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Skip and Loafer
Episode 7

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Skip and Loafer ?
Community score: 4.4


I usually spend the entire dance sequence of the opening theme grinning like an idiot. However, now, thanks to the subtitles (and not having to rely on my imperfect translation), I am pleased to report that I now spend the entire opening theme grinning like an idiot. That's probably a metaphor for this show as a whole—just when you think it can't get any better, it does.

It isn't always in a big way, which is part of the charm. This episode is an excellent case in point as it skips along various small details that add up to, or rather, will add up to something more. Certainly, one of them is Mitsumi's aunt Nao realizing that her niece has been mentioning this "Shima-kun" guy an awful lot. Mitsumi may be oblivious, but Nao's spider senses are tingling. She seems to think that "Shimasuke" is after her precious niece's innocence, but their eventual meeting should make it extra special. And while Nao may be thinking in much more Victorian terms, she's not entirely wrong. It's just that neither Mitsumi nor Shima is quite at the point of understanding and articulating their feelings yet.

That there are feelings seems quite evident. The main throughline of this episode is that, with summer break approaching, girls are all seizing their moment to ask Shima out, or at least for his contact info. Shima's blithely turns them all down, which makes Mitsumi stop to think for a second. After all, they exchanged info without any drama whatsoever, and when she asks him to go to the zoo with her to see the pandas, he agrees with barely any hesitation. His easy agreement to the outing makes Mitsumi uncomfortable, because she's still got Fumi's words about crushes and boyfriends buzzing around in her head, and she's not 100 percent sure that she's not asking him on a date. She seems to take his response to mean that he's either oblivious to her inner turmoil or brushing right past it because he only sees her as a friend, but that may not be the case. There's a pause right after she asks him, and while we could interpret that as being entirely inside Mitsumi's head, it could be happening in real-time while Shima freezes, considering the meaning of her words, and his reaction to them. We know from last week that he's more aware of how his speech and actions might be taken—specifically by Mitsumi—so this could be him having a little panic. Both get through the moment and agree to the adventure, but it feels like they're trying a little too hard to be chipper about it.

Egashira doesn't quite know what to do either. She witnessed The Panda Scene from the hallway and appears conflicted. At least a little bit of that is probably because she recognizes that she and Mitsumi are friends now, even if she's not sure what to do with an actual friend. An earlier conversation with the other girls about a sleepover had Egashira thinking she wasn't part of it, and she's surprised when Mitsumi asks her if she'll be allowed to come. This says volumes about how Egashira is still uncomfortable with herself and her role in her own social life, and seeing Mitsumi and the boy she likes move closer together in what must be a frustrating way to Egashira isn't easy. They aren't together, so she can't give up, but she knows that she ought to because Mitsumi considers them friends.

It's one of the best things about this series, whether it's the manga or the anime: teenage problems are treated seriously. Do they look a little silly once you're no longer in high school? Sure, but when you're living through them, they consume your world. Everyone is carrying their baggage, from over-scheduled Takashina to the boy she lost the student council presidency to, and it's weighing them down. By treating it all as real issues rather than fluff, Skip and Loafer ground themselves in a way many high school stories don't. Even Ririka probably has her struggles she's lugging around, and I trust this series to show us what those are and to help at least Mitsumi and Shima move past whatever misunderstanding it inevitably causes.


Skip and Loafer is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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