Tomoko Kuroki (黒木 智子 Kuroki Tomoko?) is the lead protagonist of No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys Fault I'm Not Popular! ("WataMote"). Socially inept and often desperate, the series chronicles her various attempts to try to be more popular at her school, Makuhari Shuuei High School. She is 15 years old at the time of the series' debut and was born towards the end of February of either 1994, 1997, or 1998.
Tomoko started off very excited about high school. Since she had had over 50 years of dating experience with over 100 boys in otome games, she could not have been more delighted with the expected coming years of popularity! After two months without speaking to anyone in her class, Tomoko is baffled by her continuing lack of notoriety and becomes more determined than ever to gain her peers' approval.
In both the manga and anime, Tomoko debuts looking up the definition of "unpopular girl" (mojo・喪女・もじょ) on the internet only to discover she fits all of the criteria! In the anime opening titles, she is depicted as a prisoner having her pictures taken wearing a placard that identifies her as "mojyo" in English letters.
One of the ways Tomoko plans to rehabilitate herself is through daily talks with her brother, Tomoki Kuroki, who begrudgingly agrees to this unusual request. She also frequently spends times with her grade school friend, Yū Naruse, whose favorable social status is often coveted by Tomoko.
Though she has little to no success at first, she has slowly gained some of her peer's respect. In her second year she makes a new friend, Nemoto, in her class whom she talks to. She also befriends a member of the culture festival committee, though she has had very little interaction with the latter. It is also apparent that she has become slightly more confident in dealing with other people in social interaction. For example, she can hand over her home economics ingredients which she could not do previously. Unfortunately, her attempts to act "cool" often have disastrous results. Stuck under a covered bus stop with two boys, she attempts scatological humor only to realize how awkward and weird it is. In a way, her panic when confronted by social situations can lead her to speak without a filter.
In the chapters covering her second year of high school, she has, perhaps unwittingly, collected a group of friends. Most, like Masaki Yoshida, Nemoto, and Yuri Tamura have their own issues dealing with people. However, the very popular "Class Mom" Asuka Katō also treats her kindly. By her third year, Tomoko has even acquired an underclasswoman kōhai and, unbeknownst to her, a girl who has developed some type of crush on her.
Tomoko has a grim outlook on life - so much that during a daydream she imagines herself on a motorcycle, only to crash and end up in the hospital. She utters a "censored" with a tone reference to the anime Gantz, hoping her world will be destroyed and replaced. As the initial series progresses, Tomoko tries to become popular by coming up with ideas on how to get attention. She usually either fails or receives negative attention. She often lacks a "filter" in that she will say what she thinks without considering the consequences. For example, realizing she has never seen male genitalia, she matter-of-factly asks her brother Tomoki to show his to her without any conception of how bizarre her request is. Similarly, when she feels that she has offended Nemoto during an argument about flashing panties in which she mentions that Nemoto's rode so far up she exposed "everything," she decides that she needs to compliment Nemoto's Mount Pleasant which earns a slap from the enraged Nemoto. Tomoko will refer to this periodically when Nemoto irritates her.
Much of the story takes place "in her head" through her continuous thinking and ranting to herself on almost everyone and everything. Her awkward behavior seems odd to even perverted to others. She can be disrespectful and selfish at times, like when she tried to make Tomoki do housework when he was doing entrance exams when the year previously she ducked doing housework with the excuse she had entrance exams. She overreacts to small things, such as seeing her classmates at "WcDonalds" and trying to avoid them by disguising herself. Her imagination tends to fuel her overreactions.
She can also appear rather perverted to others. Tomoko is a young teen curious but awkward and embarrassed by having no experience other than what she gains from playing games and surfing the internet. Aside from comic misunderstanding situations in the manga and anime where her parents walk in on her, Tomoko will also blurt out what she is thinking especially if she thinks it will make her appear cool and mature, usually with little grasp on the consequences. Early in the series, listening to other girls happily talk about bikinis, she imagines they are all "secreting pheromones" and are sluts. In the anime, she quickly thinks the female manager of the baseball team spends her time tending to the boys' "bats." Bored by being forced to watch a baseball game in the manga, she muses that baseball would be better if the line-up depended on relative penis length or if the batters had to use a bat with a length that compared to their own! She tries to impress her younger cousin with her experiences with a non-existent boyfriend with hilarious results. In school, feeling embarrassed that she may be the only girl her age who has not seen a boy's unmentionables, she enters an image search for "penis" on her phone only to drop it, have it scatter across the floor for her teacher to find and see, and to then gain the reputation as the "girl who looks at penes" Later in the manga, when she has progressed to having lunch daily with two other girls, she reads a young woman's magazine which has a seasonal "Sex Special" searching for something interesting to say. Even though she knows she cannot just blurt out "things you can understand about someone based on their penis" in a conversation, she does so anyways.
Her actual experience is limited mainly to fantasies from playing games, making up scenarios, and listening to her special yandere audios. In one incident early in the anime and manga, she sees into the window of a "Love Hotel" where she can watch two people making love. She is shocked by the detail she has not seen before in her games. When she becomes reacquainted with Yū , who in middle school wore glasses and seemed nerdy to Tomoko, she is shocked to find Yū has lightened her hair, discarded her glasses for contacts, has developed more than she, and has had boyfriends. When Yū hugs her, Tomoko is embarrassed that Yū's breasts touch her then misunderstands what is happening and thinks she should grab Yū's bottom. This does not happen, but Tomoko remains fascinated.
It appears that Tomoko acts out of ignorance for most of the series. In both the manga and anime Tomoko has a fascination with the panties other girls wear. Part of this may be due to what she considers her own pathetic underwear which leads to a famous sequence where she tries to buy panties. While played for comedy, there are some serious overtones. She seems completely oblivious to the offense she causes. She seems to enjoy teasing Yoshida on her panties even though she knows it will provoke Yoshida to hit her. She calmly watches Emiri Uchi practice cheerleading to see if she wears longer "spats," which Uchi notices to her horror. As recently as Chapter 146, she happily peeks at Yuri and Mako's panties. However, when she agrees to wear a short skirt to school, she becomes very self-conscious of people potentially peeking at her. She inwardly feels she now understands what sexual harassment actually is and vows to restrain herself in the future.
