“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
There are some stories that end up having a lot more to them than was initially expected. They aren’t perfect, they might not even be completely logical – but they’re something that managed to catch you off guard in the best ways possible. Take a look; there’s a chance that SKET Dance might blossom into such a series for you…
The core plot is just a simple, mainly episodic story about a quirky trio of friends that solve problems and help people out. But there are also some very tightly written and amazingly powerful (multi-episode) storylines within it that I can’t say much about – for fear of spoilers. Just know that they don’t come off as abrupt, but rather fit smoothly into the ‘narrative’ and add a lot to it. Don’t let the comedy-oriented episodes fool you into thinking that that’s all the show has in store for you.
On another note – being perfectly blunt and honest – this series is a best classified as a ‘dramedy’. The overall tone you are first introduced to is that of a school-life comedy. The drama picks up slightly near the beginning, but truly picks up a little farther in. After that point, both exist within the show almost equally (with a few exceptions). The balance struck between the two is well-done, as neither overwhelms the other. They work together to create a fantastic atmosphere.
The art is very high-quality. Frenetic motion (due to the fast-paced comedy within the series), facial expressions, backgrounds and lighting are all above par. Character designs have had a lot of thought put into them – almost everyone is unique. And the best part is that the quality stays consistent through all seventy seven episodes.
SKET Dance utilizes music in a very effective way. It plays songs that match the current scene. If it’s comedic, the music will be bombastic and crazy. If it’s serious and dramatic, the music will fit that. It helps enhance the presentation. But it also does one thing that is greatly appreciated: it shuts up when it needs to and lets what’s happening play out with no influence from the music at all.
On the voice-acting side of things, this anime also excels. The seiyū gave their all in every episode. Everyone was well-voiced and sounded natural.
The main three characters are pretty unique and unconventional, having a lot of depth and personality. Switch, the genius otaku, who talks through his computer… Himeko, the occasionally violent Okinawan “Yankee” with a soft-spot for cute things… And finally the leader of the SKET club, Bossun. He’s a rather interesting choice for a main character, as at times he’s almost completely inept and useless – but at other times he really shines. It’s actually quite refreshing.
Interestingly, these aren’t the main character’s real names, but rather their nicknames. They go almost entirely by those nicknames – each of which has a story behind it.
There are also almost too many side characters to mention (which can be a good thing or bad thing depending on your tastes). Most of them are great, having something of worthwhile value to contribute. A few serve almost no purpose – but they don’t overstay their welcome.
The characters are the true heart and soul of this anime.
It’s not perfect. There are plenty of flaws. But they never detracted from the true experience of the anime. That experience being the character interactions, and also the lessons the show teaches.
This is a fantastic series in the areas of character development and comedy. Most everyone can find something of value in this anime. If the comedy doesn’t do it for you, the serious bits of the show probably will, or vice-versa.
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Watch ‘SKET Dance’ free (legally) here – http://www.crunchyroll.com/sket-dance