"Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Take Part in the Culture Festival" (モテないし、文化祭に参加する Motenai shi, Bunkasai ni Sankasuru?) is the eleventh episode of the anime adaption of WataMote. The episode was written by Takao Yoshioka and directed by Tomoka Nagaoka. It aired in Japan on September 16, 2013.
Various students are happily hard at work preparing the high school campus for the "Firefly Light Festival." This includes Kiyota, Suzuki, Ōmatsu, Akane Okada, and Hina. Tomoko appears "gray" and remains separate from her classmates. To herself, she sadly says she wants to go home as the opening titles start.
Hina happily completes coloring posters for their class' "Cosplay Café." Two unidentified boys tease her that now she is noticeable given her excellent work. While they laugh, Tomoko inwardly sulks and imagines scatalogical curses for them all while also realizing she does have to contribute or else she will be scolded. While dark anime vapors rise from the crouching Tomoko, Ōmatsu asks Okada where Nozomi is to help her cut the fliers she copies. When Okada suggests that Hina and the two boys are free, Tomoko quietly stammers her offer to help. Okada and Ōmatsu look somewhat concerned given how meekly Tomoko offers, and Ōmatsu responds that she does not have to force herself and offers to make Hina and the boys do it instead. Inwardly, Tomoko seeths, but she sees this as her only chance to contribute. Whispering and stammering, she insists.
Tomoko calculates that she needs to drag out the cutting to at least 300 minutes to occupy the entire day and avoid any other work. This includes stretching every sheet and bathroom breaks after every tenth sheet. However, two guys show up to inform her that they were ordered to help her. The guys quickly figure out they can cut multiple fliers at once, thus ruining Tomoko's plan to waste time cutting them individually. As the irritated Tomoko sets to actual work, she hears a girl announce that the costumes are ready. Tomoko gazes at the maid costumes bathed in anime light and sparkles as classmates admire them. The girl presenting the costumes then instructs the boys to wear them as Tomoko sits stunned.
Her mind immediately wanders to her inwardly playing being asked to put one on as she "shyly opposes." Unfortunately, she continues to use her knife as she fantasizes and cuts herself. She runs towards the Nurse's Office and runs over Megumi Imae as Megumi turns a corner. Tomoko apologizes as her blood starts to drip on the forms Megumi carried. Megumi screams, while Tomoko gathers some of the forms, offers them to her, and apologizes for getting her blood on them! Megumi recovers her composure and gathers Tomoko to the Nurse's Office.
Afterwards, Tomoko meekly apologizes to Megumi who, instead, insists she should apologize. She then asks her if she is a first-year student. When Tomoko responds with her class "1-10," Megumi happily notes they plan to put on the Cosplay Café and reveals that she is the cultural festival planning committee chairwoman. She rushes off to attend to work as Tomoko stammers an embarrassed "thank you."
She stares at her bandaged hand and notes that even the nurse told her not to force herself. As Tomoko walks the corridor, she notices the Light Music Club (けいおん・keion) practicing. She fantasizes herself in the club then wonders if she could get along with her bandmates. She figures it would be more like her rushing to make a clubmeeting only to overhear her bandmates wonder why she ever bothered joining. As Tomoko continues her walk, the anime flashes an "ORZ" with the "O" rolling away.
As Tomoko sulks leaning out of a window, she hears the public address ask for all available students to report to the gym to help set up chairs. Tomoko dutifully goes but wonders why she would do this rather than continue to help her class. As they file out, Megumi individually thanks the students who helped set up the chairs. She notices Tomoko crouching exhausted. She addresses her by name and thanks her for coming despite her injury. Megumi encourages her to make it a "fun cultural festival" before running off again. Tomoko actually smiles and resolves to return to her classroom. Naturally, she returns to find all of the work completed and the room empty. She walks past the maids uniforms and stops for a moment to look at them.
As she walks through a shopping center on her way home, she finds a store that sells maid cosplay costumes. She picks one out. At home and dressed in her costume in front of her phone, she sends a picture to Yū claiming she will be a cosplay maid in her school's cultural festival. Yū immediately calls back and Tomoko excitely expands on all the work she did only to have Yū decides she wants to visit. As the happy background music slows down and degenerates, Tomoko stammers excuses that she is only a maid the next day, and the school is not open for visitors until the following day. Yū decides to come anyway on the second day. Tomoko quietly, and sadly, repeats her vow to have fun.
After the advertisement break, Hina takes orders from customers in the class Cosplay Café. Okada scolds Suzuki to hurry up his washing. For her part, Tomoko is "gray" and unnoticed on the side. She decides to wander about the school. She is suddenly offered takoyaki. She is overcome by the "cute guy" offering it to her. Inwardly, she declares the one from "the Yokado in town" better. She then attends the Wind Instrument Club performance while staring at her phone. The Light Music Club follows, and Tomoko finds her phone replaced with a light. As everyone stands sways with the music, Tomoko regrets missing her chance to slip out. She finds the lights moving hypnotic then realizes it is the takoyaki "coming back up."
She vomits in the bathroom off-screen then sits dejected on a flight of stairs. Megumi spies her and happily asks if she is taking a break. Tomoko claims her shift is the following day, and she has nothing to do then runs off. Megumi watches her leave with concern.
