"Since I'm Not Popular, I'll Think About the Future" (モテないし、将来を考える Motenai shi, Shōrai wo Kangaeru?) is the twelfth episode of WataMote. The episode was written by Takao Yoshioka and directed by Shin Ōnuma. It was broadcast in Japan on September 23, 2013.
In final first-season episode, with the festival over, Tomoko spends much of her day reflecting upon her time in high school thus far and comes to the sad conclusion that nothing has changed. When she leaves and her Homeroom Teacher wishes her a safe trip home, though she still stammers and whispers her "goodbye" she can give a small smile and look at him.
She continues thinking as she walks that she is in the "usual routine." A leaf falls at her feet, and she realizes that winter is coming.
The episode title appears without the opening titles and music. In her room, Tomoko lays sadly clutching there purple stuffed toy in the light of the sunset. She remembers her fantasy of life in high school with "fun things." It begins at an amusement park. As the happy music plays, she rides a roller coaster with classmates. She walks with two unidentified girls who laud her leadership. She imagines a pile of pictures with them enjoying the park. As the music turns dark, a class picture of generic high school students posing at the park has her as an insert in reference to Another. Tomoko gives her toy another squeeze.
Her fantasy then envisions her high school as if shoot through old film. She walks with the same girls who look slightly different and who compliment her on her perfume despite the fact she does not use any. The music becomes discordant as the two disappear in a "puff" of black whisps of smoke that eminate from Tomoko as she now walks looking depressed. Two anonymous boys pass, and one complains about how there is a smell like "grandfather's house," while the other agrees he can smell his grandmother's house. Behind them is a grave with "Moko" (モコ) on the marker.
Tomoko buries her head into her toy as she cries, "More . . . fun things. . . ." Her fantasy continues with an even older-appearing film of the Kawaii Puri-Kura picture booth from Episode 5. She takes a number of pictures with her imaginary two friends. The pictures become the awful ones she took previously. Tomoko screams drawn similar to her pencil-drawn scream usually seen in the opening credits. After hugging her toy again, she looks outside into the night. She wonders what she has done all her time in school as she recalls a montage of her failures. As the warning sound of a train approaching grows louder, Tomoko cries, clutched her toy again, and regrets remembering her life.
Tossing her toy away, she resolves that regretting her past will not help her. She resolves to do what she can to change her present. She recognizes she still has a third of her first year left. She starts with her homework which includes a questionnaire regarding her future plans. Thinking about her best subjects, she thinks of liberal arts. She decides to call Yū Naruse for ideas. Yū, who happens to be sitting on the floor holding her stuffed bunny which also "squeaks," cheerfully responds that she has not decided on her future. She reminds Tomoko that her dream was to become an arms merchant.
A stunned Tomoko continues listening as the two return to middle school. Middle School Tomoko proudly proclaims that she will become Japan's first female arms merchant. Yū makes a censored reference as a tiny pixelated character "mews" and appears from behind a desk chair leg. Yū reminds Tomoko that she seemed to know a lot about weapons. Tomoko's response is not heard; Yū asks her if she is sick then wishes her goodbye. Back in her room, a tearful and sweating Tomoko screams that she does not want to think about the past; yet it comes back to kill her. Composing herself, Tomoko tries to think of the present.
Sitting in her brother's room, Tomoko remarks as she plays with his carpet that they have been talking for over a half a year, yet she has made no progress. Tomoki suggests that she quit. They turn "cartoony," as usually depicted in the previews. Tomoko contends that, as siblings, they share the same past, and Tomoki is not up to his role to help her. Condescendingly, Tomoko "invites" Tomoki to talk to her if he needs it. Before she leaves, Tomoki asks her if she has something to say. Tomoko turns seriously, then as anime light and sparkles appears, she responds, "Thanks, little brother," and makes an anime-heroine exit as Tomoki wonders "who the hell" she is.
Tomoko walks to school thinking her conversations with her brother had no meaning. She tries to think of another "role" she can play in school. Walking up the stairs, she views Megumi standing on the landing. Inwardly, Tomoko struggles wondering what she should say to her. She hears another girl call her "Imae-san" to reveal to Tomoko and the viewers her first name. Megumi has helped the girl with her problem, and after Megumi leaves, this girl tells another about how Megumi solved the problem. Their description of her fits Tomoko's the fantasy of popularity. She then believes she has figured out her role.
Tomoko follows Megumi to learn about the problem: she asks the art teacher to replace the old displayed artwork with new works from the first-year students. Tomoko watches her as she departs down a corridor thinking she has everything Tomoko wants to be. After the advertising break, Tomoko sits in her class as all around her socialize. She leaves her phone on record to capture what her classmates say about her when she if not there. As she looks out the corridor window, she smiles and imagines herself as the type of person people talk about. Once she knows what they say about her, she can adjust her behavior accordingly.
During the next class break, she sits in a stall in the woman's room to listen to her phone. She only hears what her classmates put on their survey forms. No one says anything about her. In a far more direct reference to Another, Tomoko imagines herself dressed as Misaki Mei holding a doll. Back in English class, Tomoko imagines herself completely forgotten by the class until she hears a scream from a girl. A cockroach roams about the class, and Tomoko feels this is her chance.
