The great thing about anime is that there are so many kinds of stories being told, with everything from characters who get truck-kun’d into exotic isekai worlds to uplifting sports shows to relaxing series about the joys of camping in the winter. There are even anime that can make us think deeply about the positive and negative relationships we have with others, and how we might improve those relationships by changing our approach to life. That’s the basic concept of Jaku Chara Tomozaki-kun, aka Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki. Let’s learn more about the anime!
Jaku Chara Tomozaki-kun is an Anime about the Game of Life
Tomozaki-kun is a gamer who’s especially skilled at a Nintendo Switch game called Attack Families, or TakuFam, a popular game similar to Super Smash Bros. He’s so good at the game that he became the top-ranked player in all Japan, and he spends hours playing as a way to escape from the real world, which he despises.
One day Tomozaki plays a game of TakuFam with a classmate named Nakamura, who’s a standard Ria-juu, a term for a happy, well-adjusted person living a rich and full life in the real world, translated to English as “normie” or IRL. When Nakamura loses, he blames the game as being a kusoge or a “shit game,” but this is something Tomozaki can’t accept: blaming the game without trying to get better at it, putting in real effort, and reflecting on why you didn’t get the outcome you wanted, would be a gamer’s biggest shame. To Tomozaki, it’s real-life that is the “shit game,” where only those born as “top-tier characters” like Nakamura can have friends and go on dates with girls, and “bottom-tier characters” — jaku chara — like him are always alone.
Imagine Tomozaki’s surprise when he meets the second-ranked TakuFam player in Japan, who turns out to be his popular classmate Aoi Hinami. Aoi is shocked to learn that the player she most respected, the only one who could consistently beat her in the game, is the anti-social guy from her class. When he calls life a “shit game” in front of her, she has exactly the same reaction that Tomozaki had to Nakamura: he’s blaming “the game” rather than putting in effort and reflection about why he isn’t a popular guy with lots of friends. She decides to do something about it.
Aoi takes it on herself to become Tomizaki’s teacher, to give him assignments that help Tomozaki raise his “conversational XP” so he can make friends in the class and enjoy his school life more. She makes him stand up straight, and gives him tasks each day, like talking to new students in class. She makes sure he understands the mechanics of how social interactions work, with one person being the one to bring up a new topic for discussion, while a second person takes that topic and runs with it, drawing others into the interaction. Eventually, Tomozaki-kun is able to make friends and raise his “IRL level” so that he doesn’t feel like such a loner.
Can Otakus Learn Something from Tomozaki-kun?
When I’m not selling hentai and blogging about anime, I try to lead a positive life, hitting the gym regularly and listening to self-help audiobooks like How to Fail At Everything and Still Win Big. (Protip: the original Apple Airpods are waterproof, and are great for listening to audiobooks in the shower, while walking laps at the pool, and so on.) If you follow the J-List Twitter or Facebook pages, you know that I’m often cheering on the idea that guys and girls can be otakus and enjoy anime, yet still have awesome IRL relationships. It’s even possible for anime otakus to find other anime otakus to marry, which is what happened to J-List’s shipping manager in San Diego. He found the perfect woman on a local dating site, and now they watch One Piece together.
So I’m enjoying Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki a lot, not just because it’s fun to watch the character rise in “social XP” level as he makes friends at school, but also because the show might just make some viewers reconsider some of the negative thoughts they might be having about society or IRL relationships, and how they could change their approach to life. I love positivity and hope and hate all forms of cynicism, and it’d be great if viewers might get some good ideas from this show.
Thanks for reading this post about the Jaku Chara Tomozaki-kun anime. Will you be watching it? Tell us below or let us know on Twitter!