I re-watched the first season of Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki (after having watched it as a simulcast in 2021) for two reasons. Firstly so I could write a review and secondly so that I could refresh my memory for the second season. I watched the first episode of season 2, titled The best games make reconnaissance fun, a few hours after it went live on Crunchyroll. Five quick thoughts below.
- The overall aesthetic is the same but the production values were better than most of the first season. For example, I noted that the character models were very consistent. It did reuse a few cuts, however.
- The episode did a good job of depicting Tomozaki’s new-found confidence in his coaching sessions with Hinami.
- A good part of the episode was spent effectively re-introducing the characters. This is understandable since I assume many viewers did not re-watch the first season in the last week of December like I did.
- It introduced one new character in Tomozaki’s lethargic co-worker (another girl, of course). She seems to be set up for a advice role but time will tell.
- Speaking of advice, I complained that Tomozaki’s friend/pushed love interest, Kikuchi, was used too much as an oracle in season 1. In this episode she gives advice that reasonably followed from things she and the audience observed happening in Tomozaki’s class.
- Speaking of advice, I do not find Tomozaki’s initial challenge, to get the unpleasant Erika Konno motivated for the sports festival, to be particularly interesting. However, his approach to completing the task, relying on others, does highlight his character growth (namely that he can rely on others) and give the first episode a way to help all the characters shine.
- Speaking of shining, I like what this episode did with Yuzu Izumi. I mentioned in my review of the first season that I thought she was a good character but somewhat underused. Her late-episode resolution was well-done and I hope she continues to play a meaningful role in the second season.
- In my review, I opined that the series would ultimately depend on its exploration of Hinami’s characters and motivations. Perhaps the most encouraging point of the episode was an early monologue wherein Tomozaki considers the difference between him (trying to enjoy each step of his self-improvement journey) and Hinami (looking beyond the moment at something distant). I will count it as a good early sign that this is something Tomozaki is thinking about.
- Finally, in my season 1 review, I complained about the camera’s tendency to fixate on Hinami’s and Mimimi’s legs. Positive sign: Only one weird Hinami leg shot in episode 1. Progress!
I expect to see this first arc wrapped up in episode 2 next Wednesday. All in all, the first episode was a solid start to the second season and I am interested to see how it develops after we finish the first arc.