‘My Clueless First Friend’ is Hilariously Endearing!

My Clueless First Friend Initial Review by RJ Writing Ink

Have you ever had that one friend that’s so different from you? You question why your friend’s in the first place. Or you’ve seen a show about a gloomy person who has a super happy and upbeat person decide to be friends with them? Better yet, have you seen fictional protagonists who can win over the most closed-off people by being so kind, no matter how dumb they are? Combine all those concepts into one, and you get the anime “My Clueless First Friend.”

The result: something so hilarious, sweet, and heartwarming that you can’t help but smile!

The Shy Grim Reaper and the Embodiment of Kindness

My Clueless First Friend revolves around Akane Nishimura, this shy Elementary School girl. Because of how creepy her eyes look, everyone makes jokes about her, saying that she’s a “Grim Reaper” and that if they hang around her, they’ll get cursed! As a result, she has no friends and is very lonely in her life. 

One day, a new transfer student, Taiyo Takada, this hyperactive, extroverted bundle of energy, shows up and hears about her nickname. His response? “THAT’S THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!!” Thus, Takada latches onto Nishimura like glue, becomes her first friend, and helps to bring her out of her lonely shell.

And for a long time, he’s convinced that Nishimura’s an actual Grim Reaper! He’s so clueless that any attempts to make him understand this go through one ear and out the other. 

Taiyo Takada, the CHAD Chuunibyo

To understand the thought process of someone like Taiyo Takada, one must understand what a ‘Chuunibyo’ is. A Chuunibyo, or ‘chuuni’, is a kid who usually acts all high-and-mighty, makes dramatic speeches about stuff, and may or may not believe they have special powers. Now, Taiyo himself would be a loose example of this. While he’s prone to being melodramatic and wears his emotions on his sleeve, he doesn’t think he has special powers. However, after hearing everyone call Akane a Grim Reaper, he’s convinced she does. And where other kids find that scary, he thinks that’s the coolest thing in the world. 

It gets even crazier from there. No matter how many times people try to bully him for hanging out with Akane, he doesn’t let it get to him. He’s so pure-hearted that he fails to grasp the idea that someone’s insulting him or Akane. As a result, he takes every bad thing someone says as a compliment, throwing said bullies so far off their game they just leave. 

In other words, Taiyo’s a clueless idiot. But he’s also the best friend anyone could ever ask to have, especially Akane. He doesn’t even realize it, but it’s clear early on that he’s gotten Akane to fall for him. I love this kid! It helps that his dub VA is Madeline Morris, who also does Rudeus for Mushoku Tensei.

Akane Nishimura, the Cutest Introvert You’ll Ever Meet

On the other end of the duo, we have Akane Nishimura, the girl everyone calls the Grim Reaper. Because of the way her eyes look, her classmates cruelly taunt her and give her that nickname, not wanting anything to do with her. As a result, she’s never had any friends, to the point where she lies to her Dad about her school life so he won’t worry. She even tries to tell Taiyo not to hang out with her since she knows everyone else will bully him for it. 

So when all the hints fly over Taiyo’s friend, and he keeps taking that “Grim Reaper” stuff as compliments, she’s thrown for a loop. And the more and more he turns those insults into compliments, the more amazed she gets. It’s pretty clear early on that she’s fallen for him because she won’t stop blushing whenever he says something nice about her. Takada takes the cruel nickname she has and turns it into a term of endearment. This is good because it’s eventually revealed that Nishimura thinks her nickname’s appropriate for sadder reasons.

*Minor Spoiler Warning to Follow*

It’s revealed a few episodes into the show that Nishimura’s Mom died when she was young. To be more precise, she died shortly after giving birth to Akane. While none of her family blames her for it and showers her with love because they know that’s what her mom would want, Akane can’t help but blame herself. She thinks she’s taken her Mom’s place, and it’s why she never liked the Grim Reaper nickname. And poor Taiyo! When he finds that out, he thinks he’s been a horrible person calling her the Grim Reaper. 

Clueless First Friend is Such a Sweet and Heartwarming Anime

This is another spoiler, but Akane eventually tells Taiyo that she doesn’t mind him calling her the Grim Reaper. Through his sheer levels of kindness, he turned the nickname she hated into one of endearment. It’s one of the sweetest things I’ve seen in anime in some time, and it’s why I love My Clueless First Friend.

The world we live in can be harsh, cruel, and unforgiving at times. That’s why it’s important that we remember to treat each other with kindness. With that in mind, I think what Akane and Taiyo have is the kind of friendship everyone should have at least once in their lives. If we had someone like Taiyo Takada in all our lives, the world would be all the better for it. My Clueless First Friend is on my watchlist for the Spring/Summer Anime season of 2023!

