What I Know
Not a lot, save that this is popular, filled with scuzzy-dressing characters, and well that’s really about all.
What The Title Suggests
I’m not sure what a sket is, but it could be a show about… dancing? Or maybe fighting. It probably doesn’t involve ice skating.
A bunch of chicks are trying to beat the crap out of each other. I’m not entirely sure why. There’s also some dudes there but they aren’t helping even though the one girl is outnumbered 3 to 1. Naturally she wins anyway because she’s attractive and thus almost certainly a main character. Then one of the guys takes all the credit.
Apparently SKET is an acronym for Support Kindness Encouragement Troubleshoot. So like what, does that mean they support kindness and encourage troubleshooting? Are they troubleshooters of supportive kind encouraging people? This really doesn’t parse.
Also the OP can’t decide between SKET or SKAT which is… troubling.
Anyway the group congratulates themselves for resolving a problem “without incident.” I don’t mean to be picky, but beating people up is an “incident.” That’s pretty much the definition of an incident. Then the show namedrops Bleach. I think you might be in trouble if your own characters want to be in another show.
Also there’s a guy with a computer, only the computer talks and I guess he doesn’t. I don’t know if that means he’s using the computer to talk for no clear reason, or the computer is in fact talking and is a sentient AI. Maybe the guy is just some kind of bio-organic conveyance device for the laptop. This is getting scary.
The latest plan… or something… is for the girl to play on the school softball team to ensure victory. I’m noticing they seem to be leaning on the only person with any apparent talent a lot. Also this seems somewhat unethical. I guess she could just join the team, but she’s clearly too hip and punk for that. But not too hip and punk to help them. So I don’t know. Are these people supposed to be delinquents with hearts of gold? Because they kind of suck at both of those.
Anyway after forcing whozit to actually use regulation equipment, she sucks, because it turns out being good at kicking people’s asses doesn’t make you a .300 hitter. Computer guy (or possibly just computer) calls a time-out and tries to give her advice, but she’s too stupid for that.
Then they call a time-out. In the middle of another time-out (you thought I wouldn’t catch that, Sket Dance, but I did). Also I thought this is just practice as far as I can tell so who cares about time? It turns out not to matter because for no clear reason the girl suddenly becomes good at baseball. After the game is won by sort of cheating, the gang learns that a mysterious troublemaker is, uh, making trouble. Figuring this is within her skill range, The Club’s One Girl decides to throw down. Then it turns out she is the troublemaker, except not, because she isn’t the one making trouble, so… nevermind. Anyway she runs into the girls she beat up at the beginning of the episode again.
But it turns out she forgot her hockey stick, which I guess is a problem because she can’t just fight with her hands. The girls replaced it with a toy wand, then left the hockey stick at the school where her friends could find it and possibly return it to her instead of throwing it in the trash or something. This plan was not very well thought-out, and this is mitigated only by the fact that these characters are clearly not supposed to be all that intelligent in the first place. So she winds up getting kidnapped because I don’t know, she didn’t even really try.
The leader is kind of a sociopath, but that makes her marginally interesting at least. Unfortunately it’s not really clear why they’re kidnapping her. Maybe I missed this. Our heroine manages to taunt her into beating up her own gang. A little more of a push and she might kick her own ass.
Then they actually answer her phone.
Anyway we finally learn the villan’s motive.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of urgency here. In fact they never actually show the main girl getting her ass kicked. She’s just progressively more beat up every time they cut back to her. But at long last the guys show up to rescue her, poorly. But how did they know what to do?
Also they used the Internet. Thanks, Internet!
The villain is shocked to learn that The Only Girl is in fact the legendary punk troublemaker. Wait, wait, so she didn’t already know that? I assumed that was why she wanted to kidnap her and beat her up in the first place. Does she just like pounding on random girls? What a bitch.
Unfortunately she isn’t brutalized because I guess hockey stick girl has gone soft. I mean I can understand holding back against people who aren’t really causing trouble, but they tied you up to a tree and hit you in the face with an aluminum bat. I think a little vengeance is warranted.
And now the punk girls are her reverent slaves. I guess they wouldn’t have been able to do that for her if she’d broken their knees, so maybe there’s something to this whole mercy racket. Although I’m not sure I’d trust them to get me a sandwich, let alone any important tasks.
So the name of the show is a pun that only kind of makes sense when pronounced in Japanese except it’s actually somewhat laboriously done there. In fact, that was kind of the problem with the show in the end. It’s trying way too hard to be funny even by Japanese cartoon standards. And that isn’t exactly a high bar. What’s confusing is they’re actually aware of this.
So… are they trying to be funny by being almost deliberately forced and unfunny? Is this supposed to be like Aqua Teen Hunger Force? No, it can’t be; the Sket Dance group actually accomplished something and left the house.
The plot is nothing special. In fact the exact plot of this episode is something I think I’ve seen in several manga before. Matter of fact, I think this was actually an episode of Ookami-san down to the exact plot points and weapon selection of the male lead.
I kind of hate all the characters. The girl is needlessly stupid (BUT LOL SHE’S STRONG), the computer guy kind of accomplishes the same function as Google, and the male lead is intolerably generic. Everyone else was either a bit character or a comic relief “villain.”
And yet in spite of all of that… somehow my overall impression of this show is not entirely negative? Maybe even vaguely positive. The show has some kind of aura to it, like it has a genuine soul wrapped in mediocrity. Whoever made this (probably the original manga author) clearly really loves it in spite of all the things it does poorly. It’s like a guy who owns a puppy with three legs and a fucked-up eye; yeah, it’s not going to win Best In Show, but when it hobbles over to its master and awkwardly licks his hand that it can’t see all that well with its vaguely misshapen tongue, you can see the mixture of love and mild shame in the master’s eyes. That ain’t a good-looking dog, but it’s his damn dog, and he’s proud of it, even when it pees three inches off the newspaper.
Did I Miss Something?
Can the computer guy talk, or what? Does he have some disease? Is this a Young Stephen Hawking debacle? I’d hate to make fun of a guy for something like that.
The First Two Episodes Were…
Setup, probably? I assume the club had to be established and also that at some point we figured out what the point of it was. It appears to basically be a school version of The A-Team, except B.A. Baracus is a blonde chick who likes gross candy instead of milk (I am not sure of her opinion of flying, but she does in fact pity fools). And also there’s no Howlin’ Mad Murdock. The show needs a Murdock.
Despite my marginally positive impressions, no. It wasn’t as unpleasant as I was expecting, but it wasn’t good either.
Rewind or No?
This actually kind of could have been a first episode. Anything I really needed to know about the main characters was readily apparent from the first few minutes (girl beats people up, main guy is annoying and useless, other guy is a computer).
Final Single Episode Coherency Rating
4 (George Orwell)
Pretty coherent other than not knowing what the club actually does or what’s up with the computer dude. Seriously, that’s creeping me out. That’s kind of worth a point by itself.
On Monday I’ll be heading into what may be my last week of the test’s preliminary run, as I seem to be running short on shows. Not so short though; Azazel should tide me over at least to midweek.