First Impression: Skip and Loafer

Over-achieving country girl Mitsumi Iwakura is heading to Tokyo to meet her destiny! Her friends and family lovingly, melodramatically see her off at the local train station, sobbing and calling her name as she’s swallowed by the horizon beyond which lies an unknown city and a life yet to be discovered. Or at least they would have done, if the local train line hadn’t been shut down ten years earlier! This little detail is important because it flags up the fact that our plucky heroine—who has her entire life mapped out, not just for the next three years of high school, but all the way to the moment of her death and beyond! (she’s a planner, is Mitsumi)—is inexperienced when it comes to trains. Clever, she may be, but it’s book smarts she’s got, and no more. After a warning and a very clear set of instructions from her aunt who is hosting her Tokyo adventures, Mitsumi promptly takes the wrong train, gets lost, and becomes one with the station wall much like Homer Simpson with that hedge. Fortunately for her, a handsome classmate spots her uniform and obvious signs of distress and offers to help her find her way. He’s pretty laid back about being late, but Mitsumi is on a desperate mission: she’s the incoming class rep and she has a speech to make at the opening assembly! And not just that, she has to ace it, wow the crowd, and win friends, laying the foundation for her brilliant high school career. Miraculously, she makes it in time, executes the speech without blinking (and without a script!), and promptly barfs due to overexertion, all over her homeroom teacher. Can Mitsumi ever recover from this disastrous first day?

I have one word for this series—ok, two words: utterly charming! This is a delightful comedy romance. The characters are all genuinely likable right off the bat, and I can’t say how nice it is to have a bit of a respite from the copious tsunderes out there. There’s no insta-love here either (phew!). Instead, the episode lays a foundation of mutual respect between the two leads, who straight away are able to appreciate one another’s strengths. Their dynamic is a remarkably mature one so far, quite surprising of a high school romance and more akin to say, an office romance or josei series, with adult protagonists. How refreshing! The culture shock of “country girl in the big city” is handled delightfully and not over-egged. It comes through in Mitsumi’s slightly old-fashioned turn of phrase (captured in the subs by using words like “dapper” and “stylin”), her slightly gruff voice that speaks of a childhood of fresh air and vegetable gardening, her eagerness to pursue a professional path that will enable her to address the problem of rural depopulation (a dominant theme in P.A. Works’ anime), and in how easily she becomes overwhelmed in the crowds and fast pace of Tokyo life (and transportation). Artistically, the animation is solid, with great comedy faces in particular. It’s nice to see P.A. Works (or rather, Korean studios J-Cube Animation and Dr Movie, who handled a ton of the production on this) exploring a new approach to color design here: pastel shades with a matte finish that is reminiscent of Do It Yourself! Now, the question is, do we need another high school romantic comedy on our watchlists? Well, if it’s Skip and Loafer, and my watchlist we’re talking about, then yes actually, yes we do. Looking forward to Mitsumi’s plans for her life being totally subverted, and her realizing that she’s completely fine with it, much to her own surprise!

No, Mitsumi! Don’t trust your intuition! Stick to your books, everything else is doomed.

Skip & Loafer is streaming on Crunchyroll.

7 thoughts on “First Impression: Skip and Loafer

  1. This sounds like a really fun anime. I usually really like anime about country bumpkins moving to the big city! I’ll definitely check this one out.

  2. Slice-Of-Life/RomCom/Fish out Of Water Anime?! YES PLEASE!!! Sign me all the way up!!!

    And I agree! I love that this looks like it’s going to be a tsundere free zone! Especially since we had two tsunderes in “The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten” last season.

    1. 😅 right?! Yeah, I’ve grown attached to the two leads already, which is saying a lot! I’m totally charmed.

    1. Thanks for the question! Jesus calls us to love others well each day in the here and now, rather than judging one another. I think Skip and Loafer does this really well with Nao-chan: introducing the character with gentleness and humanity. That to me is what it looks like to love others in a godly way, and I respect P.A. Works for it.

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