My favourite Afterglow character is Tsugumi and, boy, I have a lot I love about Tsugumi. In my opinion, Tsugumi is one of the most underappreciated characters in Bandori, and I find it funny because even though Sayo is praised for her inferiority complex and her characterization regarding that, I find it upsetting when Tsugumi is overlooked to be the "plain" one - even though I would argue that her inferiority complex is just as or even more interesting as Sayo's. Tsugumi is a hardworker, just like myself, but is always overshadowed by the members of her band. Her best and dearest friends. Tsugumi, in comparison, feels like the plainest out of the group - which is a relatable feature as many us, although we love our friends dearly, sometimes can't help comparing ourselves to them; how they're funnier than us, how they're prettier than us, how they're more popular than us, etc. Tsugumi highlights how she tries to overcome this through overworking herself, which is not healthy. And, even more tragically, this, in my opinion, leads to her downfall. Tsugumi tried too hard. She became student council member, a representative of the school, and was still overshadowed. She created the idea for her band, only to be overshadowed yet again. Tsugumi tries and tries, but this only leads to her being overlooked. And when she does overwork herself, in my opinion, it is some sort of cruel joke that the game ignores her from that point on seemingly. She never seems included in, and becomes truly overshadowed. This is evidence by Tomoe's initial 3 star art and scenario, where are all the girls of Afterglow are included in this key moment...expect Tsugumi, who is in the background, as always. Not to mention, Tsugumi is overlooked and sometimes downgraded by the fandom as "Just a normal girl", which the game encourages. It's horrible. But, what make Tsugumi shine, and perhaps makes her stronger than Sayo, is the fact that she is able to smile. She is able to keep trying and get back off her feet. She is experimental and her efforts are a joy to watch. Even though her band members overshadow her, she is still kind and tolerant towards them - unlike Sayo, who actually damaged her relationship with her sister because of her complex (it might seem like I'm dissing Sayo here but trust me that she'll get her praise soon enough). Tsugumi is inspirational and shows that even if others are better than you in terms of appearance, talents, intelligence, etc that you can still brighten up someone's day with your optimism and sweetness, which, in my opinion, should be valued more. Tsugumi is a sweetheart and really encourages me with her smile and I will always be rooting for her.
As for her cards, they're a real joy to get with her adorable smile. I know my reasoning for Tsugumi is not great and probably incorrect, but this is what I got from her character. She's tragic, sure, but she manages to keep that smile on her face, and that merits her as my third best girl in the franchise.
(I'm posting this twice because the first time didn't work? apologies if this seems like spam)