SHOGUN’S NOTE: The summer season is in swing, at last! I’ll be doing my best to watch most, if not all, of the new simulcasting pilots. As such, regular shows like ATTACK ON TITAN, ONE PIECE and, of course, DBZ will be getting a brief break in coverage to make room. Stay tuned, and don’t panic - - their eventual catch-ups will be spectacular!
Ah-hem… a dating sim where the guy gets off on a backrub? Now, that’s confusing male and female fantasies rather seriously.
That’s the kind of the point though, isn’t it? One of the (many, many) funny things about teenage angst is that the self-absorbed nature of it all. Otherwise intelligent young people falling into pitfalls of self-loathing and self-defeat that just a bit of self-awareness would help them avoid. I don’t know if WATAMOTE (I’m not typing out its overlong ‘proper’ title) is a brilliant show, but it is a deftly observed profile of this very specific part of the human experience. Why, it’s on point enough that I was nodding most of the time; recognizing how this girl’s various, needlessly-neurotic shenanigans echoed my own experiences as an angsty teen.
No, I never had quite the enormous discrepancy between interior and exterior worlds the way this girl does, but I may have drawn a mental ‘social-interaction escape plan’ or two that were just like the one she devises at the McDonald’s. And I’ve also been on the other end of the arrangement (like her brother is during the one scene in his bedroom). You’ll never truly understand that saying about how “Hell is other people” until you’ve been forced to hang out with a Debbie Downer relative, oh no…
I guess I’m coming back to my usual… difficulty with slice-of-life shows as I appraise this. Maybe the show’s a little too quirky to be properly described as a slice-of-life but, nevertheless, the pilot ends without a cliffhanger or much of a compelling reason to come back next week. The girl successfully escaped the McD’s - - what’s left to resolve? Even if they cut off the episode a few minutes earlier and left her in a bind where she still needed to get out without the ‘threat’ of talking to anybody, that’d be a more compelling reason to keep watching.
As is, it’s just a pleasantly self-contained short about a girl who needs to get over her own social unpleasantness.
Watch this episode, "Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Change My Image a Bit” here and decide for yourself.