Uryuu’s threats fail to spook Kurusu, who has his men storm the hospital. Yuki is cornered by his men, and he goes in the hospital to take over. Yuno stops him, and there is a standoff, until a flash grenade and one of Uryuu’s bombs go off, turning their floor into rubble. Kurusu has Yuno by the throat with a scalpel, but Yuki manages to shoot him. Nakajima arrives to arrest his chief, after hearing voice recordings on Uryuu’s phone. No longer a detective, Kurusu snaps his phone, killing him. After everything blows over, Yuki and Yuno take a trip to his dad’s house, and Yuno deletes a warning from Akisu from Yuki’s phone.
Whenever four diary holders converge, you know there’s going to be potential for lots of explosions and blood. This week doesn’t disappoint, with a Godhood-hungry Kurusu hunting Yuki and Yuno and Uryuu working diligently to stay on everybody’s and nobody’s side. His motivation is clear: save his kid’s life once he’s God. Once that’s no longer possible, it falls to another diary holder to save his son. A a cold, crazed lunatic the past two weeks finally softens and accepts his dead end. We’re now running out of diary holders.
Now everything’s tied up with a neat little pink bow, right? Not so fast; while Yuki has arguably never felt closer to Yuno – even confessing his love and using that love to aim his gun true to save her – the fact remains she’s still nuts. The series goes out of its way to make their lovers’ getaway as forboding as possible, what with the skulls and syringes in her duffel. We’d gone off about how Yuki should just stop worrying and go with the flow vis-a-vis Yuno, even if it kills him. But lord knows what she has planned.
I predicted that the Sket-dan would win the Bibage Tournament, it was just a matter of whether Roman or Bossun lost their challenge. It turns out, both of them lost. Roman was infinitely more charming than Uryuu, who wooed her target with a fat check. But it was just bad luck that the guy, while totally smitten with Roman, nonetheless chose the girl who was more “his type”. Roman did nothing wrong, it just wasn’t to be.
The final challenge seemingly becomes must-win when the council prez, Agata, raises the stakes: Whoever loses quits their respective club. Their challenge, Pixie Garden, is a game of wits, and the 200 (or 160) I.Q. Agata changes gears from laid back and affable to manipulative and ruthless. He disrupts Bossun’s concentration by bringing up something we’ve yet to learn: why Switch and Himeko are so trusting of and loyal to him. Why he wants to help people. Is he atoning for something?
In any case, Agata keeps Bossun tense the whole way, and is always a step or two ahead in the game. Even when Bossun remembers the order of the cards, he makes one mistake at the end, because Agata correctly predicted everything he’d do. He didn’t just lose, he lost at the worst possible time. His opponent did what he wanted to do: snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It doesn’t matter, since the prez wasn’t serious…though it’s pretty funny how Sket-dan proceeds with a “Farewell Bossun” party anyway.
So yeah, this first half of Sket Dance was good school comedy with a lot of ridiculous side characters and a strong core trio of likable leads. The show never aims to be serious, and for the most part sticks to its strengths. It and its cast are eccentric, yet down to earth. I look forward to what they throw at us in the second half. Rating: 3.5
P.S.: For some reason, the two Bibage mascots reminded me of Panty & Stocking…
This is the episode where I totally stopped caring about what’s at stake in this ridiculously high-budget competition between Sket-dan and the Student Council, because the show doesn’t really care about it either at the moment, it’s all about the here and now. And it delivered not one but two superb duels – one between Tsubaki and Shinzo, and another between Switch and Daisy. The two matches couldn’t have been more different, but they both worked, and rocked.
Tsubaki probably had Shinzo hook-line-and-sinker had he not called into question his samurainess. The words stung Shinzo deep, and made him remember his master’s teachings. The fact he burst his own second-to-last blood ball was particularly badass, and it made sense why he did it – Samurai only have one life to give; and his only two options are to win or die. So with the teams tied at one victory apiece (complete with victory rock that reminded me of Queen), Switch volunteers for the shoot out with Daisy in a dark warehouse.
Daisy may well be a crack shot who carries out orders without hesitation, Switch arguably scores the first unofficial point by loosing a barrage of information about her character, along with his analysis that she may be into S&M. She returns fire with perhaps the best and most elegant-sounding insults of the whole season – “Dobu De Oborete Shinde Ikikaete Mata Shine”, or “Drown in a gutter and die, come back to life, then die again.” Itai! Another nice touch – the two are kitted out in classy noir costumes.
As I said, Daisy has the better eye (though they both wear glasses; who knows), but Switch has a laptop, which he uses to misdirect and fool her into thinking he’s out of ammo. It’s more chess than pistols, as Switch uses his heretofore ambidexterity to get the winning shot just one-hundreth of a second before Daisy shoots him. Margin for error was zero, but he had confidence. Sket-dan up 2-1. Now, will the ringer, Roman, lose the “love challenge” against Uryuu, or will Bossun lose the last match to the council Prez? We’ll have to find out next week. Rating: 3.5