While it was fresh at first, Watamote has reached a predictable form that will either bore you out of your mind or keep your interest. If it does, there’s still enough variety in what happens in this form that’ll keep you entertained.
The main strength of this show is the sheer variety of awkwardness it can bring to the screen. From trying to wear sexy panties to thinking that working as a hostess will make her cool, Tomoko’s desperate nature and twisted mind lead to some very creative situations and bizarre fantasies.
It’s truly astonishing when poor hygene leads to ants crawling around Tomoko’s body, only to think that the stares she gets from it being a proof of her popularity. It’s fascinating to hear Tomoko imagine being molested on a train when a hard object pulls up her skirt, but later finds it to be a girl’s wooden katana. The build-up never fails at keeping our interest, and the punchline is both harsh, anti-climactic and silly.
But…it does follow a repetitive formula that is completely dependent on the weird scenarios Tomoko gets into. The lack of success by our main lead and her simplistic nature of denying that what she does is wrong means that the result of what happens is all too predictable.
Whether it be perverted fantasy, mean-spirited comment or failed attempt at getting attention, it’s hard to pity a character that you know will fail time and time again. And the fact most characters either bad mouth her or ignore her existence(Yuu and her mom being exceptions) make it seem all the more meaningless.
However, the biggest problem with all of this is that it doesn’t seem to like digging deeper into the social issues Kuroki deals with. Now some may say that it’s not possible considering that this is a comedy, but I think that’s a lame excuse. Shows like Welcome to the Nhk and Denpa Onna to Seishuun Otoko have proven that you can laugh at social awkwardness while also showing a more human side to things.
The reason Watamote fails at this is because rather than addressing issues of social awkwardness, it exploits it so that our main heroine would symbolize the worst common denominator. And depending on what kind of person you are, this may utterly disgust you.
As for the parody, it’s reached a point where it’s either non-existant or just blatant(there’s a vocaloid song playing during a peep show). So if you never got into the masochistic pain produced by Kuroki or just got tired of it, I highly suggest you drop at this point. Because judging from what I’ve seen and heard about Watamote, it doesn’t look like it’ll change. As for me, I’m tired of the formula, but still looking forward to what they’ll do with it. Call it a slight disappointment.