Title: No Matter How I Look at it, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular Vol. 16
Author: Nico Tanigawa
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy
Publication Date: July 21, 2020
Volume sixteen of Watamote continues its episodic nature, this time splitting itself up into two different “arcs.”
The first arc deals with school sports… mainly ping pong and baseball. Yuri is having a bit of trouble so she turns to Kuroki for help. They visit a center and practice but a noisy pair takes the table next to them so they end up going to a room to read manga for a bit. When that noisy couple move in next door, they end up blaring porn through their wall… until the earphone jack falls out and the entire center can hear the moaning of a couple in ecstasy!
It continues on with them switching gears to baseball and, of course, Tomoki is up which means that Komiyama is there taking interest (and videos). That comes into play later on where she accidentally swipes her phone in the wrong direction and plays her “stalker video” for everyone to see.
The second arc deals with Kuroki and Yoshida getting suspended from school! The two of them ended up riding double on a bike which is prohibited by the school so they were both suspended! The back half of the manga basically takes them on their day-to-day dealings of their suspension.
Mixed in with these stories is a little bit of development between Kuroki and Ucchi as well as just how bad Kuroki’s grades are. She tries to compare them to everyone else’s only to realize that she’s pretty terrible at school!
The thing with Ucchi was pretty funny. Everyone thought that the two of them were friends and then, finally, after all this time, Ucchi admits that she finds Kuroki creepy and says it right in front of her. Instead of getting dejected as the old Kuroki would, she fires back at her and even calls her emoji! Suddenly, an odd bond begins to form! I thought that was a pretty fun moment. They really dragged that one out to the point where I completely had forgotten that Ucchi only started hanging out with Kuroki because she thought she was creepy and was a bit afraid of her. Nice that Tanigawa brought that back around and the payoff of waiting that long was pretty glorious!
Yuri and Kuroki had some nice moments together. I liked how Kuroki recalled how her mom caught her watching smut and how it didn’t bother her this time because she had someone to share the embarrassment but Yuri quickly pointed out how she was simply roped into all of this by Kuroki! That’s the kind of humor that was rampant in the beginning of this series which seems like an afterthought these days.
Speaking of interactions, Yoshida and Kuroki had some interactions during their suspension but everything involving characters interacting with Kuroki didn’t really seem to definitely lead to anywhere. It was just there for the sake of being there.
Last volume, I felt like this series was just going with the flow and it seemed even more like that this time around. When Kuroki received her grades, it was the only real progress to the overarching story with her trying to get into college. Now we know that she needs to get her marks up in order for that to happen… so I guess they were setting up that next part of the whole “going to college” story arc but the rest of this volume just felt like a whole bunch of filler.
Hopefully, Volume 17 gets us some more substance because I can’t see how this series can keep going on for much longer. It was amazing in the beginning but now that Kuroki is becoming more and more “normal,” it’s just turning into a slice-of-life comedy that’s trying too hard to be funny and not sticking with what brought it to the dance.
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press.