Greetings friends. Can’t believe I manage to post daily but go me! I feared I would feel swamped or behind because we already started getting second episodes and people have (probably) already started having an idea about what to watch or not. But I’m enjoying myself more than I thought I would and turns out, I don’t really care.
I’m not as vocal about guest posts as I was in the past, as my blog doesn’t have much to offer for others in terms of traffic or recognition or anything but I found myself thinking how fun it’d be if someone were to write a first impression for an anime from this season, following my format. I’m not trying to dump my work on you, don’t get me wrong! If you’d be interested, you can reach out to me on Twitter or Tumblr.
Now, back to the business at hand! The artist behind Tomo-chan is a Girl! is Fumita Yanagida and the studio that did the adaptation is Lay-duce. Looking at their past works, there are several that I enjoyed watching; O Maidens in Your Savage Season, Heroines Run the Show, and Fanfare of Adolescence. All were romance and/or slice-of-life series that were done competently so quality-wise, I wasn’t worried but…
Did I know this series beforehand? I remember reading the first couple of chapters a long time ago and not liking it. So I had an idea what it was about, and admittedly, my impression was already tipping towards the negative.
What is it about? Tomo and Jun are neighbors and Jun has been practicing karate under Tomo’s father ever since. They are childhood friends, really close. But for the longest time, Jun’s been testing Tomo’s patience, because he’s at a level where he’d rival the top 5 most oblivious shojo protagonists and dethrone the number one. Having no idea about how Tomo feels about him, he says cringy stuff like “I can’t go on if I’m not with you,” looking into her eyes, shamelessly eats from her chopsticks or smacks her on the ass like the bestest guy brosTM they are. Tomo has decided to embark on a journey to have Jun register her as a girl, and we’ll see how things progress from here on out.
What to look out for? Lots of GenderTM and very light fanservice.
What do I think? I feel stuck between “what it is” and “what it could be”.
But I’ll start from here: I like Tomo. A lot. And more than I remember loving her when I first read the manga. I want to nyom her cheeks. Her struggle to get acknowledged for who she is and have others use the correct words she wants to hear to describe her despite what gender norms dictate is something I appreciate and would like to see more on screen. I’d throw my money to the studio who wants to make that happen. I have like, 3$ and some candy, but still.
The same could go for Jun. He’s the “intense sports guy” and the expectation for a tall, good-looking high school boy who’s practicing a martial art would be for him to date a girl who’s tiny and cute, someone who’ll cheer him on the sides or prepare a cute bento that he can enjoy when he’s done training for the day. You know, instead of his hot-headed childhood friend whom she challenges and sweats together in the dojo as any other peer.
There’s so much relatability in that struggle, especially around the ages when you’re in high school. It saddened me once again that it was played for cheap, stereotypical jokes without an ounce of wit in them. This is all I’ll say on this matter.
The rest of the cast is quite fun and sweet! I liked the energy Jun, Tomo, and Tomo’s close friend Misuzu had together. I wouldn’t say they are the same, but Misuzu reminded me of Hanajima Saki from Fruits Basket, they both have that dark and protective air to them, so I immediately warmed up to Misuzu. Even though it’s a 4-koma manga, the episode flows really well and doesn’t feel disconnected at all. I don’t think I noted anything down about the animation itself, as I was quite satisfied with what we were given. Don’t know whether it’ll be the opening or the ending but loved the upbeat song that ended the episode!
Will I continue watching? I haven’t decided yet, but I think I will pause for now. I still have a lot of Winter 2023 series that I’ll go through and older series that just made it into Crunchyroll’s library from Funimation, so I’d rather spend my energy on them. Given I have time, I might come back to it because Tomo is a cinnamon roll!
How was your experience with Tomo-chan is a Girl!? Did you also get the urge to kick Jun in his nether regions in the back so he’d get the idea? Or fell for Tomo’s charms as Misaki and I did? Let me know how it went for you and see you tomorrow where I’ll be taste-testing TRIGUN STAMPEDE. Have a nice day!
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