Nothing says ‘fun’ quite like a popularity contest
Me forget about Sket? Never! I’ll admit, there was a lot of procrastination going on with this episode, but that was mostly because this was another slice of life one. You should know how I feel about those by now.
Summer vacation is over in the world of Sket and Bossun talks about all the things he and the Sket did over the summer that we don’t actually get to see and about how popular he is. However, his sister and mother take on a sarcastic tone and obviously don’t believe him. Take note: the theme of the episode is popularity.
We see the Sket in the classroom for once (albeit they’re not actually in class) and the newspaper club, who don’t seem to have anything better to do, come to the classroom to post a flyer for a contest sponsored by them. The characters then begin fantasizing about themselves winning medals for the various categories and we meet the character who needs help this episode. Uchida Takaaki wants to become popular and break out of his introverted shell, so he goes to the Sket. Bossun then decides that they should get Uchida to win one of the awards in the conveniently timed contest because medals = instant popularity.
Shouldn’t the newspaper club be writing editorials or something instead?
While trying to figure out which category they should have him win, Himeko suggests the Mr. Strong one because a timid person like Uchida winning would be big news. They request Shinzou to help and ask him to stage a match with Uchida and lose on purpose. Luckily, Shinzou is an expert on pretending to die thanks to his father’s acting career however, during the rehearsal, he over acts making it unconvincing.
With that plan a failure, Switch suggests that Uchida try for the Mr. Otaku award and gets him a spot on the radio broadcast. This plan fails too because the entire time, Switch argues with his otaku friend about the qualities of anime and Uchida can’t get a single word in (not that he wants to).
The last plan is Bossun’s and he suggests that they play on Uchida’s strengths because it will be easier for him. Since Uchida is good at geography, Bossun says he should raise his hand in class and answer questions to make him stand out more. Uchida is too shy to do this when the time arrives however, and he sits depressed on a bench after school.
As the Sket try to cheer him up, he gets a call from the hospital saying that his mother’s condition has worsened. Uchida rushes over there to see how she’s doing and she casually asks him how school is going. He lies that he’s extremely popular and that he’s going to win the Mr. Popular award so she doesn’t worry, but his mother doesn’t seem to believe him. Meanwhile, the Sket listen awkwardly from the hallways.
“Never mind my life threatening condition, how are you doing?”
So now that they know the deal with Uchida and his quest for popularity, they decide against telling the class about his situation because his mother seems to know that her son isn’t that popular. The next day, Uchida thanks them for helping, but says that changing himself is pretty much impossible for him. The voting happens and Uchida leaves depressed before the results come in.
At the hospital, Uchida confesses that he has no friends to his mother and lo and behold, right after he says this, he hears shouting from outside the window. When he looks outside, the class is there and turns out that he did win the award for Mr. Nice because he always helps others from behind the scenes. Uchida then cries manly tears because he actually has friends. Also apparently his mother gets better after this.
In case you were wondering, Switch won the Mr. Otaku and Mr. Popular awards, Himeko won the Miss. Strong award and Bossun won nothing. Bossun leaves the school sulking, only to be harassed by his sister and mother about it later. Poor Bossun XD.
I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of glad that they completely skipped over the summer. For one, we miss any chances of there being a beach episode. Another thing it does is help focus on the club itself, which is the whole point of the show in the first place. The episode itself was okay. I’ll admit, I teared up a bit at the whole ‘I actually have friends! BAWWWW’ part, but I cry at everything so it’s not that big of a deal XD. Bossun’s reaction to Himeko’s pity vote and his face while sitting at home were hilarious. It was easily my favorite part of the entire episode.
Well, it looks like Sket Dance will be continuing on for a while, so that opens up a bunch of opportunities for future episodes. The animation had improved overall, so maybe the animators have finally gotten their act together? Tatsunoko still insists on adding in those frigging streaks of light every other scene, but I’ve learned to ignore them for the most part. With the show continuing on, I’m excited for the prospect of a new opening and ending as well. The ones they have now are okay, but I’m not all that fond of them.
We finally meet the teacher with the chainsaw and Gackt Dante! Hilarity will ensue.