Sket Dance – 58

In the first part, Bossun tries out Chuu-san’s new invisibility draught, and it works. Chuu tells him it will last “two hours, easy”, so Bossun goes to town to put a scare into Himeko. When the potion starts wearing off prematurely, the nude Bossun starts to become visible from the top down, and Himeko and Switch must improvise to keep him covered up.

In the second part, Bossun tries out a new robotic power/fat suit designed by Switch called “Jubanni”, which responds to commands and learns to anticipate. However, when the suit starts to think for itself, it gains emotions, and almost gets Bossun killed.

In the world of Sket Dance, homeroom teachers can invent revolutionary potions and students can build sophistocated heuristic robosuits. And for good or ill, Bossun plays the guinea pig both times, while Himeko and Switch (and a chibi Roman) observe, snicker, and help out when they can, and care to. But no matter how far-fetched and ridiculous the situations of this show gets, as long as they’re humorous and entertaining, we don’t care.

Both verbal jokes and sight gags come fast and furious. The scenes of Bossun slowly becoming naked in public in particular are full of tension and gut-busting hilarity. Our only beef is that Himeko could have bought him some clothes at the department store, but maybe she was out of cash. We also like Himeko’s reaction when Bossun tells her she’s light as a feather. Compliments…will get you everywhere, m’boy!


Rating: 3.5

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Natsuiro Kiseki – 07

The girls prepare for a idol singing competition coinciding with the town’s Taikoboshi festival. Natsumi, who wants to win, is annoyed that Yuka is not taking it seriously; moreso when Yuka suggests they just wish for the win, which would be cheating. When a suden rainstorm threatens to cancel the competition, Rinko’s mom tells her and Yuka to make Teru Teru Bouzus, which end up working, precluding the need for Saki and an uncertain Natsumi to wish on the rock. They perform and win the competition, which Yuka vows is just the beginning of their rise to idoldom.

This was a very feel-good, moving episode that didn’t rely on the happenstances that result from rock wishes, but was fueled purely by the quartet of girls as they practice for what may be their last singing contest as a group, with Saki leaving. All summer we’ve known she’s been leaving, but there are episodes where it casts a pall on everybody else and episodes where it’s not a factor and everyone enjoys life in the moment. We got the latter here, and another instance of the group splitting into twosomes: Natsumi/Saki and Yuka/Rinko, then playing off one another.

Natsumi and Saki are the “grown-ups” of the group; even if they’ve had their immature days, they strike us as more mature than the wide-eyed Yuka and the bashful Rinko. But Yuka proves she’s the most childlike of them all, being the primary propeller of the idol dream she wants to come true for everyone. She goofs off for most of the episode, only watching the concert videos and refusing to practice, but when it’s showtime, she hunkers down and her performance is just as good as everyone else’s. Just as one shouldn’t underestimate Yuka’s ability to perform seriously on the fly, one can’t rule out the possibility of her idol dreams coming true someday.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Sankarea – 07

As Chihiro helps her with her family’s restaurant deliveries, Ranko reminices about her long relationship with him, starting when he found her crying in a cemetary. She fell in love with him on the spot, but fell out of love when she learned he was a shy crybabywho only cared about zombies. She fell back in love when he saved her from a stray dog, and has likely loved him ever since, but now that Rea is in the picture, she’ll have to fight to win that much harder to win his heart.

As we cross the midpoint of the series (quarter-point if it goes 26 episodes), we’re presented with an episode of Sankarea with no Rea. In fact, the protagonist of the series switches from Chihiro to Ranko this week; a risky move considering she hasn’t been the  most impressive of characters. As we suspected, all of her teasing thus far has been due to her not being able to properly express her true feelings to Chihiro, and now that he has the zombie girl he always dreamed of, Ranko is jealous of their intimacy (after all, Rea’s already kissed him, a milestone Ranko took very seriously). Frank(enstein)ly, she has an uphill battle ahead of her. Especially since Chihiro obviously doesn’t see her as a potential girlfriend, but as more of a caring, annoying older sister (for the record they’re cousins, but it’s not frowned upon in Japan, even a recent prime minister married his first cousin).

The flashbacks paint a decent picture of why, despite his eccentricities, she likes/loves him: in moments of despair or vulnerability – right up to when he stopped Rea from…er, doing whatever she was planning to do to her – Chihiro’s been there to protect and console her, even if coincidentally. Setting aside the fact the love triangle here doesn’t seem all that thrilling moving forward, we left this episode liking Ranko more, not less, and better understanding her position. Chihiro’s Yasutaka, on the other hand, is a wretched waste of screentime. Why does every anime need an overly horny theatrical male classmate?


Rating: 6 (Good)