Original Run: January 8, 2021 - March 26, 2021 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Romance, Slice of Life Based on the Series Created By: Yuuki Yaku and Fly
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki. Reader discretion is advised.***
Fumiya Tomozaki (voiced by Gen Satou) has trouble with real life. He doesn’t play sports, he doesn’t go out, and he doesn’t have friends. However, he is Japan’s best player in the fighting game Tackfam. According to Tomoazki, Tackfam is a god-tier game because its simplicity breeds so much creativity and freedom. Reality, by contrast, is trash.
Recently, Tomozaki has noticed the rapid rise of a new Tackfam player. Naturally, the two become fierce rivals and, eventually, agree to meet up. But, to Tomozaki’s shock, this rising star is none other than one of his school’s most popular figures, Aoi Hinami (voiced by Hisako Kanemoto).
Likewise, Hinami is annoyed that the person she admired turned out to be a complete loser. She can’t accept that anyone who is such a skilled gamer is so terrible at the ultimate game of all – life.
Using this as a wake-up call, Tomozaki asks Hinami to teach him how he too can become a top-tier character.
Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki (BTCT) was not unwatchable.
Perhaps that is not the most flattering way to start a review, but accurately describing this show wouldn’t fit with the whole “Series Positives” mentality. Although this series was no trainwreck, and I do have nice things to say about it, here is an example of how obscurity takes hold.
Hence me saying BTCT was not unwatchable.
All things considered, this show didn’t have a rough start. Let’s not go as far as to say there were signs of promise. Nevertheless, things were shaping up to make this series sufficiently satisfying. I mean, yeah, I cannot tell you how many loner-character-suddenly-becomes-popular stories I’ve come across. Still, we shouldn’t go thinking every new anime will reinvent the wheel. As long as the journey from point A to B is entertaining enough – mission accomplished.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The point is, BTCT began on stable footing.
Much of this show’s early success can be attributed to the titular Fumiya Tomozaki’s willingness to step out of his comfort zone. Thinking back on it, had Tomozaki resisted and pushed back, this series would have been hard to get through. However, while he was awkward and clumsy, Tomozaki always got the job done.
As a brief summary, Tomozaki relied on Aoi Hinami to help him become popular. Hinami did this by giving Tomozaki progressively more challenging goals to clear. For example, there were times when Tomozaki needed to speak to three girls (not Hinami) a day for a week. This task may have given our lead a tremendous amount of stress, but he usually saw it done no matter what. And even when he failed, there was always a sense that he tried.
Just imagining a whining version of Tomozaki makes my head hurt. There was enough cringy teenage-speak (boy, don’t I sound like a geezer) in this show already. Tomozaki, at least, was proactive.
Needless to say, there were plenty of things about BTCT that I found to be underwhelming. Fortunately, this show’s lead character was not one of them. That said, there was something else about this series that legitimately impressed me.
I hope no second season comes along and ruins BTCT’s best aspect – Tomozaki and Hinami were not a couple.
Although I wouldn’t bet on this series sticking to this, as things stand, Tomozaki’s love interest was Fuuka Kikuchi (voiced by Ai Kayano). I am not saying these two need to become a thing; if something happens and it doesn’t work out, oh well. BUT, if Tomozaki chooses Hinami over Kikuchi simply because Hinami is the female lead, I can’t even begin to tell you how pissed I’ll be.
What BTCT did, or, at least, what it laid the foundation to do, is something incredibly rare that I can probably count all the series that have done the same on one hand. A slice-of-life, romance-heavy anime where the two leads don’t become a couple, practically insane.
Sadly, there were plenty of hints throughout BTCT that suggested it won’t follow through if there is a continuation. Aside from what characters said and did, I am basing that assumption on a single factor:
The series was so damn vanilla in every other area; why should this be any different?
I am not going to rage on BTCT; it wasn’t that kind of problem. Instead, I suspect this section will be quite subdued. That’s not to this show’s benefit. No, this part of the review will feel bare-boned because this series was incredibly bare-boned.
Earlier, I said BTCT was not unwatchable. But although you can sit through it, my guess is you’ll forget this show in no time. It left minimal impact.
There was nothing about this series to get genuinely excited about.
I am choosing my words carefully because I don’t want to misrepresent this show. However, I also won’t pretend I enjoyed the quasi-harem aesthetic going on in this series.
Would I consider BTCT to be a proper harem anime? No. Be that as it may, I found it strange that the pathway that could lead to one was left clear and open.
To this show’s credit, it did try to incorporate the other male characters in ways that any actual harem anime would never bother. But the point I’m trying to get across was the poorly implemented person-of-the-week vibe emanating from this series.
Aside from Tomozaki and Hinami, who were constants, BTCT did allow other characters a share of the spotlight. For instance, Yuzu Izumi and Minami Nanami (voiced respectively by Nene Hieda and Ikumi Hasegawa) had prominent roles; Nanami especially.
The issue was, once other characters had their stories told, their importance to the rest of the show didn’t just decrease; it vanished.
After Nanami’s arc, what else did she do in the rest of the series? She was around for the swimsuit episode and was often used as comic relief – because sexual harassment is funny when it’s a girl doing it (sarcasm). But other than that, the decently powerful moment Nanami had changed nothing. If you were to take her out, nothing about BTCT would have changed.
And I’m singling Nanami out because she is the protagonist of BTCT’s spin-off manga, Minami Nanami Wants to Shine. So, evidently, there should have been more to her character if she could drive her own series. Except, if this show was any indication, I don’t see how that is possible.
Finally, there was Aoi Hanami. If you want me to show you my idea of a needlessly jaded teenager, she would be my go-to.
To give BTCT the benefit of the doubt, perhaps there is more to weirdly glum look on life. Too bad I wouldn’t know since this series didn’t spend a second exploring it. And talk about springing this attitude at the last minute.
Granted, Hanami’s behavior was disingenuine throughout the show. But for it to boil over when it did, it seemed as though the anime version of BTCT didn’t have any interest in talking about it. Maybe a second season could rectify this.
But that’s the thing; season two is not an appealing idea. I have no desire to continue this story. No, BTCT was the latest paint-by-number slice-of-life dramedy; it wasn’t memorable.
Although this show did have unique aspects, I am hesitant to give it credit. After all, anything different about this series is so because there isn’t a season two. However, if we get a continuation, I will bet money the story would play out according to the typical romantic slice-of-life formula.
While it might sound like this show annoyed me, I can assure you it didn’t. It simply didn’t do nearly enough to make me care about it.
For that reason, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki can be skipped.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.