Mushoku Tensei Is S-Rank Isekai 

A Candid Recap of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Part 1

If you’ve been watching anime for the past decade, then you know about the concept of an isekai. We know the idea: someone living their life when they get sent to another world cooler than ours. It’s a concept that goes back centuries, but the 2010s saw it explode in popularity. Next thing we know, there’s an isekai in every season of anime coming out, all trying to cash in on the hype. It’s gotten to the point where people are starting to get sick of it, and how many of them seem dime-a-dozen. Look at all the hate that Sword Art Online gets! However, a few isekai truly live up to the hype, and after years of wandering, I have found it. After all these years, I have reached one of the Seven Summits of Isekai, and it is glorious. I have discovered Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation. 

Now, I know the controversy surrounding Mushoku Tensei and how some people think it’s overrated. However, it came at the right time when isekai were starting to blow up in Japanese culture. Thanks to that, it helped pave the way for the genre’s explosion in the 2010s. And once I started watching it, I realized that it was good. Like, really good! And with the new season coming out, I thought it’d be fun to recap the first season in my own words. My own candid, hilarious words. This is Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation.

In the Beginning…

So, this story starts out with this overweight, lazy, 34-year-old shut-in in modern Japan, and…he sucks. He’s a smart guy, but he started slacking off growing up, so he ended up in a bad high school. Then one day, he finna give this bully a piece of his mind. Their response? They beat him, strip him naked, and leave him chained out in public for the whole school to mock him. 

Seriously messed stuff, I know. And then, he decides that he’s done with the outside world. He’s just going to live at home and mooch off his parents, spending his whole time watching anime and ogling waifus 24/7. He doesn’t even try and earn money off of YouTube or get remote work, something he is fully capable of doing!

Eventually, though, his parents die, and since this guy’s wallowing in self-pity, he doesn’t even show up to his parent’s funeral. When his family finds him, they find him ogling loli waifus. And they’ve had it, so they throw him the f out of his house. That’s when he finally realizes that he’s wasted his life and wishes, “man, I wish I had another chance to do things over.”

Truck-Kun Cometh!

That’s when the dreaded Truck-kun shows up, and today’s victims are a trio of high schoolers arguing on a crossway. So the man decides, “Screw it. If I’m gonna do one thing right in my life, it’s this.” Now he saves the teens, but Truck-Kun takes him instead. But since this is an Isekai, he doesn’t die. His life’s getting started. 

The next thing this dude knows, he’s opening his eyes someplace else, and he’s surrounded by these smiling, good-looking strangers who are all happy to see him. And it doesn’t take him long to figure out that he’s been reincarnated. And once he sees the grown-ups using magic, he realizes… he’s been isekai’d. 

So, sweet. He’s finna put this new life to good use.

Oh, and from this day forward, this man shall be known as Rudeus Greyrat.

Finna Take His First Steps

So this grown man has been reincarnated into a world of magic and swords in the body of a baby but with all his memories intact. And since this is an isekai, that’s basically like a cheat code to help him get a head start. So once he relearns how to walk, talk, and read, he gets down to business. He starts reading these books on how to do magic and begins practicing in secret. And he quickly learns something. Even though those books say he has to use these incantations to do magic, and that everyone has a set amount of magic, or mana, in them… that’s all bunk. He learns how to do wordless magic and trains himself so he never runs out of mana. So, he’s a badass, and he’s only three. 

Rudeus’ so badass that his parents, Paul and Zenith, decide to get him his own magic tutor. Enter Roxy Migurdia. Instead of being some Gandalf type, she’s a cute demon loli with blue hair. She only looks young, though; she’s 30-something. Her people, the Migurdians, can live around two-hundred years, and spend 75% of them looking 13. In other words, she’s legal. Stand down, FBI.

Anyway, Roxy spends the next two years teaching him everything she knows. By the time they’re done, he’s already surpassed her. More importantly, though, Roxy manages to heal all that trauma Rudeus’ been holding onto from his past life. So when she dips on out, Rudy is a changed person. From that moment on, 

He still keeps a pair of panties he stole from her, though, as like this holy relic. It’s slightly sweeter than it sounds.

Out There Making Moves

So now that he’s not scared of the world anymore, Rudeus starts living his new life to the fullest. He’s making moves and making friends, like his new friend Slyph, this green-haired part-elf he rescues from bullies. Because he can’t stand bullying, thanks to what he went through in his first life. After that, Sylph latches onto Rudeus like glue, following him around everywhere and thinking he’s the coolest person ever. Rudeus thinks they’re pretty awesome, too, not to mention quite the looker. Give it a few years, and he thinks the girls will be trampling over themselves trying to get at them…maybe even the guys.

So Rudeus and Sylph end up becoming best friends, and soon, Rudeus decides to teach them everything he knows about magic. Pretty soon, they’re able to cast magic without incantations, which is a bit of a blow to Rudeus’ ego. Still, now the two of them can go out, make moves, and woo girls as a badass magical duo.

