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File:Its not my fault im not popular title page real 9798.jpg

  "It hits too close to home." -- several tropers

Tomoko Kuroki is a legendary high-school girl with over fifty years' worth of romantic experience and over one hundred male admirers... in the otome gaming world. In the real world, she is but a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl and a total shut-in (when not at school) with severe self-esteem issues such that she avoids contact with her classmates. Come first-year high school she tries to make contact with her new schoolmates... all to no avail. This forces her to take a hard look at herself for the first time, start noticing what's wrong with her... and resolve to try to reinvent herself and become more sociable -- with expected results.

It's Not My Fault I'm Not Popular! (Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!) is an online-published manga by Nico Tanigawa with a cult following on /a/ and /v/, and even Tanigawa herself communicates with Anglophone fans on her Twitter account.

The first volume is available for a mere 500 yen, and can be bought on Amazon JP, BK1, YesAsia, and CDJapan.

Tropes used in Its Not My Fault I'm Not Popular include:

  • A-Cup Angst: Part of her self-esteem issues.
  • Adorkable: Tomoko, in spades.
  • Black Comedy
  • Bland-Name Product: In chapter 19, she is seen playing a PFP. Could also be a shout-out to The World God Only Knows.
  • Broken Pedestal: A mild example: Tomoko's cousin Kii-chan starts out seeing Tomoko as Cool Big Sis, later starts having doubts about her and ends up finding out the truth about Tomoko when she witnesses her cheating while playing games with little kids just to impress her. Though this revelation makes her pity Tomoko rather than loathe her.
  • Butt Monkey: To the entire universe. Tomoko doesn't realize it, which might be a good thing as the truth might plunge her into the pit of despair, or bad since she can't realize why her attempts to make friends are massive failures.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: In Tomoko's case it was being caught by her mother while redubbing a sex scene from an otome game with herself as the protagonist, but it seemed to be equally embarrassing.
  • Closet Otaku: After entering high school, Tomoko's middle school friend Yuu became one of these to fit in.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the Christmas special, Tomoko completely misses the point of her vibrator and uses it to massage her neck. She feels so comfortable that she falls asleep while using it.
  • Conveniently Seated: When the second semester starts and Tomoko loses her back row seat by the window, she lampshades it by commenting about how lucky she was getting "the seat main characters always get in anime and light-novels" in the first period, lamenting that she now has to dwell in an awkward spot, surrounded by people.
  • Cool Big Sis: Tomoko wants to be seen as one by her cousin Kii-chan, apparently the only person who looks up to her. To achieve this, she lies a lot about, among other things, the extent of her love life. Kii-chan ends up finding out the truth and pitying Tomoko.
  • Covert Pervert: Tomoko tries to peek on a girl's panties out of "curiosity" over what kind of panties a girl with a boyfriend would wear.
  • Cringe Comedy
  • Crossover: GanGan Online promoted this series and Daily Lives of High School Boys, two of their best school setting hits, by making flyers and posters with Tomoko and Yoshitake riding a train on the way to their schools.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Tomoko's little brother is starting to show signs of this.
  • Emotionless Girl: Tomoko tries to invoke this in the tenth chapter, but she fails. Hilariously.
  • Excited Show Title
  • Everyone Has Standards: In chapter 19 Tomoko briefly considers eating her lunch in the bathroom during the lunch break, but ultimately decides against it, stating that she hasn't become that much of a loser yet.
  • Family Theme Naming: Chapter 18 reveals that Tomoko's brother's name is Tomoki.
  • Fan Nickname: /v/'s nickname for Tomoko is "Spaghetti-tan", because of their meme about spaghetti leaking out of their pockets during socially awkward situations, seemingly for no other reason than to make the situation even more awkward and embarrassing for them.
    • World Three, the primary scanlation group for the series, affectionately gave the manga the project title "loser girl."
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Tomoko puts on her headphones in order to ignore Yuu after the latter reveals that she has a boyfriend.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Tomoko mocks the fat guy from chapter 9 in her thoughts because she assumes that he has no friends (supposedly completely unlike her, because she has her brother to talk to) and spends weekends sitting at home and playing video games.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The format is: Mourning [Number]: Since I'm Not Popular, I'll [Subject].
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: ...and to get laid, apparently.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Yuu.
  • Kafka Komedy
  • Loners Are Freaks: Tomoko's mindset, which she desperately wants to avoid.
  • Long Title: The untranslated title reads Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (literally "Whatever way I see it, it's your fault I'm not popular!") Yes; the three lines of orange text in the page picture is the title.
  • Mood Whiplash: The stories can switch from making you laugh at Tomoko's failures to crushing your spirits at how depressing it all is. And sometimes, the two overlap.
  • No Social Skills: Tomoko, which is pretty much the entire conflict of the plot.
  • Only Six Faces: In-universe, the fat geek who draws Kuroki's face always draws the same cutesy face.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Tomoko's dad finds her asleep in front of an eroge game with a vibrator lying on the floor. His reaction is to carry her to bed.
  • Otaku: The main character, Tomoko Kuroki, as well as her middle-school friend, Yuu.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Tomoko's hairstyle.
  • Portmanteau Series Nickname: "Watamote", decided by popular vote.
  • Rei Ayanami Expy: In chapter 10, Tomoko thinks that it would be a good idea to become one.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Implied with Yuu, who's supposed to have been quite average-looking during middle school.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Most of the chapters.
  • Shout-Out: Tomoko has a Tiger and Bunny poster in her room.
  • Show the Forehead: Combined with Twin Tails to complete Tomoko's "disguise" form. Unfortunately, this has the side effect of turning her into a Gonk.
  • Shrinking Violet: Combined with No Social Skills, this is the reason she can barely put together a full sentence with anyone she doesn't know.
  • This Loser Is You: Look at the quote on top of the page.
  • Toilet Humor: Tomoko tries this, only succeeding in making her "audience" think she really needs to go.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Tomoko in the beginning of chapter 7, when in her enthusiasm, she decided it would be a good idea to run all the way to school...after she just ate a huge breakfast.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In the first chapter Tomoko concludes that her experience gained while playing otome games makes her perfectly prepared for high school. In a later chapter watching an anime gives her the idea to become popular by being an Emotionless Girl. As she is actually the star of a Cringe Comedy, both times she's proven wrong.
  • X Meets Y: The World God Only Knows meets Welcome to The NHK.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Yuu in Chapter 8 wears a uniform invoking this.
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