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Skip and Loafer Episode #05 Anime Review

4 min read
© 高松美咲・講談社 / 「スキップとローファー」 製作委員会

“Prickly and Giddy”

What They Say:
This country girl is ready for the big city! Well, at least she thought she was. Mitsumi’s dream is to attend a prestigious school and make the world a better place. But when she finally gets to Tokyo, it turns out she isn’t exactly prepared for city life. Luckily, she runs into Shima, a sweet and handsome classmate who becomes her first friend! Can she make it in Tokyo with Shima by her side?

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The nature of this series has been working quite well for me in its opening episodes by giving us interesting characters and backgrounds that help to move things along without it being over the top. I don’t mind those kinds of shows but they tend to dominate. And when we do get quieter shows like this one is, they tend to do more navel-gazing than anything else. So it’s welcome to get something that not only takes its time with its characters without going zany but that it’s also able to make them realistic and more interesting because of the flaws and how they work through them. We’ve seen tidbits of a few already and a focus on Makoto in particular, but there’s a lot to work with.

This episode spends its first half with a focus on Mika, which is definitely welcome. With the class focusing on the upcoming events and the midterms, the sports focus that comes afterward has Mitsumi quite worried because she’s bad at sports and has no skill at volleyball. So she ends up quietly enlisting Mika to help her at Shima’s suggestion. With Mika interested in Shima, this gives her an avenue to spend more time with him but it really is just the two girls themselves for the most part. And Mitsumi is pretty bad. So there’s an interesting give and take between the two but also a sudden exploration of Mika’s fears and why she’s both envious and unhappy with Mitsumi. Childhood trauma, the pressure of society, self-inflicted pressures, and more. But it also comes with a realization as she spends time with Mitsumi that she’s been more focused on the anger of it rather than finding better paths. It’s done a bit bluntly but it works incredibly well.

The back half focuses on the class match games and there’s plenty of fun to be had there overall. We get to see how well Mitsumi has progressed, though she talks it up more than she’s capable of, and it’s fun to see the way the team comes together and the little moments that populate it. We also get to see how some manage to be involved without playing a sport, serving as backup players that won’t be needed but helping elsewhere. The main focus is on Shima as we see how many women across all three years that are interested in him and that gets to Mika in a big way. Mitsumi as well, though there’s a different set of emotions there because she just sees him as a friend. Mika’s view of things through it is definitely interesting and her realizing that Mitsumi may have that something extra that will be what Shima finds attractive is a nice bit of storytelling.

In Summary:
As with the other episodes so far, there’s a lot going on here but it’s handled well. It’s not overpacking each episode but it’s putting in enough that you feel like each one makes real progress with the kids and what they’re going through. And our understanding of who they are as well. It’s not hitting big moments or anything but delivering on the promise of good character material and a look at a lot of how first-year high school interactions can go. It’s still kept from some of the other elements that are very, well, dated in a way such as social media and the like, but by doing so it hits its own kind of timelessness that will only help in the long run. It’s a very solid show doing some really strong work across the board and I can’t recommend it enough.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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