All of that changes, though, when they come back home after getting caught in a rainstorm. So Rudeus decides, “Alright, let’s hop in the bath so we don’t get sick.” But Sylph’s like, “Um, no thanks, I’m good.” But Rudeus thinks he’s just being shy, so he ends up forcing the matter. That’s when he gets the biggest shock of his lives: Sylph…is a girl. Her real name’s Sylphiette. Her hair was just so short that his stupid ass thought she was a boy this whole time.

Morgan Freeman: It was at this point, Rudeus knew…he fucked up.

So, yeah. Rudeus might be a pervert, but he’s got standards. He doesn’t need the FBI coming into his house and arresting him for being a pedo. So, he tells her he thought she was a boy this whole time, like a dummy, which makes her cry. However, after they’ve got time to think things over, Sylphie forgives him for being an ignoramus. 

So, bet. Now Rudeus got a potential future waifu for a best friend. 

Finna Save the Family

Not long after, Zenith discovered she was pregnant with their next kid. Happy feelings for all. Except… Lilia’s also pregnant. Now I know what you’re thinking: who’s the Dad? Well, the answer might surprise…Paul, it’s Paul. Everyone knew it was Paul! 

Morgan Freeman: It was at this point Paul knew…he fucked up.

So, here’s the thing: Lilia plans to stick around to help Zenith give birth, but once that’s done, she’s giving her two weeks’ notice. The problem is that it’s a month-long journey to her hometown. With a baby to care for, that’s a death sentence. So, Rudeus pulls a big-brained move and resolves things. He throws Paul under the bus by lying and saying the whole thing was his fault, and Zenith buys this. Okay, I don’t think she does, but she uses it as an excuse because she doesn’t want to throw out Lilia since she’s her best friend. That, and this is Paul we’re talking about. 

Full disclosure: it was Lilia that came onto Paul. She already had a crush on him from way back, and she had to spend years listening to them go at it after dark. There’s only so much a person can take, and no amount of maintenance can help. So, she did the only thing she could and cared for herself. 

So, awesome. Rudeus has two baby sisters: Norn and Aisha. 

Daddy Gets Rudy a Job

So, by this point, Rudeus is pretty happy with his life. He’s a badass magician, he’s got two adorable sisters, and his best friend Sylphie’s super cute. He’s finna enjoy his life the way it is. Except he gets this letter from Roxy, who says she’s been inspired by him to train to get even stronger and that she hopes to see how amazing he is once he’s grown up. She also got a job tutoring this Prince, but that’s for another day.

So, in his previous life, Rudeus was pretty smart and had all the potential to be successful. However, he let himself start slacking off, and everything went downhill from there. So instead, he’s going to make sure that doesn’t happen this time. So, he decides to enroll at Roxy’s alma mater and become a world-class magician. And when Slyphie begs him not to leave her alone, he decides they both should go. The only problem: how’s he going to pay for all this? His Dad won’t pay for both of them.

So, Rudeus decides there’s only one thing to do: he’s gotta get a job. And Paul pulls some strings and gets something that’s perfect for him. See, Paul’s not just some knight and former adventurer. He’s actually from one of the great houses that rules their country, and his cousin’s the heir to another great house that rules their region. Plus, his and Zenith’s old adventuring teammate, Ghislaine, who is the swolest-looking cat girl you’ve ever seen, is their bodyguard. So, he pulls some strings and gets Rudeus a job working as a tutor for the Boreas Greyrat family. 

The catch is that he can’t come home, write home, or write to Sylphie for the next five years. They’re becoming co-dependent on each other, and that’s not good, so they need to be self-sufficient. 

That’s All for Now!

And that is where we are going to end things for today. I meant for this recap to be done in one go, but it’s so huge that I had to split things up. Come back for part two as Rudeus starts his new life as a professional tutor and comes face-to-face with, quite possibly, the tsundere to end all tsundere’s.

Tomo-Chan Ends the Only Way it Can: With Love and Gusto!

Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Ep 13 Review

It’s been a fun ride, but all good things must come to an end, lest they end up like The Simpsons. In this case, Tomo-Chan, one of the best anime of the Winter 2023 season, came to a happy conclusion. In the last episode, Jun finally got the courage to tell Tomo that he loved her back. In some shows, that would mark the end of it and leave the rest up to the fans imaginations. However, there’s still one last problem to deal with. The same problem most people have to deal with regarding their romantic partners: the parent’s approval. 

Grab some popcorn and get ready for some laughs.

Their First Romantic Christmas Together…Gets Derailed.

It’s the Holiday Season, and in Japanese Culture, Christmas is to them what Valentine’s Day is to people in the West: romance and spending time with your loved one. That makes it the perfect chance for Tomo and Jun to have their first real date. It goes as well as we’ve come to expect from these two.

