Tin Foil Haberdashery!

It's time for another haberdashery folks! and I'm thinking of something that will encourage more discussion; along with possible ways to revive a franchise, I'll also take a look at some that already exist, things I've been wondering about certain series, you know, classic crackpot theories! I'll be labelling these discussion based posts with Tin Hat Talks you could tell me if I'm clutching at straws to try and make my points, whether I'm bang on or completely wrong, or whether it's something to talk about until the cows come home.

what's the first of my talks? why it's Watamote! the... cheery, optimistic slice of life high school series featuring the always glass half full Tomoko Kuroki, in fact, I have watched Watamote in a single day to study the cheerful disposition of Tomo - chan, and whether it talks in any way to her sexuality

watching Watamote in a single sitting is ill advised. it is depressing, pure cringe and the humour is only consistently good to anyone whose obsessed with schadenfreude. during my own study, at episode 7 I verrbally shouted "I have 5 more episodes of this ****" at episode 9 I was annoyed with Tomoko and after episode 10 I believed the series was cursed and that I would die if I watched all the way to episode 12

this cautionary warning may sound funny, but watamote in all seriousness is a hard series to watch all at once

with all that said...

Blame everyone else for the lack of attention you get and lets get this show down possibly the darkest road I've trecked

Tin Hat Talks: Is Tomoko gay?
I watched watamote right through with the dub with the idea that Tomoko is so awkward because she is so far in the closet she's fighting Aslon's battles, but making a list of things that could potentially shed light on her sexuality made her more awkward and confusing than I thought she was, there's so much clutching at straws to find stuff like that and a lot of stuff even in the last few episodes that mean nothing if you look into them. I'll put a bit more of a conclusion on this later but I have to say to study this with a narrow minded purpose left me more disappointed than Mr. Kuroki when he comes home to find that his daughter has fallen asleep playing otome games. that said, let's check a few points that may prove or debunk my theory

these points are in no particular order, and as mentioned before, a few of them are a real stretch to try and distinguish someone's sexuality

Appearance and self - presentation

Oh boy, where do we start here. I've forgotten the japanese word for it, but it roughly translates to "mourning woman" that is, long, unkempt hair, pale skin and a flat, featureless body much akin to that girl from The RIng that has the same appearance in the original japanese film and the hollywood remake, there are a tonne of these mourning women in japanese folklore and Tomoko looks like she fits the description, though it isn't exactly her fault she doesn't do a lot to remedy it, she doesn't cut her hair, she doesn't straighten her hair or dye it (even though jet black hair is pretty favourable in japan) she follows none of the trends of girls her age and you can tell she's a tomboy before looking her in the eyes, that is if you could with how bashful she is and her awkward facial expressions. she does think to herself how "cute" she thinks she is throughout the series, half of episode one is about changing her appearance but she quickly gives up on it, episode 6 has Tomoko lose the bags under her eyes, only due to her not bathing and becoming the greasiest thing on earth, but after giving up on a job in the red light district in episode 5 the end credits feature a reference to an anime that's too old for me to pin down, it has Tomoko in the role of a naked, featureless and somewhat gender-less character, perhaps showing that Tomoko has a profound lack of sexuality. appearance and presentation is first impressions on someone's sexuality, but leads to the least accurate assumptions on it. lets move on...

