Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun (Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki) is a recent Winter release that seeks to explore the social dynamic of today. With it easier than ever before to hole away in one’s room without the need for social contact, just how do these people get out there and start building real-world connections?
You get your cute friend to teach you to be normal of course! Let’s have a look at just how Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki shapes up!
How Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki is S-Tier
Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki undergoes redemption in more ways than one. Initially, Tomozaki is presented as fairly unlikeable during the first few episodes. He complains constantly about life and the unfair hand he has been dealt. Yet, as affirmed by Hinami, he does little to make himself into someone deserving of a better life. After Hinami agrees to help him find as much pleasure in social interaction as he does in gaming, he proceeds to use those around him in order to level up his own social skills. Pretty selfish by all accounts, however, nearing the end of the season, we see a shift. Tomozaki slowly comes to realize that, perhaps, Hinami’s teachings were misguided. As he actively ignores her advice, he comes to be rewarded (his unsanctioned conversation with Yuzu for example). This comes to a head during the fireworks show with Fuuka. Not bogged down by his flashcards, Tomozaki realizes that natural conversations are stunted, messy, and cannot be perfected. He refutes Hinami’s order to date Fuuka as a means to better himself. Instead, he takes the first step into the world of natural interaction.
Choosing to develop his social skills under Hinami whilst ignoring advice that impedes what he believes to be morally right is a great moment for Tomozaki who had always lacked confidence. Even when he would tease his peers or make suggestions, it was all under Hinami’s overbearing umbrella. Now, he stands up for himself and what he believes in. Truly a wonderful redemption of an originally unlikeable character. Additionally, this moment is great for Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki as an anime in general. The first few episodes of this show are plagued by stereotypical slice-of-life harem anime beats. However, it quickly grows out of them in favor of exploring more engaging character studies in not only its protagonist but several side characters as well. This show could have easily plodded along the beaten path as we see Hinami teach Tomozaki all the rules to life over three or four seasons. However, having Tomozaki actively reject her in such a way shows that, perhaps, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki has more of a story to tell than one would first assume.
How Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Uses Characters
Both leads in Tomozaki and Hinami are very well-developed, as well as secondary characters like Mimimi and Yuzu. Tomozaki undergoes a great character shift throughout the show as mentioned previously, while Hinami undergoes a similar, yet almost opposing, shift by becoming less and less likable as she forces her values onto an ever-evolving Tomozaki. Mimimi is probably the contender for the most explored side character, as we come to learn more about her dislike for Hinami. One thing Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki does very well is making its mainstay cast believable. Oftentimes, negativity in anime such as these only develops under warranted conditions. However, in the real world, irrational emotions, such as jealousy, DO lead to feelings of resentment. These types of realistic emotions are wonderfully explored here.
While Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki’s lead and characters such as Mimimi or Hinami are given adequate levels of depth, the show falls a little short with its tertiary cast. While other slice-of-life anime, such as Hyouka or Oregairu, do a great job fleshing out almost every character given a speaking role, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki sometimes forgets to give side-characters a personality. Fuuka is given little weight throughout the show, for example. We learn of her interest in novels but the writers seemed to just slap her with the “shy and nice” tag and call it a day (similarly to how Shuuji is the “bully” and Tama is the “disciplinarian”). We have seen faint sparks of character development from the lesser-used Misuzawa, however. Hopefully, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki can utilize its underdeveloped characters more in its second season.
How Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki is Still Finding Itself
Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki gets off to quite a slow start. Should you be coming to this show after watching an Oregairu, a Hyouka, or even the parallel-airing Horimiya, it’s clear that Tomozaki is still finding itself as opposed to these shows who hit the ground running. This is not inherently a bad thing; some shows do require significant build-up in order to reach an illustrious climax. Yet, when offered the choice between an engaging narrative that also keeps a steady pace throughout, most will choose the latter. Surely, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki will return with a vengeance next season having had time to reflect on season one and we are very much looking forward to seeing what more it has to offer!
The comedy in Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki is also hit or miss. While Some jokes come out of nowhere for great effect (Tomozaki’s manhood being exposed in the public bath was a great piece of comedic relief to break the tension of an otherwise dialogue-heavy scene), there is not much to discuss aside from these intermittent bursts. Comedy is an extremely subjective topic and should you find yourself laughing throughout this series, then more power to you! Moreover, comedy is not necessary for making a narrative interesting. However, for a show that is trying so hard to blur the line between serious teen drama and wacky high school sitcom, it sometimes struggles to navigate the latter as effectively.
Final Thoughts - The Wait for Season Two
All in all, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki was a very enjoyable ride that most definitely redeemed itself after the first few episodes. While those who only watch the first three episodes may write it off as an Oregairu clone, those who stick with it to the end will find themselves thoroughly satisfied by a unique take on the slice-of-life genre centered around an outcast protagonist. Watching Tomozaki grow from a recluse, to a social butterfly, before completing his journey as Hinami’s teacher, was a ride we are sure to remember for a long time to come. While several elements do hold it back from greatness, that should not stop you from giving it a chance and deciding for yourself! Let us know what you think about Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki down below!