On the one hand, Tomo gets embarrassed as hell when the romance film she picks out gets too steamy for her. On the other hand, she and Jun exchange presents with each other. On the other other hand, Jun and Tomo can’t take the next step and kiss and actually be boyfriend and girlfriend. As it turns out, Jun neglected to tell Tomo something important: her Dad said that if Jun wants to date his daughter…he’s got to beat him in a fight.

Tomo takes this news very poorly. She tells her Dad she hates him and refuses to speak with Jun for the rest of their break.

Mr. Aizawa’s Testing their Resolve

After catching up with Misuzu and Carol (who aren’t happy with her ditching them over break), Tomo vents all of her pent-up frustrations to the two. And while she claims she’s fine with waiting for Jun to be ready, it’s clear she’s lying to herself. She wants Jun to date her now, and I don’t blame her. She’s waited for years for Jun to return her feelings, and now she’s getting blocked by her Dad. It’s every teen’s worst nightmare.

While I don’t approve of his methods, I do understand why Tomo’s dad is doing this. He knows how strong and strong-willed her daughter is, so any guy who would want to date her should be able to keep up with her in both aspects. Otherwise, they’re not worthy of her time. Plus, it’s always been Jun’s goal to surpass him, so this kills two birds with one stone.

The fight (or at least the parts we see) isn’t wild like one you’d expect from a Shonen manga, but it’s still entertaining to watch. And with Tomo there to motivate her in her own, Tomo way, Jun actually manages to win!

Congratulations! Jun and Tomo are now boyfriend and girlfriend, and seal the deal with a kiss that makes the wait worth it. THE END.

No, really, that’s the end. The manga it’s based on was only four panels per chapter, and they managed to cover all of that in the span of twelve episodes.

Tomo-Chan: a short, sweet, and funny romcom anime.

So, in retrospect, how would I rate Tomo-Chan is Girl! as a series? Let’s see.

Firstly, we have the premise. I have seen plenty of romcom and harem anime that include a tomboy as one of the potential love interests. However, I think this might be the first romcom anime I’ve seen where the tomboy is the lead heroine. As a fan of tomboys in fiction, this felt like a breath of fresh air.

Next, we have the voice acting. I primarily watched this in dub form, and while I know some people prefer subbed, I think the English VA’s did a great job. Heck, Carol was voiced by the same person subbed and dubbed.

Lastly, there’s the show’s ace in the hole: the length. All too often, I’ve seen romcom anime that drag this “will they, won’t they” thing for as long as possible. Not Tomo-Chan, though. It sticks to its goal of getting from point A to point B and gets it done as efficiently as possible. I might be a little sad it’s over already, but it’s better than dragging its heels to the end like so many other romcom anime do across multiple seasons. That’s a win, in my book.

So, on that note, we say goodbye to one of the best romcom anime I’ve seen in years. It’s a shame we have to say goodbye already, but it was fun while it lasted.

I Give “To Stay by Your Side…” 4/5


He Shoots, He Scores! Jun Finally Confesses to Tomo

Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Ep 12 Review

It finally happened; it took almost the entire series, but we finally got it. Jun finally confessed to Tomo! Granted, I was completely wrong about my whole “play” theory, but that doesn’t really matter. Tomo and Jun are out of the friendzone…sort of. They’re in that sweet spot of being best friends and lovers, which is perfect.

Jun Finally Gets His Act Together

We’ve known for a while now that Jun’s fallen for Tomo as much as she’s fallen for him. However, since they’re both awkward teens and best friends, they have no clue how to take that next step. Tomo even questions if she wants to take that next step, since she fears it would mean the end of their friendship. Jun, meanwhile, finally realizes what Tomo meant when they first started high school together about she loved him; like I said, he was in denial about it. 

Before he can do anything, though, he feels the need to clear the air with Misuzu. So, she pulls her aside and apologizes for how things ended between them. He partially admits that he never tried going after Tomo at first out of respect for Misuzu…though she doesn’t see it the same way. As a side note, Misuzu wasn’t even Jun’s first love.

After that, comes the moment on the rooftop where Jun makes his big romantic confession. And Tomo…calls him a dumbass and runs away. She still doesn’t want to lose him as her best friend.

Misuzu Owns Up to Her Mistakes

Misuzu has had enough of what’s happening and steps in to be the voice of reason. First and foremost, though, she apologizes for trying to make Tomo change to get Jun. She was already perfect for him the way she was. So, after actually crying, Misuzu urges Tomo to do what she should’ve done from the start: be herself and stop overthinking things.

One contest of strength later, Tomo and Jun have an honest heart-to-heart where they both admit what they want: they want to be best friends and a couple. It sounds selfish, but it’s also perfect for them. And just like that, the two best friends take the next step.

So, What Now?

Full disclosure: I got so impatient waiting for the next episode that I went and read the remainder of the comic. At first, I thought that we might get a second season of Tomo-Chan. Given how short each chapter is, though, I’m willing to bet the final episode will cover all of that in the needed timeframe. 

