Recap: As the school prepares for the upcoming festival, Tomoko calculates just the right amount of help to provide to keep her classmates off her back. Yuu pays her a visit during the festival, but there may also be a new friendship for Tomoko on the horizon.
Jel’s Thoughts: The thing that makes me want to like WataMote is the fact that it never gets cynical. It would be so easy to slip into Tomoko’s point of view and say the world is a difficult, selfish place to be. Instead though, Tomoko’s world is full of normal, decent human beings. We get people like Yuu, who genuinely, unconditionally remains friends with Tomoko despite growing so far apart. You could even throw in Umbrella Guy, whose random acts of kindness and personal interest send a much more positive message about average people than you’d usually get in a comedy like this.
It’s Megumi, the student council president, who seems to exemplify my point more than anyone. When is the last time you saw a student council president in an anime that did not have ulterior motives? In Megumi’s case I got the impression that she actually cared about the people in her charge. Her concern for Tomoko wasn’t out of pity, but the actions of a kind, discerning person that was able to figure out the poor girl just needed a hug – something Tomoko herself couldn’t even figure out with her brain so warped as to what a real hug entails. It’s moments as poignant and sweet as Megumi’s bear hug that remind us of how great this show is capable of being when it’s not recycling sex jokes. Granted, you can’t have strong moments like that ALL the time without diluting the impact, but I wish we had seen that level of care put in the writing and characters more often.
Really the only thing I didn’t care for in this episode was Tomoko’s slide into full on Creeper mode when Yuu arrived, although I suppose that did serve its purpose in showing how far off base her perception of friendship has gone. I’d also mention the continued Haruhi and K-ON! references are really, really past their expiration date. Besides that though, this episode was a glimmer of the series I fell in love with early on. Should we happen to get a strong final episode, I’d even say I’d be willing to rethink my opinion of WataMote once all is said and done. I’m just afraid it’s all too little too late.