- Titles: Tomo-chan wa Onna no ko!
- Genre: romance, comedy, slice of life, actually pretty cute!, Carol!
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: Lay-duce
Tomo-chan is a girl. Sure she’s taller than most of the boys and can probably beat them all up if she wanted to. It doesn’t take much for her to want to… And she can’t exactly be described as demure or dainty… and she’s not allowed on the girls’ karate team anymore… but she’s clearly a girl. It’s obvious to anyone. With that knock-out figure and the cute way, she’s obvious about her crush. Tomo-chan is a downright lovely girl. So why is it that everyone can tell except for that slow, thick-headed, dim-witted, ever-so-dreamy, Jun!?!
I’m just going to stop saying that I’m not a huge fan of the romance genre. At this point, who am I even kidding anymore… If it’s cute and funny, I’m probably going to like it. Or at least try it. And I have a soft spot for the boyish girl stereotype even though it’s pretty woefully outdated by now.
Tomo-chan falls into that wide sea of perfectly fine anime productions. Visually it was all good, nothing really to signal. I did quite like Misuzu’s character design. This one scene where her hair is a bit of a mess really stood out to me for some reason.
But aside from that it’s sort of a nothing to report type of show. Everything looks fine. Nice, easy to ignore, and likely to be forgotten. I guess Carol does stand out in design. Sometimes she looks a bit like she comes from a different show. But generally speaking, that’s part of the character and it works out.
Oh wait, how could I forget, there is one production issue that differentiates Tomo-chan from just about every single other anime that I have watched. I recommend you watch it in English. Look, I have watched a lot of anime. A lot of classics which people generally find better in English and I always end up preferring the Japanese version. I just like the sound of Japanese and personally enjoy their acting traditions and style a bit more. But not here. The English version just adds so much in my opinion.
For instance, in English, Tomo has a particularly deep voice. She’s not too girly in the Japanese version but it’s more striking in English. There’s a scene in the earlier episode where Misuzu imitates her and she mimics her deep voice. It’s hilarious. I watched the episode in both sub and dub to compare and in Japanese, she just doesn’t do it. She says the same line but she doesn’t change her voice at all. And that changes the scene from an actual joke to just fairly plain dialogue. The impact is way different.
And then there’s Carol. Carol is a masterpiece in voice acting. Her English voice actress performance lives rent-free in my head. If I could pull it off, I would talk like that as well. I can’t… Only Carol can!
Story & Characters
At the end of the day, Tomo-chan is a girl! is a fairly run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. Heavy on the comedy and light in the romance which is how I like them. It devotes just as much time to Tomo’s friendships as it does to her romantic relationship which gives it some nice variety. But it’s hardly the only rom-com to have done that and it’s not the best at it. However, it is good. It has this nice and fun-loving charm which I really enjoyed.
I started watching Tomo-chan is a girl coming off of Hell’s Paradise and that’s a big deal not only because of the complete tonal clash but also because Hell’s Paradise is the anime I have enjoyed the most in recent history. It was a very tough anime act to follow and most shows would have ended up as an instantly forgotten palette cleanser because of the comparison. So it’s saying something that I really liked Tomo-chan is a girl. I enjoyed it from start to finish and genuinely looked forward to watching more episodes.
And I can stand here and tell you how the pacing is good, how despite the cliché plot it manages to avoid most unfortunate character stereotypes, how the exceedingly lighthearted but generally good-natured plot makes it a perfect way to relax after a long day but let’s not kid ourselves. There is a much more clear and specific reason Tomo-chan is a girl has wormed its way into my heart and it can be summed up in one word: Carol!
It’s not just the voice acting, I simply love this character. I’m a Carol fangirl until the end! She’s the sort of over-the-top space cadet character that’s best used in a supporting role but she steals every single scene she’s in. And she does it by being bafflingly nice. Like super sweet. But also a weirdo. And also a boss. You have to experience it for yourself, words cannot do this character justice.
Also, manga pages probably can’t so you should experience her in anime. In my opinion in dubbed anime. Who have I become?
Maybe spending 3 paragraphs talking about a side character in an anime and not even really saying anything specific about that character doesn’t count as a “review”, but folks, we don’t stand on principle here!
Watch Tomo-chan because I like Carol!
You might like this anime if:
I mean if you don’t like Carol, I’m not sure I can help you…
My favourite character:
hmmm, let me think about it…
- Every time Tomo punches Jun – take a sip
- Every time Tomo blushes – awwwwwww
- Every time Misuzu smiles – be afraid
- Every time Jun gets jealous – take a sip
- Every time Carol rules – raise your glass
- Every time we see Tomo’s parents – take a sip
- Every time we see the karate club’s captain – take a sip
- Every time anyone loses their pupils – I know, freaky right!?!
- Every time anyone does karate – take a sip
- Every time poor Tatsumi tries to hit on Misuzu – take a sip
- Every time anyone plays video games – take a sip
- Every time Carol gets her cheeks pulled – ow
- Every time anyone fist bumps – do it too!
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.