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Spring 2023 continues on, and while everyone is still marveling at Suzume and Oshi no Ko, I have seen neither yet. However, the stuff I have watched from this season has generally been in the range of “eh” to “pleasant.” Most of it was picked up on a whim, and half of it was not even on my list of planned watches. However, one show did bring a bit of promise, even if it feels a bit slow-going.
Skip and Loafer tells the classic Hallmark Christmas movie tale of a young girl moving to a big city. Mitsumi Iwakura is now living in Tokyo with Aunt Nao and has plans of conquering high school in order to pursue her dream of working in government and revitalizing rural areas. However, she seems to be running into problems already and is definitely gonna need some help from friends new and old, including a pretty boy with a mysterious background Sosuke Shima.
Talking about the quirks and quips of a slice-of-life series for the millionth time probably would not make for a particularly interesting post. Instead, it would be more worthwhile to instead talk about what makes the anime pleasant to begin with.
For starters, the show is refreshingly optimistic. While Skip and Loafer does delve into Iwakura’s worries about living in a new city and making friends, it also presents a main character who is endlessly determined to succeed and even has some fun along with way. There is definitely some push and pull so far when it comes to those two things, but the series never delves into straight-up doom-and-gloom territory. At least, not yet.
Despite it only being three episodes in, Shima has already been hinted at being a lot more than he presents himself as. Based on his reaction to said information, it does seem like it will be a pretty big plot point later on. Otherwise, Shima’s above-average good looks tend to contrast with his down-to-earth personality and chill vibe. Though, to Iwakura, he more often looks like a savior, or her…dog. Yeah.
The minor characters, despite only getting a little bit of screen time, already seem to be coming into their own. Iwakura’s previously mentioned Aunt Nao seems to be dealing with her own troubles of living life as a trans woman in Tokyo. Though it is not out right stated, there are plenty of hints dropped to make a safe assumption about her queerness.
There are also Iwakura’s various friends who she appears to get close with rather quickly. There is, of course, her best friend who she leaves says goodbye to in the opening scene, and who she calls regularly in order to talk about adjusting too city life. However, she also manages to pick up a few other friends outside of Shima. Most notably, Yuzuki, who drops her cool loner persona in order to reach out to Mitsumi while she is having a bad time at karaoke.
Skip and Loafer is not much more complicated than a good cup of coffee on a Saturday morning, but it does not need to be. Its charm lies in its organic character interactions and the all to relatable set up of finding oneself in an unfamiliar social environment and just hoping for a friend or even just someone who cares. It is not pushing the boundaries of the medium or anything, at least not yet, but it would not matter if it did, cause right now it is enough.
How do you all feel about Skip and Loafer? Let me know in the comments.
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