It’s Not My Fault That I’m Not Popular by Tanigawa Nico (a pen name for two artists) is a manga about a high school girl just figuring her life out. I saw it on the home page for a scanlation site and I was intrigued by the title, so I decided to start reading it. I got through about twenty chapters before I had to stop reading.
Kuroki Tomoko has no real friends and is a super introvert; all of her “social skills” she’s learned through anime and her borderline-pornographic video games. She spends her free time in her room watching anime and only has one friend, her old friend from middle school.
I have no problem with the concept of the series; it’s a coming of age story about a super nerdy girl. However, Tomoko is seriously creepy. In one chapter, she went to her old school roof to watch fireworks but instead was a peeping tom (watching some couple “get busy”) with some middle school boys. She vacuumed her own skin so that it looked like she had been kissed to impress her elementary-school-aged cousin. She’s also delusional; if any boy so much looks in her general direction she flips out. Oh, and she cheats at card games against elementary schoolers.
As a nerdy, “not-popular” girl, I take offense to this entire series. By making Tomoko out as some sort of pervert (which the series does), it puts forward the idea that all socially awkward girls obsess constantly about sex and engage in this sort of self-harming behavior; that every not-so-popular person is a Tomoko. That is blatantly wrong. While I do pity her to a certain extent, Tomoko is a terrible character and is a horrendous example of what typical nerdy, anti-social girls are like.
She is so extreme in her actions that it leads me to believe that the authors think that they’re being funny, that Tomoko’s over-the-top antics are supposed to be laughed at. Well, they aren’t funny. At all. This is a terrible way to stereotype antisocial high-schoolers and is in no way, shape, or form funny.
On a completely different note, the art is off-putting. Tomoko’s eyes are super creepy, which goes with her personality. Unfortunately.
In short, I do not recommend It’s Not My Fault That I’m Not Popular.