Skip and Loafer

Alt title: Skip to Loafer

TV (12 eps)
4.129 out of 5 from 3,543 votes
Rank #511

Iwakura Mitsumi graduated from a small middle school in the countryside and entered a top-tier high school in Tokyo at the head of the class. This child prodigy, who moved to Tokyo alone with a perfect life plan, is smart and gets good grades... but her social understanding isn't quite on the same wavelength as others. This means that she sometimes makes mistakes, but her easygoing nature sways her classmates little by little, and all their different personalities are coming together before they know it. They meet and gradually come to know each other, and before long they understand each other well. Everyone experiences pent-up feelings and frustrations, but it is our friends who give us a chance at mutual understanding. This story may start out with some discord, but it becomes a happy school life comedy before you know it!

Source: Crunchyroll

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Skip and Loafer is about a teenage girl named Mitsumi Iwakura, a country bumpkin who went to Tokyo to attend school at West Tsubame High to eventually get into the Japanese government. While trying to get to school on time, she meets Shima Sousuke and the two develop a friendship from there. Mitsumi is your plucky young girl with high hopes. She is a hard worker who is outgoing which can sometimes make her come across as "scary," but she is actually someone who is sweet but is socially awkward when it comes to making friends.  Shima at first appears more laidback and befriends Mitsumi (almost like a dog). While friendly and nice, he has an elusive side that gives him a hint of darkness. As the show goes on, we pick up breadcrumbs where we learn that Shima has his own personal problems which he tries hiding away by smiling. Episode 8 in particular is where the show goes from being a fluffy show about school to being dramatic with some bitter harshness thrown in the mix. Egashira was a character I did not initially like, but she grew on me. She first appears to be haughty with how she is up on fashion and really only becomes Mitsumi's friend because Shima hangs out with her. But... as the show continued, she started to become my favorite character. Despite her seeming arrogance, she is not as self-assured as she lets on. She suffers achingly low self-esteem where she convinces herself that she is a terrible person and compares herself unfavorably to others. The show takes time to really dissect her character with a lot of that stemming from how she was overweight which made her an easy target. She worked to improve herself, but even then, her self-loathing and low opinion of herself remained. Even when she tried eavesdropping on Shima and Mitsumi at the zoo, she comes to the realization of whether she was any better than those clout-chaser girls she disliked. Her self-hatred for herself is really saddening with how it hits too close to home.  As for the rest of the characters, they are also great supporting characters. Yuzuki is the "popular girl" that others like Egashira would kill to be but hates being in the spotlight because that drags her into drama such as with the accusations she steals girls' boyfriends. Her friendship with Makoto is surprisingly good with how they bond over being introverts. Makoto doesn't instantly hit it off with her because of her feeling intimidated by her outgoing classmates which is also relatable. If anything what makes the show great is how relatable a lot of the characters are.  Of course from the adult side of things, we have Nao, Mitsumi's aunt, and a stylist. She often gives Mitsumi clothing advice and is shown to be overly protective of her when she learns of her niece's friendship with Shima. Episode 8 surprisingly has Egashira bonding with her. Much like Egashira, Nao tried to fit in with society but has her own problems that she needed to sort out.  The animation matches the fluffy, almost dreamlike tone (reminds me of a storybook now that I think about it) and the voicework is also good. Definitely up there as one of my favorites.

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