Widgets Magazine

No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! Discussion Thread

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Manga] No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! Discussion Thread

    Widgets Magazine

    The saga of socially awkward Kuroki Tomoko and the ups and downs of her daily life as she makes many ill-fated attempts at becoming popular.

    Haven't been discussion threads in this subforum for a while, but as I get to re-reading this, I was feeling like going chapter-by-chapter on my thoughts and this is the best format for that. Being a discussion thread, anyone is free to join in.

    ANN / MAL
    Official Site
    Anime Discussion Thread
    Fandom Post Articles

    As usual, please try to follow these three easy forum courtesy habits when replying:
    1) If you're the first person to post about a chapter, please indicate in the first line which chapter you're posting about.
    2) If someone has already posted about a chapter before you, please quote that post (or a relevant reply to that post), or include the chapter title in the first line. ("Re: Chapter 1")

  • #2
    Chapter 1

    Tomoko, dismissing the notion that she's an unpopular girl as defined on her computer, counts up her trivial "victories" (like guys asking when the next class is and the enviable 1/3 ratio of her eraser being picked up) in interactions with guys in middle school. But regardless of how she did in middle school, Tomoko has high hopes with the next stage of her life as a high school girl in front of her. And even more confident since she feels like she's lived out the life of a high school girl for hours on end already... in her otoge (before we even get to that bit we can tell where her expectations are coming from since she uses the term "flags").

    I love how we immediately get a sudden two month time skip with Tomoko in high school, her assumption of making some progress just becoming a high schooler completely shattered to the point of panicking. And as she has cliques engaging in small talk like going out to karaoke and such all around her, we see how Tomoko bitterly tries to reassure herself by thinking of her "solo play" (she's not a loner! right?) as being better than what she sees of the attention-seeking "sluts" around her.

    Tomoko, not making any progress in class, next tries to see how she can reassure herself about her appearance at home, trying to convince herself she's not "ugly" (calling herself ugly would be an insult to true ugliness, she's thinks). Giving herself a good look in the mirror as she messily changes up her hairstyle and clothes just ends up causing her to vomit, though with Tomoko admitting that she hasn't bothered to look at herself in the mirror that way in years. While not necessarily "cute", I'd still a certain charm to her appearance even there. She ventures into the realm of a truly disturbing appearance though when she starts piecing together random internet advice poorly. And gets quite the burn being called "ugly" by her brother before he recognizes who it is. Once Tomoko loses the failed "tearful eyes" and particularly the "duck face" in her sullen reaction to her brother, her experimental megane forehead appearance actually doesn't look all that bad.


    • #3
      Chapter 2

      Tomoko's bitterness at the chummy cliques around her this time has her wishing that terrorists or aliens would attack the school. Though if they really did, I have a feeling emotionally-fragile Tomoko would have a terrible time of it and regret thinking about that. It's interesting how only this recent time rewatching (both the anime and manga) do I fully understand the rather specific thing she was referencing about Parasyte. Yay for recent anime remakes, I guess.

      After a long time of not even having to respond to anyone whatsoever, her homeroom teacher wishing her well on her way home (and Tomoko not being able to say anything back) thrusts her into her next bout of self-introspection, over her seemingly deteriorating ability to talk to people. She can talk with her mom just fine, but even shut-ins can do that. Tomoko feels like talking with the opposite sex is an even bigger hurdle, and gives her the idea of trying to talk with someone she already knows at home for practice.

      Tomoki is rather annoyed at the sudden intrusion and not at all willing to hear out his sister. Tomoko seems to imply her standing with her brother has been deteriorating too, thinking he's so cold to her now when he'd play games with her a year ago. I'm guessing the annoying encounters have really started to build up, and his patience was probably already being tested over the middle school years as it was. Tomoko is rather depressingly desperate, borderline suicidal, in getting her brother to change his mind on hearing her out. High school is looking like hard mode, and past that Tomoko says it will get into nightmare mode past then, so why not skip to the end? (Yikes ) Tomoki is again annoyed when the request to talk an hour a day comes out. He thinks she surely has at least one friend she can do this with instead. Tomoko of course counters that she has none, and I love how she plays up Tomoki's apparent social skills with warped (sexual, heh) ideas of what being a forward on the soccer team means. Tomoki at one point in his annoyance at his sister's depressing antics mentions how she'd get a punch in the face if she were his brother. He eventually begrudgingly caves to his sister's idea, supposedly to last until she gets a boyfriend (Tomoki remarks how this is a life sentence ).

