Sket Dance – Our 10 Favorite Episodes

As the longest series we’ve ever reviewed here on RABUJOI, we’ve really enjoyed Sket Dance, as it has found a unique niche in each of the last three seasons. Few shows that have run have managed to match its energy or balance such a huge cast so expertly. Last week was one of its best episodes yet, beginning the story of how Himeko became the fiery girl we know and love.

We’re hopeful the conclusion to this arc is as good as its beginning, but for now, here’s a list of our ten favorite Sket Dance episodes, listed chronologically (two of our favorite stories straddle two separate episodes). It’s telling from the distribution that the series has been very consistent throughout its long run.

Sket Dance 3
“It’s taken three eps, but I’ve finally warmed up to Sket Dance…It has a cheekiness, spunk, and energy all its own this season…their chemistry and devotion to one another elevates this above your usual high school comedies”

Sket Dance 6
“[The Sket-dan core] are as spot-on as ever, with their usual excellent chemistry and immediate retorts, and the play premise was a great way to bring in all the misfit characters they had helped in past episodes”

Sket Dance 9
“What made this episode truly genius is that it forgets nothing from this or any previous episodes and doesn’t treat the manga or shrinking story as throwaways, but brings everything to a rousing conclusion, complete with a tight little bow”

Sket Dance 10
“After a hilarious cold open in which the Sket-dan enacts a parody of Kimi ni Todoke, the balance of the episode is dedicated to one client, Yagi…once again, the dynamic trio of Bossun’s concentration, Himeko’s feminine sensibilities, and Switch’s technical know-how solve yet another problem”

Sket Dance 16/17
“What starts out as just another slapstick fest where the hilarious voice-acting really carries the day, turns into a more conventional school romance drama by the end…Bossun is funny when he’s trying to be, but showed good range this week”

Sket Dance 24/25
“I’m not sure why what was a consistently zany, over-the-top comedy would want to try straight-up serious drama, but Sket Dance really hit it out of the park with this Switch arc, totally changing gears from its usual fare”

Sket Dance 27
“Remi-onee-san is quietly evaluating the Sket-dan, 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”

Sket Dance 30
“Bossun is smitten, Switch is talking like she does, but Himeko doesn’t want Momoka’s true self cast aside – along with her friends – as the price of success, or as she said it “bury her past and replace it with sci-fi”…she’s unsavory; she has to be loud and proud”

Sket Dance 33
“Weren’t we just talking last week about how we never know what’s coming with this series? Yeah, that continues to ring true this week, as we get a pretty clever and competent drama-mystery played more-or-less straight as an arrow, which we don’t mind at all”

Sket Dance 36
“This episode’s first half was a pleasant enough diversion (Himeko’s intricate knowledge of hockey sticks was pretty funny), but we’re really suckers for Serious Sket Dance… This week it’s Himeko’s turn to get some flashbacks”

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And now for some pretty charts!

We here at RABUJOI have watched a lot of anime. Not as many as some, but no trivial amount. So we were wondering, which animation studio has churned out the most works we’ve watched? The below charts are the result. We took all of the tv series, OVAs, and films we’ve seen in the anime genre and sorted them by cheif animation production company.

A few notes: These are only works we’ve watched and rated, not all the works the companies have produced.  A few works (e.g., Shikabane Hime) are co-produced by two companies (in its case, Studio feel. and GAINAX). So those shows count for both companies. So when sorting by total number of works (series + OVAs + films), here’s what was revealed:

That’s right, GAINAX and Ghibli are tied for the top spot with fourteen works each. Not too surprising. While GAINAX is a mix of formats, Ghibli is pretty much just films. We haven’t seen any Ghibli films since Tales from Earthsea, so Ponyo and Arriety aren’t included.

But what about pure episode count? Trickier, but doable. More caveats: we included the full count of episodes for currently airing Summer 2011 series (e.g. all 11 Usagi Drop eps, although we’ve only seen the first two). Concurrently, for past series we’ve either dropped or only watched part of (e.g. Bleach), we only count the episodes we’ve watched, not the sum total aired. Finally, we don’t count films as episodes, but we do count OVAs. With all that in mind, let’s have a look at the top ten studios, ranked by total episodes we’ve watched:

The “Other” column on the left is a mélange of 39 different studios. Pierrot’s lofty figure isn’t surprising, as we confess we have watched a lot of Naruto and Bleach in the past…their episodes aren’t typically that high-quality and are extremely drawn-out and filler-prone, so the high ep count should be taken with a grain of salt. Bones and J.C. Staff churn out loads of series, while Sunrise’s count is high due to big (50-episode) Gundam series.

There are some companies (including P.A. Works, Tatsunoko, David, Beetrain and Daume) we really like who are either not yet prolific enough for this list or we simply haven’t watched enough of their works yet.

One thing’s sure, perennial RABUJOI favorite GAINAX’s work count will continue gaining with their current series, Dantalian no Shoka, the continuation of Panty & Stocking, and the final two Eva films. Perhaps our second favorite studio is financially-crippled GONZO, who haven’t done much since Shangri-la, but plan to have a Last Exile reboot out late this year, which is very promising.

Thanks!

As the year of 2010 and the very long, dense Fall 2010 season winds to a crawl (only four episodes left to review), we here are RABUJOI would like to once again take the time to thank everyone who has visited the site and skimmed, read, and/or perused our reviews. We don’t believe in such a thing as a blog thanking one’s readers too often — without readers, RABUJOI would be no more than digitally talking to a wall. Thankfully that hasn’t been the case, especially this December, which has brought us more than double the readers as November, an increase unexpected by all.

It’s always nice to see people reading your stuff, whatever it may be, but ultimately, watching good anime is its own reward; watching great anime, more so. With 2011 comes a brace of fresh new series, some from studios and starring seiyus we know well, while others are unknown, or at least less well-versed. But like the beginning of a new sports season, everyone starts out undefeated; unblemished; perfect. In the next couple weeks we’ll be putting the new series through their paces and share with you our impressions. We’re looking forward to it. So, keep reading, if you wish, and from all of us, have a happy and a healthy New Year!

– RABUJOI STAFF