Tomo-chan is a Girl! was on my Winter 2023 watch list from the beginning of the season. I love a good romance anime, but especially one that features a whole cast of characters. While at times I got behind on Tomo-chan, catching up was always a blast because the anime is so funny.
I was watching this alongside The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague, so the contrast between high school romance vs adult romance was very interesting to see. For what it’s worth, I think the way Tomo-chan handled the romance was quirky and true to high school. However, I think the characters in Tomo-chan displayed more maturity than the adults of The Ice Guy did when it came to feelings.
About Tomo-chan is a Girl!
Tomo-chan is a Girl! is adapted from the Shounen manga of the same name created by Fumita Yanagida. With 13 episodes, the anime adaptation covers the entirety of the manga. The manga contains 8 volumes and is licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment.
The story centers around Tomo-chan, a tomboy who is in love with her best friend Jun. Jun, however, doesn’t see her as a girl since she’s always been “one of the guys.” Tomo and her friends embark on a mission to change Jun’s perception of Tomo.
What I Loved
Tomo-chan is definitely filled with so many wacky moments it’s easy to forget the main point of Tomo-chan trying to be with Jun. There were moments I was laughing so hard I was crying (the dodgeball game to be exact) and every episode had a laugh-out-loud moment. However, the anime manages to combine fun moments with the deeper meaning of it all, without fumbling.
Given the name of the anime, we know Tomo is the star but I truly LOVED her as a character. Tomo is tall, strong, fast, and overall so powerful as a character. Tomo is also very pretty and I love that she wasn’t given a long-lasting makeover for us to see that.
Outside of her strengths and looks, she is just such a great girl. Yes, she loves Jun but she’s her full self around him and wasn’t afraid to beat him up or challenge him. She also is an amazing friend to Misuzu and Carol. I love her swooping in to save them.
Misuzu and Carol
Carol was probably my favorite character in this show. She was so funny and ditzy, but also very cunning when needed. I loved her dynamic with Misuzu and how she always loved on Misuzu, despite Misuzu’s protests. Carol may have been a bit shady with Jun due to some misunderstands, but none of that matters to me because I love her. Carol also being the friend who loves physical affection was perfect.
Misuzu’s character was so interesting because she felt like the puppet master behind the scenes. She thought she had it all figured out in terms of Tomo and Jun, and ended up being wrong and possibly giving Tomo terrible advice. Misuzu’s intentions may have been questionable, but her heart truly was in the right place. She valued Tomo so much and ultimately wanted to see her happy.
The Friend group and their adventures
I will always stan a friend group over relationships. I’m just a friend kind of girl, and I love that this anime really spent a lot of time developing the friendships between Tomo, Misuzu, and Carol. I love how Carol and Misuzu are night and day, but they balance the trio out.
The way Carol and Misuzu always held Tomo down was also such a beautiful thing to see. They may not have always had the best advice, but they really love Tomo for who she is and made it a point to show her. In the end, they just wanted Tomo to be with Jun and supported her anyway they could.
In complete transparency, I did not care for Jun until the last few episodes. He was not the worst or anything like that, but to me, Tomo-chan was truly about the girls. I didn’t really care if Jun and Tomo got together. However, I was pleasantly surprised when the tides started changing and Jun realized his feelings for Tomo.
I can understand how confused he must have been with his feelings especially since he initially saw Tomo as a boy and a rival. Once he realized Tomo was a girl, I think Jun was both upset at himself for not noticing and then confused about how he felt about her as a whole. He later admits to Misuzu that he realized he loved Tomo the entire time since he was young.
I wasn’t rooting for Tomo and Jun initially, but by the last two episodes, I was sold and was so happy when they made it official. I think they are the perfect showcase of friends to lovers trope. They highlight that you can make that move, while still being true to what made you great friends to begin with. Although they are nervous to navigate the next steps as a couple, they both are honest with each other about it.
Overall, I really enjoyed Tomo-chan is a Girl! and I am planning on getting the manga. It really is another great teenage rom-com that includes all the aspects that make it timeless with new themes we haven’t seen before.