New Anime

Skip and Loafer – Episode 7

Hello folks, and welcome the heck back to Wrong Every Time. Today I’m eager to stop back in with Mitsumi and the gang from Skip and Loafer, and see what those crazy kids are getting up to now. After half a season of largely warm and fuzzy adventures, last episode saw Mitsumi and Shima experiencing their first genuine fight, which was ultimately a healthy exercise for both of them. I don’t expect massive changes in the wake of this personal reorientation, but I am looking forward to seeing them navigate this new level of comfort in expressing their feelings.

If you never fight with someone, it generally means not that you agree on everything, but that you simply don’t care enough about changing their opinion or behavior to challenge them on it. It is easy to be indifferent to the opinions of a stranger or acquaintance (well, unless you’re Larry David), but if you genuinely care about someone, there will undoubtedly be times when you question their wisdom. It is only because Shima has grown to value Mitsumi’s feelings that he was hurt by her challenging him – a key shift for the boy who responded to premature fame by retreating from investment in the world altogether. And with Shima’s confession of concern stoking some of those dangerously fuzzy feelings in Mitsumi, I’m looking forward to the shoe being on the other foot, and Shima poking Mitsumi in some particularly ticklish emotions. Let’s get to it!

Episode 7

We open with final exams behind us, in the heat of July. Mitsumi’s regular messages home are a convenient device for setting the stage of each episode, particularly since this story is prone to such regular time skips

I like the diversity of approaches to their outfits as we pan around the classroom. They’re all technically still in school uniforms, but some have unbuttoned their shirts, dispensed with their overshirts entirely, or are otherwise loosening their uniforms in response to the summer heat. Skip and Loafer is generally very good about emphasizing how clothes fall on its characters – it’s not just the clothes we wear, but also how we wear them that convey our personalities

Shima’s school uniform always looks perhaps half a size too big for him, for example, which emphasizes his lackadaisical attitude and preference for comfort over propriety

Mitsumi has been appointed student council secretary! She’s doing it! The civil service awaits!

Mitsumi’s prior confidant Tokoko Takamine has been elected vice-president, while Hiroto Kazakami has been elected president. A crushing blow for Takamine, and for Mitsumi, who clearly bet on the wrong horse

“I’m sure you’re all tired from exams, so I’ll cut my speech short there.” He seems like a more Shima-style people person than the straight-laced Takamine. No matter how hard you work, you won’t rise to the top of an organization like this unless people enjoy being around you

Our boy Narumi Kanechika has become the head of the drama club, unsurprisingly. His dress similarly emphasizes his personality – he’s only wearing the school pants, while his shirt is a flamboyant Hawaiian print matching his nature

“In any field, the right-hand man is a crucial position!” Kanechika actually makes a fine speech to console Takamine, but it nonetheless brings her to tears. She’d been holding it together so long as no one addressed her frustrations, but consoling her on her failures is precisely what she doesn’t want right now

The changing of the student council guard is always treated as such a profound transition in anime. I wonder how much this is actually true for kids in Japan, or just something anime tends to play up in keeping with its general mythologizing of high school. I suppose at least for this show, Mitsumi herself would be the kind of person to consider this a grand event, while someone like Shima couldn’t care less

We flash back to when the interloper Kazakami first submitted himself as a presidential candidate. As a hot and popular second-year, Mika has of course got all the deets on him

He’s popular with the guys because he was in line to be soccer captain, and popular with the girls because he’s hot. Meanwhile, all Takamine has on her side is thankless dedication to the council from behind closed doors. Time to learn some tough life lessons, Mitsumi

No matter how qualified you are or how correct your appointment seems, there will be times in life when you find a disjoint in the road ahead, when some denial or missed opportunity or what have you forces you to reassess the path between your current self and the future self you want to be. Considering her ironclad life goals, it’s best Mitsumi learn to adapt early, when the consequences are lighter

Oh my god. Takamine plans to present the new president with her precious “things to do as president” notebook she’s been filling out all throughout high school. Such tragedy

They overhear Kazakami revealing the grim truth – that he’s indifferent to the presidency, but knows it will help bolster his resume. The world can often be senseless like this

