REVIEW: ‘Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki,’ Episode 1 – “Say What You Want, Famous Games Are Usually Fun”

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Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki

Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki is a slice of life anime produced by Project No. 9. Tomozaki Fumiya is god-tier at the online game Super Attack Families(Tackfam for short), but he struggles at the game of life. Convinced that life is full of game imbalances and random stats, Tomozaki sees no reason to attempt to play the game, especially when it isn’t even a fun game. But someone is determined to change his mind.

Is life fair? That feels like the underlying question Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Episode 1 asks. To Tomozaki, who isn’t naturally confident, doesn’t stand out, and has always been made fun of, he is decidedly convinced the game is rigged. That from the start, he was made a bottom tier character, and he has no hope of doing better than how he is. So, he has relegated himself to skating through life and engrossing himself in video games.  That is until he gets an offer to meet one of his biggest virtual rivals and is given some arguments as to why he shouldn’t write the real world off.

The analysis that this show makes when it talks about the imbalances of life is simplistic, to say the least. Things like appearance, confidence, and posture are talked about as being the big characteristics that separate people from having it easy or struggling in life. And while how one does present themselves can have a huge impact on their interactions with others, it certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all that it feels like it this show is making it out to be.

Except for one fleeting line, there is no addressing of larger social problems that can hold a person back in the game of life. Things like race or disability are mostly glossed over as imbalancing factors when talking about life’s fairness. As far as the show has told us, Tomozaki doesn’t have any of these situations impacting him. Whether or not this is a valid excuse for their not being addressed, or a valid argument for such a narrative to focus on a character such issues concern, is ultimately up to the viewer.

Aside from this major thematic issue, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Episode 1 introduces viewers to some enjoyable characters. While Tomozaki himself is a bit low energy, I still found him likable. The show does a good job of keeping Tomozaki from becoming spiteful or angry at those who are doing better than him in the real world. He sees them as simply playing a different game.

The other characters we are introduced to here feel like the usual cast of high school characters. All of the usual “in” crowd make their appearances in this episode. From the chipper girls to the overly confident dudes, the personalities that populate Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Episode 1 will instantly feel familiar.

The animation in this episode feels smooth and well delivered. The design of everything looks great, and I love the attention to games culture that Project No.9 has put into the gaming side of the show.

While it is hardly surprising that the show has modeled its focus game Tackfam off of widely popular Super Smash Bros., the nuance it takes with how it approaches the gaming is impressive. From the reasons why the game is beloved to the fact that characters play on what closely resembles a Game Cube controller, as many pros play Smash, you can tell a lot of love goes into this show’s gamer culture.

The episode wraps up its run with a high spirited ending theme that reflects the story’s positivity. Coupled with bright visuals and characters often bouncing along to the beat, it is a sure-fire way to have viewers leave the show smiling.

When all is said and done, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Episode 1 delivers some enjoyable characters, fun moments, and positive messaging. While the show’s themes may gloss over some bigger questions, it doesn’t keep the story enjoyable.

Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Episode 1 is streaming now off Funimation.

 


Bottom-Tier Character TomoZaki
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    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Episode 1 delivers some enjoyable characters, fun moments, and positive messaging. While the show’s themes may gloss over some bigger questions, it doesn’t keep the story enjoyable.