Sket Dance – 37

After defeating Arisa’s gang, Himeko gains reknown and more roughs challenge her. As she wastes them all, fear of her grows, but they keep coming, so she moves to a new school. Even there the rumor exists, but no one knows what Onihime looks like. Here she meets both softball captain Chiaki and Fujisaki, who is interested in her Popman cap. She is loath to make friends after how Arisa betrayed her. When Chiaki is cornered by punks, Fujisaki convinces Himeko to join him to save her. Himeko beats him there, but runs into trouble, Fujisaki saves her, and she is revealed as the Onihime of the rumors. Chiaki and Fujisaki don’t care though; they want to be her friends, and the Fujisaki wants her to join the club he’s starting…

The usual shallow silliness of Sket Dance has periodically been given much-appreciated dramatic heft with serious arcs, and this story of how Himeko and Bossun became friends is one of the best. The birth of said friendship was a rough one, frought by Himeko’s reluctance to form any friends at her new school; preferring lonliness to infamy. Her first impression of Fujisaki isn’t so great; the guy is a Popman otaku and really annoying to boot, but once he shows his true, noble colors to her, Himeko can’t refuse his offer of friendship.

Now, whenever I see the two bickering about some innane thing, I’ll remember the depth of their bond forged in this episode. It’s interesting how neither Bossun or Switch were actually her first friends at school. Chiaki isn’t someone we’ve seen a lot of, but she had a nice supporting role this week, and she exhibited good chemistry with the two Sket-dan members. Switch’s brother has a cameo, and we even return to the present, where Arisa meets Himeko to prostrate herself. Showing how she’s grown, Hime forgives her for her past transgression, terrible though it was.

Rating: 4

Working’!! – 12

Inami has gone a record number of days without hitting a guy, but Yamada wants to challenge her further. She gets her a guys uniform – later revealed as Takenashi’s – so she can look at herself in the mirror, but it has no effect. Takenashi goes home and eagerly awaits a text from Inami saying she’s home while his sister observes him. Yamada is locked out of the restaurant, but Sato helps her. In another effort to challenge Inami, they put her in proximity to Sato, then Soma, and nearly punches him when he slips and gets too close. Sato saves him by sacrificing Yamada’s teddy.

When Yamada’s brother hears the chronology of Takenashi’s exploits with Inami Mahiru, he reacts like anyone would to the other guy’s ignorance of who she likes. She likes him. He even comments to himself that with all this progress being made – no punching, exchanging texts – what is Inami becoming to him? Of course, it’s understood he may not be capable of fully reciprocating her feelings for him, since he only cares about young, tiny, cute things.

Still, we’re liking the very gradual but noticable development explored here. The only time Inami throws a punch is when Soma nearly falls on her as a result of Yamada tripping him; an accident. But what if a guy came too close to her on purpose – like Takenashi, for whatever reason? It would probably require Yamada’s teddy to take another one for the team…

Rating: 3.5