I’m going to miss watching Tomo-Chan after next week comes around. This was one of the best slice-of-life anime I’ve seen in a good while, and it will be sad to see it go. But, it was a pretty sweet ride up until this point in time. That, and it was great to see a tomboy become the main waifu for an anime.

 I Give “Goodbye, Best Friend” a 4/5

I Think Misuzu’s Finally Lost it!

Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Ep 11 Review

It’s taken most of the season, but at last, we’re seeing some real progress with Tomo and Jun’s relationship. Now both are aware they have a crush on the other; it might not be long before they’re a full-fledged couple. So…why isn’t Misuzu happy about this? This is what she’s been working towards throughout the whole show. Maybe she’s jealous because she doesn’t want to share Tomo with anyone else?

Things could get interesting fast.

Tomo, Carol, and Misuzu Get Jobs

Most people will never forget their first job, although some keep trying to do so. In this case, Tomo starts hunting for a part-time job to pay for a birthday present for Jun. That’s when Misuzu’s number-one fan, Tanabe, says his Dad needs help at the family ramen shop while his Mom’s away. Tomo, Misuzu, and Carol all join in, and soon, all three girls are working at the shop.

Since this is an anime, and Tomo, Carol, and Misuzu are all cute girls, business starts booming at the ramen shop. Say what you want, but getting pretty people to work at a business is effective. In addition, seeing Tomo and Carol in maid outfits is worth buying a few bowls of ramen (Misuzu refused to wear that outfit, though!) Jun seems to think so.

It turns out that Jun’s a regular at that ramen shop, and when he sees Tomo in a maid uniform…he starts going there every day so he can see her. While this does fluster Tomo immensely, the two are happy, and they’re even happier when Tomo buys Jun a matching smartwatch for his birthday.

I Think We Broke Misuzu

It’s the second segment of the episode that’s the most interesting one, though, and it all has to do with Misuzu. When she tries to push Jun and Tomo further along by pushing Jun down some stairs into Tomo’s arms, it backfires. He lands on Carol instead, which feels like something that would happen to Yuuki Rito from To-Love-Ru.

After that mishap, Misuzu ends up falling into a depression. As in, when she falls down the stairs into Tanabe’s arms, she thanks him. It’s that bad, and it gets worse when she stays home pretending to be sick for several days. The reason is two-fold this time: firstly, she realizes that her telling Tomo that she should act more like a “normal” girl in middle school affected her more than she realized. It made her feel unworthy of Jun when the reality is anything but. Secondly…she realized that part of her doesn’t want Tomo to be with Jun. She’s jealous.

The series’ TV Tropes page suggests that this might be because Misuzu sees Tomo as more than just a friend, but there’s nothing concrete. Regardless, Misuzu’s guilt is very much real, even after Tomo convinces her to come back to school, only to find she’s been drafted to play the starring role in the class play of Cinderella. And the Prince is played by…Tomo.

That TV Tropes page also says that Tomo makes girls question their own orientation, and I’m starting to see why. Still, this could be a good opportunity.

Hurry Up and Make a Move, You Two!

There’s only two episodes left in the season of this show, and I don’t know if there’s going to be a second one. Given how the manga its adapting is about 950 chapters (all of them one page) and we’re in the 800s from what I’ve seen, the chance of them ending the series in that time is…nill. I’m hoping, though, that we get to the point where the two finally fess up and get together, and this play could be the perfect way to do so.

Think about it: if Tomo were to suddenly end up playing Cinderella because Misuzu bailed, then Jun could be the Prince. That’s perfect for romance! Then again, much of Tomo and Jun’s relationship seems unorthodox, so that might not work. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing how the next episode turns out. And I’m also hoping that Misuzu stops beating herself up like this. Another fun episode from my favorite anime from this season.

Oh, and don’t read the TV Tropes page if you want to avoid spoilers. Otherwise, go nuts. 

I Give “My First Part-Time Job” and “The Abandoned Cinderella” a 4/5 Each.

Never, Ever Make Carol Sad Again. EVER!

Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Ep 9 Review

Okay, I knew that there was something about Carol that made me feel uneasy. On the one hand, she’s like this living cinnamon bun that makes people smile. On the other hand, it’s implied she’s way smarter than she lets on. She managed to troll Misuzu, after all! However, this week’s Carol-centric offers a greater look behind her smiling face than we’ve gotten thus far. And I have to say, it’s a pleasant change of pace. 

B-Couple Drama Ensues

Carol Olston and Kousouke Misaki are what shippers refer to as the b-couple of the anime. They’re the pair that also garner attention, but not as much as the main couple. In this case, Tomo and Jun. They also make for an odd pairing due to Carol’s seemingly ditzy nature and Kousuke always fretting over her, but to each their own. 

The plot of the episode kicks off when Kousuke enrolls in Mr. Aizawa’s dojo to get stronger for Carol’s sake. Given how he has to compete with Jun and Tomo, though, that’s a tall order. However, when he mentions this to Carol and explains how he wants to catch up to Tomo, she misunderstands this as thinking he likes her. Uh-oh.

