Second Impressions - Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko!
I don't think we're in guilty pleasure territory with Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko. I mean, I don't really feel guilty about liking it (even it does flirt with some kind of edgy territory in terms of gender politics and the new supporting character). It's more a case of realizing it's not really a show I should like. It pushes a lot of my buttons irritation-wise, that's for sure. Yet for whatever reason I do find myself enjoying it, so far at least. Go figure.
Execution is the name of the game here. It's not as if this series is breaking much new ground, so it has to do what it does with panache - that, and put just enough of a twist on the familiar to avoid too much repetition. I don't necessarily find myself liking these characters per se (mostly). Misuzu is just evil and Carol is a walking borderline-racist stereotype. But they do entertain me, I can't deny. And Tomo and Junichirou are likeable enough, in their awkward way.
The groper chapter was flirting with danger, but it more or less stuck the landing. It was sexist, don't get me wrong - Tomo thinking "I just have to stand here and take it" and Jun having to step in and take charge of the situation. Tomo is a strong woman, she should be able to put a scumbag like that in his place. But she's trying to present a certain image to the guy she likes, so she does what she does.
It really sucks that we're being told this is something she has to do. But what sort of saves it is that Jun isn't asking her to do that, in any way, shape, or form. He likes her as she is - not (openly) in the way she wants, maybe, but he accepts her. That bit where he told her to wear slacks was awkward, but he at least had the sense to apologize for it the next day. And it's obvious why he said it in the first place - Misuzu was right about that, even if she regretted saying it almost as soon as the words left her mouth.
Misuzu is a straight troll, pretty much - the bit with the spats exemplifies that. Carol gives her another chance to indulge that side. She's Misaki's cousin and - apparently - fiancee. And, as Misuzu says, she's no idiot - she sees the writing on the wall with Misaki and Tomo immediately. Taking this is the direction of Jun totally missing the boat and thinking she wants to beat somebody up was pretty amusing. Carol was pretty amusing generally, in fact - getting American-born bilingual idol Sally Amaki to play her was a smart move (though I did think it was Kugimiya Rie at first).
Carol is a not-too flattering gaijin trope, but dammit, she really was funny. Amati's line delivery helps. That whole "baka" thing had he LOL for some reason, and the "I can jump rope because I like bunnies"- and Jun's reaction - was a hilarious moment. The Hippocratic Oath of comedy, as I've said ad nauseam, is "first, be funny". And so far, Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko is pretty funny, at least for me. As long as that continues to be the case, I'll have good reason to stick around.