Remi has been going on a lot of dates with Chuu-san and his daughter, Suzu, and Remi thinks she’s fallen in love with him. She and Suzu got to the Sket-dan seeking advice on how to bring Chuu-san around. Suzu suggests they use her dad’s love potion, but it comes in three parts: a solid, powder, and liquid, that must be ingested in order in a certain way within a specific time.
Bossun devises a ridiculously pie-in-the-sky plan, but Remi and Suzu manage to pull it off, except when it comes time for Remi to finish the procedure. Both she and Suzu agree that it wasn’t the right way to go about it. But later, when he overhears her feelings on the balcony, Chuu proposes. Remi says no, but only not yet; she wants to date first.
The idea of Chuu+Remi has been teased since the two first met, and now something concrete has finally happened: a proposal has been wrested from Chuu, and while it is respectfully declined by Remi, her’s is more of a postponement than outright rejection, since she’s said on numerous occasions she wants to be Chuu’s wife and Suzu’s new mom.
The episode is spiced up by a very entertaining, convoluted plan for drugging Chuu, which relies on many factors – including the existence of a restaurant that serves everything (which is somewhere we’d like to go sometime). And in fitting Sket-dan fashion, things don’t go as planned, but it’s okay…everything will eventually work out. And no, Sket Dance, we don’t believe for a second you’ll ever have Bossun fall in love with someone.
Rating: 5 (Average)
Bossun and Himeko switch personalities. Tsubaki is hypnotized into believing he’s a cat. The only person who can help them has no motivation. Saaya is thinking about confessing to Bossun. Switch, who encouraged Saaya, now has to keep her away from Bossun, who is actually Himeko, who has to keep Himeko, who is actually Bossun, away from her body and other girls. Roman, who is omniscient, knows Bossun’s secret, because it’s how she’d write a high school trip anime. Enough going on for ya?
These situations, on their own, would make for pretty thin episodes (or half-episodes). But all of these things are going on in one episode, making for a dense, multifaceted episode with a manic pace. There’s so much going on here, all of which matches the established lore of the characters thus far. It’s no surprise to us that both Himeko and Bossun would think it would be easy to imitate one another, and not think further ahead to all of the awkward situations they’d get themselves into. Something as mundane as bathing with her fellow female classmates suddenly becomes a big deal. Things are chaotic.
Switch’s clandestine role to ensure Saaya won’t speak to Bossun when Himeko’s in his body – despite having prodded her to do just that last week – works well. Saaya’s own constant insistence that Bossun’s a “kind creep” hits fever pitch, and Bossun (with Himeko’s personality within) only fuels the fire. We also like how the generic student extras check off many of the things the Sket-dan has done (mentioning the events of previous episodes) and it’s true, to the mis- or under-informed, it might look like the club screws around more than it helps. But those extras respresent how dull the school would be without the Sket-dan, or their legion of eccentric friends and the student council, for that matter. Such a school would carry no interest for us.
Class 2’s ski trip to Niigata nears, but the various classes must compete in a group jump rope competition in order to go. Saaya, who is bad at sports, is weary of letting her class down, and her classmate Horii lets her know about it. Saaya practices with the Sket-dan, and the next day her class comes within a skip of the record. Saaya says she was the one who missed a skip, covering for the real culprit Horii.
In the second part, the trip is underway, with the Sket-dan’s class sharing a bus with Tsubaki’s. Saaya, in another bus considers telling Bossun how she feels on the trip, after getting advice from Switch at a rest stop. When the journey continues Himeko gets motion sickness, and Chuu-san is ready with a galaxy of pills, many of which Bossun had already tried previously. Himeko, Bossun and Tsubaki end up taking the wrong pills, the result of which Bossun and Himeko switch personalities and Tsubaki is hypnotized into thinking he’s Bossun.
This week we’re presented with one fairly unexcceptional and one fairly enjoyable outings, both of which set up the two-part class trip episode that may mark the end of the series (though we’re 0-for-everything on predicting the end of the series.) The first part is fairly Saaya-heavy, and as your ironically-typical tsundere, she’s not all that compelling and can’t carry a half-episode all on her own. The second half was better, with the Sket-dan and Tsubaki falling victim to Chuu’s ridiculous drugs. You would have thought they’d learned their lesson by now, but no. Now the dynamic of the class trip will have a whole new meaning, with their personalities being screwed up for three whole days.
Part 1: While cleaning Chuu’s classroom, Bossun drinks from a Coke bottle containing a potion that mixes up his feelings and expressions: he laughs when angry, cries when bored, looks cool when he’s crying and looks angry when embarrassed. Remi messes up Chuu’s antidote, so Bossun’s expression becomes frozen in anger.
Part 2: When doing origami, Himeko discovers Bossun is an origami virtuoso: not only able to make any common form one-handed, but can make a realistic paper sculpture of anything on demand. When Switch tells him about a contest with a one-million yen prize, Bossun holes up in the clubroom and creates a fantastic pegasus, but accidentally uses the paper he wrote the directions to the contest on.
We consider episodes involving Chuu-san’s crazy concoctions to be among the most consistently hilarious of the series, including perhaps the best non-serious Sket Dance episode, number 9 – when Bossun becomes tiny. It was just as hilarious on the second watch, with a breakneck pace and rapid-fire gags that simply never quit. This newest potion mixes up all of Bossun’s expressions, and the result is some truly strange, absurd interactions. As veteran viewers of anime, it’s ingrained within us to expect certain tones of voice to be accompanied by the appropriate expressions. This segment turned that on its head, taking us out of that comfort zone, which was definitely interesting and different.
Far less surreal was the discovery of Bossun’s innate talent for origami mastery, which along with his powers of concentration, dinky slingshot, and “servile” personality, only add to his oddness among shounen characters. The ease with which he makes amazing paper creations is milked for all it’s worth, and by episode’s end he’s acting like some kind of zen master dishing out wisdom. One really nice touch: he replaces his hat and armband with paper facsimilies, but no mention of this is made whatsoever; it’s a subtle gag that works very well, as does his ultimate undoing. Next time pin those directions to the wall or something, Boss.
A new character arrives in the person of Remi Misora, a new teacher and former kid’s tv show host who calls herself “Onee-san”. At times she proves to be an extraordinarily careless klutz, leading the Sket-dan to seek out Chuu-san for a cure. However, while all of his potions change her personality, the underlying carelessness remains, after which he tells her to leave it be, as it’s whats makes her her. The second act deals with a found box of Switch’s random inventions, many terrifying, which end up saving the day and proving to Onee-san that the Sket-dan is capable of greatness.
Sket Dance turns in another solid, often hilarious outing, with a new opening by Gackt that’s much better than the last one, a new ending with nudity and chocolate, and in between, a new teacher who’s main strength is her passion. Indeed, she lends a great deal of energy to the show, and serves as an honorary fourth member of the Sket-dan all this week. We aren’t sure who voiced her (yet), but she does an excellent job both bringing the bright, bubbly Onee-san to life, and showing a wide range of personalities as she downs Chuu’s various potions (served in Sake bottles, making for two excellent bumper cards.)
With her character established, she takes a half-step back out of the spotlight, as this is primarily about Switch’s really wacked-out inventions, including a disembodied anime head that blows on hot ramen, a hyperrealistic baboon-head knapsack, hover shoes, a shoulder-dislocating cheer bazooka and neck-snapping homing goggles. Onee-san is quietly evaluating the Sket-dan with regards to their reputation as The Club that Helps, and it looks pretty bad, when all of a sudden all that random crap is put to practical use rescuing a kindergartener falling out the window. Ridiculous? Yes…but in the best way.