One has to take care in interpreting Tomoko's developing sexuality. As expected, she has fantasies she engages in which the manga and anime hint at and often play for humorous effect. She will play a game and have tissues ready. She will listen to yandere boys CDs. Reading on how to have "erotic dreams" she wastes a night trying to have them only to fall asleep in class having one. A lot of humor involves her trying to act more experienced than she is. She is curious about her body but sometimes tries to hide it. Thus, the scene with Yū is played more for her curiosity rather than actual attraction to Yū. Similarly, during her high school field trip, when she has a difficult time rousing Yoshida, she decides to tickle her under the covers and it is clear she lets her fingers wander then starts pinching Yoshida's nipples. Tomoko later admits this and apologizes, though she will later boast about it to her brother. This will serve as the beginning of a few comic misunderstandings between the two characters. In another incident in Chapter 84, Nemoto asks her in the bathroom to scratch her back: "Put your hand inside my sweater." Tomoko blushes and has to take a moment in the stall afterwards.
On the other hand, soon after in Chapter 86 Tomoko must participate in school-wide athletic activities. She has to pick a "hot guy" as a pair in a running race. Desperate, she approaches her brother who refuses but provides an upperclassman from his soccer team. Tomoko becomes so overwhelmed she fears participating in the three-legged race with another boy. Doing so, in her words, breaks her mind. She realizes that other than "business handshakes with voice actors," she has had no real interactions with boys.
Tomoko has fairly pale skin, large jade green eyes with visible purple dark shadows underneath them, and long unkempt black hair that she wears down on her shoulders, often covering her right eye. Tomoko has a fairly small, circular face compared to the rest of her peers, and her figure is very delicate and petite. When she fantasizes about what she can become, she generally imagines herself to be a tall, curvaceous woman in contrast to her real frame.
Her exact height seems to vary between the anime and manga.
The anime opening shows her against height marks up to just under 5'0" when she stands up straight as opposed to bending forward and smirking at the viewer.
When she stretches to throw her sign, she reaches about 5'2". However, a booklet included with Volume 18 lists her height as 148 cm which is about 4'10¼". Chapter 175-2 provides a beach scene of all of the main "WataGirls" which provides a comparison of their heights and confirms that Tomoko is the shortest.
Her most common outfit, her high school uniform, consists of a collared, white buttoned up blouse accompanied by a garnet necktie. Additionally, she wears a pale, yellow jacket that is adorned with cyan-colored buttons, and a knee-length to longer wavy skirt the same color as the jacket with black trimmings. She wears jet black stockings and brown shoes. When Tomoko was in middle school, she wore a traditional navy sailor fuku outfit. At home, Tomoko wears non-feminine like clothes, and when she later realizes this is insufficient for a "popular" girl, she attempts to make her clothing slutty to convince Kii that she is experienced, although her clothing did not exactly qualify as slutty.
In the manga she is sometimes shown, such as in Chapter 29, wearing a Christian cross necklace.
Tomoki Kuroki is her younger brother and their relationship for much of the manga and anime is strained. Tomoko often looks to her brother for help despite being older than him. Her requests often come off as creepy, such as asking him to show her his penis, causing him to become annoyed and often resulting in him throwing her out of his room. She also tries to use him for her own end, such as pretending to look after him while he is sick in order to get sick herself. He seems more responsible which irritates her further. Reminiscences such as video of them as very young children show they were devoted to one another. As young teens, their developing independence along with Tomoko's awkwardness have driven them somewhat apart. Nevertheless, they do both care for each other. Tomoki becomes irritated when his sister insisted on practicing talking to people with him; however, he does go through with it night after irritating night. When Tomoko saw him alone in class, she planned on trying to help him make friends, though it is revealed that she was mistaken. Tomoki often helps out Tomoko, even taking her to the bathroom when she became too scared to go alone after binge-reading horror stories, as well as taking her by the hand to the infirmary when she had a nosebleed caused by him, and even finding her a male partner for a three legged race, although that was more so he could get out of being her partner for it. In more recent chapters, he notices that his sister seems to have friends and she even seems more normal than some of them.
Tomoko retains a sense of "big sister" over Tomoki in her own twisted fashion. A reminiscence suggests that Tomoki started to resent Tomoko when she overly lorded beating him in a video game. She speaks to him very matter-of-factly by suggesting that every girl interested in him wants to see his unmentionables to his irritation and embarrassment. Once, unaware of their odd rivalry, he asks Tomoko about Kotomi, and she responds that she is a "raging pervert." In a school sports competition, Tomoko manages to squeeze Akari, another girl with a crush on Tomoki, which allows her to proudly announce Akari's cup size to Tomoki since, she explains, this is information he will want to know. Finally, after Yoshida basically runs into his hand as he tries to restrain her from Kotomi, Tomoko takes him aside to proudly announce that she has not only groped Yoshida under her shirt, she touched her nipples, "which means I'm still winning!"
Tomoko's mother starts as one of the few people she is able to talk to. Her mother often gets annoyed by Tomoko, but still trusts her daughter to a limited extent. There relationship is what is expected from a mother dealing with a young teen struggling to cope with and understand becoming an adult. Tomoko tries to avoid responsibilities to the irritation of her mother. Whenever her mother tries to get Tomoko to do housework, Tomoko will complain and try get away with the bare minimum. She seems the early antagonist to Tomoko; however, her scoldings always appear justified, such as when Tomoko tried to make it look like she had kiss marks using a vacuum cleaner then lashed out at her mother when she was too embarrassed to explain what she was doing. On the other hand, when she walks in on Tomoko accidentally playing the lewd fantasy mix of her own voice with that of a favorite voice actor's she recorded out loud, she tries not to embarrass her mortified daughter further by simply turning around and telling her to come to dinner when she is finished. In another example, she gives Tomoko her allowance early when she sees an invitation to a party, albeit one Tomoko does not go to. She does care about Tomoko even if she struggles sometimes to understand her.
Mrs. Kuroki demonstrates this concern during Tomoko's suspension for riding a motorbike with Yoshida. She proves more concerned that her daughter could have been injured in an accident than that she got into trouble with her school. At the end of the suspension, she expresses inward relief to discover that her daughter now has a circle of friends she seems to care about.
