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Chapter 149
Cover c149
Information
Volume NumberVolume 15
Chapter TitleBecause I'm not popular, I'll become a Senpai
PublishedJanuary 17, 2019
Previous ChapterChapter 148
Next ChapterChapter 150
私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い!

Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!

No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys' Fault I’m Not Popular!

Synopsis

Shizuku Sees Tomoko c149
Carrying her bentō lunch, Tomoko approaches the seated Shizuku Hirasawa from behind. The side narration reads: "This girl's sly . . ." Shizuku applies make-up until she sees Tomoko in her mirror standing behind her. Flustered she asks how long Tomoko has been there, but Tomoko tell her not to worry while inwardly noting Shizuku slyness.

The title page narration reads: "This time is important. . . ."

Tomoko asks Shizuku why she was applying make-up: "are you meeting a boy later?" Shizuka inwardly questions Tomoko's phrase "make-over" (お色直し・おいろなおし・oironaoshi) and replies that since she is meeting her senpai she should look proper. As she eats, Tomoko thinks about Shizuku's use of the phrase "to look proper." She muses if it is a "manners violation" (マナー違反・マナーいはん・manā ihan) if a woman does not apply make-up before she meets someone. She deems this a bother then, blushing, wonders if it is also bad manners to show an unmade-up face to others, meaning that her face is "dirty."

Shizuku interrupts Tomoko's musings to asks her how she looks. Tomoko thinks she is the wrong person to ask and all she can respond with is something useless like "you look good." She then wonders if Shizuku simply wants to do what "girls do" which is to call each other cute. Tomoko rationalizes that this makes sense since Shizuku has no girl friends. She recalls laying with her head on her desk in her first year while anonymous girls behind her squeal "cute!" to one another. She never acted that way and feels it embarrassing to say "cute." She might call a dog or a cat "cute" but not people. As Shizuku waits with anime leaves blowing about her for her response, Tomoko, as she becomes a shōjo manga protagonist, stammers that Shizuku is "cute." Blushing, Shizuku lowers her eyes and thanks her sincerely. 

Sweating as Shizuku smiles at her, Tomoko feels that the air has become awkward. She wanted to say it casually like other girls, but she feels she failed. Shizuku suddenly and excitedly asks "senpai" if she is not with her friends today. Tomoko nervously responds that she is not, and Shizuku continues that the last time they met was "bad" since there was suddenly a lot of people.
Manga Shizuku c149
 As she transforms in Tomoko's mind to a shōjo manga protagonist, Shizuku pleasantly confesses that she was truly surprised that her senpai had so many friends. Tomoko repeats the phrase "so many friends" to herself then thinks that to a girl like Shizuku she may seem to have a lot of friends. Returning to normal, Shizuku sadly confesses that she still cannot get along with any girls. To Tomoko's surprise, Shizuku asks her how she made friends.

Appearing as a shōjo manga protagonist herself, Tomoko replies, "It's natural, isn't it?" Returning quickly to normal as Shizuku continues to pleasantly stare ahead, Tomoko quickly emphasizes that she meant that friendships happen rather than are made. Sweating, Tomoko swears to herself knowing that no loner such as herself would ever say they can "naturally" make friends. She wonders why, around Shizuku, she feels the urge to "show off." Having never given advice on how to make friends before, Tomoko struggles to think of something to say. She quickly notes that Shizuku does have male friends. Shizuku replies that she has only twenty male friends to Tomoko's inward shock. When she asks Shizuku how she made that many male friends, the slightly surprised Shizuku replies, "It's natural, isn't it?"

Tomoko Reacts Calmly c149

Tomoko reacts calmly to Shizuku's response.

Tomoko starts to grip her chopsticks so tightly they begin to crush her food. Embarrassed, Shizuku laughs that she gave the same reply Tomoko gave her and that they are the same. Tomoko continues to crush her food. She then suggests that it is enough for Shizuku to have male friends to enjoy her life in high school then quickly chews her crushed food. Shizuku starts to protest, but Tomoko continues that if she tells Shizuku that she is fine, even if all of the girls hate her, she is fine. She then asks Shizuku if she remembers the song, which Tomoko use to listen to as a child, from which that lyric comes.

