No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!, Vol. 1 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2013/10/29
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Tomoko Kuroki naturally assumed she'd be popular when she got to high school...but then cold, hard reality swooped in for the attack! Turns out all the popularity points she's racked up in her video game dating sims are worth squat in real life, and Tomoko's far from prepared to navigate high school! How can she possibly hope to impress her classmates when she can't even talk to them?! A new high-school heroine is born (maybe?)!
A team of two manga artists, Nico Tanigawa is the creator of a number of school-life comedies, including No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!
What I love about this manga is how relatable it can be. Much of the humor is cringe-humor, and it's sometimes fueled by second-hand embarrassment. I find myself cringing and feeling Tomoko's embarrassment a lot, but it always turns out funny and very enjoyable. It's also one of the very few slice-of-life manga I really love. And I don't know about you guys, but I really like the added touch of digital hearts that shine in the light on the front and back covers (As shown in the picture provided). The cover art is really nice to look at. If you're into cringe comedy and can handle embarrassing situations, give this manga a try!
WataMote takes the slice of life genre and rather than having a typical eye candy type protagonist that is destined for a fated romance in a coming of age story instead focuses on an awkward paranoid [you know the kind usually reserved as background character] freshman girl. Tomoko is our next door girl, an everyday heroine, with average looks, she's somewhat underdeveloped, isn't outstanding at anything, well except playing dating sims, looking at image boards online or watching tv animes; however she believes these skills set will translate flawlessly to real society and thus grant her popularity and a happy fulfilling high school life - cue reality. Most of the story deals with her setting up situations which we understand in hindsight as traps for herself and failing to reach her goal of popularity and happiness in the most absurdly amusing amazing and epic ways. Some of the facial expressions the manga artist has created are absolutely astounding. Give it a try especially if you are a closet otaku, you won't regret it. A very heartwarming and hilarious story.
No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! (what a mouthful!) stars Tomoko Kuroki, a first-year high school student who, despite constantly playing dating games in middle school, is barely able to muster the social courage to say goodbye to her homeroom teacher on the way back home. Although it's not explicitly stated, the amount of shyness and social delusion on display here gives me the strong impression that Tomoko has social anxiety disorder, but it's not impossible to relate to her. Everyone has had that time where they thought their fellow classmates were lame, and everyone's had that time where you've felt a little lamer than your friends; it's just that instances like these are, for the lack of a better term, cranked up to 11.
In fact, this is one of the few books I have read where you can get quite the intense feeling of secondhand embarrassment. There were more than a few times when I thought to myself "do I dare look at the next page, or even the next panel?" for fear that I would cringe to the point of collapsing in on myself. While that doesn't make the material sound like much fun to read, it's actually quite entertaining if you look back and think about the lame things you did as a teenager.
In short, don't come into this series expecting a cutesy high school story, and the artwork compliments this train of thought quite nicely (some of Tomoko's reactions are just...well, weird-looking). If you're bored with stereotypical high school, slice-of-life manga but still want to read something in the genre, this is the book for you.
Vol. 1 Sets up the plot and a few characters well.
The art and style aren't bad at all, but it's not uniquely remarkable either.
The story has a way of pulling you into embarrassing or awkward situations and, more often than not, watching them crumble to pieces. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at times but what I do know is that before you know it, you're at the other end wanting more.
I'm anxiously awaiting Vol. 2 and both hope and expect it to sell just as well as Vol. 1.