A thoughtful response to current anime.

SKET Dance – Episode 22

The last episode of SKET Dance was all about Switch. And I’m fine with that, Switch is awesome after all, but they keep teasing me with the Bossun/Himeko romance stuff, so I’m hoping that immediately after a Switch-focused episode we’ll get an episode focused on the two of them, where they finally admit their feelings for one another.  They managed to cut through the romantic tension in Hanasaku Iroha, and they’ll probably be cutting through it in BakaTest next episode, so I have high hopes that these successes can be replicated in episode 22 of SKET Dance.

…thirty minutes pass…

Best new character of the season.

Two subepisodes this time, I’ll take them separately.

The first subepisode was pretty good.  To a certain extent, it might not be comprehensible without an understanding of Japanese folklore, which might be a problem for foreign viewers. I’m not super well-versed, but I have a vague idea about how the story of Momotaro goes.  It went off the rails pretty quickly, which was sort of the joke; probably you could figure out that the original story did not have death robots in it even if you had never heard of Momotaro before.  I think this sort of episode is where SKET Dance is at its best, where you just have the character shooting the breeze with each other, coming up with more and more ridiculous ideas and then having Himeko smack people around to bring them down to earth.  This episode was a lot like the board-game episode: the boys got all excited about their shounen power-level battle robot nonsense, and Himeko just looked on shaking her head.

The second subepisode was not so great.  It is not true that inside every young boy’s heart lives a hidden love of baseball.  Baseball is a badly designed game, almost as uninteresting in its ruleset as the visual novel games the kid rightly derided.  If you have a kid who is too cool to enjoy things, the solution is absolutely not to force him to play sports.  You have to provide him with things that are cool to like!  I feel like the picture play from the first subepisode would have been a good choice – what hipster could fail to appreciate an ironically hyperviolent deconstruction of a classic fairytale?  It has robots, and it’s okay to like the robots because the robots are just a joke and it’s intellectual.  His father would approve and he wouldn’t have to get his clothes dirty.  Everybody wins.  The solution they ended up with was dumb and frankly kind of insulting.


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