Shout out to Mitsumi for being the most loyal and diligent space cadet in this school. This week we spend some time chatting with Shima about the drama club and learning how to move forward through life without any regrets! If only life were actually that simple, but I am once again impressed by how much depth this anime gives all of their characters, even if they are just on the side!
Starting out this episode, Mitsumi is confronted by Kanechika who is still hyper-focused on getting Shima to join the drama club. Personally, I would absolutely love it if he were to join, especially since it seems like club work isn’t necessarily the star of this show. After showing her a clip from an older TV show that demonstrated his acting ability, he sends her off to confront the ex-actor as a close friend. Unfortunately for Mitsumi, she’s incredibly hung up on all of this. It occupies her thoughts at the worst possible moment leading to an incomplete English quiz that then spirals into something worse, causing her to wander aimlessly around the school and eventually get smacked in the face with a volleyball. But hey! A free pass from P.E.! That’s always nice! But really, it lets us have a chance to confront Shima without any of the other classmates overhearing.
One thing that I’ve really enjoyed with this series is how non-malicious the characters seem to be – sure there have been moments where characters are being petty or making poor decisions, but nothing has necessarily escalated to a point of contention. Will it be that way for the rest of the season? Probably not! But I’m happy to see characters have genuine conversations about things that may not sit as nicely with them. For instance, Mitsumi directly asks Shima about his time as an actor while still pushing him to join the drama club, and realistically with all the pressure that Kanechika has been providing, hearing it from someone else probably doesn’t sit well. But rather than lashing out or getting angry, he simply explains that he has no interest in continuing acting and going even further to comment that he only put his all into it not because he enjoyed it, but because it was what made his mother happy. Then the conversation ends there. But boy, do I have more questions! Shima, I’m sorry to be the one to ask questions, but what’s the situation between you and your mom? Ah, but I suppose I’ll have to wait for future episodes to get more of your lore. I just really like how light the conversation stays. After revealing all this to Mitsumi, he then asks her about her dreams. She’s quick to talk about the town she grew up in and how she had the opportunity to stay and help, but she recognized there were towns and areas like hers all over Japan, so she wanted to make a bigger impact. She calls her dreams selfish, but they are still valiant goals. It’s a conversation of getting to know each other better rather than trying to tear the other down. Honestly, it’s just refreshing. Plus, the pinky promise at the end of the conversation? My heart ; v;
The second half of this episode deals with Mitsumi and her “laziness”. Rather, Mitsumi listens to her classmates around her preparing for midterms over their break while she was off having fun. Naturally, she feels like this was time that was poorly spent and quickly seeks out the advice of her homeroom teacher (who, funnily enough, is probably the biggest slacker on staff). Instead, she’s redirected to the student council treasurer, Tokiko Takamine. Previously, when we met her, she showed us her daily schedule which was planned out to the minute. She’s definitely the type of person who needs to be doing something or else the time may be considered wasted. Mitsumi decides to follow her around for the day and while they are both diligent, Takamine doesn’t give herself a chance to relax. And while many people might think it’s due to an uptight nature, it seems to spawn from a place of nervousness. Truthfully, that schedule seems to be something that keeps her grounded, but as this episode later shows, it can also be a contributor to her nerves. This part of the episode was so much fun because Mitsumi is able to show Takamine that everything doesn’t need to be so rigid. There can be good experiences that are completely unplanned. Missing the bus is absolutely devastating to Takamine whereas Mitsumi has the perspective of “wow! buses come every 15 minutes!” They take the time to play with a cat, return them to their owner and finally get back on the bus where Takamine tries to make up for lost time by studying. Mitsumi on the other hand is completely in awe of the sight beyond the window. And it’s so lovely to watch the treasurer see things that she misses all the time because she’s so hyper-focused on the task at hand.
I think all of this comes to a very sweet conclusion during the dream sequence. Takamine is experiencing her usual nightmare, but this time a cat catches her attention and another bus appears. On that bus she’s able to look out at the stars and appreciate new things. At first I thought it was just a random cat in her dream, but when Takamine viewed Mitsumi as the same skipping cat I couldn’t help but smile. And I like that at the end of everything, Takamine is able to say that following her might not be the best thing for Mitsumi. I love the messaging of ‘you can never be too sure where you made the best use of your time until much later in life. Ultimately, what matters is how you decide to spend it.’ Definitely words I need to follow as someone who is constantly stuck in the moment and worried that I’m not making the right choices. But, sometimes the path towards your goals isn’t linear. Missing a bus can lead to another, more enchanting, experience that you may have never had. You might get to make a new friend or just experience a new form of joy.
Once again, Skip and Loafer brought another lovely episode. I’m thoroughly enjoying the calm, but fun atmosphere this anime provides and I can’t wait to see what we will tackle next week!