Tomoko then confesses there are no boys she can talk to. Shizuku is suprised given that her cousin told her that she is really popular with younger guys. Inwardly, Tomoko explodes thinking about "that bitch!" as Kiko happily remarks, "They call her 'Queen!'" Shizuku asks her if she does not talk to these boys a lot; Tomoko replies that theirs is just a competitive relationship. Tomoko continues that for a good one to two years she did not have friends to talk to. In comparision, since Shizuku has male friends and an actual boyfriend, she is doing just fine. Shizuku retorts that now Tomoko has many friends; Tomoko confesses that this has only happened recently. Thinking of walking with Yuri and Yoshida, Tomoko explains that after her school trip, they little by little became closer. Looking down and opening her lunch container, Shizuku repeats, "School trip, huh?"

Changing the subject, Shizuku excitedly remarks that next week is the "Class Match." Tomoko replies that it is the "ball tournament." Shizuku asks her which sport she will play, and Tomoko replies she will play table tennis since it seems easy. Shizuku smiles and announces that she is also playing table tennis, but that is because they needed another player. She then sheepishly asks Tomoko if she has time to practice with her. This startles Tomoko, but Shizuku quickly apologizes if Tomoko is busy with her exams. She then looks down holding her uneaten lunch and confesses she hopes that if she practices and helps her team she may make new friends through a school event like her senpai did. To herself, Tomoko doubts that by trying her hardest at table tennis Shizuku can make friends. Nevertheless, she offers to let Shizuku hang out with her for a while to Shizuku's delight.

After classes, Yuri asks Tomoko if she is ready to go home. Tomoko replies that she has to wait a bit. Yuri asks why, and Tomoko embarrassingly admits that she has to practice table tennis, though inwardly she wonders if Yuri is still offended that she earlier lied to her about going home only to hang out with "the delinquent." Yuri remarks that Tomoko is not the type of person to care about table tennis and probably chose it to slack off. Sweating, Tomoko agrees but adds that she agreed to practice with the girl Yuri met with her in the courtyard some time ago.

Tomoko makes her way to the gym. As she enters, she sees boys playing basketball while others chat as they stretch. She thinks, "club activities, of course," but is interrupted by Shizuku's enthusiastic greeting at the table tennis table. When Tomoko asks her how she was able to borrow the table for an hour, Shizuku happily explains that she asked a boy in her class who is the captain of the table tennis club. Since she can do that, Tomoko reasons, she should ask help from the table tennis club, but Shizuku quickly insists that she wants to practice with her.

Watching Table Tennis c149

Table Tennis is a spectator sport. . . .

Tomoko quickly beats Shizuku who cannot seem to make contact with the ball. As she flails about, Shizuku's skirt keeps flipping up which attracts the attention of some boys also playing table tennis which Tomoko notices. Tomoko concludes that there is nothing about Shizuku that other girls would like, and she does not care how sly she acts or how many boys she can attract; however: "she looks hot doing it, so she's okay in my book!"

As they walk away after practice, Shizuku sheepishly thanks Tomoko for taking the time to help her despite the fact that there was nothing for Tomoko in it. As Tomoko muses that the activity has nothing for her, she recalls "that girl" helping her in the past: "I wonder why that girl helped me so much." Her recollection is depicted in the same shōjo manga style. Tomoko suspects that "that girl" did not have a good reason to help her either, but, "If anything, she seemed like the kind of girl who'd help anyone."

Tomoko tells Shizuku that she will bring her a table tennis manga the next day. Shizuku excitedly asks her if that will mean she will practice with her again as well. The next day, Tomoko gives her a manga and the next scene shows Shizuku successfully returning one of Tomoko's shots in practice. On the train, however, a blushing Shizuku notes that the manga appears a bit "lewd (H・エッチ・ecchi)" and the characters barely play any actual table tennis.

Futaki Welcome to Hell c149

"May 神様 have mercy on your soul, for I shall have none!" - Shiki Futaki [Citation Needed - Ed.]

The day arrives for the match between Shizuku's Class 1-7 and Tomoko's 3-5. Shizuku smiles as she and her teammates meet Shiki Futaki, an uninterested Yuri, a nonplused Tomoko, a smiling Asuka Katō, and a cheerfully greeting Hina Nemoto. Shizuku smiles as she draws Futaki who, with swirling anime energy gathering about her, quickly destroys poor Shizuku. Tomoko and Yuri can only watch with resignation. Shizuku's anonymous female classmates giggle as they walk away remarking "she didn't even last one round!" as Tomoko stands behind a sitting and dejected Shizuku. Tomoko asks herself what the student council president would do in this case. She extends her hand which is drawn in the shōjo manga style. 
Tomoko Embraces Shizuku c149

"You are welcome." - WataMote Wiki

Shizuku and Tomoko become the shōjo manga protagonists as Tomoko starts to put her arms around her and a a startled Shizuku asks, "Senpai?!"
Thank You Tomoko c149
Hugging her around her shoulders, Tomoko reminds her she did her best, and it was just not good enough. Remaining still, Shizuku accepts Tomoko's embrace with a blush, a stammered "y-yes," then holds Tomoko's arm. Blushing, Tomoko tells Shizuku she smells nice and asks if she is free to do something.

