What is a woman?
This question has sparked outrage and debate across multiple social media channels. And it’s worth asking what makes up a woman beyond his or her biological gender. Is it earrings, make-up, and a cute outfit? Or is it simply the biological components?
For Tomo, it seems to be more of the former than the latter. And this is a major problem because Tomo is not what most would call feminine. Instead, she is overly strong, able to beat most boys at almost everything. Adding to that is her tone of voice, which tends to be masculine, assertive, and aggressive. So, when she falls in love with her best friend, Junichirou, she intends to change this about herself.
After all, she wants him to see her as a girl!
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
-1 Peter 3:3-4
At first glance, this verse may not seem to apply to Tomo. After all, she is loud and sometimes even rude. That’s not a “gentle and quiet” spirit.
Misuzu also sees this problem with Tomo. But she advises Tomo to take part in what Peter warns of, helping her become more “cute” with her appearance and tone of voice.
But as the series progresses, Misuzu and Tomo herself begin to understand that femininity looks different than they first thought. Tomo does have a gentle and quiet spirit, one that fiercely protects her friends. Easily forgiving, Tomo welcomes everyone, even the odd Carol who is from Great Britain.
She also shows her more girly side when trying to impress Junichirou. Whether it is wearing more feminine clothes or trying to help him understand her feelings, she will go to great lengths to show him that she is a girl. Junichirou pretends not to notice and gets embarrassed by her actions. But does he truly not know Tomo is a girl?
Of course not. But if he admitted that she was a girl, he would also have to admit that he has loved her for awhile, even while “dating” Misuzu. And that is something he doesn’t want to do, and ultimately, struggles with throughout the series until the very end.
His feelings and confession give further evidence to the fact that Tomo’s beauty comes from the inside. Long before she tried to act more girly, Junichirou loved her. He admired her inner strength and her perseverance. In fact, what kept him back was his own feelings of inadequacy and inability to beat Tomo in any athletic competition. Finally, he wins, and he realizes that all of his competition was silly because Tomo always saw him as an equal.
That is what this show does best. It doesn’t degrade Junichirou’s efforts. If anything, Tomo knows when to step aside and let her man have his wins, and when to beat the villains who are too much for her beloved. They balance each other out, and become a power couple.
Tomo has unfading beauty, and it took time to see it. But, I imagine if God was watching her, he would have known all along.
Language: A**, S***, D***
Sexual Content: Girls wear revealing outfits, there is an implied sex scene when they watch a romantic movie, and Junichiro accidentally grabs Tomo’s boob, and there is a gang that kidnaps Tomo’s friends, intending to assault them (nothing happens). There are comments about Tomo’s breast size/implications that they know she is a girl because of it.
Violent Content: Tomo frequently punches and knocks out Junichiro, bullies, and sometimes (on accident) her female friends. Her typical reaction to emotion is to punch, kick, or harm everything in sight. However, the violence is almost cartoonish in its ridiculousness.
Rating (According to MyAnime List: PG-13)
Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Is a romantic-comedy anime that teenagers and adults will find to be greatly entertaining. The antics will have you laughing, and the sweet moments will make your heart feel sappy. With only thirteen episodes and a complete story, it is perfect for many anime fans who are looking to binge a show over the weekend. This light-hearted show also demonstrates that femininity isn’t always what you think and that relationships between men and women don’t need to be about who is stronger. But even if you aren’t looking for a message, you’ll find a wonderful anime.
M.H. Elrich is a Christian Fantasy author, reader, otaku, and teacher who wears too many hats. In her spare time, she watches T.V. with her husband, rides horses, and travels to places with lots of trees. Her work has been featured in two separate books: Finding God in Anime Vol. 2 and Where Giants Fall, and her stories have won several awards at the Kern County Fair. She is currently writing and publishing the Daughters of Tamnarae series.