Tomo-chan Is a Girl! Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – “I Want to be Seen as a Girl!”

By Nubia Brice
Published: January 4, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
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A fun introduction to what is sure to be an entertaining romantic comedy.

We recap the Crunchyroll anime series Tomo-chan Is a Girl! Season 1 Episode 1, “I Want to be Seen as a Girl!,” which contains spoilers. 

While everyone knows anime does action series well, at least once every season, there’s also a hilarious new romantic comedy in the mix to give fans a break from all the drama. The Winter 2023 has more than a few to choose from, but one of the most anticipated has been Tomo-chan is a Girl! After the first episode, it’s easy to see why manga fans have been looking forward to it.

Tomo-chan Is a Girl! Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

Tomo-chan Is a Girl! opens with the protagonist, Tomo Aizawa, confessing her feelings to Junichirou Kubota, her crush and childhood friend. She explains she confessed right after they started high school, and she thought the romantic implications were obvious, but then we see her friend Jun does not seem to take it romantically at all. Instead, he laughs, fist-bumping her as he tells her that he loves her as well. She fears that he doesn’t even see her as a girl.

Tomo reveals that she and Jun grew up next together as neighbors but attended different schools. It wasn’t until he saw her wearing a skirt in middle school that he realized she was a female. On their walk to school, it’s obvious the two are very close, but they have a playful relationship that almost feels more like an annoying sibling than love interest.

In class, Tomo panics, wondering if she’ll ever be able to change Jun’s mind about her. She tries to convince her friend, Misuzu Gundou, to speak to him on her behalf, but she refuses. She believes Tomo is getting exactly what she deserves after years of acting like a tomboy. Misuzu suggests that maybe Tomo should try at least softening her tone around Jun, but when she tries, he laughs and accuses her of speaking like an old man. The two begin to roughhouse, and Tomo punches him.

At home, Tomo’s father, Gorou, wonders what happened to her face. She tells him that she got into a fight with Jun but did not win, as she never wins against him. When her father scolds her for losing, she wonders how she would ever be expected to beat him when they know he taught Jun karate. When she says the fight could never be fair, considering she’s a girl, her father immediately orders her to train in the family dojo and stop saying those things.

Despite apologizing, Jun doesn’t seem to understand why Tomo is still upset with him the next day, especially since she hit him too. He tries to lighten the mood by tickling her, which only leads to him getting assaulted again. He apologizes, saying it’s not the same when she’s ignoring him, and desperately asks to be forgiven, which Tomo reveals is something he does every time they fight. The confession makes her blush, and she immediately forgives him. He celebrates with a fist bump, calling them besties, oblivious to Tomo’s reaction.

After wondering why Tomo and Jun spend every moment of the day together besides lunch, Misuzu takes it upon herself to arrange for all of them to eat together. There’s a clear animosity between her and Jun, and Tomo reveals the two hate one another. Still, he agrees to eat with them and steals food straight from Tomo’s chopsticks, flustering her.

While sitting at his desk, Jun’s friend Tanabe begins asking about his relationship with Tomo. He wonders how long they’ve been hooking up, asking how long they’ve “been playing the forbidden contact sport”. Jun mistakes it for a karate reference, saying it’s something they’ve been doing since they were kids. After overhearing them, Misuzu warns Tomo about this, which causes her to freak out on Jun. Meanwhile, Miszuzu also sets the record straight with Tanabe.

Later that afternoon, it’s begun to rain. Misuzu and Jun wait outside, having forgotten their umbrellas, and it seems they’re both waiting for Tomo to share hers. When Jun asks if she can wait elsewhere, they both wonder when their relationship soured so much. All three of them grew up together, but Misuzu and Jun grew apart somewhere along the line. She begins prying Jun with questions, asking why he never joined a club or what he would do if Tomo got a boyfriend. The more she presses the latter, the more upset Jun gets until he eventually pushes Misuzu out into the rain.

