No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! Volume 3
As Tomoko continues to wish for popularity, author Nico Tanigawa takes her (and us) to that bastion of school manga, the culture festival, in volume 3. Tomoko, the essential loner, knows she should help out — she doesn’t want to be accused of shirking — but she doesn’t have anything to do, and she’s too shy to approach others.
Her extreme isolation and inadvertent self-sabotage is amusing, in the style of cringe comedy. I like the way her dialogue is lettered, in shaky, lightweight text that “sounds” like someone not used to talking or socializing much. It’s even more of a contrast when her adorable friend Yuu-chan comes to visit.
There’s also Tomoko’s attempt at working a photo booth (nicely cartooned in exaggeration of expressions) and a chapter of some short strips. My favorite was the demented but understandable chapter where Tomoko feels undesirable because she’s never been groped on a crowded train. It’s not something to be wished for, but for her, it’s another sign that no one wants her.
I wouldn’t have thought I liked reading No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! as much as I do, but Tomoko’s desires are so normal and her reactions so extreme that I am entertained by the discrepancy.