Back at home, Tomoko brags to Yū on the phone about all the fun she had. Yū asks her where to meet her the following day. Inwardly, Tomoko fears that Yū will discover she is not popular but then imagines she can brag to everyone that she has a cute friend. Tomoko imagines Yū walking the corridors in anime bubbles and light to the delight of the guys and the fierce jealousy of the girls. Tomoko tells her to meet in her class.
The following day, a large pink animal mascot hands out balloons to young kids. One little girl is so excited she hugs the mascot only to lose her balloon. The mascot quickly hands her another as Tomoko passes them by. Tomoko then sees Megumi holding balloon at the school entrance. Megumi greets her and once again encourages her to enjoy the festival. Tomoko nervously tries to smile. Unable to speak, Tomoko bows and rushes off. Megumi watches her with a smile.
Back in the café, Okada continues to berate Suzuki. Yū calls Tomoko announcing she has arrived. For her part, Yū looks around nervously until Tomoko finds her. Yū gives a big hug that overwhelms Tomoko. Unable to restrain herself, Tomoko tries to grab Yū's posterior, but Yū releases her before she can.
Tomoko takes Yū around. She finds herself looking out the corridor window again, because Yū found some visiting friends from her school. Yū then turns to Tomoko and asks her where they should go next. Tomoko is happy just to walk with her, wondering if Yū would hug her like she did again. Tomoko inwardly corrects herself that she does not mean it in a "sexual way"; she just found it calming and maybe took her mind off of her loneliness. Unable to find an excuse to ask her to hug her again, Tomoko decides to take her to the school's haunted house. Meanwhile, Megumi visits class 1-10 and is suprised not to find Tomoko there. Hina and Okada do not seem to remember if she worked a shift. Megumi does not react negatively, thanks them, and walks away.
Outside the "House of Fear," Yū did not find it too scary, but Tomoko runs through her mind her frustration that the students failed to scare a female. Undaunted, Tomoko runs off to find another excuse leaving a surprised Yū. She returns with various treats, but Yū insists on buying Tomoko something: takoyaki! Sitting outside, Yū offers her a bite of her chocolate-covered banana. In front of them, the mascot hands out balloons to more young children. Yū suddenly starts talking about the anime Tomoko recommended to her. When Tomoko tells her there will be a movie, Yū insists on seeing it with her. Inwardly, Tomoko admits she is having fun.
During a montage of exploring the festival, Tomoko muses that she did not know how much fun the festival could be with a friend. When Yū leaves, Tomoko is sad to see her go. She walks the grounds alone again. The girl who wore this mascot costume is hot, tired, and talks with Megumi. Megumi sees Tomoko walking alone downcast and asks if she can borrow the costume. While Tomoko sits on a curb looking at her phone the mascot approaches her. As the mascot, Megumi offers her a balloon, and when Tomoko takes it, she gathers Tomoko into a hug. Stunned she watches the mascot prance away as the Sokura no Kigurumi no Fūsen to Watashi starts to play with the end credits. As students begin breaking down the festival, Tomoko looks at her balloon and smiles: "well, whatever!" The music plays over the traditional credit of Tomoko walking on her phone. This time, she has a balloon.
Cartoony Tomoki demands to know how long his sisters will continue their daily talks. Tomoko chortles about her growth and how there is not much time left. Tomoki scolds her to listen when someone is talking as Tomoko scurries off.
In order of appearance
- Yoshinori Kiyota (unidentified)
- Suzuki (unidentified)
- Ōmatsu (unidentified)
- Akane Okada
- Hina Nemoto (unidentified)
- Two Unidentified Male Classmates (talking to Hina)
- Nozomi (mentioned)
- Two Unidentified Male Classmates (ordered to help Tomoko)
- Megumi Imae
- Yū Naruse
- Yū Two School Friends (unnamed)
- Hatsushiba (artwork seen)
- Girl in Mascot (unnamed)
- Episode 10 introduces the school cultural festival.
- Hatsushiba's favorite basic female character for his drawing is explained in Episode 02.
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: reference to a concert episode with the same clothes.
- ORZ : "kneeling on the ground in defeat."
- Don Quioote (ドンキオオテ) Store
- Takoyaki (蛸焼・たこ焼き)
- Possible Anime Where Girl Dies in the Middle and it Gets Interesting : to avoid possible spoilage.
- "Firefly Light Festival" (蛍輝祭・けいきまつり・keiki matsuri)
- Megumi's introductory appearance.
- 芝雅 is revealed as the pen name of Hatsushiba
- Tomoko resolves to contribute and actually does.
- Before Megumi, Tomoko often reverts to speechlessness.
- Yū appears shy when she is not around Tomoko. When Tomoko arrives the bow on her head "perks up" like bunny ears.
- Tomoko has a small nose bleed.
- "Shit wads! So they couldn't care less about anyone else as long as they're having fun?" - Tomoko
- "May they all come back as shit in their next lives!" - Tomoko
- "I'm not forcing myself! If I had to 'force myself' to cut paper, I'd be dead by now! If I back down now, I won't get any more chances!" - Tomoko
- "I'm not sure I could get along with people in a band." - Tomoko
- "This bitch is my friend, you know." - Tomoko
- "Yay, a balloon!" - Little Girl because . . . balloon! Yay!
- "Crap, she's giving off that damn female scent as always . . . and pressing her boobs against me in front of everyone!" - Tomoko
- "Since we're doing this, I might as well touch her butt!" - Tomoko
- "You guys are worthless! You can't even scare a single female!" - Tomoko
- "I never expected that girl to die in the middle." - Yū discussing an anime Tomoko recommended
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