Tomoe Koga is the first character analysis 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.
You can find part one of this character analysis here:
Laplace’s Demon, Tomoe Kaga (Pt. 1)
And with that, let’s continue on.
Sakuta tells Mai about the what’s going on, and she allows it. In reality, she had no choice either – if she forbids Sakuta from going along with Koga’s request, either Sakuta will do it anyways, or he won’t, which will result in a repeat of the day once Koga finds out. However, Mai did have something interesting to say about the matter:
“I just hope that lie doesn’t turn into the truth.” – Mai
It’s pretty clear what she is foreshadowing here – the lie becoming truth, for Koga.
The next day is the date. Sakuta & Koga go to an aquarium, and then walk along a boardwalk before getting to the beach where they help one of Koga’s classmates find a lost strap. There are many signs in this scene of Koga opening up to Sakuta here.
At the beginning of the date, on the train, we see further signs of just how much effort Koga needs to put in to keep up with Rena & friends.
“I can’t go to bed while everyone else is still up!” – Koga
Is Koga really in control of her own life?
At the aquarium, Koga seems to have a good time. During the penguin show, she mentions that the sleeping penguin was like Sakuta, and that the penguin following the other penguins (struggling to keep up) was like her. After the show she says how the sleeping penguin really was like Sakuta, because it didn’t care if people laughed at it. She then looks at her own reflection in the glass, and becomes somber.
Koga cares if people laugh at her.
With the train scene, and the penguin one, the anime paints the picture that Koga is struggling to keep up with Rena & friends. She is sacrificing so much in order to remain in Rena’s clique that it’s almost like she is clawing her way forward. It’s tiresome and stressful for her – is it all really worth it?
We can see admiration in that scene from Koga. She is starting to admire Sakuta for who he is, and by extension, disliking her own situation. I think Koga is a bit jealous that Sakuta doesn’t have to work as hard as she does in order to maintain the status quo at school. To Koga, that probably seems a bit unfair, because she works so hard to keep up with her friends in comparison.
Koga opens up to Sakuta about her past. The scene ends with Sakuta telling Koga that she is who she is at that moment – she made the effort to change, and she says she loves herself, so that’s who she is. Essentially, Koga appreciates what she had done for herself – changing her appearance, dialect, etc. I believe this is true, because these changes are not her problem – although they indirectly contributed to her real problem, by leading her to such toxic friends. The old plain Koga would never have been accepted into the Rena clique.
“Once a class’ social structure takes shape, it’s not easy to change. If you stand out too much, people are sure to badmouth you. Things will never be the same again, and everyone knows that. That’s what the society known as school is like.”
Koga gets wet while helping her classmate Yoneyama find her lost strap – so naturally she gets sick. But Koga can’t miss a day of school, even if she is sick, because she will miss out on a day of whatever happens with Rena & friends. Even while in the infirmary Koga is worried about what her friends and classmates think.
Just think about how sad that is for a moment. Koga is sick, and yet she is still scared about what her friends and classmates think, about her being sick. People don’t choose to be sick, it’s not Koga’s fault. But she worries anyways.
“Well, I want everyone to like me. Or at least, I don’t want to be hated.” – Koga
Two days later, Koga is feeling better. Since there were no repeats, we know that Koga’s friends weren’t too harsh on her for being sick. But it’s clear that Koga is beginning to really admire Sakuta for being able to ignore what others think. I wonder if it’s even moved beyond simple admiration – I think Koga has begun to really crush on Sakuta at this point in the anime.
On their shift at Benny’s, Koga talks to Sakuta about Mai. First she tells him she doesn’t believe that Mai would agree to date him, because she’s a celebrity. She pushes Sakuta to admit that Mai never actually said she liked him, which concludes with Koga telling Sakuta that he just had the wrong idea all along about how Mai felt.
This Benny’s scene is Koga trying to move Sakuta away from Mai. Now that Koga has developed feelings towards Sakuta, Mai has become her competition.
Of course, we know for a fact that Mai likes Sakuta – they spend a lot of time together, and talk frequently. We also know that Mai did in fact agree to go on a date with Sakuta before all of the repeating days. Sakuta knows this as well, and so Koga’s words don’t reach him in the way she intended.