      And Tomoko starts getting immediate results, going up to say goodbye to her homeroom teacher as she leaves class, and even better yet, a hot guy clerk at the convenience store! Of course she does this in such a nervous, barely audible way that we really can't see there's any advancement, but Tomoko counts whatever wins she can get...


      • #4
        Chapter 3

        We get a first look at Tomoko's sometimes masochistic tastes in media as she reacts so positively to hearing yandere boys. Though this is interrupted by something that's very unexpected in Tomoko's life these days... a phone call. An old friend from middle school, Yuu, wants to meet up. Despite looking nerdy, she apparently was a bit of an underachiever and didn't get in as an "elite" school as Tomoko (or so Tomoko says).

        Though actually getting to meet Yuu-chan, Tomoko is in for quite the surprise over how much she's changed appearance-wise. She's even talking trendier as Tomoko takes mistakes her coffee terminology for a sexual joke. Apparently Yuu's new high school life is a never ending fashion show which she kept up with to fit in. Yuu seems to be quite susceptible to peer pressure, and was likely absent any nerd group starting out like she had in middle school. But Tomoko gets to be a bit more comfortable when Yuu also does want to talk about nerdy stuff such as anime and games like they used to. Yuu doesn't have anyone to talk with about those things currently, and so they both get to have a sweet time enjoying things they haven't in a while (in Tomoko's instance more the togetherness of it).

        When Yuu questions her about making friends, Tomoko rather nervously lies at first. Yuu seems to be in a bit of a funk, though, and a little down now on the fact she didn't get to go to Tomoko's school. I like how Tomoko turns around just as they're leaving and finally gets to be rather honest (in a way that's still rather tear-jerking to me) about how her high school life hasn't really been going as great as hoped. Heartwarmingly, this seems to get Yuu's spirits up to. Though unfortunately there's an element to this that Tomoko hasn't heard and which she can't take well at all. The cause of the funk Yuu is getting over is... a boyfriend. Rather than a mutually happy end to this reunion, Tomoko can only get to drowning in her yandere boy CDs again. Well, reconnecting with a good friend again (and one who is genuinely happy about the meeting) still feels more like a really appreciable step forward counteracting some of the setbacks in Tomoko's life


        • #5
          Chapter 4

          Tomoko again has disdainful thoughts about a group of friends talking about how they're go out for karaoke. There's a bit of a highlight to clique this time in my mind in that I believe it's the first appearance of a particular bunch of character designs that recurs. Tomoko looks down on what she thinks there karaoke experience is, with their music choices (AKB) and all, but also thinks of it going in a twisted sexual direction with a king game and double entendres with karaoke equipment.

          Tomoko thinks she could take her own detour from school, though, instead of going straight home as she always does. Book-Of seems ideal to her, not only because she can read books on her lonesome... err... solo play, but also because of her idea that the others there are all NEETs who she can look down on. I like how immediately a girl comes to meet up with her girlfriend right after Tomoko was deep in those thoughts... Next she hits good ol' WcDonalds and after barely being able to speak her order, actually finds out she thinks hamburgers are tastier than she would have thought. She was feeling a bit comfortable how they were other people on their own around, but then the karaoke group from her school comes in...

          It's interested how Tomoko is actually quite concerned about people openly talking about her pitifully, in how she's afraid the group will react to seeing her alone. Amusing how she desperately plots how to get out of there without being noticed. She thinks of using her same makeover attempt from the first chapter, but "wearing a different face". She succeeds in sneaking by the classmates, but she's spotted by Tomoki and his friends suddenly coming in. And the face she wears this time is almost an unappealingly overdone as the first time. Poor Tomoko thus gets remarked as being "butt-ugly by one of the friends. Does feel like there's a rare understated feeling of sympathy from Tomoki in the scene at the park afterward.


          • #6
            Chapter 5

            Tomoko gets really into reading a seinen magazine at the convenience store, realizing soon that she's making an embarrassingly goofy face in public. And even this little thing is apparently enough to get self-conscious Tomoko making sure not to come back to the same place. Though the scene she recounts from the manga sounds so hilariously bizarre and sexual (fitting for her), it's no wonder she reacted that way.

