This week’s spotlight is on Sket Dance – the anime/manga that is probably the most under-appreciated these days.
“At Kaimei High School, the Living Assistance Club (aka the Sket Brigade) was organized to help students with problems big or small. Most of the time, though, they hang out in their club room, bored, with only a few trivial problems floating in every once in a while. In spite of this, they still throw all their energy into solving these worries. ” – Crunchyroll
Yes. I had read this many times on my journeys through the otaku-verse, but it didn’t click, it didn’t say “Come and watch this, it be awesome!!” Which goes to show that judging books by their covers, or what Wikipedia says about them is DEAD WRONG!
Although Sket Dance seems like just another anime in the throngs of series, some of which you’ll never catch up to, (Yes, One Piece, I know!) the chances that you’ll get distracted by something more major, like say, the new Rock Lee spin-offs from Naruto is more.
But I call it luck that I did stick long enough to watch the first episode, Sket Dance is one of my new favourite animes! With the dusk of such greats like Bleach and Bakuman, both of which are ending soon, there was a time when I felt that there were no worthy candidates to step up to the plate. But with Sket Dance, my faith in up and coming manga has been restored.
The plotline, as described above, is quite simple. Sket Dance does not play out in archs, but short chapters rather like the dirty comic Gintama. (Y U No watched this?)
The three main characters go by the nicknames; Bossun, Himeko and Switch, together making up the Sket Brigade who is a club that helps solve any and every problem in their high school. Maybe introducing the three and pointing out why I love each of them so much will help make my admiration of the series clear.
Bossun – Yusuke Fujisaki
Bossun is the self proclaimed leader of the Sket Brigade. Both Himeko and Switch trust him explicitly and follow his orders. Despite being an airhead and always biting off more than he can chew, Bossun is a deeply kind person who goes out of his way to help people. He is scrawny in appearance, with messy black hair and I don’t know why he’s allowed to wear shorts with his uniform. Bossun’s power is his concentration. By putting on his goggles, he can concentrate so intensely and come up with award winning schemes that allow the Sket Brigade to save the day. He is also skilled as an artist and can draw very well. Despite him believing that he is very popular, he doesn’t win the class price. His relationship with Himeko is very tight and he relies on her strength always while talking down to her. His relationship with Switch is a little less complicated.
Himeko – Hime Onizuka
The Demon Princess (Onihime) was a rough former yankee before she met Bossun who she credits as her hero. Himeko is from Osaka and has that gorgeous lilting way of speaking (in the anime) that I can’t help but adore. Himeko has a bizarre adoration of Pellolipop Candy that come in outrageous flavors rather like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. She also is a skilled hockey player and an all-round great sportswoman. She carries her hockey stick Cyclone, around with her and is usually seen with a lollipop in her mouth that creates the rumor that Onihime is a thug with a cigarette in her mouth.
Himeko is deeply loyal to Bossun even though she flares up at the slightest things and tends to beat him up. She is very loyal and willing to follow him anywhere.
There’s a wonderful post of Himeko and her dealings with bullies on Manga Therapy.
Switch – Usui Kazuyoshi
Switch is the brains of the outfit always calm and stoic, while seemingly emotionless. He loves to tease others and has a weird sense of humour that causes Himeko and Bossun to go nuts. He does not speak rather using a software that synthesizes his voice through his laptop, using it to tell jokes that people hardly get. The reason for him speaking in this manner is explained in the heart breaking chapters titled Switch Off.
Switch is a deeply obsessed otaku and is very passionate about anime giving detailed indepth commentary on the various animes featured in the series. He was even featured as a guest otaku by one of the broadcasting club’s shows. He also loves RPG games and the weirder they are the better.
A great series about friendship, loyalty and how helping others is helping ourselves, I think that Kenta Shinohara has created a masterpiece here. I’m eagerly reading the chapters and watching the anime.
You should too. 🙂
[This post is early because I will not be online on Monday.]