Manga of the Month: Skip and Loafer

Skip and Loafer by Misaki Takamatsu

Mitsumi has moved from a small town to Tokyo to live with her aunt and start a new chapter of her school life. She has grand ambitions of becoming a public servant (and mayor of her hometown someday)! Only come to find out, she is a bit less astute than one might imagine. She get hopelessly lost on the first day of school, pukes on a teacher after her opening ceremonies speech, but befriends a handsome slacker along the way and thus her new school life full of missteps begins.

I honestly picked up Skip and Loafer because the girl’s face on the cover made me laugh (and sums up the character perfectly btw). It just got better from there. The series balances the things you expect from a school comedy (navigating friendships, low-stakes misunderstandings, budding romance) with a willingness to show how flawed everyone is. Mitsumi has the classic can-do, nothings-gonna-get-me-down attitude of a shojo lead (despite running in a seinen magazine), but all her intelligence is in book smarts. In contrast, she lacks self-awareness, making for a protagonist who feels normal but not average. That robustness of character extends to every member of the cast and is what makes Skip and Loafer comedy gold while also being incredibly endearing.

It has been sometime since a school life story really captured me, but Takamatsu has given the genre a fresh twist with a heroine who is earnest and well-intentioned but also an overconfident blockhead.

-Kate

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