Not only does this lead Carol to act colder towards Tomo, but she tries to make Kousuke jealous by flirting with Jun. He wasn’t the only one who felt uncomfortable, though. I know enough about relationships to know that this tactic can blow up in people’s faces.

Then, Misuzu…she messes up.

Maybe Misuzu Shouldn’t Play Matchmaker Anymore

Carol goes to Misuzu to ask if she knows what Kousuke thinks of her. Rather than tell her the truth, Misuzu does something that potentially crosses the line. To encourage both of them to open up more, Misuzu lies to Carol, making it seem like Kousuke doesn’t romantically like her. Her goal’s to get her to cry so Kousuke can stop putting her on this pedestal, which is fine. However, this plan backfires when Carol takes it even worse than expected. She stops smiling! CAROL NEVER STOPS SMILING! THAT’S A RED FLAG.

Ultimately, Misuzu’s plan does end up working: Kousuke chases after Carol, sees her in tears, and finally works up the nerve to tell her how he feels. It’s a happy ending for everyone, with Carol pranking Misuzu as payback. However, things came very close to ending off far worse.

Misuzu came dangerously close to emotionally scarring Carol. Had that happened, and if Kousuke hadn’t learned about it soon enough, Carol’s mindset could’ve changed for the worse. Thus, Misuzu dodged a big bullet.

The question is, though, should Misuzu keep trying to make Jun and Tomo get together? Her meddling could make things worse and ruin everything for everyone.

Questionable decision aside, I liked this episode for adding more depth to Carol. She’s not as one-note as some fans might think. However, I want the show to get back to Tomo and Jun, because it’s starting to get good with them.

I Give “The Angel’s True Face” a 3/5

How Did Tomo and Jun Meet? Best Friend’s First Meeting!

Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Ep. 7 Review

You know what I love seeing in TV shows? Extended flashbacks. They can reveal so much about a character’s backstory, what made them into the person we know, and provide greater context to how characters act. In this case, we get an entire segment dedicated to learning how Jun and Tomo first met. And we also get a beach episode.

The Day Jun Met Tomo

The first segment takes place almost exclusively in flashback form, with Jun remembering the day he met his best friend Tomo. It was literally the day after he and his family moved from Tokyo that she wound up in his backyard…and then broke his copyright-friendly DS or 3DS. He punched her in response, her parents begged for forgiveness, and just like that, they became friends.

The entire first segment’s a fun way to show how Jun first met Tomo and Misuzu, and helps to establish much of the group dynamics they have as teenagers. The funniest part is the fact that Misuzu was, and always has been, a massive troll when it comes to Jun. That smirk of hers might rival Anya Forger’s when it comes to meme-worthiness.

More importantly, this segment also proves my point about why Jun keeps Tomo in the friendzone despite her throwing out a ton of signals.

The short version: after Tomo got Jun’s DS back from some bullies, Jun hated how weak he was. So he told her she could keep it until he got stronger than her, started training with her dad, and the rest is history. However, it’s been ten years, and Jun still doesn’t think he’s surpassed Tomo. It’s the hallmark of putting someone on a pedestal, and it’s what’s keeping him from seeing Tomo as the romantic partner that she wants!

As a side note, the fact that kid Jun’s heart wouldn’t stop pounding whenever Tomo did something cute makes it obvious. Our boy Jun is in denial about liking her!

Too bad for him, Tomo and Misuzu have other plans.

The Beach Episode is the Perfect Way to Make Jun Notice Tomo

The beach episode, a staple to many romcom/slice-of-life anime. The perfect opportunity to provide some fan-service…or get your crush to notice how great you look in a swimsuit.

In an effort to force Jun to acknowledge Tomo’s gender once and for, Tomo, Misuzu, and Carol drag him to the beach for a day of fun and relaxation. At least, that’s what it’s supposed to be. Jun takes one look at Tomo in a bikini, realizes how amazing she looks, and now he can barely think straight. It also doesn’t help that Tomo, following Suzu and Carol’s advice, refuses to let him out of her sight. The results are super effective. By the end of their beach day, Jun’s a mess.

This entire segment confirms that Jun does see Tomo as a girl, but is in denial over it and the feelings he clearly has for her. Not only does he freak out over her figure in a swimsuit, but when some creep hits on her, he pulls up on them and scares them off. Granted, Tomo could’ve broken the guy’s spine, and he does the same thing for Carol, but it’s the thought that counts.

The takeaway from this review is that this was yet another fun episode of my favorite romcom of the Winter 2023 season. And the best part is that Tomo’s finally starting to wear Jun down. We might see him caving into his feeling before the end of the season! Either that, or we’ll get a second one. 

I Give “Junichiro’s Promise” and “When Tomo Puts On a Swimsuit…” a 4.5/5 each. 

