Tomo Aizawa was able to successfully confess to her crush Juunichirou Kubota. There is only one problem: he just sees her as his buddy. He thought that she was a boy until they went to middle school together because her grade school was in a different school district.
At first the it looks "Meh, normal". I shrugged and gave it a try one day, and--
OH MY GOD.
This is the first anime/manga that made me literally laugh out loud right from the first page. And I thought, "Oh, this is gonna be GOOD." No build-up whatsoever, and the hilarity and, dare I say it, cuteness, hits you on the onset like a punch from a karate master. It's light and funny, just the right tension here and there, and a slow, natural friendship and romance without all the angsty love polygons that get tiring.
The 4-koma format might catch you off guard, or maybe even
make you hesitate, though personally I didn't even feel it until someone pointed it out to me. The story flows well from page to page, and, before I knew it, I was at 100++ "chapters" (pages, really) and desperate for more.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now arriving at the next station, the evolution of manga and 4-koma:
*Tired of waiting a week, a month or in case of Miura, a few ages for new material?
*Are you suffering even slightly from a short attention span as real life worries are more important than your entertainment?
*Do you want to be able to read more chapters a day, but have no time?
Well look no further, as we have Yanagida Fumita's first full blown manga, 'Tomo-chan Is a Girl!'.
As those of you who are familiar with this manga, you probably decided to read it on a whim, because it has
cute art, cute girls, and romance in the tag.
But then... you were surprised.
"WHAT?! One page per chapter? What is this madness? A daily manga?
How in the world would that work?"
I've came to tell you it works better than a lot of current Japanese entertainment features.
Welcome to the probable 'successor' of other great 4-koma that were made into full anime such as the likes of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki Girls, Watamote and Mikakunin de Shinkoukei.
Tomo-chan Is a Girl! synopsis is misleading, as the story is a lot more clever and well planned than you think it is if you judge it by its cover.
Just like Monthly Nozaki girls, this manga features the antics of a few oddball characters in a high school setting, something we've seen a lot, but it wasn't executed properly most of the time.
The initial premise is, that Tomo, the main female character is in love Jun, the male lead. She is tomboyish and Jun doesn't notice her womanly features. He socializes all buddy-buddy with her as guy-guy thing. But as each daily chapter unfolds carefully, it manages to surprise and uses, breaks and fleshes out cliches in clever ways.
As I don't want to spoil, just know, in the universe of Tomo is a girl, things are not always as they may first seem. The story develops in many ways other manga and anime series sometimes fail. We are not always in the same 'Namek', stuck in the non-creativeness of the writer to write a proper development. As I read 236 short chapters that are currently out in 2 hours, the amount of story development is respectable.
The art is in great quality. Usually we don't see well polished art in 4-koma, but in other cases, those with art that manages to catch your eye are those who will be picked up by enthusiastic manga readers, and that Tomo chan is a Girl! succeeded in.
The character designs are fitting to what the mangaka wanted to visualize on each panel. It has good consistency as each daily page is not made in purpose of just being a filler, but always has something to show the readers.
One of the biggest strengths of the series, are the ability of the characters to carry on the story without getting you bored. Each character fulfills its colorful role, in both whimsical personality and variety.
Tomo sometimes may be or may not be your typical tomboy character who blushes a lot. Jun also may be dense, or is he? Misuzu is one hell of a well written character, and pretty smart too to boot. Carol is quite the British prima donna with the same reaction face that trolls the readers.
In a successful 4-koma, the characters mean a lot, and that Tomo chan is a Girl especially delivers.
You will probably read all of the current available chapters in one sitting and never be bored. Enjoyment is high on this one.
TL;DR: 'This manga is freaking good. Everyone go read it!!' Eks Dee
Don't let the fact that Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko! is a 4-koma manga or the fact that its summary statement seems rather week drive you away.
Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko! is an amazing manga about a teenage girl, Tomo Aizawa, confessing her love to her childhood friend, Juunichirou Kubota. The only problem is that Jun thought Tomo was a boy until they entered middle school and he keeps treating her as if she was a guy even in high school.
The main plot of this story is Tomo trying to get Jun to notice her and accept her as a girl more, even if it
means totally stepping out of her comfort zone and becoming more feminine. Though I wouldn't say that this plot is the most unique or original, the execution of it is flawless. Right in the first chapter of this manga, it already seems to be leaving a strong and hilarious impression on you, and that impression will surely grow as you read the next dozen or so chapters.
Though, as it is a 4-koma manga and there's barely enough material to get one volume, don't expect there to be any major changes in characters. No character development yet, folks. The story progresses nicely and it moves at a fairly quick pace, but that's a good thing since it doesn't really drag any scenes out so that they're unnecessarily long.
The art is very nice and neat. It's easy to distinguish between main characters and some of the facial expressions the characters make are absolutely phenomenal. Plus, there are times where Tomo looks like a girl and other times where she looks like a guy, adding to the beautiful confusion of why Jun might have seen her as a boy when they were younger.
The characters are absolutely amazing. They all have different and contrasting personalities that blend and balance out the mood of the story. None of them fall into any of the /dere/ categories (except maybe Tomo, but that depends on how you see her.)
Tomo tries her best to be open with Jun, but ends up using violence almost every time to cover up her shyness and embarrassment. Jun is hilariously dense when it comes to Tomo and romance in general, but he has a good heart and always means well. Tomo's best friend aka the MVP, Misuzu, is a cool type of girl, one that you'd mistake for a sadist in the beginning but find out that she's more than just cold glares and petty insults. There's a whole bunch of other fantastic characters that make up the pretty amusing cast.
I definitely enjoyed this manga. I read it at 12am at night and it had me in absolute stitches. I was laughing so loudly that my dad had to text me to be quiet and go to sleep. I'd definitely read it and recommend it to so many people because this manga is absolutely amazing and funny in so many ways.
I'd give it a 9 out of 10 score. I probably repeated this over and over again, but this manga is absolutely hilarious. If you're a comedy lover and don't mind a few perverted jokes, this is for you.
I picked up this manga with the expectation that i would drop it within the first few chapters. My thought process was something along the lines of "If you've read one slice of life school romance you have ready them all." To my pleasant surprise this was not the case. With one page per chapter and near daily releases, this manga is low cost high reward read. Not long after finding this manga it quickly became part of may daily routine to the point found myself struggling to maintain my normal rhythm when stopped releasing for a week.
Story Overall: 7/10
Unlike most stories
in the same genera, the romance in Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko is more a undercurrent that accentuated a characters personality and drifts the story foreword instead of being the primary focus. Though the story progresses slowly the overall, the pacing is rather fast with each arch spanning somewhere between 5-10 pages. In the end what you get is a collection of interesting situations and witty dialog all created and resolved in the course of 1-2 pages.
Though each character has a somewhat stereo-typical role that would normally earn -1 for creativity, but considering that comedies really heavily on stereo-type and the level at witch they have been evolved into their own person, i can not hold it against the writer. It sure beats a lot of popular anime of our time *cough* Eren Yeager *cough* kirito/Asuna *COUGH* *HACK*. As good as the characters are can cant consider them masterpieces. They are simply very well designed characters.
I feel that the manga does a good job extenuating the little gestures and such that emphasizes the existing mood or exposes some character trait that might normally be overlooked. This aspect might be why it is so easy to forgive the stereo-typing.