Kirino more thna once…

  7. tomoko after doing late night reading online trying nap even pillow in shirt til morning school quiz got hangover high nappy mood.

    then hearing girls got grab on train so take train give got splat by many people yet she got grab but it turned out she been “got” by a kendo sword.

    also tomoko been hmm about female undies so call yuu & ask for undies to wear give all spend it got well she bring in school as a napkin til oops cue rip the undies to millions pieces.

    & all that well by “game” & got massage device so play both with got her wasted with her dad go like just put it all of with put tomoko into nap bed time.

  8. Holy fuck. You know that feeling when you’re watching a comedy show, like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” for instance, and you just have to pause to stop and cringe while facepalming at the most painful moments of the episode?

    For me I had to stop to literally scream into my pillow. This is best fucking show ever.

    Laughing Man
  9. Tomoko gets to have a eroge game and a “massager”. But when I was her age, bookstore employees wouldn’t even let look at a maxim magazine and looked at me like I was a creepy perv. Unfair! Girls have all the fun!

    1. As my friend once said, “She is Waifu material”

      But in real life, she’s one of those creepy girls who sit in the corner of the cafeteria and you don’t want to talk to her in risk of something bad happening to you.

      Once you do start to date her, unless you’re Jesus, then you’ll go crazy taking care of her needs.

  10. Tomoko would get raped for real and feel good about it for a while. Before she goes batshit crazy.

    Her behavior is most likely attracted by bullies, but in this show, nobody cares about her. She can do the craziest stuff and people around her will be just like, meh. Her brother, of course, has seen most of her antics and got fed up with her. I’m just wondering if her parents are aware of what she’s going through or they know it and are just passive about it.

    Good show so far. It’s schadenfreude in anime form.

  11. So just wondering. If I pretty much almost had an aneurysm after watching this episode from laughing too hard, does that make me a horrible person?

    Fate had it in for Tomoko this week whether it be getting a longsword stuck between her legs on a train, mistaking her new pantsu for a handkerchief, winning a free massager after buying a BL game or having her dad walk in to an extremely awkward scene involving said items. It’s almost like God gave her the middle finger.

  12. I just saw on Amazon that Yen Press is releasing the manga in English, I can’t wait to get it. This show most likely won’t get a 2nd season, there won’t be enough material for a couple of years, so I’ll be glad to follow the manga.

  13. I don’t know if I feel more uncomfortable watching an episode of watamote or browsing /r/cringe. Either way I end up laughing into a pillow and then feeling terrible whenever Tomoko puts herself into these situations.

  14. How come no one is commenting about what she said out loud to Yuu when she was imagining Yuu in lingerie at the lingerie store. ‘It’d make me so damn hard.’
    I lost it at that part. Couldn’t stop laughing.

  15. The depressing part for me is that I relate to Tomoko so much that I’m really worried there’ll be a dramatic anime finish where she becomes normal and gets friends and everyone loves her… Because I just want to hold onto this character that I can relate to and laugh at her misfortunes because it’s so hard to laugh or be happy about my own, which are scarily similar to Tomoko’s… I’m already jealous enough that she’s so small and cute :/

    Anyways, depression disregarded, I really love this anime. I laugh, I feel bad, I relate, I feel awkward and finding out how much of a perv Tomoko is for males and females is awesome, I love it! “It’d make me so damn hard.”

    And Papa Tomoko is adorable. Tomoko is really lucky, even though she probably doesn’t realise it. It’s a shame he appears to possibly work long hours/late, since he doesn’t show up much, because I’d love to see the 2 bond a little, maybe with Tomoki too.

  16. This whole episode made my jaw drop and laugh to death!! DAT PANTSU RIPPING SCENE!!!
    GOD!! I was SO Embarrassed and shocked at the end since!! I was confused either I should laugh or be shocked!!! My jaw drop when her father calmly puts Tomoko on bed, turns off TV and leaves. My father would do the same BUT HELL I WOULD KILL MYSELF IF I FOUND OUT THAT PAPA SAW ME LIKE THAT!!! This show is half reflection of me. “w”
    This show is totally like drinking wine!! You can’t stop drinking and want more. OwO’


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