Only seen briefly in the anime and in the manga as well, not much is known about him. His face is not depicted as are most people Tomoko does not appear to have a strong relationship with. However, his brief appearances in the manga and anime suggests he does care for her. Returning home from work with a cake, he asks for her and goes to her room. In a scene both comic and touching, Tomoko had fallen asleep on her floor in what appears to be a lewd situation: a yaoi video game paused on the television with her holding a still running "personal massager." He does not react other than to pause briefly then simply switch off the instrument, television, and gently put her to bed. In a later chapter, he lets Tomoko accompany him fishing and asks her how she is doing.
Kiko, also known as Kii, is Tomoko's younger cousin by three years. Kii respects Tomoko more than anyone else in her family. She looks up to her and refers to her as an older sister which pleases Tomoko greatly. Tomoko lies a great deal to Kii in an attempt to seem more mature; however, this ultimately backfires when Kii finds out when she confronts the guy she claimed to be her boyfriend for being with another girl, only to have her illusion shattered. Tomoko tried to be nicer to her in an attempt to win her back, even bringing her along to watch her win a card game against younger children, and trying to give her money at New Year's which Kii refuses.Kii regains some of her respect for Tomoko during Tomoko's third year in high school. In Chapters 141 - 142, Kii gives a surprise visit to Tomoko in order to visit Tomoko's high school. She learns that Tomoko has a number of friends, while Tomoko explains that she has set aside some of her more childish activities.
Tomoko befriended Yū in middle school when Yū joined Tomoko's class. Tomoko offers to eat lunch with her after being told to eat lunch with her friends, believing that she could take advantage of her good will. At the time, Yū wore very long hair, glasses, and she shared Tomoko's love of anime. In middle school, Yū was also friends with Kotomi "Komi" Komiyama; however, Tomoko and Kotomi did not get along very well.
At the start of the main series, Yū attends a different high school. When they renew contact, Tomoko is shocked to learn that Yū has changed her hair style, wears contacts, has a boyfriend, and has even "developed" more than Tomoko. Tomoko mainly contacts Yū to ask for advice including about what kind of underwear she was wearing at the time. Though as it progresses, Yū asks Tomoko for help, and even notes how mature she feels Tomoko is. During the culture festival, she visits Tomoko's school, where Tomoko attempts to get a hug from her by bringing her into the haunted house (resulting in her annoyance that they were unable to scare her).
Yū recognizes the conflict between Tomoko and Kotomi, and she tries to make them get along.
Yuri by default, becomes one of Tomoko's closest friends in high school. Yuri's best friend, however, is Mako. They met during the school trip and since then have continued to maintain a casual and friendly relationship initiated by Yuri which involves eating lunch and walking to school together. When she reads a text from Mako after a comic misunderstanding that declares Tomoko a "nice person," Yuri wonders to herself: "She's not a bad person, but I wouldn't exactly call her a nice one either." As their relationship develops, Yuri shows a curious jealousy. When she meets Yū with Tomoko and Kotomi at a cafe, she begins to relate many of Tomoko's embarrassing moments during her field trip. Mako takes her aside and accuses her of acting like Minami. Yuri punches her in the arm in response. During the school trip to the amusement park, she and Tomoko have a few hours alone. Tomoko jokes about it, but Yuri does not understand it until a few beats later. Inwardly, she confesses she has a hard time communicating while for her part, Tomoko realizes she is straining herself to respond.
In more recent chapters, Yuri appears quietly concerned that Tomoko seems to make new friends. In Chapter 144 she observes Tomoko converse with Emiri Uchi then even with the boy Wada. When she learns of Tomoko's interest in Katō's choice of a college, she addresses Tomoko as "Tomoko." Tomoko initially replies with a quiet "Yu-Yuri" which she corrects with a more emphatic "Tamura-san." While it appears that Yuri is hurt that Tomoko considers another school, she inwardly reveals that after Tomoko privately addressed her as "Yuri" in Chapter 138 she had finally summoned the courage to call Tomoko "Tomoko." When Tomoko tries to learn what upset her, Tomoko reacts to Yuri's refusal to discuss the real reason by accusing her of "embarrassing" her by calling her "Tomoko." Yuri retorts that she should find Hina and her and calling one another "Kuro" and "Nemo" embarrassing.
In a later chapter, Yuri asks to practice with Tomoko. They spend the afternoon together, Yuri wins at darts, and Tomoko tells the story about how her mother overheard her listening to the erotic tape she made. Yuri confesses that she would not mind spending a similar day with Mako, Yoshida, and even Katō and Hina. Later, when Hina teases her for losing in the intramural table tennis matches, Yuri genially mentions that she spent a fun day with Tomoko to Hina's irritation.
Still, Yuri's concern over Tomoko making new friends persists. She appears upset that Tomoko is greeted by so many after her suspension, including Reina, Anna, and Uchi. She chooses not to sit at Tomoko's table, and Reina and Anna interact with her. She happily munches on fries Anna offers her. For her part, Tomoko realizes she has not talked to Yuri since her suspension, partly because Yuri only left her a one-word text "how (どう・dō)?" The two talk, and when Yuri returns to the table, Anna playfully observes that Yuri has devoured all of the fries. Relaxed, Yuri offers to buy some more, but when she does, she overhears that Tomoko called one person during her suspension.
Like Tomoko and other characters in WataMote, Yuri has made some progress with her own issues. At the Summer Study Camp, she accepts an invitation from Nagi to bath with the "Emoji Gang" sans Uchi and notes to herself that it is the first time she has been able to interact with a group of girls comfortably. When Tomoko later suggests that she must have been lonely, Yuri affirms that she was not.
Mako and Tomoko are casual friends that are really only together because of Yuri, who acts as a buffer between the two. However, in Chapter 99, when Yuri is sick and messages both to have lunch together both individually fear they have nothing to discuss with the other. Mako gets asked by others to have lunch instead, to Tomoko's relief, but in a complicated comic misunderstanding, Mako thinks she sees Tomoko crying over being left alone. Added in what she feels may be some unfair accusations by Uchi, Mako feels compelled to apologize to Tomoko directly by cornering her in a bathroom stall and asking to be her friend. For her part, Tomoko utterly misunderstands this as a possible overture and later messages a confused Yuri asking if Mako is "one of THOSE people?" While Tomoko understands that Mako is not actually a lesbian, she persists in inwardly referring to her as "Crazy Lesbian" (ガチレズ・gachirezu) sometimes with the -san.
