Watamote Vol. 13 Review

Title: No Matter How I Look at it, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular Vol. 13
Author: Nico Tanigawa
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy
Publication Date: March 26, 2019

The Story

Volume thirteen of Watamote focuses on one giant arc rather than smaller scenarios which is a great change of pace from previous volumes! In this volume, the class is going on a field trip to the Japanese Manga equivalent to Disney Land, simply known as Mousey. The majority of the volume takes place at the amusement park and while Tomoko is first paired with two other girls, due to circumstances involving others, her group grows to six people including Yoshida, Ucchi, Nemoto, and Yuri. Yoshida ended up getting into a fight with Rena over the Mousey theme park which is why she went off on her own, Ucchi forgot her phone and got separated yet she desperately stuck with Tomoko for a reason that would be revealed later.

They went on a few rides together and ended up bonding in the strangest of ways. The group, as a whole, didn’t want to be together but at the same time, they didn’t mind each other’s company. There were some nice bonding moments for Nemoto and Tomoko and later with Tomoko and Yuri.

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When they get back from the trip, we’re introduced (or re-introduced) to a “new” character in Shizaku Hirasawa. She was the girl who Tomoko helped during entrance exams and she’s trying to befriend her. Before she can get anywhere, almost everyone from the class trip comes up and wants to know if Tomoko will eat lunch with them. Feeling shunned, Shizaku goes to leave but Tomoko asks her if she wants to eat lunch another day. Shizaku is happy that she will but Tomoko only sees her as a giant slut and hopes she can learn some real-life stories rather than depending on shojo manga for her entertainment. Poor Shizaku!

I loved the long cohesive story that this volume brought. This was the kind of volume that Tomoko needed as a character, although, I wish it were in a different setting. You often see group stories like this in a theme park, or on a camping trip, at the beach, or at an onsen. It’s always one of the four go-to locations that take place outside of school. If the group story would have remained at school, I’m pretty sure this would have been a culture festival arc. I guess these kind of things are really popular in Japan as I see these scenarios used far too often. It makes me wonder if mangaka call each other and decided which ones will pick which scenario so there isn’t any overlap amongst simultaneously publishing stories?

Hmm…

Characters

TONS of character development here in this volume and most of it was on Tomoko! I think we’ve finally hit the turning point that I’ve been looking for all this time! This field trip had Tomoko paired up with five other girls, all of which she ended up becoming more and more comfortable around. You could definitely tell from her speech bubbles as her words started off jumbled but once the conversation rolled on, she began speaking openly and normally to everyone around her! Sure, her inner monologues were still there but they were certainly toned down quite a bit in this volume. I think that she’s finally coming out of her shell and the fact that everyone came up to her after the trip and asked her to have lunch with them is proof that she’s finally becoming accepted.

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Even Akane and Asuka noticed this when they saw Tomoko walking around with Yoshida and Yuri and wondered why she was hanging around people like her. They even remembered how awkward she was which made the situation even more puzzling to them.

We also got some development with Nemoto and her desire to become a voice actress. Nemoto and Akane weren’t really talking to each other because Akane felt like Nemoto was hiding stuff from her. Tomoko told Akane everything and even went a bit too far by telling her that voice actors also do stuff like eroge games, porn, and all this other nasty stuff. Nemoto assures Akane that they have the option but she wouldn’t do stuff like that. She asks Akane for her support and she agrees, thus the two of them end up making amends. Nemoto then silently thinks that she wouldn’t turn down those roles if asked!

Masaki Yoshida has always been betrayed as a hot-tempered girl. It was absolutely hilarious to see her take a place like Mousey so seriously. The fact that she got into a fight with Rena over it even made it better! This was a rather fun side of her and even after everything was all said and done and she became a little more chummy with Tomoko, she still has that tsundere attitude. Oh Yoshida, never change!

Lastly, at the very, very beginning of the volume when they were setting up the arc, we ended up getting a hilarious little scene with Tomoko and Komi. Tomoki apologized for not giving her a gift on White Day but he promised that he will deliver one to her soon. This caused Komi to… uh… experience a female function a tad early. I nearly lost it. I will be extremely disappointed if these two aren’t shipped by the end of this series. The hilarity between these two whenever they are paired together is just amazing and Tanigawa-san’s humor is just perfect for this relationship!

Final Thoughts

In my last review, I was rooting for Tomoko and it seems that my words reached her! Tomoko ended up coming out the winner thanks to this school trip and I truly hope that this was the major turning point for her. She has been alone for far too long and it now it seems that she is finally getting popular! If this continues, all that is left is for her to get used to the popularity, accept it, and her social anxiety will slowly begin to fade away. Knowing this series, though, that’s easier said than done. I expect the awkwardness to continue and a few monkey wrenches get thrown into the mix. With her luck, I would expect Tomoko to get a little too comfortable and then have things fall apart on her but not in a way where it wouldn’t be salvageable. Remember, the end goal of this series has to be Tomoko coming out of her shell and making friends.

She always gave the goal of having this happen in high school. Almost like this series won’t venture into her college years. It makes you wonder if the series will go that far and explore that much or if it will end things with Tomoko finally becoming popular and then end it all by having her go to college with none of the friends she made in high school. That would be the ultimate slap in the face to her character and given the rotten kind of luck she has, I’m willing to be that’s how the series ends. Tomoko finally achieves happiness but everyone goes their separate ways and she can’t even enjoy it. It would be a bittersweet ending but who knows if I’m right or wrong? That’s why I love speculating!

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With the trip arc over, it’s time to move on and it seems like we will be with our new character Shirazu. Can’t wait to see how she fits into the scheme of things. I wonder if she will end up becoming the monkey wrench that I speculated on earlier? So many directions, so much unknown! We’ll have to wait a bit for volume fourteen but I will be anticipating 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.