If you like a “she fell first, he fell harder” kind of trope, then this anime is definitely for you! Tomo-chan is a Girl! has its own good points and bad points. Here is a rundown review of the series’ contents from the manga and the anime episodes.
Tomo-chan Is a Girl! (Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko!) is a newly released anime from Seven Seas Entertainment on Crunchyroll. It’s about a girl named Tomo Aizawa, a high schooler with a natural tomboy-ish persona. This becomes a problem for Tomo when her childhood friend–turned crush can’t see her as a girl. It even came to a point where he thought she was a boy. Having a tomboy personality since she was a child, Tomo needed to reinvent herself to appear feminine to Jun. Through the help of her female childhood friend, Misuzu Gundou, she plans to show Jun that she’s indeed a girl.
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WARNING! This article may contain spoilers and triggering content for readers.
From Childhood to Crush
Tomo met Jun when his family moved right next to Tomo’s house during his younger years. When Jun saw Tomo for the first time, he assumed she was a boy based on her outfit. As Tomo kept pestering him daily, he decided to play with her as she seemed interesting. It wasn’t until an instance where Jun appeared in a rugged state that they got closer. When Tomo asked what had happened to Jun, he tried to brush the topic off. It was out of character for him and at that point, she knew something was wrong. She eventually found the boys who bullied Jun and gave them a taste of their own medicine.
When she gave Jun back his retrieved game, he felt slightly embarrassed that Tomo was the one to protect him. This fueled Jun to join Tomo’s dad’s dojo and train to become stronger than her. From that moment on, he made a pact with Tomo to return his game device if only he was stronger than her.
The time came for them to go to middle school. Jun was ecstatic to spend more time with Tomo. To his surprise, however, his buddy Tomo turned out to be a skirt-wearing girl. This confused Jun, who started to distance himself from her. It came to a point where he even dated Misuzu to escape from Tomo. This went on for a while. Eventually, Jun dumped Misuzu and reconciled with Tomo.
The rest of the series continued to center on Tomo as a high schooler and her many challenges in showing Jun how she feels. Jun, on the other hand, must sort through his own thoughts.
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The Good: Anime
The alterations are the only benefit of anime adaptations of its manga equivalent. The Tomo-chan is a Girl! manga’s storytelling nature looks more like snippets of Tomo’s daily life events. As a result, the anime pushed to change this method of storytelling which works better for an anime program. That’s why the anime version is indeed a must-watch.
- Unique Storytelling – It’s possible to classify Tomo-chan is a Girl! as a standard Shoujo love story. Despite that fact, we cannot deny that the plot has virtues of its own. Just from knowing the plot, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air for this type of genre. This anime will surely be worth your time because of its ability to recreate a common character cliché while leaving you wanting more.
- OP Main Character – Tomo is more like the male lead, which is wonderful because she isn’t your traditional female Shoujo heroine who is demure and lovely. It defies stereotypes, which makes it much more entertaining to watch. Tomo is a competitive person based on her upbringing. She highly excels in sports and is often seen with the boy’s teams for competitions. Her almost inhuman strength ultimately classifies her as an OP character.
- Character Design – It’s not just Tomo, but the whole cast has their own quirks you should watch out for. Characterizations of Jun being a meat-head when in fact, he’s a highly sensitive person towards his feelings and his environment. We also have Carol who looks like a princess air-head but is actually intelligent even replacing Misuzu at the top ranks in exams. These characters who break the mold of Shoujo characters make the anime a worthwhile show to watch.
The Bad: Manga
Though the series finished with 8 volumes, we can’t fully conclude if the anime series would show everything from the manga. While the anime itself is still fresh, we can’t fully decide whether there will be changes from the manga storyline. If you’ve read the manga already, you’ll probably notice omissions from the original storyline. Certain themes can be triggering or can make a casual enjoyer repulsed by its contents.
- Unnecessary Themes – The manga contained unnecessary storylines that show topics of incest and other sketchy themes. Storylines such as the backstory of how Carol’s mom and her dad met were an unnecessary addition as it only perpetuates grooming minors by “waiting for them to mature”. Another instance is the vague relationship between Carol and Misaki. It’s hinted in the manga that they knew each other from being cousins. It’s not really something you’d want to read casually in a manga targeted at teen readers.
- Fast-Paced Story – If you choose to read the manga, you’ll be shocked at how quickly the entire plot develops. The plot was able to be justified but the aftermath of reading the manga would leave you wanting more. It’s understandable given the format, but it sadly lacks detail.
- Slow burn but Rushed Ending – Due to the manga’s fast-paced nature, the character’s individual traits and thoughts weren’t fully fleshed out. Many are curious about how the anime will pan out because the plot itself got off to a solid start. However, it seemed that it faltered midway, only leaving the readers with slow-burn episodes and not enough fluff to make them contented. It’s comparable to titles like Kaguya-sama: Love is War, but it didn’t give a longer ending that satisfied the readers.
The Final Verdict
We suggest you give it a try. The anime can be considered a filtered version of the manga as it noticeably has a general theme. It’s an overall enjoyable manga for Shoujo lovers alike. If you’re really curious about what happens next then go right ahead. However, it’s not a groundbreaking story that you should fully invest your time on.
With the plot as it was, it appeared to be a one-shot story that dragged on. The plot had a lot more potential if the author only took time to show character growth and the phases when Jun started to see Tomo as a girl. There was only internal confusion between the two main characters and not enough internal conflict between the two.
A casual must watch!
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