When Jougasaki injures two basketball team members, he asks Bossun to play as a substitute so the team can compete. When Bossun notices Jougasaki still plays, he convinces him to take his place, reuniting him with Teppei. Saaya manages to get Bossun alone, and finally confesses to him. Bossun reacts as expected: like a little kid. The Sket-dan continues to perform duties for its fellow students, including aiding the student council with security as Momoka films a movie.
All pretty good things must come to an end, and to be honest, we’re comfortable calling Sket Dance a pretty good show throughout its run. It’s never been perfect, but it’s been steady and consistent, and it goes out on a nice note, tying up the “Will Saaya Confess” loose end and giving pretty much every character a cameo, including their very first client: Teppei. After the basketball job is done, Saaya makes her move on Bossun. The girl shows both guts and incredible poise throughout the process, because coming out with her feeling for him without any cliche’d misunderstandings is such a load off her ample chest.
The animators do a good job visualizing the subtle change in how she looks and carries herself after confessing, and Himeko notices too. Bossun stays true to character too, not knowing what to say or do. Were there ten or so more episodes to show how he’d come around to giving Saaya a direct answer – even if it’s probably yes – that could be more interesting character work, but ending things here is fine too. So we say sayonara to Sket Dance – which, unless we combine the hundred total episodes of Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny – has been the longest series we’ve watched to its conclusion; a record that will be hard to break.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
In the first half, Agata and Michiru prepare to step down from the Student Council, and Tsubaki is voted in as the next president. Tsubaki goes on a warpath, punishing people for the slightest infractions, until Agata, still president for one more day, suggests he take it easy, and ask the school to help him, rather than doing it all himself. In the second part, Saaya is kidnapped and Agata must clear a quiz gauntlet to get her back. The whole thing turns out to be a ruse planned in part by Bossun and executed by the council to express their thanks for his good works.
A torch is passed this week, as Agata gives way to Tsubaki, whose dream of ruling the school has finally come true. That dream dies a quick death, however, as he quickly learns that a school as large and chaotic isn’t something to be ruled. The student body will swiftly turn their hearts against a rigid tyrant – especially after the cakewalk they had while the laid-back Agata was President. It takes the dropkicking of a door by the former president to get Tsubaki’s attention: presiding is all about cooperation and collaboration: not dictating cold order.
The second half is quite the curveball, resembling an early episode of Phi Brain at times. The whole idea of using Agata’s beloved sister to lure him into a multi-level puzzle is suitably clever, making use of his skills at math, kanji, logic solving, and shogi – skills he must wield while keeping his emotions at bay. Another layer of cleverness is in how the large characters he draws become letters in a phrase of gratitiude when he happens to tilt his head sideways. It may be a plan that goes off rather amazingly hitchless, but the somewhat corny payoff’s sentiment is well-earned regardless.
Rating: 6 (Good)
When Council president Agata Soujirou sees his sister Saaya talking to Tsubaki, he grilles her and Tsubaki on their intentions. Tsubaki answers believing Agata is talking about Bosssun, and says he’ll have dinner again. When Agata sees that Saaya wasn’t invited to dinner, he prods her; she answers belieiving her brother is talking about Bossun as well, and asks him out on a date. Tailing her, Agata is angry when he sees Bossun with Tsubaki and Saaya, though it was Tsubaki who was there by coincidence. The four have awkward tea, where Agata incorrectly deduces that Bosssun is in love with Saaya.
While we can see how they would drive some people up a wall, we love episodes like this that take a triangle of people, give them all misconceptions about who they’re all talking about, tangle them all up and run with it. Have you ever been in a conversation where one of you pauses and asks “wait, we’re talking about the same person, right?” This never happens in any conversations, leading Agata to take what he hears and apply it to the wrong people in his 160-IQ brain. This isn’t easy to keep up naturally and believably, but Agata, Saaya, Bossun and Tsubaki pull it off without breaking a sweat. And it’s great to see the normally cool and laid-back Agata getting all bent out of shape for once.
The underlying cause of all these misunderstandings is that on matters concerning his lil’ sis, Agata’s massive intellect betrays him. He worries about her, as any good big brother should, but he over-meddles. His reward is that he comes away from his encounter with the Saaya/Bossun/Tsubaki triangle with completely the wrong idea, and the more he prys, the less legitimate information he gleans. As for Saaya, she actually got something worthwhile, even if her bro and Tsubaki ruined her first date: Agata got Bossun to admit some pretty flattering things about her. The only problem here is that Bossun is still too dense vis-a-vis Saaya. Seriously, where the hell is this kid’s sex drive?
Rating: 6 (Good)
When Bossun (with Himeko inside) is momentarily left alone, Saaya approaches him wanting to talk. She asks him what he thinks of Himeko, and Himeko tells her “he” has no special feelings. Himeko then asks her what she thinks of Bossun, and all she can tell her/him is that “he is on her mind.” Later Himeko has to sleep with Bossun in the only spare futon in Chuu-san’s room, and asks Bossun if what she said about her was what he would have said, and he concurs. In a post-credits omake, the Sket-dan and other classmates are in an RPG world trying to assign themselves jobs, but hardly any are desirable thanks to Remi’s writing errors.
One of the more annoying aspects of Sket Dance is that it is constantly, well, dancing around the issue of Bossun and Himeko’s relationship. Clearly, the two of them are closer to each other than Switch, and yet both are either oblivious or petrified of their relationship ever being given a concrete definition. They’re always in limbo. Even Bossun’s apparent aggrement with Himeko’s improvisation as him – that he harbored no “special feelings” towards her, isn’t enough to quell our doubt.
It’s all in the wording: what she said (as him) may match what he’d say were he in his own body when Saaya talked to him, but it’s not the complete truth. That’s what he’d say, not what he truly thinks. We think these two have feelings, but just won’t acknowledge it. Alas, until whenever this series ends, it’s probably an issue that will never be resolved to our satisfaction, so all we can say is c’est la vie, and Saaya apparently has a chance at Bossun, since Himeko didn’t ruin it for him. As for the RPG omake, it was good for a chuckle or two, but nothing outstanding.
Bossun is complaining about how annoying the tsundere character in the dating sim Switch lent him is when a real-life twin-tailed, big-busted, kneesocks-wearing uber-tsundere named Saaya enters the clubroom. Once they cut through her tsuntsuness, she tells them she wants them to help cure her. After some somewhat-fruitful role-playing, Saaya leaves for the day, but calls them back to announce she’s found an abandoned animal. It turns out
to be an owl, and they bring it back to the clubhouse until its wounds heal. Hoosuke, as Saaya names him, seems to prefer the clubroom to the rest of the world, leaving them with a new club mascot.
Uh-oh…Sket Dance has a new archetypal tsundere character…is this a ratings ploy? We kid; but the introduction of Agata Saaya is pretty inspired. The Sket-dan are a pretty no-nonsense sort, who say what they mean and mean what they say. Dumping someone into their midst who almost reflexively responds to every question with “Don’t get the wrong idea!” is going to net some solid comedy. Saaya, voiced by none other than Kana Hanazawa (she really is everywhere…) does a good job really laying the tsuntsun on thick, while also coming across as a typical high school girl who is shy around boys and verbally lashes out in defense of percieved threats.
We were about to roll our eyes at the umpteenth abandoned puppy or kitten (we can’t believe Japanese pet owners are this fickle), but…an owl? We weren’t expecting that. We also weren’t expecting high school students to be so ignorant about owls. How could they possibly not know that owls are nocturnal and eat mice? They need to sit down and tuck into some Sir David Attenborough…