Misaki Takamatsu’s Skip and Loafer is a high school romantic comedy/slice-of-life manga that I decided to pick up because I thought it looked and sounded cute.
And, I was right; it’s super cute and a ton of fun!
Mitsumi has just moved to the city from the country to attend high school, and she’s ready to make the most of her precious adolescence. Being a top student and regular go-getter, she’s confident that she’ll be able to fit right in and have a glorious high school experience. Well, maybe she’s a little nervous, but she’s determined to make it work and keep on track with achieving her goal of getting a government job and making her hometown proud!
However, there’s a big difference between the big-city and the tiny, tight-knit rural community Mitsumi’s used to. She even manages to get lost on the way to school on her very first day! Luckily, she runs into Shima, a kind-hearted and laid-back boy who happens to go to her school, and the two immediately hit it off. After barely managing to make it to the school in time, the two of them are pleased to discover that they’re in the same class. Now, Mitsumi just needs to make friends with the rest of the kids in her class, avoid making any major social gaffes and continue working towards her goal of becoming an upstanding public servant/eventual mayor. This might be a tall order for a somewhat awkward country gal, but Mitsumi’s confidence and earnestness will see her through – along with a bit of help from Shima!
Skip and Loafer is an absolutely delightful manga! Mitsumi is an adorable combination of oblivious and industrious. She may be anxious about being in the big city and getting along with her fashionable classmates, but she always tries her best and just goes for it. She’s a bit naïve, but she’s also an accepting person who never prejudges anyone, and this allows her to get along with a wide range of different people. While she occasionally stumbles and messes up, her openness and friendliness tends to put others at ease, so she’s quickly able to make some friends and find her place in the classroom social structure.
It also helps that Shima is always there to assist Mitsumi when she gets into a jam. He seems to be drawn to what a genuine person she is and the two are fast friends. Their relationship might be building to something that’s a little more than friends, as Shima is quite a good-looking guy and Mitsumi isn’t above noticing. However, they both seem content to keep things platonic, for the moment.
Despite being a good-natured and considerate guy, Shima might be more complex than he initially appears. We’re already getting some hints that there might be some drama hidden in his past and I’m curious to see what exactly happened that led him to this point. He seems like such a carefree guy, but perhaps this is all a façade? I can’t wait to find out more!
Besides Mitsumi and Shima, there are a bunch of other interesting characters that make up the cast of this manga. Mitsumi manages to make friends with Yuzuki, a gorgeous girl who inspires jealousy in their other female classmates, and Kurume, an introverted nerd who can’t stand the more out-going and girly girls in their class. These two girls couldn’t be more different from each other, and yet Mitsumi manages to get along well with both of them. All kinds of people can’t help but be drawn to her, and these two are even able to start getting along with each other, thanks to Mitsumi’s influence.
One of my favourite character’s is Mitsumi’s aunt, who she’s staying with while in Tokyo. Mitsumi’s aunt is a trans woman who absolutely adores her cute niece and is super supportive of her. She can see right through Mitsumi’s bravado, but cheers her on as she tries her best. Their relationship is super sweet and was the most touching part of the book. I hope we’ll see a lot more of those two together in future volumes.
Skip and Loafer is a breath of fresh-air in the school life genre. It’s cute and funny and, while the story isn’t without a bit of drama, it’s mostly just a refreshing slice-of-life series about some nice teens making friends and doing their best. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a light-hearted and humorous series with a touch of romance.
Final Score: 9 out of 10.
For more information on this series, visit Seven Seas Entertainment’s website.
What did you think of this manga? Let me know in the comments.
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