Posted by psgels on 23 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



One sub-genre of shounen that I’ve been missing for quite a while: the ones based around playing games. And I don’t mean those stupid kiddie shows that are meant to sell toys or cards, I mean the ones that are based around the characters involved playing various games and try to be creative with that. Of course these kinds of arcs can be terrible if the creators don’t make them fun to watch, as it’s impossible to get a good plot out of that, but I can enjoy a good tournament arc once in a while. Sket Dance is a very nice example of this.

It’s not just the characters playing games that was fun about these past two episodes. In fact, the way the games are won is about the only predictable part. What also makes these episodes so great is characters like Bossun fidgeting from the sidelines, or the energy that this series has, setting every of the games up. I especially loved the stress in trying to find the fifth member for the tournament and how Bossun just randomly switched the names around in his panic.

What’s more: this also shows perfectly that the characters in this series aren’t stereotypes: by making everything fit so well at the beginning, this episode shuffles around the characters competences, and shows that everyone doesn’t just have one thing that they’re good at, but are in fact well fleshed out characters. At least, this goes for the main characters. This episode ended with the single biggest stereotype in the entire series’s turn about to start, so I have no idea why the writers chose her of all people to fill in aside from shock factor. She’s bound to lose (predictability yo!), but then again, I wonder more about she plans to do to make that match entertaining.

Overall, I am not really fond of Shounen jump adaptations, especially the ones that go on for ages, due to how incredibly long they take to get somewhere. The good parts tend to be overshadowed by the really long and draggy ones. Sket Dance though managed to be entertaining throughout its entire run so far. Its lack of plot doesn’t really matter so far: it’s really good at giving colour to its character, and it also keeps bringing back old characters, not just as cameos, but to flesh them out even more. And it’s really creative and funny in the process.

But yeah: the big question is whether this series will end up dragging, and when this will happen. There have been tons of once excellent shounen jump adaptations whose huge length became a huge turn-off: Gintama, Bleach, Naruto; even Dragonball Z would have been a pretty nice series if it ended right after the saiyan arc. Will Sket Dance avoid this and know when to quit like Level E, or will it pull a Bleach, jump the shark and refuse to end for the next couple of years?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

4 Responses

  1. gandalf8 says:

    Is this the Gachinko Vivage battle arc? It was one of the most hilarious arcs in the manga, I even read it a few times more just to enjoy it again. If I guess right, the next episode will probably show Saotome Roman vs Unyuu Mimori. If they adapt this one right, I guarantee you’ll be rolling on the floor laughing next episode psgels.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    gandalf: yup, next episode will show Roman in her match.

  3. Aegd says:

    I dont think shounen series need to suck just becauase the manga is long. Naruto and Bleach started to suck the minute they began throwing in fillers. They were fine until then. Naruto also got worse once they started dragging it out just because they started to catch up with the manga. If they would just stay true to the source material things would be so much better. This isnt only true for anime… just look how many movie adaptations hollywood has ruined…

  4. kaza says:

    one of the most hillarious GAME-arcs I’ve ever seen was on GINTAMA [4th year] … the arc [around 160th ep. I guess] is a game to see who’s the official fans of that pop-idol… it’s like 5 episodes of pure LAUGHING the entire time… [TAKATIN!!! LoL]

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:41 PM)
    Rurouni Kenshin trust and betrayel is a prequel so even if you can’t remember the manga it doesn’t really matter. And seriously the difference between that and the series is astronomical. It’s like the difference between Deens fate/stay night and ufotables fate/zero.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:31 PM)
    Well that and I haven’t read Kenshin since I was what…13?
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:30 PM)
    @Aidan: Sounds like I’m giving it a go. I had always avoided Kenshin after the bits with Shisio as I’d fallen out with reading the manga.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:20 PM)
    @Emma, If you have not seen that Kenshin OVA I highly recomend it. It is very serious compared it the anime series. Many regard it highly.
    Plus it’s depressing as hell so right up your alley.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:35 PM)
    Shisio Makoto now while I my not have been big on Kenshin I liked him a fair bit.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:34 PM)
    I had shion no ou spoiled for me at one point and well that was fairly frustrating =<
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:33 PM)
    @Aidan: Oh well fair enough then my mistake.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:33 PM)
    @Aidan: As much as I hate on ryukishi07 and higurashi I don’t consider myself a blind hater/troll when it comes to the show, I found Takano, Rika pretty compelling and I liked Satoko’s story at least and the violence of course. It did slightly visually improve in the second season.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:21 PM)
    @Emma, Deen didn’t do the Kenshin series. Well except for the last season which was pretty terrible.
    Deen did the OVA Rurouni Kenshin trust and betrayel and that is a very different beast from it’s shounen series counterpart.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:21 PM)
    I will give you that on umineko as I have not played the game. And my initial reaction to the fate anime was “This kept me busy at least”

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