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REVIEW: WATAMOTE


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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1389

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 pm Reply with quote
The opening song is very clever but I also really liked the closing, which is chirpy J-pop in form but is actually just as sharp in revealing Tomoko's lack of perspective and halfhearted attempts to change her circumstances as any scene in the show proper. Izumi Kitta's deliberately bad singing was a delight, too.
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4129
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:44 pm Reply with quote
I just put this show in my Crunchyroll queue, so it's great to see another good review for it. I definitely try to get around to watching it sooner rather than later, especially since I'm between series right now and trying to decide what to watch next.
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MrTerrorist



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 763

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:48 pm Reply with quote
I read the manga before but wasn't prepare for the uncomfortable moments. I hope i'm ready for the anime.
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 14987
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:03 pm Reply with quote
Very good review - really highlights the joys and pain of watching this title. I was particularly happy to see Theron emphasize the stellar job that Izumi Kitta did with the lead role. She was a revelation and yes it is indeed difficult to imagine which NA voice actor who will be able to approach that performance.
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Thatguy3331



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 1193

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:20 pm Reply with quote
This and silver spoon were my favorites of the summer season, I think I liked it so much because it somewhat hit close to home in a way that made it not only more funny but more impactful and worthwhile than a simple comedy.
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hojo 360



Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 396

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:46 pm Reply with quote
Not to be a dub hater since i love them but this is one show i never want to hear a dub on the JP VA do such a good job and i can't think of anyone that can pull off Tomoko so i'm hopeing for a sub only BD Razz
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Sylpher3



Joined: 27 Jul 2013
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:50 pm Reply with quote
Excellent review that captures the core themes and messages of this wonderful show.

I have a slightly minor disagreement with the assessment of the “hitting too close to home” argument. While at times it certainly was uncomfortable to watch, I wouldn’t fault the show for it. In fact, the brutal honesty and impact on the viewer is the main strength of the series. Tomoko’s experiences struck some nerves within me in an unpleasant sincere manner and I personally loved Watamote for it. It speaks of great insight from the writers in the subject matter.
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nsainbrain



Joined: 26 Oct 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:03 pm Reply with quote
In the last few seasons this most likely my most favorite show, it's excellent, but some times could hit pretty hard close to home.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 6289
Location: IL

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:03 pm Reply with quote
I generally love humor based around self-loathing but I could never get into Watamote. I think if I was maybe 5-10 years younger then it may have been different.
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ryanvamp



Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:35 pm Reply with quote
Pretty good series. I'm sad the blu-ray volumes tanked so hard, I was really looking forward to a second season, cause some of us most likely need the character development and if she can get out of the hole she's in. Also that inchou character was pretty nice.
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Wyvern



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 655

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:48 pm Reply with quote
Theron really hits the nail on the head in this review: what sets Tomoko apart from other shy characters is that the show refuses to turn her into a martyr. It would be incredibly easy to create a sympathetic moe girl if the show portrayed Tomoko's problems as being someone else's fault, by having her be bullied at school by some cackling rich girl or something.

Instead, the series' masterstroke is that it paints a painfully human picture of its protagonist, making her sympathetic but also deeply flawed, and her own worst enemy. She's anxious and lonely, but she's also extremely judgmental, heaping mental scorn at the popular "bitches" who she secretly wants to be like. She does stuff like cheat at Yugioh and pretend some random guy is her boyfriend just to impress her cousin. Instead of feeling like a pitiful waif, she truly earns our sympathy by being just as flawed and negative as any real person with social anxiety problems. But the show rarely goes overboard; it never blames her to the point of saying she's a bad person or that she deserves her misery.

It's a very tough balancing act, and the show's refusal to take the easy way out is why I think it's the best anime comedy to come along in years.
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 14987
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:00 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
I generally love humor based around self-loathing but I could never get into Watamote. I think if I was maybe 5-10 years younger then it may have been different.


I'm curious - what difference would you being younger have made with respect to your feelings about the show? I'm 48 years old and totally got into Watamote even though my own high school years were pretty much trauma-free.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 6289
Location: IL

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:12 pm Reply with quote
Perhaps the humor would have been more at my level? I'm not too sure myself. All I know is that I did not laugh once when either watching or reading a few episodes/chapters of Watamote. And it's definitely not the self-deprecating humor itself as that's one of my favorite comedic devices. So my guess is that it didn't strike a chord with me since I could not relate whatsoever to the protagonist.
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ryanvamp



Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:44 pm Reply with quote
Wyvern wrote:
Theron really hits the nail on the head in this review: what sets Tomoko apart from other shy characters is that the show refuses to turn her into a martyr. It would be incredibly easy to create a sympathetic moe girl if the show portrayed Tomoko's problems as being someone else's fault, by having her be bullied at school by some cackling rich girl or something.

Instead, the series' masterstroke is that it paints a painfully human picture of its protagonist, making her sympathetic but also deeply flawed, and her own worst enemy. She's anxious and lonely, but she's also extremely judgmental, heaping mental scorn at the popular "bitches" who she secretly wants to be like. She does stuff like cheat at Yugioh and pretend some random guy is her boyfriend just to impress her cousin. Instead of feeling like a pitiful waif, she truly earns our sympathy by being just as flawed and negative as any real person with social anxiety problems. But the show rarely goes overboard; it never blames her to the point of saying she's a bad person or that she deserves her misery.

It's a very tough balancing act, and the show's refusal to take the easy way out is why I think it's the best anime comedy to come along in years.



That's an awesome way of putting it. I had the exact same feelings but I couldn't have conveyed them as good as you. Sadly, I think this is the exact same reason why the series never got popular enough (saleswise) to warrant more. Perhaps if Tomoko had a character design like the self-image she fantasized about...
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 14987
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:56 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
Perhaps the humor would have been more at my level? I'm not too sure myself.


The implication there is that there is something juvenile or unsophisticated about WATAMOTE's humour. You seem to be suggesting that if you were younger (i.e. had less discriminating taste) you might be more entertained.

I personally didn't find anything juvenile or unsophisticated about WATAMOTE's humour. I suspect what you experienced was simply what I like to call The Great Subjectivity Field. There is something in the matrix of your personality and experiences which leaves you cold to WATAMOTE. I honestly don't think your age has anything to do with it.
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