First Reactions: WataMote Episode 3

Kuroki is such a fun comedy character. I often struggle with anime comedies where the protagonist is a nice-guy loser because I want to root for them so much and they keep getting unlucky in ways that totally aren’t their fault. Kuroki’s a much-improved version of the loveable-but-luckless archetype; she’s got the courtesy to dig her own grave much of the time, turning situations that would be just kind of sad into some righteously hilarious karmic payback.

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Another thing this show does really well is setting up elaborate internal tangents. Both times this episode, the first time with the “kill all umbrella thieves” speech and the second with the art shift and the sexy assassin fantasy, were brilliant. The first resonated thanks to the fact that it mirrors something everyone’s dealt with at least once – assholes abusing communal spaces. So it built up gradually from something totally understandable into a firey-omnicidal rage, and got derailed by something typically mundane. The sniper one was even more ridiculous in scope. It felt like something ripped straight from the good half of Chuunibyou’s playbook, right down to the perfectly-timed basketball at the end.

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From what I’ve seen so far, Oonuma Shin’s direction in this show at a level he hasn’t reached since he was making ef with Shaft. There’s a very solid base to work with as far as the original script and character goes, and it arguably didn’t need much reworking. His non-intrusive style, which plays around with the art in all sorts of minor ways to grease the wheels of the story without explicitly calling attention to itself, is thus kind of perfect. The focus of the show’s always on Kuroki, but every so often there’s a little trick just tossed in to keep the audience on their toes. My weekly highlight was the moment when he zoomed in ultra-close on Kuroki chewing on her toast. It was both a good way to show off that it was morning the next day and extremely cute.

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My coverage of this show will eventually turn into an Oonuma Shin highlight reel. It’s inevitable. At this point, I’m kind of interested in taking a look at the manga and seeing to what extent the camera angles were altered and which choices were specific to the anime. It’d be a fun breakdown to do, I’m sure.

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One thought on “First Reactions: WataMote Episode 3

  1. That assassin fantasy of hers was enough to turn episode 3 into my favourite episode of the show thus far. The jokes themselves are pretty good in this series, but it’s the timing and delivery that really sets it apart from just another anime with generic otaku references.

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