Jun, Stop Treating Tomo So Delicately!

Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Ep 8 Review

Whether Jun likes it or not, he can no longer deny the facts: Tomo is a girl. She’s a badass girl who’s also super cute when she tries to be, and one he very much finds attractive. Many people do; why else would Gigguk include a call to join the Church of Tomboys in his review for the Winter 2023 anime season? So why isn’t he doing anything about it? 

We still have until April for the season to end, so there’s more time to see these two lovebirds try and figure out their relationship. More fun for the rest of us, though!

The Summer Festival, another classic trope of Slice-of-Life anime

It’s summertime, and in slice-of-life anime, that almost always means two things happen. Firstly, we get a beach episode. Secondly, we get the festival episode, where the cast dresses up in kimonos, visits stalls, and watches fireworks. And, thanks to Misuzu, Tomo will spend the local festival alone with Jun. Let the romance begin!

There’s just one problem…ever since the beach trip, Jun’s been way too flustered to act like his normal self around Tomo. It gets worse in this episode when Tomo goes to the festival in an amazing kimono, and almost every guy’s floored by how beautiful she looks. The stall attendants are so blown away when they start sharing a photo of her, and the reactions are priceless. Everyone looks at Tomo like she’s this beautiful goddess walking amongst mere mortals. 

As funny and heartwarming as everyone’s reactions are, though, they highlight Jun’s biggest issue. He knows Tomo’s a girl and finds her attractive. Yet whenever he acknowledges this, he starts treating it way more delicately. Tomo likes that to an extent. However, she still wants him to be her best friend and her boyfriend. 

Girl or not, though, Tomo can still kick most people’s butts. And it takes a certain incident to get Jun to snap out of his funk.

Don’t Mess with Jun, Tomo, or Misuzu. 

Once the new term starts, Tomo’s bummed out by how more cautious Jun’s treating her and complains about it to Carol and Misuzu. And as the season’s progressed, it’s clear that Misuzu’s secretly jealous of them and doesn’t want to lose her best friend. However, that gets sidelined due to a certain incident.

If you’ll recall, this pack of bullies made the mistake of going after Tomo earlier in the season, and she cleaned their leader’s clock. Then Jun did the same to all of them at once. When they spot Misuzu and Carol, though, they see this as the perfect chance for revenge, leaving the two girls to run and hide…and call Jun for help. Tomo soon learns, and before long, the cavalry arrives to save Carol and Misuzu. Oh, and Kousuke, the captain of the karate club, comes because Carol’s his friend/and or fiance.

The following curb stomp serves as a reminder to Jun that he sorely needed. Tomo might be a girl, and while it’s fine for him to protect her when she needs it, she can still kick most people’s asses. Given everything we’ve seen of the two, neither can reconcile these aspects.

Okay, Real talk, Tomo and Jun

I normally don’t do this in a review, but I feel like it’s necessary. Jun doesn’t realize how lucky he is to have Tomo.

Tomo is one of the best waifu’s I’ve seen in an anime in a long, long time. Not only is she cute, but she’s also a badass. That is seriously awesome to have someone like that as your best friend. And despite the fact that both are attracted to and perfect for each other, Jun’s as scared as Tomo is about taking that next step. They don’t want to give up their status as best friends, even if it means they become lovers. But is that what will happen?

Real talk: there’s no rule against your best friend being your lover as well. If anything, that’s the best of both worlds. The fact that they’re best friends means they don’t have to put on an act in front of each other and be themselves. That’s the best thing that could happen in a romantic relationship! So for both of their sakes, they better figure that out soon.

Alright, rants over. Once again, Tomo-Chan knocked it out of the park. I love this anime, and it’s one of the best of 2023. 

Also, never anger Misuzu. She will destroy your social life.

I Give “The Night of the Summer Festival” and “The Distance Between Them,” a 4.5/5 each. Best Episodes yet

I Think I Figured Out Jun-Chan’s Deal About Tomo-Chan!

It might be premature, but I’m now putting Tomo-Chan on my list for best anime of 2023. This week’s episode has to be my favorite one yet. Besides Tomo going from total badass to awkward teenager, it also gives us some sweet moments between her and Jun.

Tomo-Chan’s Birthday Makeover

In our first segment, it’s Tomo’s birthday, and she starts acting smug to the others since she has her birthday before them. Besides getting sunglasses from Jun that give her the power of the drip and an actual gold bar from Carol, Tomo receives a special birthday present. Carol and Misuzu give her a mega-makeover. One that’s way more extensive than the one she got for her date with Jun. then Carol and Misuzu send her out into the world to give her confidence.

Then, as if by fate, she runs into Jun at a convenience store. And Jun does recognize her in her makeover, and he’s super confused about it! So confused that the day afterwards, he goes out of his way to get punched by her to make sure she hasn’t gone soft on him! 