            On her way back Tomoko encounters a sudden downpour and wishes she'd have known since she just left a place that sells umbrellas. In the place she takes shelter, two guys also show up, a pushy, talkative one and a rather nice guy. Much awkwardness ensues as Tomoko is frustrated in numerous ways how to interact with them. The nice guy tries to defend Tomoko as being "quiet" when pushy guy talks about her not responding. Tomoko really does seem quite hyper-sensitive at being pitied, even some mild genuine sympathy as we have from the nice guy here seems to provoke a defensive response in Tomoko's mind. In the end, Tomoko's eventual responses of stating the obvious and attempting a joke from her stream of thought lands with such a dud that she's in tears over her embarrassment and wants out. She goes to the bathroom, comes back to find them gone, and just goes to sleep.

            It's sweet how the nice guy comes back to give her an umbrella. Tomoko doesn't get to recognizing what happened when she wakes up, though she makes use of the umbrella. This chapter highlights how people can be nice to Tomoko, but sadly through her quirks and/or bad luck sometimes just does not get to fully recognizing it.


            • #7
              Chapter 6

              Tomoko is having quite the blissful experience with a new otoge. She was getting to feel the genre was getting stale (not surprising since the evidence seems to suggest she's played them to death), but this one must be quite specially appealing, and cute to see it having Tomoko feeling good (something Mom notices too). And of course for something that works for her, it's stated to be quite smutty too.

              Tomoko is shocked at how "cute" she looks in the mirror. After overhearing some girls chatting in the bathroom and digging into magazines, Tomoko is set on the idea that sex makes a woman more beautiful, and that's she's getting the estrogen benefit just from her sexual fantasies over her otoge. Really amusing how wildly full of herself Tomoko gets in her delusions, thinking that she's soon going to be a voluptuous beauty.

              And she ends up neglecting her hygiene to keep at that otoge... I love how Tomoki paying attention to how oily she's gotten, and Tomoko's head is so inflated at this point that she thinks her brother is desiring her. Tomoko got burned out on her otoge, though. Probably treating it like a miracle beauty solution, and of course not really getting the results, backfired on her enjoyment of the game (or maybe she would have gotten to that point otherwise). Heh, but she still takes even the failure quite smugly. She's just the type to get bored dating one guy, and needs a variety in her "love life". I love how she says stuff like that without context (that's she's referring to her 2D boyfriends) to Tomoki, with him just thinking she's nuts.


              • #8
                Chapter 7

                This is the first chapter that is a bit of a collection of shorter (but still interconnected in this case) stories, but even at shorter length, there's some very consistently entertaining stuff there.

                Tomoko seems to start off the day feeling like it's going well, but the way she reported her status in the morning (particularly overeating breakfast on little sleep), we could tell that was a recipe for disaster when she felt like running. Ends up looking like a pitiful morning drunk to random passerbys when she throws up on the way to school. When she gets hungry early again at school, she then thinks that maybe her classmates will see her as like a cute hungry anime character for getting to her lunch early, and there's another 2D-deluded idea that doesn't work when she hears the gossip in reality.

                The guy in the nearby clique talking about he's jealous (complete with the famous "riajuu" expression) over someone he knows hooking up with a girlfriend of course really gets Tomoko seething in her mind (wanting them to die in a fire, yikes...) From her perspective, it would seem he's already got it well being able to joke around with friends like that so his expression of jealousy must seem particularly empty.

                Tomoko overhears students talking about the class trip for the second years, and the veritable horrors the experience would bring for Tomoko in particular are numerous and keep mounting in her mind.

                Spoiler ->And oh, it's going to happen eventually, hehe... In the anime, she contents herself at this point (not shown in this short bit manga) that it's still a long time away

                Tomoko runs from pairing-up embarrassment in art class by excusing herself to the infirmary. Noticing a guy asleep on the other bed, is enough for Tomoko to blushingly think that she's "sleeping with a man". Haha.

                Tomoko picks a ball up for such a cute baseball team manager girl, and Tomoko's got some naughty thoughs on the girl's connection with the guys on the team (like with the karaoke thing in the earlier chapter, it's fun what twisted sexual ideas comes up randomly for people she doesn't know). This time she actually thinks about what she's doing and wonders if this is why she isn't popular...

                And to end her experiences on a high note, Tomoko comes across a random couple walking up the stairs and wonders what the panties of a girl who has a boyfriend is like... Funny how she gets blushingly defensive about not being a pervert in her mind ("just plain, innocent curiosity"). Though we can see in the final short that Tomoko clearly was in such awe that the view of the panties painted over everything she experienced that day.
                Last edited by EmperorBrandon; 06-29-2017, 01:20 PM.