In an obvious homage to the series Terra Formars, students flee, a woman sings heroic anime music, the pixelated wee beast approaches the panicked students then flies around the room, and a card announced Tomoko's skills. Tomoko kills it imagining the praise of her classmates. Instead, they stand in silence as her teacher suggests she clean her slipper.
Washing her slipper, Tomoko laments that she could "hear" the acclamation of her classmates in her head, but she still expect to be the talk of the class. She returns to her desk in bliss. During the next break she listens to her recording in a stall to find it contains nothing about her. She then hears a girl in the bathroom talking about her. Her listeners find the squishing of a cockroach gross as Tomoko becomes more and more abstract to cubist in depiction.
During "Self-Study," Tomoko appears at her desk only as an outline. Still, Tomoko turns "gray" and resolves to push on. Walking outside of class, she remembers the praise from the other students about Megumi. She recalls Megumi's first name and wonders if she will teach her how to be like her. Walking, she laughs when she sees her portrait of Hatsushiba displayed. She finally sees Megumi walking. She follows her from behind wondering how to approach her. Just as she tries to speak to get her attention, wind blows up her rather short skirt revealing her panties to Tomoko. Megumi looks embarrassed while Tomoko is stunned. Returning to her whispering stutter, Tomoko cannot say anything and runs away. Two of her classmates approach and ask if the fleeing girl is an underclasswoman. Megumi responds that she is, "her name is Kuroki-san," and that she is "kind of cute." Megumi explains that she always tries to do something, and Megumi cannot keep her eyes off of her.
Tomoko continues running as the sounds of the Opening Theme start. This is the music for the credits as Tomoko runs making the embarrassed sounds for which she, and her voice actress, is famous. She eventually passes Yū on the road who runs after her. Collapsing, Yū finally catches her. The scene shifts to Tomoki kicking a soccer ball through the goalie. A vision of the haunting Kii turns angelic as Tomoko resumes her run. As the song swells to its end, Tomoko turns a corner while the pursuing Yū becomes distracted by a cat. Tomoko arrives at home and leaps into her bed in time for Konomi Suzuki to sing ""Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!" (私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い!)."
The screen goes to black with the sound of the drumsticks hitting a floor. It fades into a night sky as Mrs. Kuroki calls for Tomoko and Tomoki for dinner. The narrator from Episode 1 reminds that, "Here we have a particular girl . . ." Tomoko sits at her computer as she did in Episode 1. This time, she has her pink stuffed toy in the background. She looks at the definition for "Unpopular Girl" (mojo ・ 喪女もじょ) again. The narrator continues, "an unpopular girl and her story that really doesn't matter." Tomoko turns around in her chair to face the viewer, and laughs. Her mother yells from a distance they they will start dinner without her. Tomoko responds that she is coming and switches off her computer screen which renders the scene black again. Her voice states, "Seriously, it doesn't even matter!"
The traditional End Credit sequence and music follows and concludes the episode.
In order of appearance
- Tomoko Kuroki
- Homeroom Teacher
- First Fantasy Girl
- Light-Brown Hair in Bun (in Tomoko's first fantasy)
- Darker-Brown Hair in Ponytail (in Tomoko's second fantasy)
- Second Fantasy Girl
- Lighter-Brown Hair Worn Down (in Tomoko's first fantasy)
- Black Hair Worn Down (in Tomoko's second fantasy)
- Yū Naruse
- Tomoki Kuroki
- Megumi Imae
- Art Teacher
- English teacher
- Megumi's Two Upper-Class Friends
- Kii (flashback)
- Mrs. Kuroki (voice only)
- The Firefly Light Festival from the previous two episodes.
- The "Princess" picture booth from Episode 05.
- Tomoko recalls the portrait drawn of "her" and later the portrait she drew of Hatsushiba from Episode 02.
- The "Unpopular Girl" (mojo ・ 喪女もじょ) definition from the first episode.
- Lacks the standard opening theme and credits.
- Tomoko's purple stuffed toy squeaks when squeezed.
- Monica Rial, the voice of Tomoko for the English dub also voices Misaki Mei for the English dub of Another.
- During the Another sequence the opening chords of the theme from The X-Files are heard.
- Tomoko's best subjects are the humanities.
- Apparently, at Makuhari Shuuei High School, the girl's skirts rise as they rise in class.
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - "Hare Hare Yukai"
- Attack on Titan - Soldier pose
- Dragon Ball Z - Dragon Ball radar screen
- Another - Tomoko imagines herself wearing Misaki Mei's clothes and characters.
- "Burger Queen": an obvious reference to Burger King.
- Terra Formars
- Air Master: Tomoko running is from the end credits.
- Tomoko sadly hugging her purple toy.
- Megumi and the Wind
- "What have I been doing all this time?" – Tomoko
- "I'm gonna be the first female arms merchant in Japan!" – Tomoko
- "I didn't really get it, but you knew so much about them [weapons]." – Yū
- "I don't even want to think about the past! Why is my past coming back to kill me?!" – Tomoko
- "You know, Kuroki-san is quiet, but she's kind of strange." – Girl in Bathroom
- "Her name's Kuroki-san. Kind of cute, isn't she?" – Megumi
- "Seriously, it doesn't even matter." – Tomoko
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