As funny as this whole thing was, it does give us some insight into what Jun sees in Tomo. He’s suffering from the classic “putting someone on a pedestal” syndrome. 

Dodgeball is Serious Business

In the second segment, a dodgeball tournament’s coming up. And since Tomo’s too strong for the girls, she has to play on the boy’s team with Jun. Since the two are unstoppable together, they slaughter the enemy. Dodgeball is serious business to high schoolers, after all!

Come the final round, the two face off against the strongest person in school, and Jun gets knocked out protecting Tomo. So Tomo tries to turn the thing around by getting Jun back in the game, but Jun zones out and…they still win, but it’s anticlimactic. 

There is a reason why Jun messed up, though: he was expecting Tomo to win without him. This whole episode reveals that Jun has Tomo on this pedestal in his head. To him, she’s the strongest person he knows, and he’s always been trying to catch up to her, even though she doesn’t see it that way. As a result, he’s got this inferiority complex with Tomo. He knows things are different between them now, but he doesn’t want to move forward until he thinks he’s strong enough to rival her.

In other words, normal teen love drama. 

Best Episode Yet

In a show that’s already given us plenty of laughs, this episode of Tomo-Chan is probably the best. It’s got the right balance of hilarious and heartwarming. Say what you want, but I think it’s a great anime.

That, and I want to meme the heck out of Tomo with her sunglasses.

I Give “Birthday Present” and “Burn Up! The Ball Sports Tournament” a 4.5/5 Each

I’m Now Convinced Carol is Messing With Us!

Another week, another episode of Tomo-Chan is on the books. The rom-com, slice-of-life genre isn’t my usual go-to when it comes to anime, but I’ll make an exception every now and then. If the plot or characters are entertaining enough, I’ll watch anything. And between Tomo, Misuzu, Carol, and Jun, Tomo-Chan has a fun cast. Especially Carol, given how last week gave us this gem.

I had no idea what was going on, and I loved it.

Carol is From a Family of Airheads

Carol Olston might be one of the most airheaded girls I’ve seen in recent anime. Her thought process is a mystery to everyone; she always seems happy. Did I mention the headband thing? That was so random and hilarious!

So when Tomo and Misuzu get invited to her house, it should come as no surprise that we learn that Carol’s mom is just as much an airhead. She mistook Tomo for a boy, she can get lost walking back to her own mansion…and she’s just as affectionate as Carol.

This must be Misuzu’s worst nightmare. Then again, what happens next might be Misuzu’s worst nightmare.

Carol Olston: Ditz, Genius, or Genius Ditz

There is a trope that is known as obfuscating stupidity. Essentially, it is when a character in fiction pretends to act dumb or clueless when, in truth, they’re way smarter. Some people do it to avoid suspicion or the stress of their talents, and others do it for the lolz. After this next short, I’m convinced Carol might be the latter case.

So, the midterm’s are the next day, and Tomo’s freaking out since she forgot, so Misuzu offers to help her study at her place, and Carol joins them. Given how the subject in question was math, I don’t blame Tomo for freaking out. Math was my worst subject in school, and it caused me far more stress than it should have. Unfortunately, if she wants to go to the same university as Misuzu like she wants, she’s got to do well.

Carol, on the other hand, doesn’t need to put much effort into studying for math. She manages to get the top score on their math test, taking Misuzu’s spot as number one, much to her irritation.

Until we learn otherwise, I’m convinced that Carol might be a bigger troll than Misuzu.

The Big Sleepover

The real meat of the episode comes in the third segment, though. When Jun gets a new video game that he and Tomo have been dying to play, he invites her over to his house. Overnight. While his parents are out of town. You see where this is going?

I don’t know what Tomo would be more stressed over. The fact that she’s spending the night over at a boy’s house (even if he is her best friend), or her parents are perfectly fine with it. Her mom even says she will start thinking of names for her grandkids! She says that! It’s hilarious; embarrassing and hilarious.

While Tomo and Jun do spend most of the night just playing video games and best friend stuff, to the show’s credit, they do have a few moments where they could take things a step out of the friend zone. There’s the standard “fall on top of you” scenario, and at one point, Jun accidentally grabs onto Tomo while he’s asleep on the floor. However, they don’t take that next step because it’s too awkward for them. And it stays that way for a week afterwards.

As annoying as this is, though, it did show me one key thing. I’m almost certain that Jun’s into Tomo like she’s into him because he was as flustered as Tomo was. He’s just in super denial over it. 

Now, the anime’s only thirteen episodes long, so I doubt anything will get resolved before the season’s out. If it does well enough, though, it might get a second season, so if you wanna find out if they get together, then support this show on Crunchyroll. Do it for Tomo and Carol, who I’m also nominating for the best girl of 2023!

I Give “The Girls of the Olston Family”, “A Feeling I Won’t Give Up” and “Heart-Pounding! A Gaming Overnighter” a 4/5. a 3.5/5, and a 4.5/5