REVIEW: ‘Skip And Loafer’ Episode 1 — “Sparkling-Fresh”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Skip and Loafer — But Why Tho

It might be too early to say this, but be prepared to fall fully in love with Skip and Loafer. Based on the manga series written and illustrated by Misaki Takamatsu, this slice-of-life series lays the charm quickly, and it works. By the time the OP has commenced, Skip and Loafer Episode 1 will steal your heart. 

Takamatsu’s story centers on the 15-year-old Mitsumi (Tomoyo Kurosawa) who is entering high school in Tokyo after growing up in a rural town where her entire class amounted to eight people. She’s had the same best friend since kindergarten, and part of the immediate winsomeness stems from how there’s no belittling of her upbringing or patronizing of what she does and doesn’t know based on her limited understanding of city life. Rather, we see how she plans to use her upbringing for success; her life planned up until where she wants her ashes scattered, from graduating as valedictorian to developing a career at the Ministry of Internal Affair in order to provide key solutions to rural depopulation. 

She’s an earnest, well-meaning, and fumbling go-getter; she’s lovable despite shortcomings addressed from the jump. Skip and Loafer Episode 1 weaves an innate understanding of the perils of being a teenager without overtly dramatizing them. As Mitsumi approaches her first day of school, she gets lost on her way to the entrance ceremony, having believed she’d be able to figure out the subway system on her own due to her intellect. She doesn’t account for experience and becomes lost, relying on the help of her soon-to-be classmate, Shima (Akinori Egosh.) 

While the show easily could’ve used the entire first episode to focus solely on Mitsumi – her personality is boundless – the introduction of Shima, as it must be the case in the manga as well, instantly creates a level of balance between the two, even if they hardly get to know one another. Shima helps Mitsumi get to school, having fallen behind to do his own disinterest in rushing rather than getting lost, and becomes inspired to race the rest of the way there as he watches Mitsumi ditch her shoes in order to haul herself there in time for her opening speech as she’s the top of the class. 

We only truly meet a few characters in this episode, mainly Mitsumi, Shima, and Mitsumi’s aunt, but even still, the premiere overwhelms us in the sheer relatability it manages to create in that time. Slice-of-life anime often is so comforting because it romanticizes normalcy – everyday life looks a little brighter when painted in golden hour hues. Skip and Loafer embrace, so far at least, a level of simplicity that could be mistaken for generic, even plain, which seems instead to highlight what makes it such an immediate pull. 

Because it’s the writing that elevates it, and the visuals highlight the experiences they’re having. Mitsumi’s expressions change drastically from frame to frame, whether or not a wide shot that shows a rounded effect to her abashed face after becoming publicly ill or in close up to see the individual bags under her eyes after she pulled an all-nighter. 

Written and directed by Kotomi Deai for P.A. Works (who just put out one of the year’s biggest surprises with Buddy DaddiesSkip and Loafer Episode 1 offers the type of cozy balm needed for decompression. The artistry is evident, even if it’s not handled in broad strokes, preferring more delicate touches, and the writing so far promises a level of wit and heart that is perfectly suited to such an engaging, likable, and flawed leading character. It’s one of the stronger debuts of the season and one that will be an anticipated week-to-week watch. 

Skip and Loafer Episode 1 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.

Skip And Loafer Episode 1 — "Sparkling-Fresh"
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10


Written and directed by Kotomi Deai for P.A. Works (who just put out one of the year’s biggest surprises with Buddy DaddiesSkip and Loafer Episode 1 offers the type of cozy balm needed for decompression.

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