Sket Dance 01: The Sket Dan
Well its has been almost 3 weeks since I have posted anything due to Madoka being put on hold so it finally time for me to do something. I have been waiting for such a long time for this anime, being a fan of the manga, so this show is a must watch for me and boy did the first episode not disappoint.
Well for those who have read the manga, what happens in this episode is very very very old news as this episode is just essentially chapter 1 of the manga.
In this episode, the introduction of the SKET Dan is done from a third-person point of view, from the aspect of a brand new transfer student, Sugihara Teppei, who get coerced into joining the SKET Dan immediately on his first day of school. As nothing really major happens this episode so I will just summarize it quickly. After meeting the SKET Dan, Teppei get embroiled in some trouble in school in which he receives help from the Sket Dan who helps him solve the problem which then leads to Teppei having a change on his outlook on life. Its really that simple but throughout the episode the quirks and abilities of the members of the SKET Dan are introduced, together with loads of slapstick humor and jokes.
So enough with the blabbering and on to the introduction of the Sket Dan.
The SKET Dan is essentially a 3-man club consisting of Fujisaki ‘Bossun’ Ryousuke, Onizuka ‘Himeko’ Hime and Usui ‘Switch’ Kazeyoshi. SKET stands for Support, Kindness, Encouragement, Troubleshoot which is mainly what they do. They are like an odd-job club that helps any request given to them, much like the Otona Ginko of Ookami-san, but they do not need or charge for thier help. The tasks they undertake range from the downright boring to the outright insane but their ability to complete those tasks makes them the premier club the students turn to if they need help, even eclipsing the school student council sometimes. This causes some rivalry between the two student bodies but that would be elaborated in another episode.
Fujisaki ‘Bossun’ Ryousuke
The brains and the heart of the SKET Dan. Despite his normally looking appearance and lame hat(which has its own story arc), he is really one amazing guy. His ability which was shown in this episode was just the tip of the iceberg of the true extent of his talents(some of which are freaking amazing). More about him will be revealed through the show so prepare yourselves to be mindblown or just laugh your ass off, and just to inform those that do not know, even his hat has a story behind it.
He is voiced by Hiroyuki Yoshino who is quite an experienced seiyuu, voicing most notably Alleujah Haptism from Gundam OO, Nishijo Takumi from Chaos;Head and many more main characters, but the role in which he really shines is when voicing a male protagonist’s best friend like Orito from Kore wa Zombie desu ka, Saruyama from To-Love-Ru and Kikuchi Ieyasu from Mayoi Neko Overrun just to name a few. That the main reason why i feel that he in slighly out of place voicing a such a colorful main character like Bossun.
Onizuka ‘Himeko’ Hime
The muscle of the SKET Dan, the only lady of the group and essentially the ‘straight man’ in all of their jokes. She used to be a delinquent known as the ‘Onihime’ and is famous for always having her. She has quite a troubled past but has since changed her ways after meeting Bossun. Her past was told in an arc in the manga which hopefully will be shown in the Anime.
She is voiced by Shiraishi Ryouko who does Himeko’s Kansai-ben perfectly. She has done many notable roles in Anime such as Ayasaki Hayate in Hayate no Gotoku, Arashiyama Sayoko in Natsu no Arashi and Nogami Aoi(another character who speaks with Kansai-ben) in Zettai Karen Children just to name a few. Her slightly husky voice compliments Himeko’s slightly tom-boyish behavior perfectly.
Usui “Switch” Kazeyoshi
The craziest character of the SKET Dan. He is essentially the Geek of the group whose skills in infomation gathering, computers, games, Otaku Culture and more are unrivalled. He only speaks using his voice synthesizing software in his laptop which gives him a bit of eccentricity. He has a very important reason for not speaking which is an Arc in the manga and hopefully will be animated, and be prepared for it as it is a real tear-jerker. He is the most insane character in the series who is the source of the many jokes and funny parts throughout it. He is also bound to Bossun intimately like Himeko but how is another matter as it has not even been explained in the manga but from what the series has given, it is definitely a major incident.
He is voiced by Sugita Tomokazu who is definitely perfect for this role. When I heard that SKET Dance was getting an anime, I predicted that Switch would be voiced by him and when the cast was announced I was overjoyed seeing him in the list. I had already been reading the manga with his voice over Switch’s lines and they matched perfectly. Sugita is a very experienced seiyuu, having been in the industry for a very long time doing many memorable roles such as Motosuwa Hideki in Chobits, Aizawa Yuuichi in Kanon, Tsuchimi Rin in Shuffle!, Gintoki Sakata in Gintama, Star in Arakawa Under the Bridge just to name a few and his most major role was in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu as Kyon. He is also well known for voicing joke characters with small roles such as in Pani Poni Dash as one of the Aliens and Ikkyu-san from Zetsubou Sensei and he is quite a joker in real life if you have watched any of the seiyuu programmes. All these traits make him almost too perfect for Switch, even the parts when he uses his funny voice suits Switch when he is joking.
Overall I feel that this first episode was fine as it just followed the manga’s introduction. The art was normal with the character designer trying not to deviate too much from the original art. The animation was quite smooth but this series does not have a lot of big fighting scenes so do not expect much. If you did not find this show that interesting, I plead with you to just hang on and watch a few more episodes as Sket Dance is an amazing series. It is essentially a Slice-of-Life Gag show with many colorful characters that are made by the author to make you grow to love them. Hopefully this will be carried over into the Anime and the animating studio will not spoil such a great series. And I am praying fervently that this series will be a long running series like Bleach and Gintama as it definitely warrants it due to its story and characters. On another note, if you like slap-stick humor and references to other series, Sket Dance is definitely for you as there are tons of insane jokes and references to keep you laughing like mad. Well this is just the first ep but I feel it has big boots to fill due to the expectations of the fans.
PS: Agata and Tsubaki make cameos in the ep and their seiyuus Seki Tomokazu and Shimono Hiro suit them perfectly. I just can’t wait for Momoka and ‘Captain’ to appear ^^
and this pic just shows a fraction of the characters is this series…