Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko! | Better as a manga

To me, I think that Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko! happens to be one of those anime that felt a lot more entertaining in its original form than it did animated. That may only be just me but now having finished the anime, it feels like something was indeed lacking and I cannot put my finger on it.

Childhood friends Tomo Aizawa and Junichirou “Jun” Kubota do everything together, whether it be training or just enjoying a fun day out. Anyone would think that these two are best friends for life. The only issue is that the tomboyish Tomo is in love with Jun, but he regards her like a brother.

At the start of their first year of high school, Tomo confesses her feelings to Jun. However, her rough mannerisms and lack of hesitance to throw a punch do nothing to sway Jun’s heart. Realizing that he will remain indifferent to her affections unless she does something about it, Tomo must find a way to knock some sense into Jun and open his eyes to what is right in front of him.

Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko!, MyAnimeList

As I got closer and closer to the final episode, I found myself sort of hesitant. Which is why I kind of stopped watching the anime. I didn’t know how they were going to end the anime but I assumed that it would ultimately follow what the manga had also intended. Which turned out to be the case, however, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing.

Maybe it was how the characters were portrayed or how the studio went about adapting a manga that had eight volumes, totaling 56 chapters — many of which are 100+ pages. Compressing all that into an anime of thirteen episodes will always be questionable. I mean that’ll always be the case whenever you’re updating large manga like this one. More often than not, you have to pick and choose what you want to include, you can only really include information that are vital to the story that is being told.

For some reason I wasn’t able to really connect with the characters and as a result I found myself not really enjoying the story. While yes, in my previous blogs I talked about how I enjoyed watching certain characters like Gundou and Carol. As a whole, I thought the characters lacked depth, once they settled into their respective roles. Our characters did very little to deviate from this, their gimmicks became tedious and repetitive.

I think it has to do with public perception. When you’re someone who has read the source material, only to then watch it all be adapted into an anime. You view things differently. How you interpret the story in its original form will more often than not, be different to how the studio interprets and illustrates the story. For example, in the manga, I thought the characters were a lot more vibrant and interesting because I interpreted them as such. However, as I’ve mentioned already, the characters in the anime felt like they lacked depth.

Furthermore, while the story feels like something everyone has seen before, from a romance-comedy side of things. The twist of Tomo-chan being an alpha-female in the story was definitely something interesting. It made the story slightly unique in that regard because we do not follow the ‘status quo’ when it comes to your typical high school relationship.

In many ways, it reminds me of Do Chokkyuu Kareshi x Kanojo (manga). A more quiet, less aggressive and more PG version of the latter.

For me, Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko! feels like an anime worked better as its original source that it did animated. While there were many things to like, for example, the character design and more importantly seeing Gundou animated. My view and how I interpreted the manga, ultimately differed to how the studio viewed and interpreted the original source. meaning that I enjoyed the anime far less than I thought I would’ve. Is it still ana anime worth watching? Sure, but for me. It didn’t turn out being my cup of tea.