Yoshida and Tomoko have an odd friendship that they themselves are not aware of. They are thrown together as part of a group during the high school field trip to Kyōto. Tomoko quickly stereotypes Yoshida as a "delinquent" (ヤンキー・"yankī") which angers Yoshida. However, when Yuri asks Tomoko to wake the difficult to wake Yoshida, Tomoko tries tickling her under the covers then takes the opportunity to fondle Yoshida and then pinch her nipples. Yoshida responds by punching her. With Yuri's urging, Tomoko later apologizes by asking Yoshida to pinch her nipples! When Ucchi later tries the same thing to wake Yoshida, in her dreams Yoshida imagines it is Tomoko and elbows Ucchi viciously then later wakes to accuse Tomoko who admits the first case but denies the second. This becomes a frequent comic situation between the two.
Back in high school, when Tomoko turns away as she attempts to open the door to the bathroom, Yoshida, leaving, opens it first, so Tomoko, not looking, grabs Yoshida in the Unmentionables. For her part, despite Yoshida's reactions, Tomoko cannot seem to avoid the opportunity to wind-up Yoshida. When she catches a glimps of Yoshida's panties which have a cute kitten cartoon character on them, Tomoko cannot resist teasing Yoshida, then pushing further by asking if Yoshida is mad because she is menstruating! Despite this, they show hints of care for one another. Tomoko baits Yoshida to join her in completing a long climb knowing Yoshida will enjoy the view. When Tomoko sprains her ankle during the climb, Yoshida carries her on her back. Later, Yoshida senses, and is offended, by Tomoko's fear to ask her to share an umbrella. Megumi Imae intervenes, and as the three walk together, she frankly declares that the two are actually friends.
During the trip to the amusement park, Yoshida cannot help but notice that Tomoko and others are willing to support her to enjoy the park, unlike her regular friends, and even Tomoko inwardly notes that Yoshida seems "happy." During this trip, unlike previous encounters, Tomoko does not insult nor tease Yoshida's love of cute and childish things. Afterwards, Tomoko will return to her form, and a sort of "understanding" arises where Tomoko knows she will blurt out something offensive, Yoshida will slap her, and they both move on. This is intimated during the incident in the cafeteria where Kotomi Komiyama jealously confronts and highly insults Yoshida. Yuri explains that whenever Yoshida hits Tomoko she never actually hurts her. Tomoko even politely scolds Hina when she slaps her to do it more like Yoshida and not leave a mark on her cheek.
When Tomoko tries to avoid people during her midterm exams to spend some time alone, she runs into Yoshida and her friends along with Shiki Futaki. After spending the afternoon together, Yoshida asks Tomoko to call her any time she wishes to simply hang out with someone.
Nemoto became a classmate of Tomoko in her first year. She introduces herself at the start of their second year, surprising Tomoko as she feared no one remembered her from her last class. She found Tomoko's introduction in her first year funny, as Tomoko had intended, and built up the rest of the class's expectations for her second-year introduction. Tomoko tries unsuccessfully to come up with a new introduction to her embarrassment and the disappointment of the rest of the class: Kuroki Level. Despite this, Tomoko seems to warm up to her, and later mentions talking to her on occasion. A flashback reveals that Hina introduced herself to Tomoko during their high school entrance exam. She remembers the incident; Tomoko naturally forgot all about it to Hina's irritation.
Hina and Tomoko have been in the same class since first year. At the start of the second year, she surprises Tomoko by remembering her from first year, explaining that she herself is happy that Tomoko can recall her name. Things change when Tomoko recognizes her as a closet otaku. During their year Chapter 122, inspired by Tomoko's introduction Hina admits her otaku nature to the rest of the class. Hina aggressively starts pursuing her friendship with Tomoko to which the other girl responds with feelings of intimidation and awkwardness.
Underlying their developing friendship is an odd competition in Hina's mind. She struggles to try to beat Tomoko when running during gym class. She tries to "one up" her in a number of other areas such as anime, often by denigrating something Tomoko likes. For her part, Tomoko seems to recognize this behavior but does not share in the need to "win." The competition usually backfires for Hina: seeing how Tomoko shocked her friend Akane Okada explaining what eroge is, she tries to elicit a greater shock only to have Tomoko expose her innocence of eroge and shock her far more than Okada. Inwardly, Hina vows to "win," and she tries to engage in other fruitless competitions. Yuri Tamura recognizes this nature, and she appears to enjoy tweaking Hina over it. She senses Hina's need to be Tomoko's main friend, then progressively reveals that Hina knows very little about Tomoko.
When they attend the Comiket together, Hina becomes uncomfortable when she realizes that a prostitute is visiting a client in another room. Tomoko takes the opportunity to torment Hina on her innocence despite her pretense. Hine retorts by noting that Tomoko tries to appear knowledgeable when she has really no experience whatsoever. Unlike previous conflicts, both privately feel bad about their behavior and apologize to the other.
Shizuku is the middle school student who becomes overwhelmed with stress during Tomoko's high school entrance exam. Tomoko had to volunteer for the day, and she accompanies Shizuku to the nurse's office. Tomoko inwardly figures that she should give her some encouragement by telling her that "even delinquents and some perverts," manage to pass despite failing a section. Shizuku confesses that she wants to attend the same high school as her boyfriend, but fears she cannot if she fails a section of the test. Concluding that her school has enough "delinquents, perverts, and loners," Tomoko reminds Shizuku that she and her boyfriend only promised to attend the same high school, not Tomoko's specifically. Tomoko's plan backfires since a comforted Shizuku passes the test, while her boyfriend fails. She quickly dumps her promise which causes Tomoko to conclude Shizuku is "scum."