Reactions to other people and groups

this one gets really, really confusing, and it's one of the many reasons that I can not figure out if Tomoko is actually gay or not.
how people act with and around the opposite sex and the same sex is a bit of a gay test in itself, some people who are more comfortable with the same sex may be that way because they are comfortable with the sex they are attracted to, then again some boys are quite bashful of girls - male dominated hobbies, online spaces and the like are not inherently misogynist as they do not say anything about the interests or skill level of girls - some of those groups are just uncomfortable around girls, some gay people are uncomfortable around their own sex, possibly because they are pretty bashful, sometimes someone hangs around the same group because they are attracted to someone in that group. complicated? hipocratic? yea, that's not even Tomoko yet.
going in with a narrow mind to shout "AHA! you're gay Tomoko!" I found quite a bit to both support and debunk my theory, sometimes she'll think to herself "I talked to a hot guy" or "a hot guy talked to me!" she even has CDs of verbal abuse mainly from male actors, and even requests such from a male actor visiting her town. on her own, Tomoko's thoughts turn to references, manga, anime and video games, she becomes bashful when one or two people are with her and her thoughts turn more sour the bigger the group she's around. it's difficult to asses her reactions on an interpersonal level for much of the series as she often is too socially inept to talk to anyone outside her family. she often teases her brother that there is sexual tension between them (much to his annoyance) she lies about fake relationships to her cousin and the only people outside her family she talks to without stuttering are her middle school friend Yuu and the young boys that play a trading card game in which she is No.1 - the queen (though she's cheated in virtually every game against them) there are a few episodes where she interacts with no one for much of the run time though, choosing instead to watch tv, browse the internet and play video games - she even remarks that this makes her happy. a few time where she is around girls is that she seems to turn sour as soon as boys turn up, when Yuu is wearing a short skirt and thigh highs in front of Tomoko on an escalator Tomoko remarks "sexy" which is not noticed by anyone, she becomes obsessed with getting a hug from Yuu "not in a sexual way" in episode 11 and nearly grabs her butt, Tomoko also commits the image of seeing up a girl's skirt to memory and runs home crying after a gust of wind lifts a student's skirt in front of her. there is the episode where Tomoko wants to get molested on the train, but I shan't talk about it as the readers of The Haberdashery can do without dying on the inside.
this whole thing makes it seem like tomoko has three sexualities, and two of them would make more sense if she was bisexual, but some other things suggest she's asexual too, which just doesn't make much sense. and don't get me started on pansexual, personally I just think that's bisexuals trying to act like Kewl Kids

Fantasies & sense of reality

this is honestly, one of the scariest but also most fun topics in the whole series. I will start by saying some gay people don't accept their own sexuality, and become bitter people, and it also becomes such that these people have a poor sense of reality. in watamote reality left last week, letting in references that effect virtually everyone in the series, even if they don't know what Tomoko is referencing, she often sees herself as the protagonist but also compares her life to anime and manga, a tonne of her fantasies are "spot the reference" and some of the manga and bands in the show are real things, hell I'm pretty sure the band at the culture festival that actually happened are either from K -on! or Angel Beats. there are also a tonne of sexual fantasies, I won't go into detail, but many of them include men. one fantasy however, is ruined and turned into a yamcha death pose (I think she makes this reference twice...) her fantasies about working in a club in the red light district, however, has her surrounded by women, another when she's obsessed with Yuu's hugs involves her groping Yuu's chest, they are kind of all over the place, they are either outright references some of more popular series and others are just sexual fantasies, along with how she thinks of other people it's still pretty hard to pin down how Tomoko thinks, whether she's hiding something deeper than the situational problems, whether she's in touch with reality at all or whether anyone else is for that matter and it doesn't conclusively show her sexuality one way or the other.

conclusions
my conclusion on whether or not Tomoko is gay or not is a bit, inconclusive, sorry for that disappointment but there is so much to go through about human sexuality and that's before we even think of Tomoko, it's so much stuff that I do not have the tools or skills to properly navigate or describe in a safe and objective manner, which makes me glad that I'm making this like more of a discussion than my usual posts, the only conclusion could be, since the original watamote manga is based of it's authors high school experience, that the author could read this post and come up with "Tomoko is actually me and I'm gay" but it's very unlikely that would happen, so I turn to you, dear readers, to discuss some of these points:
do the points I brought up make tomoko gay?
is there any way to tell someone's true sexuality before they've accepted it themselves?
am I just clutching at any old straw throughout this post?
feel free to discuss anything else I've brought up too!

but wait cap'n! what's next for the haberdashery?
the next thing I'm going to do would probably be another Tin Hat Talk on the dark indie game, Fran Bow, and what connection it's symbolism could have to reality and it's own narrative, from a red - pill (realist) prospective, I could also list down my lofty goals to build a career if enough people ask

 
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