Tuesday, 30 July 2013

WATAMOTE ~No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys Fault I’m Not Popular!~ - Episode 4

No matter how popular you are (or aren't), at least your dreams are a place where you can let loose and live our some crazy fantasies.  Except it seems that Tomoko can't even get this right...

Not only does some online advice about how to have sexual dreams not work, it makes for sleepless night for Tomoko, meaning that instead she doesn't finally drift off and find the lewd dreams that she was looking for in the middle of class.  It's body matters which dominate this episode, as Tomoko contemplates why she seems to be the only girl that never gets molested on the train.  Yes, I really did just type that.  After much pondering about why she's left untouched, it seems as if he "dream" finally comes true, only to turn into a nightmare that is, of course, nothing more than a case of mistaken identity.

With no attention coming her way, it's clear that there's only one barrier between Tomoko and popularity - her underwear.  Thus, it's shopping time as Tomoko joins friend Yuu on a hunt for the perfect panties, in a journey that leaves her not just with some new underwear, but also a Boys Love game and a massager, albeit entirely coincidentally in the latter case.  Again, misunderstanding are the order of the day as our protagonist has to suffer some further cases of embarrassment to further shatter her damaged psyche.

Even if it hasn't frequently been the height of amusement for me, I've given WATAMOTE something of a free pass as it seemed to at least have its heart in the right place - however, this week's episode has me wondering whether I've been giving it far too much credit.  For all of Tomoko's maladjusted misadventures, even I have to draw the line at a girl wanting to be molested, and this kind of male gaze fantasy scenario unfortunately serves the purpose of tainting the entire episode with a suspicion that it serves only to sexualise its female characters (and primarily Tomoko of course) over and above anything else, all while taking that step back from the bring that anime so loves to do with an innocent look on its face.  This isn't enough for me to give up on the series entirely, but it's certainly made me seriously re-evaluate where it's coming from and who it's aimed for after an instalment that made me feel uncomfortable about its goals in entirely the wrong way.

No comments: