There’s a trend across most media, from literature to films, where drama is created due to characters who fail to take the time to listen to one another. An egregious plot tactic, misunderstandings are typically used to derive some sort of fallout that will inspire heartwarming reconciliation, the moment that causes one half of the romantic party to chase the other down before they get on that airplane that will forever separate them. It’s such commonplace in storytelling that it’s, at best, an accepted trope and, at worst, a frustrating derailment of character growth. Skip and Loafer Episode 6 continues to be a welcome breath of fresh air by bypassing this trope altogether to deliver us characters who learn and grow from one another, with at least one-half of the pairing confident enough to address her concerns head-on with a destabilizing level of truth.
In “Drizzling and Flickering,” the drama can’t even truly be described as such since it’s so understated, with much of the conflict internalized by the two characters. Mitsumi (Tomoyo Kurosawa) and Shima (Akinori Egoshi) are striking in their differences, something that the show has made apparent in their styling and how other characters perceive them. We see this in the very first episode when Shima tries to comfort Mitsumi for being late to their entrance exam, and she bites out that while it’s not a big deal to him, it is to others. The show remembers this moment and utilizes it when Mitsumi tries to convince Shima that he shouldn’t be blowing off school, and the two both reckon with what caused their frustration.
It’s a level of introspection viewers might not have expected from a show that leans into the levity and simplicity of their day-to-day lives. However, that makes it such significant storytelling because it demonstrates how even moments of conflict can be handled with a deft and compassionate hand rather than feeling the need to extend it over multiple episodes.
Instead, both Mitsumi and Shima part ways to try and decipher what the latter meant in his words to the former, while Mitsumi tries to puzzle out why she was so frustrated about Shima missing school, to begin with. While anger often comes from a genuine place, Skip and Loafer Episode 6 makes the astute observation that, more often than we’d like to admit, anger and to lash out, in particular, stems from emotions that aren’t based on that anger we’re exuding. For example, when I’m made to feel inferior or stupid, to put it bluntly, I become incensed due to my insecurity. It’s easier to be angry than vulnerable.
That neither Mitsumi nor Shima ever really approach being upset in a vocally apparent way is a testament to how well these characters have been written. Instead, the two both take the time on their own to figure out what their deal is, and it culminates in one of the sweetest sequences to date in a series made up of them. It’s painful to be honest with ourselves, even more so to share our revelations. The series animation captures this with Mitsumi’s ruddy blush that spreads across her face in the final moments. By telling Shima that she realized her annoyance came from a place of simply being bored when he’s not around, it allows him to open up to her, saying that while he accepts that students make up wild tales of his life, he doesn’t want her to even listen to them. It ends with him declaring that she’s the first real female friend he’s ever had, not noticing that his words prior and his adamant want for her to see the very best in him skew a touch over that platonic line.
It’s wholesome but never twee, empathetic without ever being self-congratulatory. Skip and Loafer continues to grow and shift from episode to episode, and it manages to do so due to the extraordinary character work. Mitsumi realizes she often overthinks problems and takes things too at face value, while Shima realizes in his own separate space that Mitsumi might’ve read him right. It’s a switch of roles, with Mitsumi understanding what is and isn’t being said better than the socially affable Shima.
Across the board, Skip and Loafer Episode 6 excels in demonstrating why it’s become such a must-watch. The animation is patient and uses the visualization of rain to drive home the mental states of our characters, the sun only coming out again once they apologize to one another to clear the air. The score, too, adopts a greater playfulness in moments where Mitsumi struggles to understand what’s going on with Shima, adopting a jaunty tone that aligns with Mitsumi’s rural upbringing and the upheaval her brain is going through.
Skip and Loafer Episode 6 is yet another strong episode in a series that has yet to make a wrong step. By elevating the leading duo’s friendship and allowing Shima to open up and share some of his vulnerabilities with Mitsumi, we’re gifted some of the strongest character work to date while also being set on what’s likely going to be the next chapter in their evolution as both individuals and as one another’s closest friends.
Skip and Loafer Episode 6 is available now on Crunchyroll.
Skip and Loafer Episode 6
Skip and Loafer Episode 6 is yet another strong episode in a series that has yet to make a wrong step.