Watamote Vol. 4 Review

Title: No Matter How I Look at it, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular Vol. 4
Author: Nico Tanigawa
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy
Publication Date: July 22, 2014

The Story

Volume four of Watamote spends most of its time during the holiday season. Tomoko gets to experience winter break along with Christmas and New Year’s. After which, she gets to celebrate her sixteenth birthday and her entry into adulthood, but probably not in the way that you’re imagining. The comedy in volume four was still a bit toned down and it really focused on making you feel sorry for Tomoko rather than going for shock value.

For instance, she screwed up by forgetting to mail her brother Tomoki’s letter to the high school of his choice, causing him to miss out on an opportunity to take their entrance exams. Despite the fact that it helped solve an internal conflict for Tomoki, he made it perfectly clear that he didn’t want Tomoko talking to him while they were at the same school. He even stopped talking to her at home. This would have been fine under any other circumstance, but this came after Tomoko was forced to clean her stuff out of the garage and came across a letter Tomoki wrote when he was little, proclaiming that he loved his sister.

Another story that made you feel bad for Tomoko was when she was given an invitation to go to a class Christmas party. Tomoko’s mother saw the invitation when cleaning her room and even gave her the money to go. She arrived at the meeting spot early and her anxiety kicked in. She didn’t want to stand around waiting for others to show up so she decided to walk around. Soon thereafter, more and more people started showing up and she decided that it would be better just going to the arcade and playing games for a while before heading home.

Characters

We got a pretty heavy dose of Yuu in this chapter. Character-wise, not much has really changed with her. She did have a pretty funny scene with Tomoko in a café on Tomoko’s birthday where she asked Tomoko about sex.

Kii made a return and visited Tomoko during New Year’s. Tomoko tried to do something nice for Kii and give her 1,000 yen (about $10 USD) as a gift and Kii flat out lectured Tomoko about using the money for more important things. Afterwards, they visited a shrine and Kii shot down Tomoko again when she tried to pay for food. Tomoko was only trying to make up for the awkward encounter the two of them had the last time that Kii visited.

Tomoko herself didn’t really get any changes. She still thinks she can do anything in the world in her mind, but when it comes to reality, she can’t do a single thing and just keeps getting put into embarrassing situations.

Final Thoughts

Like last volume, the comedy was a bit on a less-than-shocking side. It was more down-to-earth than anything and that’s what makes this character and this series so relatable to a lot of introverted people. Just the simple fact that they mentioned it was going to be the coldest day of the year and Tomoko saying that was pure heaven speaks volumes to all the introverts who thought the same thing. We will typically see a cold day as an excuse to stay in bed where it’s toasty warm and just sleep the day away in peace and quiet.

Rather than placing Tomoko into odd situations, the series is beginning to lean towards making you feel sorry for her. It’s an interesting shift, but I wonder just how long the series can keep that up before it gets old and changes need to be made. Sooner or later there has to be some progression with Tomoko’s character or the series risks running stale. I guess we’ll see how this unfolds over the next few volumes, but the series is still highly enjoyable so far. It has a certain charm to it that makes you want to root for Tomoko even though you know that whatever she does will, most likely, end in failure!

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About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.