Tomo-chan Is a Girl!
How would you rate episode 4 of
Tomo-chan Is a Girl! ?
Community score: 4.1
Wow, the gay panic was really strong with this episode, wasn't it? After watching the first few episodes, Tomo was the least interesting character in the show because the comedy with everybody else felt much stronger and Tomo's lack of awareness wasn't very appealing. This episode rectifies that because not only do we see Tomo be front and center for most of the episode, but we also get to see her converse with others in ways that feel rather heartfelt. I could do without Tomo questioning whether she's a guy after all after realizing that she likes when women embrace her. The show also has a lot of moments where characters will question their attraction around Tomo as if they're just on the cusp of having some queer awakening, but I hope that's not supposed to be the punchline on its own.
The first third of this episode revolves around Tomo wanting to hug her friends and casually show physical affection. It was cute, and that led to Misuzu not being honest with herself about receiving affection as well, despite her cold attitude. It's also nice to know that Carol isn't completely stupid and that she recognized she was contributing to the problem. The implication is that she can make those observations because she knows what it's like not to be seen the way she wants to by someone she loves. Again, Misuzu and Carol are probably my favorite characters in the show because they seem to be a perfect blend of quirky yet heartfelt, but this episode also moved Tomo in a better direction.
The second and third parts of the episode felt less focused. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take away from Tomo's parents' situation because I didn't find it funny. If anything, I felt bad for Tomo's mom because I was getting solid hints of dissatisfaction from her married life since her husband barely interacts with her due to his shyness. I'm all for the big, strong bear-like character being timid towards the woman he loves, but I don't understand how that still applies to a couple who have been married for over ten years and produced a child together. If the whole point of this was supposed to be a weird mirror to Tomo and Junichiro's situation, then that makes me worry about their relationship even more. If I'm missing something, please enlighten me.
Speaking of worrying about the relationship, even though we didn't see much of Junichiro in this episode, the little we saw didn't make me happy or more confident about his character. While it's nice that he beat up the guys planning on jumping Tomo, I don't understand how this guy is processing his feelings. He cares about Tomo as more than just a friend and is very possessive of her. As we saw in previous episodes, he gets triggered and agitated over the idea that other people might be interested in Tomo romantically. However, that scene where Tomo embraces him from the back felt weird when his default reaction was lecturing her. Tomo brings up the fact that he's hypocritical because Junichiro always surprises her with physical contact, AND HE AGREES WITH HER. But he just dismissed her, and it came off as a jerk moment. If the idea is supposed to be that he's too shy to process Tomo being forward with him, then I don't think the anime did a good job of portraying that. Honestly, this romantic comedy's main plotline is still the weakest part of it, but I'm hoping I get a little more perspective in future episodes.
Tomo-chan Is a Girl! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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