So in case you’ve forgotten, I’ve already bashed It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular to death. And then bashed it some more. But for some strange reason, I thought it might be interesting to look at a spin-off to see if the story improved when told from a different perspective.
So there are only six chapters of It’s Not My Fault That My Friend’s Not Popular! which follows Naruse Yuu, Tomoko’s sweet and normal friend, during middle school.
I think setting this manga during middle school was an excellent choice. When It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular started, Tomoko was in a desperate frenzy to make friends in high school, which is why a lot of her actions seem extreme. In middle school, there is no such extreme desperation. It’s just Tomoko being awkward.
The addition of another friend, Komi-chan, is also refreshing. While Komi-chan is somewhat awkward like Tomoko, she’s not nearly as extreme as even middle-school Tomoko. She strikes a nice balance, and is a perfectly normal character in a sea of wacky ones. I think in real life I would be friends with Komi-chan, so it’s great to see a character that I can relate to.
The competitions between Komi-chan and Tomoko for Naruse’s friendship are amusing without being over-the-top. In a manga that (I think) is supposed to be a slice-of-life story, having too many ridiculous antics takes away from the charm. Are there bizarre moments in this series? Yes, but they are tempered out because there are more characters and more normalcy in general.
However, if you really want to understand what is going in this series, you have to read the original. I find that sad because I like this spin-off better, and it’s not worth it to read thirty chapters of crap so you can read six (more like five and a half) chapters of okay manga.
In short, while this is an all right series thus far, it’s really not worth reading the original. So save yourself some trouble and skip over It’s Not My Fault That My Friend’s Not Popular!