                • #9
                  Chapter 8

                  The experience from the end of last chapter fresh on her mind, and seeing the underwear of the other girls in class through their new summer uniforms... Tomoko gets to thinking about her underwear situation. She just wears cheap panties her mom buys for her and a tanktop, and thinks she'll magically get more self-confident if she buys her own (I love how she brags about a specific price in her head).

                  Though on where she would even buy them, she turns to her seemingly now-trendy old friend, calling up Yuu-chan. It's amusing how totally awkwardly pervy Tomoko is in asking for her help. Tomoko is lucky (even admitting the exact fact to herself) how sweet Yuu is. Tomoko's so dazzled over Yuu's sexy, fashionable appearance and then again over the sights... and smells (love the bit of her thinking the panties are peach-scented and Yuu having to correct her) of the lingerie store. When Tomoko gets to pressing on what panties Yuu would pick out for her, we see Yuu is getting to think that Mokocchi is being weird today. And when Yuu picks out what she'd get herself for Tomoko... Tomoko's feelings about Yuu's sexiness are interestingly quite intense. This time she even goes as far as imagining what she'd feel as Yuu's boyfriend.

                  Tomoko gets the panties, but is too embarrassed to wear them. But wearing them would seem much less embarrassing than what actually happens. She forgot she put them in her pocket, and takes them out in the middle of the class thinking it's her handkerchief. The nearby guys' reaction is priceless. We see her embarrassment can get so extreme that she immediately lets it out quite violently in how she rips the panties to shreds in the bathroom with such an over-the-top expression. It's a good thing Tomoko doesn't have Gab's horn since I think she would be thinking about using it all the time.


                  • #10
                    Chapter 9

                    Ah... here it is. Tomoko comes up with her own fanfic setting for Fate/Stay Night to have sexual fantasies in class. This is interesting to me in the manga as the anime altered the connection to be a bit more tangential, though there still was talk of the naughty mana transfers Tomoko was looking forward to even there. The anime also had some fun with

                    Spoiler ->a visual depiction of the fantasy which the manga doesn't do.

                    I like how even some minor happenings come back at Tomoko, as we see her skipping art class in ch. 7 has consequences. That particular assignment was graded and she has to stay after class to complete it with one fat student named Hatsushiba who also missed it. Tomoko sure looks down on him quite mercilessly in her mind. First she think he's someone so low on the totem pole that he might give her a look. But the "fatty" is not at all interested in anything other than getting his assignment done so he can get back to club activities. Tomoko ends up embarrassing herself by following him when he's in a different class. Her frustrated remarks only end up fueling a different delusion when it makes her think of Whisper of the Heart.

                    When they actually get to the after-class sketching in the art room, Tomoko is back to the merciless thoughts. And with them a rather serious case of pot calling the kettle black, as they (seemingly without realizing it) all describe her herself. Hatsushiba whips up a sketch pretty quickly and bails, though, leaving Tomoko without the reference she's supposed to have. But she does manage a pretty hilarious-looking interpretation of him. Her reaction to finally finding out what Hatsushiba sketched is so danged cute, though, in how all of her ill feelings about him melt away (and she wants a copy from the teacher) at seemingly being portrayed so cutely. This is one of those cases where it's actually a little nice and heartwarming that Tomoko is clueless of the reality. Hatsushiba obviously didn't really care and we find he was just doing what he did with all of his sameface background characters in his manga club. But Tomoko just remains so happily conceited.
                    Last edited by EmperorBrandon; 06-29-2017, 03:10 PM.


                    • #11
                      Volume 1 Bonus

                      Tomoki come across his mom watching old home movies of the siblings as kids. They were so adorable with little Tomoki saying he was going to marry Tomoko, and big sis teasing him that he couldn't. Well, it's cute to us. To Tomoki of the present, though, seeing this is the most horrifying thing.

                      Tomoko comes across some two cats, doing... stuff. "Even cats get action..." Poor Tomoko gets to feeling inferior to animals at times (there's also a thing with worms on the table of contents page).


                      • #12
                        Chapter 10

                        The vibe of the expressionless character and protagonist in the show Tomoko is watching makes me think of Nagato and Kyon. Tomoko, thinking of how such cool, expressionless characters are seemingly though of as being cute lately by both genders, gets to want to emulating. Tomoko is just as bad at forcing a lack of expression as she is at forcing at an expression. And I love how immediately after she assumes the character, she runs into trouble with her brother asking why she took his drink. The character she's putting on just makes her apology seem infuriatingly fake to Tomoki. And we see he can get annoyed to the point of a mildly violent reaction to his sister (in addition to just thinking he'd do it if she was a brother as in ch. 2).

