Tomoe Koga will be first up on my series of character analyses from the anime Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yuma wo Minai, also known as Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai.
Tomoe Koga is the cute first-year who manages to rope Sakuta into pretending to be a couple until summer break in order to avoid being ostracized by her circle of friends at school. While making appearances throughout most of the anime, she only takes on a main character role for episodes 4 – 6 during the Laplace’s Demon arc.
With that summary out of the way, let’s talk Tomoe Koga!
Koga first appears in episode 2, where she mistakenly assumes Sakuta is trying to abduct a child. After kicking his butt, she lets him kick her butt as an apology – and so they became butt-kicking buddies. The anime hints that this is the moment when Sakuta’s life became entangled with Koga’s.
We also see Koga in episode 3, where Sakuta gets angry at Koga & friends for not remembering Mai Sakurajima.
Koga becomes the anime’s focus starting with episode 4.
Sakuta becomes trapped on June 27th, unable to advance to June 28th. We learn that Koga is the reason. Nicknamed Laplace’s Demon, Koga’s puberty syndrome ability allows her to repeat days that subconsciously didn’t work out for her. Due to the butt-kicking in episode 2, Sakuta becomes entangled in this ordeal with Koga.
We learn that Koga is repeating June 27th because it’s the day that Maesawa asks her out. Her predicament is that the leader of her group of friends, Rena, has a crush on Maesawa. So if she turns him down, she will lose her (very shallow) group of friends because Rena will be upset – if Rena likes Maesawa, it’d be insulting if one of her lesser friends turns him down. But she can’t accept either – because she doesn’t like Maesawa. And so Koga began the process of repeating June 27th over and over. She so desperately doesn’t want to lose her friends that her subconscious won’t let June 28th begin until a satisfactory solution is found.
Luckily for Koga, a solution arose in Sakuta. Thanks to a misunderstanding, Koga was able to go home and tell Rena & friends that she was dating Sakuta – allowing her to avoid Maesawa indefinitely, as Koga was “no longer” single. Thus solving her problems for June 27th, and allowing time to continue onto June 28th. Sakuta & Futaba discuss this on June 28th, and come to the conclusion that Sakuta may be thrown back to June 27th once Maesawa figures out the misunderstanding.
On the evening of June 28th, Koga starts her new part-time job at Benny’s, where Sakuta works. I suppose this is a coincidence, because I doubt Koga somehow figured out where Sakuta works, applied, and got the job in a single day. But you never know. Here is where we learn that Koga had told her friends she was dating Sakuta, as they show up to the restaurant and begin to grill Sakuta when he goes to take their order. Sakuta knows what’s going in immediately, and Koga averts her gaze – guilty.
The Beginning of a Lie
The following scene as the two walk home after work is a pivotal Koga moment, that I will break down into two parts: Koga’s decision, and Sakuta’s decision.
First is Koga’s decision.
The thing is, prior to the Benny’s scenes, Koga had already decided that she was going to pretend to be in a relationship with Sakuta. We know this because she told her friends that was the case. We also know this because of the first half of the walk-home scene. Sakuta repeatedly refuses Koga’s request, but she does not give up. You can really tell that Koga’s mind is made up. Even after Sakuta’s refusals, she continues on as if nothing had happened.
“Oh, right. It’d be too sudden to say we’re dating, so let’s go with something more gradual. Like, “more than schoolmates, less than lovers”?” – Koga
That’s Koga’s decision – one that had been made and planned out prior to asking Sakuta. She probably spent the night prior thinking it up. I’d also like to mention this exchange:
“Don’t you have other things to worry about? Like your puberty syndrome?”
“We made it to today, so that doesn’t matter anymore.
I’ve got bigger problems now! I’m in big trouble!” – Koga
Koga has become trapped in a lie – her new problem to solve. So from her perspective, it’s her plan, or nothing. If Sakuta refused to the end, Koga would have ended up losing her friends some way or another – either from Rena getting mad, or Maesawa asking her out again, or just embarrassment over lying about dating Sakuta. Of course, we know that Sakuta’s refusal would have ended up in a repeat of June 27th or June 28th – depending on whether Koga subconsciously thought she could convince him or not, because she would repeat June 28th if she thought there was a chance he would accept her plan.
And this leads to Sakuta’s decision. In the anime, we see that Sakuta sympathizes and gives in to Koga’s requests once he notices a parallel between Koga and his sister Kaede. The thing is, this whole situation was checkmate from the start. Sakuta had no real choice in this matter, because his refusal would have resulted in either a repeat of June 27th, or a repeat of June 28th. Knowing Koga, I’d be willing to bet it would be a repeat of June 28th, as she was so set on her plan that subconsciously she would feel okay with begging Sakuta over and over until he accepted.
I’d also like to mention that while Sakuta noticed a parallel between Koga and his sister Kaede, I don’t think it’s a real parallel. The situations are similar, and Koga surely would experience a similar level of trauma if she lost her friends and became an outcast at school – but none of this could actually happen, because she’s Laplace’s Demon. Any situation resulting in Koga becoming an outcast would just result in a repeat of the day where Koga subconsciously thinks things went wrong.
The summary of this ordeal just proves that Koga really is a demon, because in the end, Sakuta had no say in the matter. Koga always had the final say – if she likes the outcome, time will continue. If she doesn’t, time repeats until she does. So Sakuta’s decision was actually no decision at all – just the illusion of a decision.
This tells you quite a bit about Koga’s character. She is childish – it’s her way or nothing. Koga seems like a nice girl, but the fact is, she is deeply insecure and desperate to fit in – so desperate that she is perfectly fine with using Sakuta as a means to her ends, with no real regard for what Sakuta wants. As I’ve said, Sakuta had no choice in the matter from the moment he became entangled with Koga onwards.
It’s interesting to think about what would have happened had Sakuta not been entangled with Koga. I imagine she would have kept repeating June 27th until she somehow managed to work things out, either by avoiding Maesawa or by just giving up and going out with him. No matter what happened, the outcome would not have been good, as Koga would have continued on with her life as it was – paranoid, desperate, and obsessed with following Rena’s footsteps.
I can see that lifestyle leading down a dark road for Koga, one that ends in betrayal, as Rena seems like the type who would cut Koga down in an instant over the simplest mistake or misunderstanding. With the mindset Koga had at that time, it most certainly would have broken her – which ties us back to Sakuta’s perceived reason for helping Koga in the first place. Of course we know that Koga would have to lose her puberty syndrome for that path to play out.
In reality, Koga would have been trapped in some sort of cycle, living out days at a time trying to avoid problems. Who knows, she could have ended up spending years trying to avoid future issues – because as long as she isn’t satisfied, she will repeat days of her life. Never learning what the real issue is, and never growing up.
Becoming entangled with Sakuta was the best thing that could have ever happened to Koga.
After Sakuta accepts Koga’s request, she immediately continues on with her plan and asks him out on a date, so that she can take pictures and make the lie seem more authentic.
In the end, everything was going according to plan for Koga.
Due to the length of this analysis, I’ve decided to split it into two parts.
I wanted to make it easier to read, and ~4000 words in one go is a lot to ask.
And so, we’ll continue with the analysis of Tomoe Koga in part two, which you can find here.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.