I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that I loved the anime Skip and Loafer from Spring 2023. Slice-of-life, high school, female friendships, and self-discovery? This anime had Lisa written all over it from the very beginning. Of course, I’m not alone in my love. Skip and Loafer was ranked #7 for Spring 2023 on My Anime List, with a rating of 8.16. It was the talk of social media, after the big titles.
About Skip and Loafer
Skip and Loafer is a seinen anime based on the manga of the same name by Misaki Takamatsu. It was adapted by PA Works and consists of 12 episodes, which cover volumes 1-4 of the manga. While there is no word on season 2, we are hopeful because there is a lot of the manga left to cover.
The star of Skip and Loafer is Mitsumi Iwakura, a 15-year-old girl who moves to Tokyo from her small country town for high school. Mitsumi may be small and from the country, but she has big city goals and the drive to accomplish them.
What I Loved About Skip and Loafer
I would argue that it is usually the point of a story to like the main character. But as we all know, some main characters can be reflections of parts of ourselves that we are insecure about, so we tend to be super critical of them. However, with Mitsumi, even her “flaws” are endearing and add to her likability.
Mitsumi’s character manages to combine certain personality tropes that are usually assigned one at a time to characters. We will see a smart character, a friendly character, and a kind character, but they’re all different people. Mitsumi is very smart and goal-oriented. But she’s also socially aware and has friends. She’s kind but smart enough to navigate conflict, without being a martyr.
In her relationship with Shima, we see her navigate wanting to be a friend while not completely understanding her blossoming romantic feelings. She still approaches him, despite his popularity, and speaks her mind fully. She’s not afraid to be vulnerable.
Mitsumi is well-rounded and loveable. She is herself. A country girl trying to find her way in Tokyo, staying true to her goals and to her heart.
The Realities of Being a Teenager
While Mitsumi is the star of Skip and Loafer, the show’s additional focus on those around her makes this anime a standout. It manages to perfectly showcase all the complicated feelings of adolescence. With a robust cast, there is a wide range of feelings covered and they all weave around Mitsumi beautifully.
We have Mika, a try-hard with a crush on Shima who feels insecure around Mitsumi. Initially, she seems like she will be an antagonist. However, she ends up becoming a close friend to Mitsumi, along with Makoto, and Yuzuki.
There’s Yuzuki who effortlessly is everything Maki is not. Yet, she is really nice and wants to be friends with Mitsumi even if she doesn’t seem like the type to be. Makoto is the complete opposite and a bit of a loner and doesn’t know how to interact well with others.
Everyone is dealing with something and usually, these thoughts don’t leave their minds. It’s the perfect telling of the quote, “You have no idea what battles people are fighting.” Everyone is dealing with something and many put on a face and don’t tell their friends about it.
What would this review be without mention of best boy Sousuke Shima? Another character that defies the typical male lead tropes in the best of ways. He is kind, cute, and charming but also has an unknown past. He seemingly is living a double life.
His friendship with Mitsumi is realistic. Shima is interested in being her friend but is not some “knight in shining armor” saving her from everything. He initially is reserved, but slowly finds himself letting his guard down around her. Shima also doesn’t always agree with her and how she navigates things, finding sometimes that she may be too “soft” for her goals, but he is in awe of her nonetheless.
Being that the season was only 12 episodes, we did not get to dive too deep into Shima’s past but what we did see was enough to make sense of his actions. I was really worried the season was going to end, and he was still going to keep punishing himself over what happened with Ririka. But I’m proud he was finally able to release himself from that guilt and move forward.
We Need More
Skip and Loafer is a true gem of a series and I am praying it gets continued. Each character is so unique and their stories are treated with so much care. I want to see Mitsumi keep blooming in school, the girl group getting into more adventures, and of course Mitsumi and Shima’s development. I want it all.
This show made me laugh and it made me cry. It made me reflect on my teenage years and the lessons I learned that I still carry with me today. It’s a beautiful love letter to adolescence and I’m so glad to have it.
Skip and Loafer can be streamed now on Crunchyroll