Shizuku later approaches Tomoko and addresses her as "senpai." Shizuku confesses that she has difficulty making friends with girls. Once she started talking to boys in middle-school, her female classmates started to despise her. Now, she can only talk to and hang out with boys. When Shizuku observes Yoshida, Yuri, and Hina come to Tomoko, she concludes that Tomoko is very popular. When Yuri completely ignores her while Hina dismisses her, Shizuku fears that she is doing something that alienates girls rather than girls being jealous of her ability to have friends who are boys. Tomoko agrees to act as her senpai to her delight. However, Tomoko has ulterior motives: she believes that Shizuku is a "super slut" who will be happy to discuss sexual topics without becoming disgusted like her other friends. Should Shizuku prove uncomfortable with such, Tomoko rationalizes that she can simply dump her since they will never be in class together. Their relationship changes in Chapter 149 when Shizuku asks her how to make friends. Tomoko honestly confesses that she had great difficulty making friends and, unlike Shizuku, cannot at all talk to boys. Shizuku ask her to help her practice for the intramural sports meet with the hope that if she does well her female classmates may warm up to her. For her part, Tomoko finds little in it other than the fact that Shizuku looks "hot" rushing about as she fails at table tennis. When Shizuku fails miserably, however, Tomoko is reminded of Megumi Imae helping her. While she does not understand why Megumi gave her attention, she does know it made her feel better. She embraces Shizuku and reminds her that she did her best. Tomoko being Tomoko, she then compliments Shizuku on the scent of her hair then asks if she is free to do something with her only to inwardly wonder if she sounds like a pervert taking advantage of a younger girl at a weak moment.
Asuka is typically shown being polite and even friendly to Tomoko. She first really meets Tomoko in Chapter 106 when Tomoko is assigned to sit directly behind her. As Tomoko enjoys her scent, Asuka notices Tomoko staring at her in her mirror. When she turns to ask if she can help Tomoko, and Tomoko stammers an explanation, Asuka does not pursue the matter or embarrass her. Instead, she compliments Tomoko's eyes and applies make-up to them. Later in Chapter 120 she offers the shy girl some food and refills at a party. She does confess in Chapter 128 that she finds the combination of Hina, Yoshida and Tomoko "strange," but she does nothing rude to any of them. On the contrary, after complimenting Yoshida's bag, she then touches Tomoko's mouse ears and calls them "cute." She later asks Tomoko and Hina how they became "such good friends." On the train ride home from the amusement park, when Tomoko falls asleep, Katō lets her sleep with her head in her lap. Later, she asks Tomoko to have have lunch with her. When she overhears Tomoko discussing her appearance in Chapter 135, she finds out Tomoko's cellphone number, calls her later that night, and she asks Tomoko to come to school early the next day so she can apply make-up on her. In Chapter 137 when Tomoko responds to the question as to what universities she is interested in, Katō remarks it is the same school she is interested in and invites Tomoko to visit it with her. When Hina ridicules Tomoko's choice, Katō politely defends Tomoko.
She spends a day with Tomoko visiting a university she is interested in in Chapter 140. Tomoko gradually relaxes around Katō and enjoys the visit to the point that she seriously considers it as a choice. However, Katō noticed some of Tomoko's odd avoidance of her, such as suddenly looking away from her to seemingly look at Emiri Uchi, then accept a water bottle when she was choking from Uchi rather than her. Katō interprets this as Tomoko not wanting to be her friend. Tomoko opens up to Katō by confessing that she is a "huge pervert," who has fantasies about her friends whom she sexually harasses. She then confesses other embarrassing things including that she did indeed search for "dick pics" in class rather than received them as a prank from a friend, and she reconciled Hina Nemoto and Akane Okada by showing Okada an eroge game.
Katō replies to all of this with, "is that all?" and she frankly asks how any of this would prevent Tomoko from being her friend. During the train ride home, Katō asks Tomoko how, exactly, she "sexually harasses" her friends. When a sweating and smiling Tomoko reveals how she tells dirty stories and leers at them, Katō calmly asks, "is that all?"
Their relationship appears to take a significant turn with Chapter 155. Reviewing their midterm grades, Katō chides Tomoko that her grade in English will prevent her from entering AoGaku. She invites Tomoko to study with her and lends her her English vocabulary flash cards. Katō encourages Tomoko so they may both attend AoGaku. During one of their study sessions with Kaho, Fūka, and Fūka's friend Miho, a tired Tomoko starts to reminisce about how much easier it was studying with Yū and Komisomething. She thinks about how she would grope Yū and accidentally says out loud, "I want to touch breasts." She tries to explain it as remembering the past, but Katō picks up on it and asks if that is what she meant by "sexually harassing" her friends. Katō then, to everyone's shock, invites Tomoko to touch her during a break. She then invites Tomoko to leave the study hall with her. She tells Tomoko that she wants Tomoko to treat her like she has her friends, and she confesses that she has never had the opportunity to "play like girls." As she touches her own breast, she tell Tomoko that she wants to help her in anyway.
Tomoko being Tomoko, fears that if she touches Katō's "heavy" breast she will "have to take responsibility." They return to the study hall with Katō's friends wondering to themselves whether or not Tomoko fondled Katō. Katō does not seem disappointed. Later, walking home with Kaho, she smiles and remarks to Tomoko that they are walking in different directions. Remembering it and Katō's expression later, Tomoko wishes she followed her. Still later, she confesses to herself she wish she did fondle Katō.
Their relationship takes another turn when during their Summer Camp, Asuka asks Miho Narita and Fūka Sasaki why they seem close to Tomoko. Miho, as well as Yū Naruse, suggest that Asuka does not show her flaws which intimidates Tomoko. Indeed, when Asuka responds to Miho's question that Tomoko did not fondle her when offered, Miho suggests that Asuka's seriousness scared off Tomoko. Asuka decides to try to show her weak side to Tomoko and asks them to help her. Late that night, she sends a text message to Tomoko asking her to meet her early in the morning before class. When they meet and walk along the beach to watch the sunrise, based on a suggestion from Fūka, Asuka slips behind Tomoko and fondles her. Tomoko reacts in shock, and the back of her head strikes Asuka's nose, causing a nosebleed.Asuka asks to rest her head on Tomoko's lap until the bleeding ceases. Tomoko begins to stroke her hair, which Asuka appreciates. Tomoko being Tomoko finds the erotic aspect to the scene. For her part, Asuka suggests that Tomoko is like a "Big Sister," where she has always been the "Little Sister" of her family. That being the case, she asks Tomoko to "spoil" her by calling her "Asuka." She then searches for a nickname for Tomoko. When she suggests "Big Sister," Tomoko replies that it may seem like "kinky play." Finally, Asuka settles on "Tomo-chan."