A few seconds later, Tomo walks out, confused as to what’s happening. Jun and Misuzu reveal they forgot their umbrellas, and Jun attempts to get Tomo to leave with him, but she offers her umbrella to Misuzu instead.

Misuzu refuses to walk with Tomo, encouraging her to do something that might actually make her and Jun look like a couple for once. Tomo reluctantly agrees, allowing Jun to hold her umbrella. It’s clear she’s nervous, walking far from Jun despite getting rained on. He encourages her to move in closer, but she refuses, having just come from working up a sweat at her club practice. When Jun leans in, assuring her she doesn’t smell bad, but nice Tomo gets so embarrassed she takes off running. When Jun catches up to her, Tomo is soaking wet, and her white button-up shirt has become drenched. For once, he finds himself flustered and immediately gives her umbrella back before running away.

In the karate club, Tomo admires her captain Kousuke Misaki’s skills and accidentally ends up knocking them out. She apologizes later, and he says it’s fine. If anything, he feels bad that she has to practice with the boys’ karate club, but Tomo reveals on the first day, she knocked a girl out, and no one would practice with her anymore. This makes Tomo feel like a failure as a girl, but Misaki assures her that’s not true. Considering he’s the first person to ever say that to her, she asks him what seems girly about her, but he’s too flustered by her to respond at first. He eventually assures her she’s fine the way she is and should have more confidence in herself.

Ending Explained

After several girls see Tomo speaking with Misaki, Misuzu teases Jun about Tomo having a new male friend. Although at first, he seems unothered, he brings it up when he and Tomo are sharing a textbook later. Tomo realizes he’s asking about the captain of her karate club and goes to show Jun a picture, but Misaki’s delicate features have Jun mistaking him for a female and giving him a false sense of comfort.

Jun then asks Tomo how she might feel if her only female friend, Misuzu, got a boyfriend and became wrapped up in their relationship. Although she doesn’t think that would happen, Tomo figures she would probably be lonely. Jun tries hammering that idea into her head, but Tomo is confused about what he’s going on about.

At the vending machine, two of Misaki’s admirers, Mifune and Ogawa, approach Tomo. They demand to talk to her after school, but Tomo misinterprets their request as them wanting to fight and threatens them. The girls begin asking around about Tomo, only to hear about the girl she knocked out in the karate club, and realize they need to apologize. Tomo, however, is excited about the idea of fist-fighting with girls for once, but Misuzu says it’s doubtful the girls ever intended to do more than argue with her.

Tomo meets up with Mifune and Ogawa after school, ready to fight. Both girls are terrified as they ask Tomo to back down. She says she will only after she knows what their next move is. Shaking like leaves, they tell her they were hoping to ask her some questions about Misaki as they like him and saw the two of them talking the other day. Almost immediately, Tomo drops her tough girl exterior. She’s never been the kind of girl other girls ask for love advice and is more than excited to help them with their crush on her karate captain. Mifune and Ogawa find themselves feeling weirdly reassured by her help.

The next day they watch Tomo from the other end of the hall as Jun wraps his arm around her. Upon seeing her blush, they realize she really is a girl, after all.

This was a fun introduction to this romantic comedy series. Like many other series in this genre, there doesn’t seem to be much substance at first, but that could always change. For now, it appears to be a fast-paced series filled with some long-running jokes and gags. There’s an overall crush plot in the background that clearly drives the character’s motivations. I like the idea of knowing that even though it seems a little rushed at first, this relationship is obviously going somewhere.

Some jokes were funnier than others, but I still found myself laughing a lot. The characters were easy to like and resonate with early on. I enjoyed the animation and character design as well. Tomo’s presence, size, and look are distinctive but not overall cartoonish. It never feels like the anime is trying too hard to make fun of her. You can’t help but want to root for Tomo. Her relationship with Jun is the most interesting thing in the series so far.

What did you think of the anime series Tomo-chan Is a Girl! Season 1 Episode 1? Comment below.

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