Sket Dance – 75

Tsubaki and Unyuu try to defuse a victim of bullying who’s snapped, but Katou interferes and Unyuu is almost seriously hurt. Tsubaki gives him an ultimatum to shape up or turn in his armband. Having watched the argument, Himeko reaches out to Katou, who tells her about a horrible teacher who blamed a student for being bullied and drove him off. That same teacher, Kutsuwa Daijirou, just happens to be the new homeroom teacher. He runs down Himeko, making her cry; the last straw for Katou. He kidnaps Kutsuwa and ties him to a tree, putting him on live streaming video to answer for is crimes. Tsubaki and Bossun manage to defuse the situation, but another jab at Himeko by Kutsuwa earns him a punch by Bossun, who along with Katou, gets suspended for two weeks. Kutsuwa quits.

Like most school-based anime, Sket Dance rarely focuses on teachers – the only ones with any kind of screen time have been Chuuma-sensei (who’s more a mad scientist) and Remi-chan (who’s more of a kid-at-heart than many of the students). This week, we’re presented with a new teacher, who is a total asshole. He gets the job through connections, but he’s obsessed with blaming people for their own problems. That’s not a bad thing on its face, but he takes it to the extreme, intentionally pressing students’ buttons and making them feel ashamed and powerless. He has no business presiding over a class of already emotionally-fragile teenagers.

By foul contrivance, he just happens to be the same teacher Katou mentions to Himeko while explaining why he is the way he is. When Kutsuwa works his charm on Himeko, Katou is driven to action. He’s lucky the police didn’t get involved when he resorts to kidnapping, but it’s all thanks to friends he didn’t even know he had that he comes out alright, and the teacher is sent packing (having his sociopathic tirade broadcast live to the whole school helped with that). Bossun, initially a bystander, can’t stop himself from slugging a teacher when Himeko’s name is besmirched. Bossun’s usually a genial guy, but when his friends are being hurt, he’s as brutal and fierce as they come. And clearly, it was worth it. Dude really needed to be punched.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

 

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Sket Dance – 72

In the first half, Chiaki brings a student to the Sket-dan who has fallen victim to a dastardly pickpocket known as Kagerou or “Shadow Wolf.” They seek to apprehend him using Himeko as a decoy, but they find themselves outmatched, until ninja descendant freshman Katou Kiri intervenes. In the second half, the student council’s new treasurer Usami Hani is introduced. In her normal state, she hates men so much she completely ignores Tsubaki. When he touches her, her sexy, boy-crazy alter ego Bunny-chan emerges. After getting a headache, Tsubaki insists the final concil slot will be filled by a male – enter Katou Kiri.

Sket Dance’s policy regarding characters seems to be “the more, the merrier”, and in the case of the two new characters introduced this week, there’s no reason to change that policy. Both Katou Kiri and Usami Hani leave underwhelming first impressions early in their respective segments, but then they show an entirely different side of their characters. In Kiri’s case, he feigns slow reflexes to hide his ninja skills, but uses them to bail Himeko out of a serious situation (one of the only times we can recall she’s at knifepoint; while Bossun is unconscious).

Katou Kiri is okay, but of the two, we preferred Usami Hani (voiced by Yuka Iguchi), who has the extemely bizarre quality of totally changing personalities based on which gender touched her last. The relay system she sets up with Minorin tests Tsubaki’s patience, as does her jumping to conclusions when he’s direct with her. Fourth Wall expert Saotome Roman chimes in at a couple opportune times to give her assessment, which was much like ours: uninspiring at first, but turns out to be very quirky and not without potential.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Sket Dance – 70

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)