For once there is actually something going on in SKET Dance, so I have something to talk about in the preamble! We were in the middle of a passionate showdown between the Student Council and the SKET-dan. Onihime had already been defeated by the Student Council’s prettyboy, but with four more competitors to go, it was still anybody’s game! The sort of heartpounding excitement that would make a good conclusion to a series, but I have learned that SKET Dance will be continuing into the summer along with Hanasaku Iroha and Steins;Gate, so I guess it’s just random heartpounding excitement in the middle of the show’s run. Well, maybe that means that the actual conclusion will be even more dramatic! We’ll just have to wait and see. The road may be long, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with SKET Dance episode 12.
…thirty minutes pass…
It's because he's read Mike Flores's seminal Magic: the Gathering strategy article "Who's the Beatdown".
Ok, first things first, here’s what Switch should have done. You can say it turned out all right in the end, but there’s no reason it should have had to come down to a photo finish and a lame I-am-not-left-handed reveal. If he was going to fake gunshots, there was a better strategy available. Instead of his original trap being the sound of footsteps, it should have been the sound of gunshots. This might tip his hand a little on the earlier fake gunshot, but it’s not like she could have taken advantage of the knowledge even if she had it, she was legit out of bullets. So he goes for the extra shot he has from the fake gunshot, and if he hits, great, that’s wonderful. But Switch being Switch, he could expect it to take him up five tries to hit: as we saw, it took him two. So, wouldn’t it be better if he could have five shots to her zero instead of just one? Here’s how. He fakes gunshots, knowing that she will move to fire in the direction of them, making her vulnerable and wasting a shot. Then, he mixes a real gunshot in with the fake ones, while still hidden under cover. This empties his gun, allowing him to secretly switch to his second gun. Then he pops out, they exchange shots leaving her at empty and him at five, he makes the same speech only this time it’s a trick: he’s claiming to have faked what was a real shot. Then he shoots her while she’s helpless, same as in the real continuity, but if he misses, he gets four more shots while she’s helpless, and the first of the four is with her overconfident and thinking “he’s finally out of bullets so I can draw in safety!”
Other than that oversight by Switch, this was a great episode, as exciting as I had expected it to be. I hadn’t liked the samurai before, but he did a good job of being a badass and pulling things out for the SKET-dan with passion, friendship, and justice. Unfortunately, this puts the SKET-dan up 2-1, which I guess means Roman is doomed to lose the dating sim contest. I don’t really see how, she should be a Capturing God-tier ringer for them, her romantic powers literally warp reality. And compared to that, her Student Council opponent is some random rich girl? I guess the random prettyboy turned out to be an amazing cook, we don’t have enough characterization for the student council to really count them out of any contest at this point. Or maybe she will win, and the match will end without Bossun even having to fight, which would be kinda funny, fitting with the show’s tendency to make a fool of Bossun whenever it can, and it would certainly be a break from cliche. Still, I don’t think winning 3-1 is really the SKET-dan’s style, if anything I would have expected them to open 0-2, scrappy underdogs that they are.