I’m sort of feeling conflicted on how I felt about this anime upon completion. There were moments where I thought that Watamote remarkably encapsulated the time of being an awkward teenager trying to fit in, yet I still found it hard to sympathize with the main protagonist, Tomoko, even though I do see a lot of myself in her as a character. In fact, I found myself progressively seething with anger at how she handled a lot of the situations she found herself in.
The narrative of Watamote centers around Tomoko, a painfully shy and gawky teenage girl who’s about to start High School. She doesn’t really have a lot of close companions in her life, and most of her interpersonal experience primarily comes from hentai/romance visual novels. Tomoko is constantly in a lot of sketchy places and situations in an attempt to make more friends and become more popular, which are things that she doesn’t handle or do quite well unfortunately. I felt like there were many instances where the show was trying to make me laugh heartily, but I found myself grimacing uncomfortably most of the time. The humor felt exploitive and mean-spirited to some degree.
While I can be pretty cynical sometimes, I really was hoping that she’d find some form of companionship since isolation and fear of rejection can be pretty painful. With that being said, I did grow quite annoyed at her constantly self-centered and sanctimonious attitude. Tomoko comes off as very snide and oblivious towards the feelings of other people, even when they did have good intentions. In addition, she doesn’t really change at all throughout the show. So while I can sympathize with her plights and struggles to some extent, I wasn’t too fond of her as a character since she constantly rationalizes and always places the blame on almost everyone else first.
On a visual standpoint, I thought Watamote looked pretty nice. The character designs were passable and I chuckled at Tomoko’s facial expressions many times. One of my favorite visual quirks throughout this anime was how the art style would change up briefly whenever Tomoko was dreaming or in a state of delusion. I thought the integration of these sequences were creatively implemented and kept the anime from becoming stale to look at.
As for the music within Watamote, I really loved the OP and ED songs, and consider those two tracks to be among some of my favorites in despite having a mixed opinion on the anime overall. They are both incredibly catchy and does an excellent job of thematically capturing Tomoko’s self-loathing narcissism and misanthropic view on the world. The background music wasn’t quite as remarkable or noteworthy, but they fit the scenes quite well and never felt out of place in each given scene.
All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this anime. While the show does have an intriguing premise, and has a relatable protagonist, I found Tomoko to be excruciatingly obnoxious and self-absorbed. Even though I walked away let down, I still think it is an anime worth checking out since you may find something in it that I didn’t. As for what I think, I don’t plan on revisiting this anime anytime soon.