Kotomi is an old classmate from middle school whom Tomoko barely remembered until after they reunited in high school. Kotomi despises Tomoko since she blames Tomoko for ruining an introduction with her brother Tomoki over which she has a crush. In flashbacks, and in the companion short manga TomoMote, each considered the other a rival for Yū's friendship. After meeting again in high school, they renew their enmity but after hanging out with Yū for a bit they both silently decide to attempt to get along for her benefit. Tomoko is aware of Kotomi's crush on her brother, which she assumes is simply perverted lust on Kotomi's part, and which she sometimes uses to torment Kotomi.
Uchi ("Ucchi") Emiri and Tomoko are initially not friends. When they first meet by sitting next to one another on the bus during a school trip to the ballpark, Uchi ignores her and talks to her friends behind them. Uchi then appears antagonistic toward Tomoko based on a number of comic misunderstandings during their high school field trip which leads Uchi to suspect Tomoko has lewd intentions towards her. Nevertheless, over subsequent chapters she progressively grows obsessed with Tomoko, feeling some pride in her belief that Tomoko is attracted to her, feeling jealousy when she thinks Tomoko is attracted to others, and eventually trying very hard to be near Tomoko. When other students imitate Tomoko, she offers a deeper description of Tomoko's character and even defends her. She throws a tantrum when she realizes she will not be in Tomoko's class. On another field trip, she cries over being lost from her group of friends until she joins Tomoko's and then opposes all attempts to find her original group. She lies that she did not have her phone to find her friend which suggests she planned to separate from her group and find Tomoko all along. She later lies on her phone to a friend in her original group claiming she found Tomoko alone and felt sorry for her. After sitting next to Tomoko in a roller coaster where Tomoko happens to grab her hand, Uchi immediately wants to ride it again with her, and she becomes very jealous when Tomoko is paired with others instead. By Chapter 131 it becomes clear that Uchi has developed at least a crush on Tomoko. When Tomoko gives her a cow keychain souvenir, Uchi interprets this as meaning their hearts are connected. When she later learns that Tomoko has given the same keychain to others, she becomes shocked and hurt. Chapter 140 reveals that Uchi inwardly calls Tomoko kimo (キモ) with an appended "sa" (さ) which means "weird," "strange," or "creepy," and is the same root as her repeated "Disgusting (キモい・kimoi)!"
For her part for most of their interactions, Tomoko has little interest in her. During their field trip, Tomoko recalls how Uchi ignored her when they sat next to one another in a bus ride for a school trip; however, she does try to talk to Uchi when they share a room because she feels Uchi may be lonely. Nevertheless, for much of their subsequent interactions, Tomoko does not know her name and inwardly refers to her as "Emoji" in reference to her face. Nearly every time Uchi thinks Tomoko is stalking her, Tomoko either does not notice her or has far different intentions.
In Chapter 144 Uchi finally approaches and greets Tomoko with an emphatic "good morning" when she sees her leaving a store at the station on the way to school. At first she remarks on how beautiful the sky is that morning, but when she notices that Tomoko is holding a shopping bag, she asks Tomoko what she bought, and Tomoko responds that it is "Jump," the latest issue of Shonen Jump. Uchi then asks her if she likes the famous venerable series One Piece. Tomoko is inwardly surprised that Uchi is conversing with her. Their conversation is not shown; however, later during a class break, Uchi enters her class, sits down next to her while she is talking to Wada about manga and asks simply One Piece? Again, their subsequent conversation is not revealed in the chapter.
Chapter 152 proves a critical point in their relationship. Tomoko observes Uchi have a fight with her friends. She follows Uchi outside without really understanding why since they are not friends in her mind. It may simply be a result of her trying to follow the example of Megumi Imae who comforted her when she felt hurt, and she recently comforted Shizuku Hirasawa.
Uchi confesses that they had a fight over the fact that she keeps abandoning them and has recently spent all of her breaks visiting Tomoko's class (3-5). When her friends come and apologize to Uchi, Tomoko, being Tomoko, thinks if she insults Uchi they will all direct their hate towards her and reconcile. She tells Uchi that they are not friends and that she finds her visits to her class annoying while inwardly feeling a bit bad for insulting Uchi. Uchi bursts into tears and runs away. Her friends quickly figure out what is going on: Uchi likes Tomoko, may have a crush on Tomoko, and Tomoko insulted her to give Uchi and them an excuse to break from her. They encourage her to be Uchi's "close friend."
They text Uchi to return, and Tomoko apologizes to her using her nickname "Ucchii" as recommended by her friend with Glasses. However, Uchi begins to panic when her friends tell her they have been talking to Tomoko about her relationship with Uchi. When Miyazaki tells her that they all now understand that Uchi wants to be a "close friend" of Tomoko, Uchi inwardly freaks. Like Tomoko insulted her, Uchi tries to dismiss their relationship by saying Tomoko is "disgusting" and pretending that they all misunderstood her fascination with someone "disgusting." Highly insulted, Tomoko spats back that she wished she had not shown such consideration to an "Emoji" and runs away with tears in her eyes. Uchi is stunned by this reaction. Nevertheless, Chapter 154 reveals that Uchi does cheer Tomoko during her match, and Tomoko notices this but does not appear to have negative or positive thoughts regarding Uchi.
Unpacking this, it appears that Uchi has been visiting Tomoko's class, though this has not been depicted in the chapters since she saw Tomoko embracing Miyazaki. For her part, Tomoko continues to have little regard for Uchi since she cannot recall a meaningful conversation or why Uchi would consider her a friend. Uchi's friends have noticed Uchi's behavior over the past two years and come to conclude that the person Uchi claimed to be "a little interested in" in Chapter 105 is "a girl": Tomoko. Her friends slowly suspect that she has a crush on this girl, and they think Tomoko insulted Uchi to give her an excuse to break away from her and return to them. They also seem supportive of, or at least not shocked by, the idea of Uchi having a crush on a girl. Uchi, however, does not understand this; she does not want her friends to know the truth of her crush, and she denigrates Tomoko to them as she has consistently denigrated such relationships in her mind: "disgusting!" It appears that Uchi expected Tomoko to understand that she insulted her to cover her crush similar to Tomoko's attempt earlier.
