Sket Dance – 54

When Himeko goes to have her fortune told by Yuuki, Bossun, Switch and Saaya tag along, and learn that Yuuki is selling cheap talismans for her divination mentor, the famous Minakami Himiko. They confront Minakami in person, who challenges Bossun to a fortune-reading in front of a seminar of her followers. Bossun leaves the strategy to Switch.

When the date arrives, and Minakami refutes Switch’s claims that she’s fraudulent, then correctly decribes Bossun’s past, including the realization he has a twin. However, Bossun is actually Tsubaki in disguise. The student council discovered she’d sent her men to investigate Bossun prior to the telling, and she is exposed as a fraud.

It’s an almost Scooby-Doo type episode this week, as the meddling schoolkids go up against a powerful, haughty old fortuneteller who resembles a well-fed Cruella De Vil with a butch haircut. But it isn’t just an arbitrary challenge: Switch thinks Yuuki’s taking-in of all the woman’s BS will dull her as a sparring partner, and he feels it’s his responsibility to prove to Yuuki that her mentor is no good.

Switch deftly explains how Minakami employs the Barnum effect and both cold and hot reading to make her subjects believe she’s reading their aura. Using Tsubaki was a clever twist. The resulting showdown at her seminar makes for an entertaining show, especially if I was a spectator not expecting Minakami to be so thoroughly and publically debunked. This episode also continues the idea that Saaya actually likes Bossun, but because she’s a tsundere, nothing will ever come of it.

Rating: 3.5