Wow, there is a lot to unpack here. Jun seems to be just one step away from admitting he’s in love with Tomo. He acknowledges that he feels happy when she invites him out, and he’s starting to accept her apologies and vulnerabilities more. He even admits that he doesn’t think he could get into a physical fight with her. The show also goes back and finally does what I’ve been begging it to do from the beginning and gives us Jun’s perspective on the confession scene that started the entire show. Jun was in such denial about their relationship that he didn’t see a confession of love as anything more than an affirmation of friendship. Would things be different if Tomo confessed to Jun now, or is there some truth to what Tomo says in this episode about it being too late? Ironically, both characters reached a point where they were chasing something specific with the other for so long, and now they’re starting to question whether or not that’s what they wanted all along.
The past few episodes of Tomo-chan spent so much time digging into these perspectives and those struggling feelings of inferiority that I didn’t think we would get much from the other characters. I’m surprised but far from disappointed. It turns out Misuzu feels massively guilty about helping Tomo and doesn’t see herself as a good person. It seems like it was Misuzu’s idea for Tomo to be more effeminate to ensure Jun doesn’t just see her as one of the guys. The show made a pretty good case early on as to why the characters felt the need to do that, but Misuzu acknowledges that she probably had ulterior motives with that suggestion. She likes spending time with Tomo and craves girly activities with her. So while I think Misuzu does want Tomo to be happy with Jun, she also feels like she’s been dishonest about everything. That might explain why she also keeps her distance from people like Carol because she doesn’t think anybody should get close to her for being such a terrible person. Obviously, Carol doesn’t buy any of that bullshit and is more upset over Misuzu trying to keep that distance.
One of my favorite running gags in this show is Carol’s ability to do anything with the same blank smile. It doesn’t matter if she’s telling Misuzu off or tasing a dude in the middle of the street. Will there be a point where the show will go more into Carol and Misuzu’s relationship? If it does, I hope it’s not framed as a replacement for Tomo. But this has been hands-down one of my favorite episodes thus far, and I’m genuinely curious where we go next with this setup!