Sket Dance – 40

When they hear about fellow students being subjected to shakedowns while walking home, both Tsubaki and Bossun answer the call to track down and punish the culprit responsible, but neither knows the other is on the case until they bump into each other staking out the same spot at the same time. Increasingly immature banter ensues until the mugger arrives with his would-be prey. Bossun and Tsubaki spring into action and successfully catch the assailant.

Tsubaki and Bossun would never admit, and likely don’t even see it, but they’re two halves of the same coin. Both are passionate about helping out their fellow students; they just have very different ways of going about doing so. The Sket-dan by nature treads upon the purview of the officialy elected/appointed student council, so conflict is inevitable. Still, the school thus far has been big enough for these two organizations with similar missions but differing methods.

In a neat little bit of cause & effect, Bossun accidentally dousing Himeko with water while trying to hit Tsubaki gave her a cold that put both her and Switch out of commission for the episode, ultimately leading to him butting heads with the fiery vice president. But we wish they’d taken the idea of Bossun recruiting outside help further. He briefly rents Momoka’s gang, butwe imagine characters like Jason and Shinzou would also be appropriate. But Bossun’s right…there’s nothin’ like canned coffee.

Rating: 3

Amagami SS Plus – 02

Ayatsuji rightly sees Kurosawa kissing Junichi for what it is; a lame trap, and forgives him, but makes him swear an oath never to kiss anyone but her from now on. Kurosawa is apparently out of tricks, because after a speech assembly in which Ayatsuji impresses everyone, she wins the election handily, making Junichi her VP. When Junichi leads a stray dog away from Ayatsuji on their walk home, he ends up in the river, and Ayatsuji invites him to her place to bathe and dry off, even offering to wash his back. When the new term starts, the couple are as happy as clams.

First, we must express relief for two reasons: one, Ayatsuji saw right through Kurosawa’s scheme; and two, both she and the show make it clear they know Junichi is as big an idiot as we think he is for falling for such an obvious trap. Frankly, Ayatsuji is more than Junichi deserves, and she doesn’t let him forget it. That being said, for all his thickness, he does love her, and emphatically agrees to swear he only has lips for her.

Considering these are the first two episodes of the entire Amagami SS series in which Junichi already has the girlfriend, this episode takes the proper steps to make their relationship realistic, without getting too graphic. In fact, the stuff that goes on off-camera between the two lovebirds is merely hinted at with a subtle wink, and it’s refreshing that Ayatsuji isn’t a complete prude (though it’s too much even for her when he leaps to his feet from thebath a little to eagerly). Hell, she smooches him to calm him down. They’re not a bad couple to watch. Alas, this is it for them; next week Junichi will be involved with…sigh…Rihoko. She eats a lot! Hilarious!

Rating: 3

Baby, Please Kill Me! – 02

Yasuna repeatedly tries to get defense pointers from Sonya so she can counter her attacks in future, culminating in a nunchuk demonstration, followed by nunchuk maki rolls that are stolen by crows. After school they head to a crepe stand in a park, and come face to face with an escaped bear; Yasuna neutralizes it when their heads collide after she falls off a pole. Sonya offers to help recover a girl’s ballon lost in a tree, but fails. She and Sonya then play hide-and-seek and tag with the girl; Sonya is abandoned when it gets too late.

There’s not a huge amount to say about KMB except that it’s not terrible, its comedy is just weird enough to work most of the time, and the naive art style is oddly endearing. We wish Agiri was a little more than one-note, and her voice can grate, but at least her ‘ninjitsus’ are ridiculous and often useless. It’s obvious we can expect episodes to be formed from a handful of skits focusing on various simple ideas – in this case, nunchukus, bears, and balloons. With several series airing this season that feature huge casts and complex storylines, we see this as our weekly respite. Set brains to ‘low’ and enjoy.

Rating: 2.5