Watamote Vol. 10 Review

Title: No Matter How I Look at it, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular Vol. 10
Author: Nico Tanigawa
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy
Publication Date: July 18, 2016

The Story

In volume ten of Watamote, we’re back to episodic chapters without any really big or major story arcs, but there are some continuity points throughout the volume. Akari returned and we revisited the instance where Kuriyama lied about being Tomoki’s brother. It made it even worse when Tomoki showed up and joined them for lunch. That turned into one of the most awkward lunch conversations I’ve seen; especially when it turned its attention towards Tomoki’s man parts.

Speaking of Tomoki and Kuriyama, there was a pretty hilarious set up when Tomoko forgot her phone at the library so she made Kuriyama bring it to her house. In exchange for doing that, she let Kuriyama lie down in Tomoki’s bed. After being discovered by Tomoki, she fled and mentioned that she would treasure his scent. This came back later when Yuu and Tomoko went out to find a birthday present for Kuriyama. After punishing Yuu by turning her into a lingerie model for thinking it would be nice of Tomoki and Kuriyama ended up getting married, Tomoko settles on some towels as a gift. Tomoko’s mother accidentally put them into the wash so Tomoko grabbed a towel she thought was one of the one’s she bought. Turned out to be Tomoki’s towel and when she gave it to Kuriyama, she instantly recognized his scent.

I kind of miss the multi-chapter stories, but we still got some pretty good episodic adventures here!

Characters

One thing I noticed is that Tomoko’s speech bubbles are getting less and less distorted. She’s starting to talk normally to other people. In one chapter where she was roped into helping a high school girl win a plushie, she even scolded a couple of kids who came along and won the prize when she took a break to go to the restroom. Normally, she shies away from those kind of confrontations, but she didn’t hesitate to let loose on them! Her mouth did get her into a bit of trouble with the high school student, though, but it was still pretty hilarious.

I thought, for a moment, that we would finally develop Tomoki as a character, but it still hasn’t happened yet. At this point, I think Tomoki is just going to remain that one-dimensional character for the rest of the series. The thing that bothers me is that there still hasn’t really been a concrete explanation as to why he went from loving Tomoko as little kids to just being annoyed by every little thing she does.

At least we got a little development with Kuriyama and Akari. After the truth came out about Kuriyama not being Tomoki’s sister, the two of them decided to just remain friends… bonded by thoughts of Tomoki’s man bits. I’ll just leave you with that thought.

Final Thoughts

While I felt this series was at its best with its multi-chapter stories, volume ten of Watamote still delivered on the humor and even gave us some nuances of the dirtier side of the series. Our cast of characters seems to just keep getting bigger and bigger, but Nico Tanigawa is doing a great job of balancing each of their “on screen” time with their development.

By having so many characters to interact with, Tomoko is growing silently in the background. For instance, how I noticed her speed bubbles becoming less and less distorted with each volume is a testament to how she’s slowly changing. I feel all that is left is the one big epiphany moment for Tomoko and she may overcome her social awkwardness. With the way things are going, I feel as if we’re getting pretty close to that moment and I can’t wait to see it!

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This item was provided for review by Yen Press

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.

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