lucky star

Since I’m not popular, I’ll use my imagination.

WataMote episode 2, watamote, no matter how I look at it it's you guys' fault i'm not popular, tomoko kuroki, watamote whisper of the heart reference, whisper of the heart bicycle

“It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?”

-Anne Shirley, “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery

A healthy imagination is a wonderful thing to possess, but when those fanciful tendencies hinders one’s social interaction, they become cumbersome. When one relies on their imagination and choice of entertainment to inform their views on how life should be, it continuously sets one up for a fall. However, it is not the consumption of whatever media that we choose to indulge in, but the way in which we allow it to affect our lives, and our own personalities, that make the difference.

WataMote understands this, and continues to keep the personality of its heroine, Tomoko Kuroki, along with her otaku hobbies, as two identifiably separate things, allowing the viewer to focus more on the former than the latter.

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Defining the girl and not the hobby: WataMote episode 1.

"Here we have a particular girl...an unpopular girl...

“Here we have a particular girl…an unpopular girl…”

A standard shortcut to identifying people is to learn about their hobbies. Naturally, we sort ourselves into figurative boxes by what we profess our love for: be it sports, video games, anime, and the like. We then gravitate towards others with similar interests, further organizing ourselves into like-minded groups. It’s simply easier to open up to and relate to another when you both have an interest in common.

Similarly, we identify with characters with complementary interests. A hobby is an easy way to garner empathy and emotional resonance with a specific target audience. Once this connection has been established between audience and character, then the series can move forward with developing that character further on a more personal level.

That being said, there’s something instantly charming and relatable about Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!‘s Tomoko Kuroki, and it has nothing to do with her hobbies.

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Yuyushiki Episode Six and the Kei Okano Variable.

okaasan-sensei, mom-sensei, yuyushiki, the yuyu formula, chiho aikawa, yui ichii, yuzuko nonohara, yukari hinata, kei okano, fumi hasegawa

“What the heck? Those three are total weirdos.”

-Kei Okano, Yuyushiki episode six

Yuyushiki reminds me a bit of someone playing a game. They can only have so many members in their party, and they are constantly shuffling however many characters they have to fill the specific slots. Each combination of party members has a different dynamic and effect on how the game is played.

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