Skip and Loafer Episode 9 delivers a summer by the seaside, as Mitsumi (Tomoyo Kurosawa) returns home for break and can reunite with her family and best friend, Fumi. Taking up the majority of the first half of the episode, her trip back home captures the relaxation mixed with the discordance that comes with going home for the first time after an extended period away. Directed by Shū Honma, who also handles the storyboards for the episode, “Drowsy and Peppy” sinks into vacation mode, albeit briefly, delivering on some of the most tranquil imagery of the series thus far.
Split into two parts; the only drawback is that the episode, written by Katsurō Hidaka (who has written three previous episodes already), is that the two parts in question could be divided up into their separate episodes. Both halves deal with stories that are poignant in their singular ways, enough so that condensing them to be able to share space makes them both result in being cut off too soon.
Because we want to spend more time in Mitsumi’s hometown, individual panels glow with the sunlit, rural energy of the setting. Mitsumi is allowed to embrace all of its comforts in a relatively short time. It’s perhaps the most the series has emulated the atmosphere of a Studio Ghibli film, such as Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday or Hayao Miyazaki’s Whisper of the Heart or My Neighbor Totoro, able to infuse that feeling of childhood nostalgia and easy escapism into visuals.
From Mitsumi helping her grandmother with dinner to her embrace of Fumi and their nighttime stroll, Skip and Loafer Episode 9 depicts that ease of familiarity with poignancy, tapping into viewers’ innate understanding of what home means to us. A particular highlight arrives in a sequence of utmost patience right after Mitsumi awakens, her mother handing her sliced watermelon. As she placidly chomps into the fruit, each bite is signaled with other soft, hazy imagery of her town, creating an atmosphere that captures that hardly awoken daze and the comfort of being sat in a place where a person knows they’re safe.
The second half of the episode, as she reunites with friends, offers similar levels of introspection with the level hand we expect from the series. With the school festival coming up, Mitsumi is eager to reengage with her studies and the relationships she’s made, noting the changes that come naturally through separation, even if only for a month.
While some of her more prickly friends have grown closer, while other classmates have experienced breakups or the start of new relationships, she’s concerned that Shima (Akinori Egoshi), in comparison, has distanced himself from her. With a deliberate lack of dramatics, we’re given access to Mitsumi’s fears that they’ve grown apart, something she soon forgets her worries about and instead reaches a hand out to him — this being done through her hometown snacks.
It would be sweet enough of a gesture alone, with the golden lighting framing them through the open windows as they interact, her glee over the school festival palpable. In yet another telling moment that shows us that behind his easygoing demeanor is a restless, struggling teenage boy, Shima casually rebuffs Mitsumi’s praise of him, saying: “You think too much of me.”
In return, after shuffling away, Mitsumi runs back to stuff more snacks into his hands, saying that it’s because he seems to be feeling down. She rushes off again soon after, but, as is the case whenever Mitsumi gets a good read on Shima, the moment is impactful, especially as he still contends with the remarks his childhood friend leveled at him within the last episode. No matter his masks, he is still seen as an integral part of a friendship where the people who care for you know you better than you know yourself.
Skip and Loafer Episode 9 delivers on the magic of returning home, and the nostalgia places and people can provide. With a delicate touch, “Drowsy and Peppy” depicts the magnitude of quiet emotion experienced as our day-to-day lives change over time and how even the smallest gestures can mean the world to another.
Skip and Loafer Episode 9 is available now to stream on Crunchyroll.
Skip and Loafer Episode 9
Skip and Loafer Episode 9 delivers on the magic of returning home and the nostalgia places and people can provide.