When Uchi learns that Tomoko has been suspended for a week for riding on a motorbike, she runs to the outside of the Student Counseling Room and screams "Kuroki." The following chapter reveals that inside the room, Tomoko as well as the Homeroom Teacher and Yoshida heard Uchi. During the evening after her third day in suspension when she reviews her text messages, Tomoko finds a simple "くろき" (Kuroki), but she does not know who sent it and finds it "scary!!!"
When she overhears from Itō that she ran into Tomoko after school on one of the days of Tomoko's suspension, Uchi asks her if Tomoko was "disgusting" and is surprised that Itō seems surprised by the question and denies that Tomoko was. Uchi finally summons the courage, with the encouragement of her friends, to meet Tomoko as she leaves school at the end of her suspension. Initially overwhelmed by the number of other girls meeting Tomoko, Uchi does apologize to Tomoko; however, as with many things Uchi, her apology confuses Tomoko and others such as Katō. Tomoko either does not recall Uchi's insult or politely pretends it does not matter. This elicits Uchi to ask if she can then still refer to her as "creepy/disgusting." Katō intervenes to chide Uchi that she should not accuse others of nauseating her which sends Uchi into a frustrated tantrum where she confusingly insists that her term "disgusting" also means positive things such as the way something "delicious, cute," and "awesome" can be called "crazy/sick." Tomoko and Katō and others fail to understand this, which causes the upset Uchi to insist that while Tomoko does "disgust" her, she also makes her feel good.
It appears that Uchi's conception of "disgusting" has developed into an odd contradiction that she refuses to recognize and expects others to share. In the beginning, people she did not understand or like, like Tomoko, Yuri, and Yoshida, are "disgusting." She deemed Tomoko's boasting of her sexual experience, then belief that she is a lesbian attracted to her to be "disgusting." Over nearly two years of stalking Tomoko, Uchi appears to deal with her own developing crush by dismissing it and Tomoko as "disgusting"; yet, she tries to end up in situations where the two will be together. She seems to fantasize that Tomoko flirts with any girl who happens to talk to her. Thus, she thinks their group at the For Trademark Purposes Not Disney World is Tomoko's "harem." This sets up the contradiction that she wants Tomoko holding her hand or pressed against her while inwardly denouncing Tomoko as "disgusting" when Tomoko happens to be near another girl. Further, she believed, for a brief time, that Tomoko confessed a love for her that meant their "hearts are one."
This contradictory view of "disgusting" allows Uchi to stumble towards exploring her sexuality without having to admit it. She seems to assume that others would understand trying to hide bisexuality or lesbianism. When she panics when she realizes her friends may understand she has a crush on a girl she also seems surprised that Tomoko is offended. While she does not call or refer to Tomoko as a lesbian directly, she seems to expect others to share that view of Tomoko. In a way, her confusing apology proves her most honest statement thus far: while she still views a bisexual or lesbian Tomoko to be "disgusting," Uchi admits that she also makes her feel "good."
Things change again with the Summer Study Camp Arc. When Uchi learns that Tomoko will attend a camp, she quickly, and sweatily, recalls her night in the hotel with Tomoko and, with the expectation to repeat that "disgustingness," immediately offers to attend. In one of the first depictions of her fantasies, at the camp she imagines sharing an onsen with Tomoko where she can bathe in and literally drink Tomoko's "disgusting!" However, when she does share an onsen with Tomoko it is with other girls. Tomoko cannot hide her recently dyed "hair down there." When Miho Narita teases her about it, Uchi angrily and publicly denounces Tomoko as, "This huge perverted lesbo (このど変態のどレズが・kono dohentai no doresuga)!" Nevertheless, she also demands to know why Tomoko did not confide in her as to why she dyed her hair "down there." She also hopes to make "memories" with Tomoko.
Then comes the Volume 18 Omake. Tomoko had planned to share the onsen with Yū Naruse just before closing at midnight. She sees her in the bath, sneaks up behind her, then grabs her breasts as she presses her body into her back . . . only to discover to her horror that it is not Yū she is groping but "Emoji." While Tomoko tries to think of how to explain herself out of the situation, Uchi repeats "kimo (キモ)" until she suddenly screams "FEELS GOOD (気持ちいい・kimochiii)!!!"
WataMote Wiki can only advise to "stay tuned."
As the Student Council President of Makuhari Shuuei High School, Megumi Imae takes an interest in the first-year Tomoko and helps her without Tomoko realizing it. In her first appearance, she walks over to Tomoko in the auditorium to thank her for helping with the set up for the cultural festival. Megumi does a number of kind acts for Tomoko, including making sure Yoshida is not bullying Tomoko in Chapter 98 then she politely scolds Tomoko for her groping Yoshida.
Perhaps her most significant action occurs at the end of the cultural festival. Unknown to Tomoko, she approaches her in a mascot costume, gives her a balloon, and hugs her. On her day of graduation, Megume introduces herself to Tomoko and asks to hug her again one more time, which reveals that she was the costumed mascot who gave Tomoko the balloon and hugged her at the cultural festival. In a moment of maturity, Tomoko deeply regrets wasting the chance to get to really know her before she graduated. Later when Tomoko visits Aoyama Gakuin University with Asuka Katō, the Volume 14 Omake reveals that she and Tomoko saw one another on campus. Megumi thinks to herself, "I will wait, of course, Tomoko-chan."
Futaki begins as a background character notable for having an "emoji" face. Tomoko has little notice or regard for her until Chapter 147 where she notices Futaki furiously playing a dancing game at an arcade. She inwardly nicknames Futaki "Emoji Mark II" (絵文字MK-II・えもじマークフー). Later she and Katō listen to her demonstrate her table tennis technique. Her discussion of how they, Yuri, Katō, and Hina all played together for the first and probably last time during the school intramurals in Chapter 154 surprises Tomoko, and Tomoko inwardly describes her as a "Little Weirdo (不思議ちゃん・fushigichan)" while conceding that she has more depth to her than she thought. Tomoko is also shocked at how her face finally changes when she eats focaccia.
