Watashi ga Motete Dousunda ends pretty much as it existed for its entire run – a solidly entertaining series that never fully took the plunge into exploring the serious implications of its storyline and characters. I enjoyed it enough that I always watched it first thing on Saturdays, which says something – it was an easy 22 minutes to get into without taxing your brain too much. But while I never expected a definitive ending with the manga ongoing (and I’m not even sure the manga will end with one) it’s naturally still a bit of a letdown when it actually plays out that way.
In a sense I think it’s natural to compare Watamodou with Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Season 2 when?) in that both are series that smartly toyed with genre cliche as it exists in the modern, doujin-driven anime landscape. The difference for me comes down to ambition – or perhaps one could say depth. Gekkan Shoujo delves much deeper into its characters’ psyches, and it takes the deconstruction of genre down another level or two. It’s also less overtly romantic in nature than Watamodou, but ironically seems much more likely to offer a real romantic resolution in the end because of that increased interest in exploring the characters.
If one were to try and speculate based on the events of the finale, I think the most natural conclusion is that it’s Mutsumi-sempai who stands the best chance of entering into a true romantic relationship with Kae. Of course I’d argue that’s the direction that the anime has been pushing things for the past several episodes, so it’s hardly a surprise. Igarashi gives off “main character” vibes, but there’s nothing really connecting him with Kae. She clearly adores Shinomiya but it’s as she says, he’s like her otouto. Nishina is the fujo-soulmate Kae can talk about anything with, but there’s no evidence Kae is at all interested in girls that way. They’re all out.
That really only leaves two. Nanashima’s appeal is fairly obvious – he’s the bad boy, the Souma Kyou archetype (and that carries so much weight in shoujo romance). And he’s the fated one who’s a doppelganger for Kae’s (sometimes) favorite character, Shima. He’s a player here, but my money would still be on Mutsumi. He’s the only one who gave the idea of a romance with Kae more thought than simply as a game or a competition. He’s the only one who doesn’t treat her as a prize to be won, but a person to be courted. Kae can fixate on childish pursuits for the moment, but she may one day crave something more real in her life (that’s not a given in modern Japan, as statistics tell us). If Asuma-kun is still handy when she does, I think she’ll realize what she has with him is more real than with any of the others.
I was struck once more by the difference between these suitors in the finale, when everyone conspired to keep Asuma from telling Kae how he felt. Why? He himself said it – if they really fancy dating her, they should quit playing games and tell her already. But rather than doing that they conspire to keep him from doing so, despite his open invitation – which is the proof that he’s way more ready for this than they are. In the end I think Mutsumi-sempai was exactly as straightforward and naive as she seemed – it really wasn’t an act, it just takes him a while to figure out what’s obvious to the others.
The otome game parody was a fine and clever way to wrap all this up, even if it didn’t really wrap up anything. Like the rest of Watamodou is was funny and silly without really getting too deep into the meaning of what was going on. And that’s OK – not every series has to be a groundbreaker or profound. I’m not going to pretend Watashi ga Motete Dousunda was a masterpiece but it succeeded in what it set out to do, and I enjoyed it for that.