Also direct democracy generally becomes a popularity contest, but I don’t think that’s the particular note we’re emphasizing here

A good point to note in general, though! Likely our worst two presidents, Reagan and Trump, were both elected because they were people voters had seen on television

Mitsumi says she’s just going to spend day duties studying, so Shima asks to come along

Narumi busts in to show them his debut film, from back in the fifth grade. The dude really has no end of confidence, to the extent where he’s even proud of his middle school filmography

Ah, I see. He actually doesn’t have infinite confidence, but he’s attempting to build towards it – this is highly embarrassing for him, but if he can’t embrace the embarrassment of showing his unvarnished self to audiences, he’ll never achieve his theatrical dreams. And of course, he’s also trying to make up for making Takamine cry, by revealing his own shameful failures to make her feel less bad about losing the election

God, his early bowl cut is so unflattering. I can see why he made such a dramatic change

“What I’m lacking right now is magnanimity and playfulness.” Of course, with Takamine being Takamine, she immediately attempts to spreadsheet the lessons of Narumi’s film

We cut back in with Mitsumi thinking about summer break, and all the activities she plans to do back home. I’d love to spend some time in her village, though obviously with this show’s premise being “diligent country girl in the big city,” I doubt we’ll actually cover it

As Nao wonders at what sort of character this Shima-kun might be, we see him waving off some other girl at the train stop

Shima explains she asked for his contact information, but he declined, something he says he’s “been trying to do lately.” That seems like a very Mitsumi-influenced shift; previously he’d likely have just given out his information and ignored any future calls, since it’d be less of a bother, but now he’s more determined to express his actual feelings earnestly and not mislead people, like Mitsumi

“Friends?” “Nope. No idea who they are.” The perils of popularity

We are informed that this is the “pre-summer break rush” phase of high school romance, wherein the oncoming threat of not seeing your crush prompts a stampede of confessions, or at least requests for contact information. What a funny little phase of adolescence; you feel a certain sense of assurance that your crush isn’t going anywhere or changing anything during the school year, but who knows what mysterious, romantic strangers they might meet over summer break!

“If you ask someone you barely know for their details, that’s a hundred percent guarantee you can’t just be friends.” There’s no such thing as a casual date in this era – every proposal is climactic and consequential, either resulting in destined love or abject rejection. It’s hard to be a teen

“Mika-chan, do your parents allow sleepovers?” “Oh, I guess I’m included in this.” An extremely relatable response from Mika, who is still not accustomed to being considered Mitsumi’s friend

“You wouldn’t think we’d all be in the same friend group.” Mitsumi is an extremely powerful binding agent; she’s sincere enough to wring sincerity out of all her classmates, which makes it much easier for them to lower their shields and come to respect each other

Ooh my god, this conversation between Shima and Mitsumi. It’s clear that Shima is politely circling the possibility of them actually sharing a zoo date, but then Mitsumi just goes and blurts out an invitation. Another win for Mitsumi’s mouth racing ahead of her brain

“He’s usually so tuned into what girls are thinking, but he can’t read my ‘wait, isn’t this a date?’ aura!?” God Mitsumi. He wants to go on a date with you, he’s just trying hard to keep the conversation light!

Very excited about this turn, though. Anime has an infuriating habit of only following romances up to the moment of confession, but active couples are much more interesting

But suddenly, a new challenger approaches! It’s Ririka, a girl from Shima’s past! And a magazine model!

And Done

Oh no, whatever shall we do now!? Actually, I’m pretty confident in what we’ll do: Ririka will attempt to draw Shima back towards her glamorous celebrity lifestyle, Mitsumi will likely assume she’s being a burden all on her own, and Shima will eventually affirm that being next to Mitsumi is right where he wants to be. Granted, this is Skip and Loafer, so I imagine the conversations will largely avoid canned misunderstanding drama, and eventually result in Shima and Mitsumi sharing an even more honest relationship. But enough about that, Mitsumi asked Shima out! And he said yes! We’re off to the races folks, and even the introduction of a new romantic rival feels like an affirmation of just how much our core relationship is heating up. Bring on the zoo date!

This article was made possible by reader support. Thank you all for all that you do.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.