As Tomoko's enthusiastic homeroom teacher, Ogino aggressively tries to get Tomoko to make friends within her class, much to Tomoko's annoyance. After finding a picture of a penis on Tomoko's phone in class, she does become incensed, but she does not mention the incident to Tomoko again. She seems sincere in her desire to help her students. She stays after school to play tennis with Tomoko and encourage her, despite Tomoko's continued irritation. She continues to try to help Tomoko make friends during the field trip chapters, and she tells Mrs. Kuroki that Tomoko is diligent and takes school seriously as she slyly winks to Tomoko during their parent-teacher conference.
Fūka first introduces herself to Tomoko when she joins her study group with Katō and Kaho; however, she is aware of Tomoko's reputation for being "strange." For her part, Tomoko does not seem to know her. During the study session, a tired Tomoko who reminisced about studying and sexually harassing Yū, inadvertently blurts out that she "wants to touch boobs." To Fūka's shock, Katō invites Tomoko to touch hers, then takes Tomoko out of the room to do so. The next day she sees Tomoko on the train, and when she overhears Tomoko discussing a sexual matter with Reina, she confronts her with whether or not she fondled Katō. Tomoko refuses to answer since it would embarrass Katō, and though Fūka inwardly protests that Tomoko had just been publicly discussing cunnilingus, she accepts this explanation for the moment.
Katō teasingly telling her about Tomoko's offer to touch her hair while implying that she thought Tomoko actually wanted to touch her "hair down there" triggers an obsession in Fūka: she is stunned by and fixated on the idea of Tomoko tending to the foliage about Katō's Road to a Christening. This leads to some hilariously embarrassing moments at the expense of Fūka. When they attend the same Study Camp and end up rooming together, Fūka vows to question Tomoko on the subject but does not. Instead, while still half-asleep she accidentally walks in on Tomoko using the toilet during the night. While she apologizes, she becomes disturbed the next day trying to recall something she saw. Remembering that Katō remarked that she and Yū helped dye Tomoko's hair, she realizes she saw Tomoko's still-dyed "hair down there" and concludes that Katō helped her dye it which means, then, that Tomoko wanted to touch Katō's. This obsession ruins her study which leads her to dropping a level at the camp. Undaunted, Fūka feels she has solved the "riddle of the hair" and now need to learn more about Tomoko.
Their relationship, such as it is, remains strained with Fūka calling her a "pervert" (変態か・hentaika) in Chapter 166. For her part, Tomoko inwardly describes Fūka as "Sleazy Maiden (ゲス乙女・kusuotome)" in Chapter 171.
The "Expectation versus Reality" section of Volume 16 reveals that Fūka wanted Tomoko to describe what it was like to fondle Katō.
Iguchi is an underclasswoman with a crush on Tomoko's brother. Initially, she thought Tomoko was Tomoki's girlfriend and Kotomi was Tomoki's sister. Tomoko is aware of her interest, and she occasionally uses it to torment Kotomi.
- "No, no. Actually I should be super popular among those pedos. Is it really because I'm small?"
- "Yeah. You're right. I'll kill myself."
- "If shortening my lifespan by a year would kill these guys, I'd do it..."
- "If you're not a worthless god, I'd like to see you try and make me happy...if you can't manage that, at least make everyone as unhappy as me. If you can't, it's fine I guess...but I'll despise you forever."
- "I'm getting really turned on..."
- "It's fine if the sun wants to start shining brighter now that it's almost spring, but I wish it would take into consideration people like me who are weak against the sun."
- "Phew.... My mind is so stuck on dicks I can't concentrate at all..."
- "Show me your dick."
- "Don't read if you're a bitch."
- "Get your ass over here you cockroach!! I'll show you the power of humanity!!"
- "I-I figured I'd go take a really messy shit in the bathroom or something."
- "My favorite jam is Strawberry Jam!"
- "I just had a totally normal conversation with someone! I'm gonna go stop for ice cream!"
- "You want stain the red suit even redder with virgin blood, huh, Santa?"
- "Oh my god, I just talked to a hot guy!"
- "Don't read if you're a slut, then there's no way I'll be able to compete with you." - (Episode 06)
- "I just made a poop joke."
- "I'd totally have a boner all the time."
- "I peed myself a little, is there something wrong with that?"
- "Now that it's come to this I have no choice but to ask a stranger if I can use their bathroom . . . but just asking some random guy to use their bathroom is kind of . . . It's a high school girl asking to take a shit in their own house!! Hell, I should be able to get some money out of this!!"
- "Sorry, but I don't actually believe in any gods. Or rather, I'm more about killing gods than believing in them." (TomoMote Chapter 11)
- Tomoko (智子) means "wise child" and Kuroki (黒木) means "black tree."
- Tomoko shares her last name with Chiba Lotte Marines Tomohiro Kuroki.
- Tomoko was born on February 29th.
- Tomoko is agnostic but willing to follow traditional rituals.
- The dark skin under her eyes appears the result of insufficient sleep.
- Tomoko currently has a group of friends on LINE, which include Yū, Yuri and Mako.
- Tomoko cheats in card games.
- Tomoko wanted to become an arms dealer.
A wonderful medley of Kitta Izumi voicing Tomoko.
|Female Characters||Tomoko Kuroki | Shiki Futaki | Anna Haruna | Shizuku Hirasawa | Akari Iguchi | Hikari Itō | Megumi Imae | Asuka Katō | Kayo | Kotomi Komiyama | Mrs. Kuroki | Koharu Minami | Miyazaki | Nagi | Miho Narita | Yū Naruse | Hina Nemoto | Ogino | Akane Okada | Reina | Fūka Sasaki | Kiko Satozaki | Sayaka | Yuri Tamura | Mako Tanaka | Emiri Uchi | Masaki Yoshida|
|Male Characters||Tomoki Kuroki | Aomatsu | Art Teacher | Hatsushiba | Homeroom Teacher | Jun Ishimine | Kakinuma | Yoshinori Kiyota | Kosaka | Mr. Kuroki | Suzuki | Nico Tanigawa | Wada | Yocchan|
|Minor and Unnamed||Minor and Unnamed Recurring Characters|
|Manga Volumes||1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20|
|Anime Episodes||1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | OVA|