A thoughtful response to current anime.

SKET Dance – Episode 21

Last time on SKET Dance the members of the SKET-dan went on dates, unfortunately not with each other.  Hanasaku Iroha is finally resolving some of its romantic tension, why can’t SKET Dance?  Because Hanasaku Iroha is much more drama-oriented than SKET Dance, which is pretty much a straight comedy.  Everything has to be played for laughs with the SKET-dan, and romance is Serious Business.  This is why you never see movies and TV shows billed as “romantic comedies”, for example.  Anyway, I’m looking forward to everything being taken lightly and nobody falling too deeply in love in episode 21 of SKET Dance.

…thirty minutes pass…

That's what happens when you talk to a man of science and logic, rather than wallowing in your occult delusions.

Switch is the best.  This is the second episode we’ve had where Switch just solves all the problems, and the other two members of the SKET-dan are reduced to peering around corners watching him do his work.  I don’t think the creepy occult girl is a good romantic match for him, but he agrees, at least out loud.  There’s an argument to be made that he’s just being tsundere, but I prefer to think that he really is just trying to be helpful (he is in a club for helping people) and is just looking for a chance to talk about computers (he is a giant nerd), and it doesn’t actually mean anything.  Similarly, sometimes people really do cook too much food and they really don’t want it to go to waste and you really shouldn’t read anything into it, baka.

This episode was all right, it had some funny parts, but it felt really empty, even after accounting for the fact that they spent about 15% of the episode on that weird side-story where the girls played word games in bikinis.  Like, usually in these sorts of “extreme makeover” episodes, you would show some sort of makeover occurring, wouldn’t you?  You wouldn’t just say, oh, here is the end result, we put dye in her hair and stuff, you know that sort of thing.  It was like they were rushing through what should have been something of an ordeal for the two of them.  And what was the deal with that Pelican show on the roof?  There weren’t jokes, or plot, or characterization, it was an utterly pointless waste of time, and Switch even said as much.  It was a “narrative no-op”, an event that doesn’t change the state of the story and exists only to fill space.  If you have ever read a novel written for National Novel Writing Month, an event with a strict time limit, a strict word count requirement, and absolutely no quality control, the novels produced this way are absolutely rife with them.


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