                        Ignoring the expressionless bit, Tomoko is of course "quiet" already as is, so we can't expect much to be different as school, as she gets to realizing soon herself. Those characters only work because they are noticed. And her next stop at being cool is hitting the coffee shop, as she's apparently fantasized before about stopping by as a high school student to study. And she in for quite the string of mishaps there as can be expected. Parts of that feel rather relatable: vague menu terms, getting too much of something to try that just isn't to tastes, self-serve condiment accidents, and just plain losing it all to a drop or spill (at least for Tomoko the last was a bit merciful since she wasn't going to enjoy it anyway, but it is quite the embarrassment).

                        In the end, the expressionless alien character from the show ends up being valued more in opening up with human emotions. The appeal in that character isn't what Tomoko was even initially thinking. Kuuderes are nice, but either way, trying to do that in reality is just not going to work for Tomoko.
                        Last edited by EmperorBrandon; 06-29-2017, 04:25 PM.


                        • #13
                          Chapter 11

                          Tomoko has gotten to be naturally skeptical about horoscopes after the bad outcome in ch. 7. Her lucky color being "black" though, and a promise of the opposite sex seeing her in a different light, gets her picking out a black-colored soda can. That just proves her skepticism at first by spewing right in her face as she opens it, and then later attracts ants going all over her (she kind of brought that on herself by playing around with them during gym class) More hilarious bits from that of Tomoko being blissfully oblivious (yet again) as various guys get to noticing she has ants crawling around on her. Tomoko herself continues to not realizing what is getting their attention and thinks her horoscope is actually working well. She's feels like she's had such a good time of that she goes and intentionally douses herself in soda the next day, and the ants all over her again in a way in which Tomoki witness another horrifying sight of his sister.


                          • #14
                            Chapter 12

                            Summer break is almost here, and Tomoko is concerned about seeing the fireworks alone. She had been able to go with Yuu-chan in years pasts, but now Tomoko assumes Yuu's going to be spending that time with her boyfriend. But to find someone means she's going to have to ask someone random at school she doesn't know. And where better than the library where only loners would hang out now. Tomoko seems to only be able to take the initiative when she can put down the person she's attempting to approach in the mind. She almost doesn't want to try with the book-reading girl is so "cute", but then gets her hopes up at noticing it's a book she's read (and so may have a conversation starter). But Tomoko's assumptions are spectacularly flawed yet again as it turns out friends are coming to pick her up to go out to a group date, turning Tomoko's contemptuous opinions in a different but familiar direction as she's foiled. And not knowing how to approach the remaining guy in the library (the opposite sex always being an even bigger challenge in Tomoko's mind), Tomoko thinks she can inexplicably get him to take the initiative by some cell phone trickery. Efforts there wrap up unsurprisingly with Tomoko not being the least bit noticed.

                            Tomoko goes to a rooftop she used to use as a getaway spot with Yuu in their middle school days. And from the way she's dressed, we can see how much of a raging chuunibyou she seemed look like in those days. Before she gets to viewing the fireworks alone, though, two middle schoolers unexpectedly show up. The misunderstanding about why they were there was fun. It was not for fireworks... Tomoko had seen a new building nearby, and then it turns out the middle school boys were there for a chance to spy on some action at a love hotel. It's not what she came there for, but as she joins in on the voyeurism, Tomoko gets really into it (love how the boys have to get her to keep her excited voice down, and her comparing it to otome games). In a twisted way, she kind of met her objective for summer fun while not being alone after all...
                            Last edited by EmperorBrandon; 06-29-2017, 05:37 PM.


                            • #15
                              Chapter 13

                              Another chapter of shorter segments as Tomoko whittles away her summer break doing various bits of nothing in particular with internet surfing and the like. She's rather into it at first, but quickly gets to keeping her up and wailing at night as she realizes how much she's just wasting her time. Her brother getting to have a fun time with his friends over at one point probably doesn't help her state of mind.

                              And speaking of Tomoki, he has to bear witness (after being woken from his sleep) to more pitiful mishaps as Tomoko digging too deep into scary stories leaves her unable to go the bathroom alone. It's amusing how it comes out to Tomoki through implications at first (her asking to take a shower already) that she actually didn't make it in time...


                              Widgets Magazine
                              Widgets Magazine



                              Widgets Magazine
                              Widgets Magazine