Sket Dance – 53

In the first half, Fumi introduces the Sket-dan to the incredibly soft-spoken Morishita Koma, a very tall and healthy young woman who has a problem: a boy likes her, but he’s worried he’ll bail if he learns about her immense strength, which becomes hard to control when she gets embarrassed, as Bossun find out on many occasions. Ultimately, she scares off the boy in question, but he was a bad apple anyway. In the second half, Date comes to the clubroom seeking advice on how to approach a girl he likes, who turns out to be Koma. The Sket-dan play matchmakers and interpreters, but neither party is able to fully express their feelings, and Bossun only ends up put through a wall.

The closest thing to a “normal” character appeared in the first episode of Sket Dance. His name was Teppei, and as the episode was from his point of view, we wrongly assumed he was the main character. Since then, it’s been a string of, shall we say colorful and distinctive characters. The newest is Koma, who is near as makes no difference six feet tall (quite tall for a Japanese girl) and built like a tank. Yet she’s still quite graceful and feminine – that she has the voice of the super-meek Sawako doesn’t hurt. That is, unless you say something that upsets her. Then those arms lash out and you’re treated to a volley from the Koma Cannon.

Bossun takes the most punishment since that fight with the bullies after he ran away from home when he learned the truth about his parents. But it’s comedic punishment; getting battered, ‘fossilized’, put through a wall and thrown out a window. The kid can take it, and it’s all in aid of helping out a classmate who’s trying to learn control so she can have a boyfriend. Date of all people returns to try to oblige her, but as usual his nigh indecipherable language only confuses and embarasses Koma, and takes it out on Bossun, who’s the nearest body. The Sket-dan are good at a great many things, but matchmaking doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Rating: 3

Medaka Box – 02

In the first half, a second-year track team member comes to them seeking solace from a threat she recieved warning her to quit said club, along with a pair of vandalized shoes. Medaka narrows down the possible suspects from observing the note and shoe damage and sends Zenkichi and Shiranui out to find suspects. When they spot the likely culprit, Medaka asks her upfront, and she attempts to flee. However, Medaka catches up to her and decides to believe her false denials. Shamed, the girl buys her victim a new pair of shoes. In the second half, there’s a request to find a lost dog, but when Zenkichi and Shiranui find it, it’s a dangerous, bad-tempered Borzoi that resists all attempts to be caught. Medaka, who loves animals but is feared by them for some reason, dresses like a sexy dog and startles the stray dog into submission, allowing them to return him to his owner.

Sket Dance-style, Medaka and Zenkichi carried out two separate missions this week, as befits the nature of the suggestion box…there are many suggestions, and not all of them will fill a whole episode, whereas some may take up more than one; we’ll see. What we like about both this week’s missions is that they both reveal something about Medaka’s personality; things her good friend (essentially brother) Zenkichi already knows. That he can flash back to moments when he and Medaka were wee ones adds richness both to their characters and to their friendship. Zenkichi isn’t your typical led-by-the-nose president’s bitch. He’s here by choice, because he cares about Medaka, and wants to support her in any way he can and make up for her weaknesses.

Speaking of weaknesses, Shiranui did not ingratiate herself with us this week; she comes off as an overly surly little smartass most of the time, and that’s kind of her only note. We were kinda hoping the dog would eat her :). Meanwhile, the guests this week – the the despairing Ariake and even the petty Isahaya, were more likeable. Other things we liked: the badass-looking Borzoi that radiated evil vibes (a most drastic disconnect from the childishly-drawn ‘lost dog’ poster); Medaka’s stray hair swaying whenever she’s in thought; everyone asking about Zenkichi’s sweater; and Zenkichi’s line about usually being the one to deal with those Medaka gives a pass for their transgressions, but deciding to go along with her vis-a-vis Isahaya.

Rating: 6 (Good)

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