Tsugumi The Blue Lodestar: An Analysis on my 2nd Favorite Girl
Hi again! So I was originally planning on discussing Moca first in the list of Afterglow members, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that Tsugumi should actually be next. As I’ve said before, the five Afterglow girls ended up becoming my five favorite characters, each for their own various reasons.
As for Tsugumi, I’m quite certain that she comes right after Ran as far as my favorites go, and very closely behind her at that. Unlike Ran, who I personally relate to a lot, Tsugumi is just a fantastic character who stands out to me despite how little I have in common with her.
A lot of people seem to think Tsugumi is sweet or soft, and I mean that in the sense that people want to protect her, in a similar way to how I see people talking about Rimi, for example. I happen to see her a lot differently—I think Tsugumi is hands down one of the wildest and most explosive characters in the whole game.
Even her two current 3* cards in the game point to this sort of character dynamic. With names like “Always Starting” and “Let’s Start a Band!” , Tsugumi very much appears to me as a strong influencer rather than someone who goes along with things.
What really draws me in about Tsugumi is how the game tries to imply that she’s an ordinary girl. I can’t say I agree entirely with this (although I do agree in some ways and will elaborate later), as Tsugumi seems to have an unnaturally powerful knack for making immense changes in the world around her.
She was responsible for the formation of Afterglow, as while everyone else was joking around with the idea of a band, her uncanny passion and forwardness very quickly convinced everyone to actually do it.
She also strongly pushed the band into competing at Girl Jam, which nicely paved the way for the rest of Afterglow’s drama-filled band story that led to everyone growing closer.
Of all the characters I’ve had my eye on this game, only Kokoro seems to be able to bend the world as much as Tsugumi just by trying to do things. She’s almost like Haruhi in a sense, with such a strong will, but such an earnest nature, that it’s easy to forget how impacted everyone is by her choices. This is very different from Kokoro, who not only can buy you and your family’s souls, but is so difficult to deal with that more well-grounded characters tend to get exasperated and let her have her way.
So on the up-side, Tsugumi’s will is so strong that she is basically a gravitational force all on her own. However, she wouldn’t be a great character without flaws, which help me appreciate her all the more!
While Tsugumi is astoundingly magnetic as a person, I do have to admit that she is ordinary in some ways. She doesn’t stand out physically like Ran, Moca, and Tomoe, nor does she have a striking sense for fashion and aesthetic like Himari. She also isn’t implied to be exceptionally talented as a musician, or perhaps that’s her undestimating herself.
Either way, Tsugumi isn’t very self-assured despite the way she bends the Afterglow girls to her explorative antics. She feels inferior and seeks to validate herself to them; seeing their natural talent and hard work, Tsugumi aims to double down on the hard work in order to make up for the perceived lack of talent. It’s to the point where Tsugumi is an actual threat to herself, fainting from exhaustion and ending up in the hospital for several days.
In this case, Tsugumi’s will works against her, as she fails to realize how already valued she is by the other Afterglow girls. They don’t base their love for her on her works, they just truly love her. Her lack of consideration and self-worth ends up causing extreme stress and worry for everyone else, and could have caused her own body some serious damage.
Even in her flaws, though, she bends things around her. Everyone is in the hospital, with Tsugumi at the center. At first they were checking on her, and later on they argued, and eventually they made up. The only reason everyone gathered there in the first place was because of who else, but Tsugumi. Her actions caused such a clear and traceable impact, and she wasn’t even actually conscious for some of that time. She was still making major impacts on the plot despite having fainted!
Even considering her being normal, Tsugumi has to be the single most impactful and fearless member of Afterglow. She continually pushes the band into new situations, new experiences, and, when she gets too far off on her own, new drama as well.
I think it’s honestly a very good thing that Tsugumi isn’t the actual leader of Afterglow, as she lacks the well-roundedness of Himari. Nevermind the kind nature and mild way of speaking; at heart Tsugumi is extreme, impulsive, and hard to deter, which would definitely make for a bad leader. Once she internalizes something, she won’t even tell anyone else, she’ll just do it until she succeeds or nearly dies, as the Afterglow band story shows. She needs the entirety of Afterglow to keep her in check; she provides them with the continual fire to grow ever bigger, while they keep her from burning herself with said fire.
Ultimately, I really like how this game deals with the brown-haired characters, as they are all very well thought out, counteracting their average appearance. Tsugumi happens to be my favorite of the brown-haired girls though and my second favorite as a whole! She’s actually the basis for my ingame account name, which is Blue Lodestar, a name I came up with for her.
I chose Blue because, aside from being my favorite color, blue can be adventurous. The ocean often appears blue and so does the sky, both of which seem to offer limitless expansion and possibilities, which Tsugumi lives for. Lodestar refers to the idea that despite Tsugu not being the decided leader of the group, she’s nonetheless such a bright force—so she often boldly guides the group into new territory.
Thanks if you somehow read all of this, and I hope Tsugumi will evermore be that brilliant Blue Lodestar! <3
yo i love chisato but shes looking hella crispy from that roast right now. my girl got toa sted!!! and then her reaction to hina lmao
chisato on the outside: “hina u should be more mindful of how you say things to ppl, u could hurt someone’s feelings”
chisato on the inside: “b who do u think u are. the heck u mean im only good at having my picture taken?? nah g im also good at smacking u upside the head so hard that ur weave flies off and joins the rest of the rainbow up there. ol carebear lookin head rainbow dash lookin head. get out of here with ur wizards of waverly place haircut. u wanna be the pastel version of sonic the hedgehog so bad, big ol head w/ that dora the explora haircut. start sleeping w one eye open cause im at ur throat now chick”
fam has there ever been a musician/band whose music u genuinely disliked at first, but through repeated exposure, u got brainwashed into being hella down w/ their stuff
that was literally me and pastel*palettes lmao. theyre all close favorites behind afterglow as characters, but real talk... my ears got dislocated from trying to escape when i heard shuwarin dreaming the first few times. but now it’s lowkey a banger. u know what isnt a lowkey banger tho? fuwa fuwa time, which is a highkey banger. that song has like the coldest ending in the entire game and the clapping at the start gets me instantly hyped
then they got the yura yura ring dong, this extra intense idol electronic ballad w/ chisato and her ol thug head singing. and can we talk about wonderland girl, that song is secretly my jam when no ones around. sobakasu is just oozing w/ swag meanwhile lol
idk what it is with this group. the pastels’ music is hella lit and cute at the same time. their style is so confident + well put-together & eventually they just won me over. i wont lie, every time a pastel song or cover gets added lately, i get super excited to hear it