The next day, Sakuta finds out from Kunimi at work that a rumour has gone around that he and Koga were going at it like rabbits. Kunimi mentions that Maesawa was the one who brought it up in their basketball group chat.
On the way home from work Sakuta runs into Futaba, and has a brief talk with her. This scene is a great example of how Sakuta differs from Koga. Essentually, Sakuta mentions that he doesn’t want to go back in time, but that he wants to make sure that he doesn’t have any regrets in the future. Sakuta is willing to face the consequences of his actions – something Koga is not, as she would rather repeat a day over and over until things worked out in her favour.
Sakuta also likely forms an idea of how to fight Maesawa based on his talk with Futaba.
The next day, we see that Koga has been cast out of her group of friends. A single rumour, and she’s out. Relegated to leaving school all alone, walking behind her former friends.
It’s apparent that Rena would trust the word of Maesawa over Koga, because she has a crush on Maesawa. And while you could argue that Rena was actually the one who started the rumour, the next scene confirms that it was Maesawa.
Maesawa approaches Sakuta and Koga looking very satisfied, taunting Koga by saying that first years have big appetites. It’s clear from this statement that Maesawa is still jaded at Koga because she was dating someone else when he wanted to ask her out.
Sakuta puts Maesawa in his place, and sets the record straight. He also proclaims that he is a virgin, which I’d believe is intentional to take attention off of Koga, and redirect rumours towards him.
Rena & friends were front and center in watching the fight go down, but the scene was really focused on Mai, who was also present.
The fight managed to accomplish two things:
- Koga falling in love with Sakuta.
- Rena & friends accepting Koga back into their group.
There’s no doubt that Koga fell in love with Sakuta after the fight.
And a text from Rena confirms that she’s back in – no doubt because Koga ended up in a positive light after the event, the girl whose boyfriend fought to protect her. Also because Rena no longer liked Maesawa, after he was embarrassed in public like that.
Koga asks Sakuta how she can repay him, and he asks her to be his friend after everything is over. She agrees, but it’s clear later on that this would be easier said than done.
Koga’s Jealousy Pt. 2
In her room, Koga receives a text message, prompting her to check her phone. The video she opens up begins with an advertisement featuring Sakurajima Mai.
Koga’s face becomes very gloomy looking at that.
How could she compete with Sakurajima Mai?
By now it’s abundantly clear that Koga is in love with Sakuta. Not only this, but her relationship with him aligns perfectly with her desire to remain friends with Rena & crew, because Rena now approves of Sakuta. We see this the next morning, when Koga & friends happen to walk by Sakuta at the shoe lockers. Rena takes a very approving look at Sakuta, and Koga shoots a very endearing look his way.
This is when Sakuta realizes that the lie has grown beyond what it was supposed to be. Things were beginning to seem too real.
After exams, Sakuta meets with Koga and they go to the mall so that Koga can buy a swimsuit for the summer. Koga teases Sakuta about Mai, and says that she will help them get together. This is a lie. What Koga really wants is to get closer to Sakuta, using the pretense that she is helping him to get closer to Mai. It’s possible she doesn’t consciously realize this, but that is her real intention.
After briefly going over plans of how they will break up, the day ends.
July 18th begins, the final day of school. The day of the break up.
As expected, things don’t go so well – the day ends up repeating several times. Koga is still in love with Sakuta. She doesn’t want to break up with him. Even if she consciously wants to move forward, subconsciously she does not.
But we know that Koga consciously doesn’t want to move forward either, because she lies to Sakuta. She tells him that July 18th didn’t repeat for her, and proceeds to try her best to act the same way for three days in a row. On the fourth day, Sakuta finally catches Koga on her lie – she glances at him during the closing ceremony, something she didn’t do in prior days.
So instead of the beach, Sakuta takes Koga to Enoshima. They visit the local shrine, and Sakuta fills out a wish tablet for matchmaking, to Koga’s protest.
“Wait, Senpai! We can’t mix in a lie among real wishes! The gods will punish us! Let me just take it home.” – Koga
“I’m the only one lying, so it’ll be fine.” – Sakuta
I’m sure at that moment, Koga knew that Sakuta knew.
