Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki: What’s Hinami’s REAL Reason For Helping Tomozaki?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Episode 6, "Once You Start Speedrunning the Minigames, You Seriously Can't Stop," now streaming on Funimation.

In Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki, apathetic social loner Fumiya Tomozaki has agreed to follow the lessons and guidance of his classmate Aoi Hinami, and his life has become more fun and fulfilling as a result. She's taught him how to talk to and connect with other people, buy matching outfits, and has even improved his posture and facial expressions. There's no question Tomozaki's life has improved drastically since Hinami entered it -- but why has Hinami chosen to dedicate so much time and effort to helping Tomozaki specifically?

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Hinami could have simply extended a hand of friendship or chosen to help some other outcast who would benefit from her expertise. She is one of the most popular students in their school, a member of multiple sports teams and clubs as well as a candidate for Student Council President. There's something unique about Tomozaki that drives her to give him this level of attention and dedication.

To understand why Hinami is helping Tomozaki, it's important to look at the series' popular video game AtaFami (a fictional version of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate). Hinami is used to being the best at everything she does, whether in grades, sports or social standing. The only place she remains a runner-up no matter how hard she tries is in AtaFami. Hinami is the #2 ranked AtaFami player in all of Japan -- and Tomozaki is #1.

Not knowing each other's true identities -- only as their online usernames "NO NAME" (Hinami) and "Nanashi" (Tomozaki) -- Hinami gained great admiration for this mystery person who shared her values of hard work and maintaining one's place at the top. Upon seeing the real-life Nanashi was actually Tomozaki, a guy who wasn't putting any work into his life outside of the game, she was disgusted and felt severely let down.

Despite her popularity, a part of Hinami still feels lonely at times. Outside of Tomozaki in AtaFami, she doesn't have anyone else in her life who brings out her maximum effort, who constantly bests her and forces her to improve. She seems to want Tomozaki to be in life what Nanashi is in AtaFami -- constantly working hard to be better and enjoying it at the same time. Ever since Tomozaki agreed to play "the game of life" and work toward the goals she sets for him, he's made a few friends and attracted a girl's potential romantic interest. Even his family has noted a change in his demeanor. Most importantly, Tomozaki himself is happier and more motivated in many aspects of his life.

One of Tomozaki's biggest natural strengths is his ability to speak honestly and directly from the heart. Hinami's personality, though very kind and popular, is entirely manufactured. Everything she says and does is with a specific goal in mind: to control a group conversation, to shift a person's mood or to teach Tomozaki a new lesson. But who is the real Hinami beneath the perfect persona she works so hard to keep up?

Tomozaki has questioned the validity of her tutoring once or twice, suggesting he feels a lack of sincerity in knowingly manipulating a conversation or another person. For all of Hinami's strengths, she has yet to truly let down her walls and open up on a fully personal level. She's done so much good for Tomozaki and will continue to improve his life, but Tomozaki can also help Hinami grow in return -- and some part of Hinami knows this is true, giving her additional reason to keep trying to help him.

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