Inwardly to her shock, Tomoko realizes that she sounds like a pervert trying to take advantage of a younger girl in a moment of weakness.

Characters

In order of appearance:

Referbacks and Forwards . . . that are Backwards

  • 鏡よ(kagami yo・"Oh mirror!"): Katō also noticed Tomoko staring at her through her mirror in Chapter 106.
  • Shizuku and Tomoko mutually take on the appearance of shōjo manga protagonists in Chapter 132.
  • Shizuku meets Tomoko for lunch only to find her with Hina and Katō with many others in the background in Chapter 134.
  • School Excursion: starts with Chapter 125.
  • Skirting the Issue: Tomoko resumes wearing a longer skirt.
  • Sometimes a Nosebleed is Just a Nosebleed: Tomoko recalls events from Chapter 51.
  • Who's That Girl?: one of the background characterstalking behind Tomoko in her recollection appeared back in Chapter 4.
  • Embraceable You: readers who read this chapter when it was published would not have seen Volume 14's Omake that was released a few days later. The Omake contained in the volume reveals that during Tomoko's visit to Aoyama Gakuin University with Katō, Tomoko and Megume both saw one another. This may retrospectively explain why Tomoko has been thinking of Megume in the role of senpai.

Cultural References

  • Bentō : Japanese students cannot survive without it.
  • Angels with Dirty Faces: Tomoko uses the phase 汚物やで (おぶつものやで・obutsu mono yade) where obutsu (汚物) can mean "excrement" which suggests Tomoko thinks, "shit on your face."
  • 大丈夫: ("It's Alright") as recognized by the fan translators, this is a song by the band Hilchryme.
  • "Bitch!": the word Tomoko uses is 野郎 (やろう・yarō) which translates usually as "bastard," or "asshole," or other undistinguished terms.
  • Go! Inachū Middle School Ping-Pong Club (行け!稲中卓球部・Ike! Inachū Takkyū-bu): Appears to be the manga Tomoko gives to Shizuku. She calls it "稲●卓球部" with the censorship in the Japanese. Interestingly, Tomoko introduces it as "ping pong (ピンポン)" with the ン censored in the Japanese.

Trivia

  • "Fun" versus "Duel": Tomoko speaks the 
    Fun or Duel c149
    kanji for "fun" or "play" (遊び・asobi), but the furigana is "duel" (ヂュエル・dyueru) in katakana. Shizuku repeats the katakana which means Tomoko actually said "duel."
  • "It Don't Come Easy": Tomoko means "easy" (楽・raku) as in "relaxed" and "non-stressful."
  • "The Pen-Hold is Mightier than . . . You, Shizuku!": WataMote Wikia spent too much time researching table tennis serves to identify Futaki's stance. It may not be a standard and the Artist may not have cared. Futaki holds the paddle in some modification of the "pen-holds" such as "Chinese," "Japanese/Korean," and "Reverse." However, most serves WataMote Wikia could find would have her left hand below her right arm to initiate the toss upwards. Either way, it is clear that Futaki knows the game, unlike Shizuku, and WataMote Wikia needs to get out more often.

Memorable Moments

  • Tomoko's Self-Awareness: Despite her temptation to boast, Tomoko speaks rather honestly about herself to Shizuku.
  • Tomoko's Self-Restraint: When Shizuku says how easy it was for her to befriend 20 boys and throws Tomoko's "it's natural" line back at her, Tomoko simply crushes her food with her chopsticks without becoming silently enraged as she often does.
  • "Delinquent": Tomoko still refers to Yoshida as this in her mind.
  • Tomoko Embraces Shizuku: leaving aside the fan yuri fantasies, Tomoko responds to another person's sadness. Even though she is "going through the motions" she recalls that what Megumi did made her feel better.

Quotes

  • "All I can give you is vague crap like 'it looks good.'" - Tomoko
  • "Shit! No self-repecting loner would ever say they can just naturally make friends." - Tomoko
  • "This is kinda lewd . . . and they barely play any table tennis." - Shizuku
  • "There’s absolutely nothing about her that other girls would like! Personally, though, I don’t care how sly she acts or how much she tries to butter up dudes. She looks hot doing it, so she’s okay in my book.” - Tomoko

Gallery

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