Well, here it is: the episode I’ve been waiting for. Of course, this is one of the lowest points in the whole series. After here, there should be no way tat anything worse could possibly happen (it’s true in the manga). And this series doesn’t play it as that. Instead, this series is playing it off as another of Tomoko’s “wacky adventures”.
Tomoko’s younger cousin comes to visit and she has always looked up to Tomoko. Tomoko starts panicking because she’s told her lies for the past few years about having a boyfriend. It goes about as well as you can imagine.
The series seems to be falling back on “laugh at Tomoko’s failures and life choices”. This one, especially, falls into this. And while the manga version presented it as another of her weird eccentric failures, this anime version presents it as uncomfortably as it could. This episode is the first one to make me understand why so many people don’t see this as a comedy: this episode is just plain mean. By the end, this is the first episode which hits as more mean than funny.
Not to say it wasn’t funny, but it is uncomfortable when you cheat at a card game against little kids. Still, it was still a good watch.