Watamote Vol. 14 Review

Title: No Matter How I Look at it, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular Vol. 14
Author: Nico Tanigawa
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy
Publication Date: October 15, 2019

The Story

Volume fourteen of Watamote focuses on Kuroki picking out her college of choice. Yuri tags along because she doesn’t want to resort to the loner life anymore and figures that if she ends up going to the same school as Kuroki, she won’t have to worry about starting over again. Of course, visiting a college with Yuri wasn’t the only thing happening during Kuroki’s Golden Week vacation. She’s going to be visiting Aoyama Gakuen University and wants to fit in by looking like a “Normie.” She has Yuri help her pick out an outfit that ends up (as usual) in a weird situation for the two of them.

After the tour of Aoyama, Kuroki returns home where she is visited by Kii-chan! Of course, Kuroki has to show off so she brings her to high school and even tries to decide her career path for her!

Once again, Watamote favors telling longer stories over several chapters versus how the manga started with just a chapter-by-chapter gag. While it is refreshing to see longer stories being told, from a humor standpoint, this was one of the weakest volumes of Watamote I’ve read. I don’t know if it’s because Kuroki is getting used to having friends (who all think she’s weird, by the way), or if it’s a different approach altogether, but that edgy humor this series has been known for seemed to be missing here. Sure, there were a few lines throughout the volume that Kuroki says in her head which are reminiscent of those edgier times but they seem few and far between. This is turning more into a safer slice-of-life series rather than one filled with dark humor.

Characters

Honestly, there wasn’t much development this time around. Tomoki was fought over in the cafeteria to start off the volume which didn’t really amount to anything because the volume shifted focus to Kuroki for the remainder of it. This was just a simple filler gag chapter to remind us of Komiyama’s undying crush on him. It’s been 14 volumes… I wish they would just move forward with it as this schtick is getting a bit old.

Kuroki is still warming up to the idea of having friends. She’s still a bit jittery when around them but then she’s able to talk normally from time-to-time. Outside of that, no real progress has been made other than with her and Yuri. It seems a bit superficial though as Yuri just wants to cling to someone in order to not feel lonely throughout college. Does Yuri, herself, even care who it is? The fact that she’s willing to put up with Kuroki’s awkwardness shows that she’s just not really trying to have a deep friendship but rather treat her as some sort of advanced acquaintance in order to make herself feel better. At least, that’s how I’m seeing it.

Final Thoughts

Despite my gripes, this was still another fun volume. I do miss the heavy edginess the series started out with but I guess it was only a matter of time where character development had to kick in. If Kuroki was going to overcome her anxiety and move on, this was a necessary step. Still, there were some nice flashes of verbal lewdness thrown in (such as Kuroki saying that she would have a stiffy if she were a boy when wearing Nemo’s sweater!) to keep you entertained. Also, anytime Kii-chan shows up, it’s always a good time!

With this being an episodic series, I can’t really tell what’s going to happen next but Golden Week should be over and it’ll be back to high school for our cast. I’m guessing that we may see Kuroki choose which college she wants to go to and how that will affect Yuri. That’s, pretty much, the only logical thing I can predict in a series that is largely unpredictable!

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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.