Final Review: Sket Dance

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless otherwise noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Sket Dance is based on an ongoing shounen comedy manga. The series began running in Spring 2011 and ended in Summer 2012. It was simulcasted by CrunchyRoll during its entire run. The show follows Yusuke Fujisaki, Hime Onizuka, and Kazuyoshi Usui who decide to form an odd-jobs club known as the Sket Dance, a group dedicated to helping any one in need. Furthermore, the three are often referred to as Bossun, Himeko, and Switch, respectively.

I’ll try to keep this brief since I doubt many people actually managed to keep up with this show for so long. First off, many compare this show to Gintama. In essence, it is a Gintama rip off. It’s characters are less interesting and more annoying. However, like Gintama, Sket Dance also does a deep dive on a number of its characters. Unfortunately, it’s only possible to see these episodes if you even get that far into the series, meaning 2 cours minimum. Keep in mind, Sket Dance is part slice of life, meaning it does have a slower pace than most series. However, many episodes don’t leave an interesting hook and in fact most episodes are actually two in one. Conclusion wise, it’s a wrap up that tries too hard at making sure all major recurring characters have at least a few seconds of screen time. The best aspect of this episode, however, was Saaya’s confession. Never thought they would actually resolve that.

Art is basic with varying degrees of details. Character design is also basic in detail. Animation quality has also been mixed, but as expected of a long ongoing title. Tatsunoko Production supported most of the animation in this show, which is the same studio behind [C], Yatterman, and Casshern Sins. With that said, Cassher Sins had quality levels beyond what Sket Dance produced as did [C]. With that said, it’s a bit disappointing to see their quality drop so dramatically when producing a show like this. Tatsunoko Production may not be a superstar in the industry but they definitely have the ability to produce fair quality work. Sket Dance animation was really average at best.

Given the vast number of OP/ED themes, I won’t list out ever single one. However, I will say that most were really average. The first couple were not so good but as the series progressed, I think the songs gradually improved along with the series itself. Background music and sound effects were generally average for the most part and seiyuus were also mostly average. However, I must say that Ryoko Shiraishi’s “delinquent” kansai dialect for Himeko was rather impressive. Tomokazu Sugita’s voice for Switch was also rather amusing. Hiroyuki Yoshino continues to be average in my book since he basically acts the same way in most of his given roles.

Enjoyment? Sket Dance has literally been a roller coaster. It slowly ramped its way up to a more emotional slice of life title as we gradually learn more about the characters, particularly the leads, and then drops back down to “bad” comedy. From there, rinse and repeat. Unfortunately, Sket Dance also does not reintegrate a lot of the “character developments” and are therefore easily forgotten in the long-run. With that said, there are a select few of Sket Dance episodes that are actually worth watching. The series as a whole, however, cannot be said the same.

Overall, Sket Dance does try to be a lot like Gintama. In fact, there is a Gintama crossover episode midway through the series. It lacks the same comedic and cast appeal as Gintama and its setting is far too bland. Titles like Seitokai no Ichizon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, School Rumble, and even the new Binbougami ga! have all done the same thing Sket Dance does but better. Sket Dance is not worth it for its length. If you really want to watch it, just watch the “good” episodes. Otherwise, save time and stay away even though the show does progressively get better.

 

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Boring/sick comedy to start with.
  • Character Personalities (0/1): Annoying set of characters.
  • Character Development (2/2): Pretty solid overall as the series progresses.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (1/2): Cast grows quite large and suddenly changes even more so as the anime adaptation approached its end (e.g. student council)
  • Pacing: (0.5/1): Generally slow and full of what seems like unnecessary material. Granted it is a slice of life though.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1/2): Parodies aside, mostly reasonable.
  • Conclusion (0.5/1): Tries too hard at attempting to show all major recurring characters. Big plus for Saaya’s confession.
  • Total: 5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1/2): Basic
  • Character Designs (1/2): Basic.
  • Fluidity (1/2): Basic
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (1.5/2): For basic designs, the show can be quite colorful surprisingly. Too bad the quality is not necessarily up to modern standards though.
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (1/2): Tatsunoko Production has done better works than this, most notably [C] and Casshern Sins.
  • Total: 5.5/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (1.5/3): Average music. Some good OPs and EDs every now and then but none that I would really listen to long term. Most are also forgettable as the series progresses. Sketchbook is a decent band but likely a one off for this series.
  • Background Music (1/2): Average Background music.
  • Sound Effects (1/2):  Average sound effects
  • Seiyuu (2/3): Seiyuu cast is average. Himeko’s and Switch’s seiyuus are solid for their roles.
  • Total: 5.5/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (0/2): Jokes are pretty lame. Often more disgusting memories than happy/funny memories.
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (0.5/2): With the exception of the character development two part episodes, none.
  • Presentation (2/2): Easy watch despite chronological timeline. Can effectively skip around due to most episodes being standalone. Most episodes actually contain two stories in one.
  • Re-watchable (0/1): Zero.
  • Recommendation (0/2): Gintama, Binbougami ga!, School Rumble, and Haruhi are all better than this.
  • Value (0/1): None
  • Total: 2.5/10

Preliminary Score: 6/10

Final Score: 5/10

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