When I did my roundup of this year’s Winter anime, I admit I only placed Tomo-chan on there half-heartedly. The first episode was decent fun, but it didn’t impress me. It felt like your standard predictable rom-com fare.
However, as the series went on, I found it began to take some interesting turns. Mainly in the simple fact that it was actually going places, as opposed to the usual zero-momentum wheel-spinning at the heart of most anime rom-coms.
The simple fact that you don’t have to wait five god damn seasons for them to do anything romantic is an immediate win for this show.
Tomo has a crush on her childhood friend, Jun. Unfortunately, she’s such a tomboy that Jun barely even sees her as a girl! Will she be able to win his heart, or will she be trapped in the bro-zone forever?
In the first few episodes, all the characters seem pretty simple and flat. Tomo is the violent tomboy, Jun is the oblivious idiot, Misuzu is the creepy goth, so on and so forth. However, as the story goes on and we delve deeper into their shared history, they all gradually become surprisingly complex and interesting characters. Jun’s history in particular is interesting to me.
Also, Carol. No one else matters. Carol is the best. She’s the only character to not only make me laugh, but actively have me rolling.
Honestly, the only character I don’t really care for is Tomo herself. Pretty much every scene with her plays out as you’d expect and it starts to get real old real fast. It’s a shame, given that she’s the titular character.
What really grabbed me about this show was the pacing. The first few episodes can feel like they’re meandering, but the latter episodes really start to put the pedal to the metal. Most rom-coms take multiple seasons to deliver something as simple as the main couple holding hands. Tomo-chan delivers so much more than that in a mere thirteen episodes!
All the while, it sports some pretty strong visuals. The whole show is bright and colorful, making it very nice on the eyes. More than that, it has some surprisingly strong animation sprinkled throughout it. The scene where Misaki snaps at the delinquent is genuinely really impressive!
As for music, it’s… okay. The OST is never bad, but it isn’t all that striking or memorable either. It does the job, but it ain’t gonna blow your mind. As for the OP and ED, they get pretty old fairly quickly; after hearing them both two or three times, I found myself skipping them without a second thought.
On the whole, ‘Tomo-chan is a Girl’ is a pretty strong show. The writing may not be spectacular, but the rapid pacing certainly helps elevate it. If you’re in the market for a sweet rom-com that’ll occasionally make you laugh, this show is a fine pick.
Also, the manga is where we got the ‘Huggie-Wuggie’ meme from a few years back. Which only makes me like it more.
I thought that meme was really funny back in the day, okay? Hell, I still do.