But even then, she didn’t want to face the truth and admit that she loved him, because she knew that he still loved Mai. So she tried to deflect, by telling Sakuta that they still had time to go to the beach.
Even after being initially confronted, Koga continued to pretend she didn’t understand what was going on. She was unable to accept what was about to happen.
Accepting the Truth
Up until this point, Koga has had one major flaw in her character. She was unable to accept reality. Or I should say, she was unwilling to.
Instead, Koga would rather repeat time over and over until she got her way.
It doesn’t matter if this decision was conscious or subconscious, because consciously, Koga was fine with it. Instead of questioning why she was repeating the same day over and over, she opted to take advantage of it, and try to get what she wanted. This is why she was never worried about her puberty syndrome – because she found it useful.
“You can roll the dive as many times as you want, but people’s feelings don’t change so easily. A lie won’t become the truth, and the truth won’t become a lie.”
“Even after a hundred times?” – Koga
“…Even a billion times won’t change anything. Mai-san is the one I love. If you keep repeating the same day, your feelings won’t get any closure either.”
This exchange between Koga and Sakuta is the climax of episodes 4 to 6. There is so much emotion, and a lot happens in this short time.
Koga asks why her feelings did change. She explains what she wants, how she wants things to be: they break up, Sakuta gets together with Mai, and Koga becomes a good friend of his. In frustration she asks why won’t tomorrow come, and why her feelings are getting stronger every passing day. Why is she feeling this way when she decided to pretend she didn’t? Koga knows that what she feels is far beyond that of a friend.
She lashes out at Sakuta for being too nice – Sakuta accepts the blame.
She lashes out at herself, saying that this isn’t her – Sakuta tells Koga that this is her.
She insists that this isn’t her, and that she wants to move forward and be friends with him – Sakuta tells her to stop lying to herself.
This whole scene is Sakuta forcing Koga to face the truth: that she loves him, and that they can’t be together. It’s a beautiful scene.
And for the first time, Koga didn’t get her way.
Her puberty syndrome was unable to help her in this situation.
The results of Koga accepting the truth are that time is reset back to June 27th.
By overcoming her fears, her puberty syndrome was cured – which brought time back to the day that she developed puberty syndrome in the first place.
This is fairly important, because it means that Koga was not only willing to face the truth of her love, but now also has to go back into the past and face the truth from the beginning of it all – Maesawa asking her out.
I’d like to see this as an act of mercy towards Koga, a reward for accepting the truth. She gets to do it all again – only this time, without her puberty syndrome. This time, there’s no cheating. This time, she has to move forward, and accept whatever happens to her.
Koga ends up turning Maesawa down, and stops being friends with Rena & crew. Instead, we see her with a new group of friends, including Yoneyama. She must have become friends with Yoneyama after helping her to find her strap on the beach, because the anime shows that Sakuta & Koga go to the aquarium even in this new timeline while Mai was in Kagoshima for a shoot.
In the end, Koga was able to accept the way things were, and things turned out just fine.
I can guarantee her new group of friends are much more accepting than her old ones.
The lesson learned from Koga’s story is this – no matter what happens in life, you have to be able to move forward. Accept reality – both what is, and what isn’t in your control. Part of life is learning to adapt to an uncertain future, because you never know where life is going to take you.
You can worry about it, you can try to avoid it, but reality is what it is. The sooner you accept things for the way they are, good or bad, the sooner you can move on and work towards creating a better future.
Koga was unwilling to accept the truth, unwilling to accept the consequences of her actions, and unwilling to move forward in a reality that she didn’t like.
This was the ultimate cause of her puberty syndrome – Laplace’s Demon.
I hope you all enjoyed this first character analysis from Seishun Buta Yarou.
I plan on writing more for the other major characters in the series.
This analysis ended up being fairly straightforward, with a lot of synopsis. I chose Koga as my first analysis because I thought that she was one of the simpler characters in the show. I quite like how I managed to dive deep into her character like this, because while you can see it play out, it’s easy to miss a lot of the visual cues and meanings behind her actions.
Koga is a great character and I was happy to write almost 4000 words about her.
That also makes this the longest single topic I’ve written about on this blog.
We’ll see how the other analyses turn out!
Until next time.
Thanks for reading.