Things get real in episode forty six of one of my favorite anime series, Sket Dance. Allow me to debrief you on the latest episode, and afterwards be sure to give me your own opinions about it.
Episode 46: Happy Birthday Part 1
Summary: One day, Bossun discovers a box of video tapes in his mother's room. The videos show his young mother, a pretty woman named Haru, and a man who looks just like him...
Air Date: Feb. 24, 2012 / Available on CrunchyRoll for Free Users: Mar. 01, 2012
Run Time: 24:19
Warning: The article contains spoilers. We suggest you watch the episode HERE first.
In tandem with past Sket Dance episodes (Ep. #24 & 25: "Brothers/Switch Off" and Ep. #36 & 37: "Ogress/Summer Breeze"), this episode dwells on the origin of one of the main characters. Yusuke Fujisaki (Bossun) is known for his impulsive need to help people. Which is the main reason he created Sket Dan in the first place. Strangely, this happy-go-lucky character has reason to hate the world and everything in it. As you can read on the summary above, Bossun discovers a box of video tapes in his mother's room that gives insight to his bloodline.
One day, a man who looks just like Bossun named Ryosuke had just lost his wallet and the opportunity to buy himself a camcorder. Yet, that did not stop him from saving a boy's life and help out an amnesiac lady get back home. This impulsive, helpful guy received in exchange a rare action figure that caught the attention of some random bystander. This man wanted to buy him the toy but he tried to pay with the money inside Ryosuke's wallet. By chance, the man who had found the wallet bought the same video camera Ryo wanted to buy. Then and there, Ryo got his wallet back, and acquired the item he had set out to buy. This camcorder ended up being used to record nine tapes of random events that happened to him and his two best friends:Akane Fujisakiand Haru. (Akane is Bossun's mother.)
Years later, when Bossun found those tapes hidden in his mother's closet, he reached the conclusion that the man in those tapes was his father. Akane avoided talking about Bossun's father as much as she could, but when she caught her son with those tapes she hid them again. This is when Bossun's curiosity grew which led him to investigate more. He found her photo albums but some of the pictures lacked a few years of continuity. Aside of those missing pictures, he found something wrong in the albums. A picture of his mother taken shortly before he was born didn't show her pregnant. Yusuke confronted his mother about the picture leaving Akane no choice but telling him and Rumi about the missing pictures.
Akane showed them the missing photo album of her, Ryosuke and Haru. This begins the drama portion of the episode. Ryo and Haru were Bossun's real parents. After graduation, Ryo and Haru got married and shortly after Yuosuke finally had the chance to have a blood-relative. Did I mention Akane, Ryo and Haru were all orphans and met in a school for orphans? Sadly, the day of Bossun's birth was also the day both of his parents died in separate car accidents. Why is it always a car accident?
There is so much I want to say about this episode, but I already ran on for four paragraphs. I'll try and keep it short. Switch and Hime's origin stories were both about mistakes they made that drove them to a very bitter stage of their lives. Here, Bossun is the same character we now see, until he finds out something about his adoptive mother's past that drives him to a similar somber place. I can't relate to him, but I guess that realizing you are not related to the woman who raised you or your supposed sister would be very upsetting. There is something that suddenly makes sense about the opening theme. During "Message" by The Sketchbook at the beginning of most of the recent episodes, someone is filming Bossun and Rumi as they grow up. I guess Akane has such a special bond with that camcorder that she continues to use it to record her children.
Throughout Akane's flashbacks, Ryosuke struggled on establishing who he really is. He felt like he had no place in the world because he had no blood relation to anyone. After finding out about his mother's past, it seems that Bossun can relate to his father's feelings now. This episode managed to take me on an emotional ride that made me empathize for the feelings of Bossun and his father. I can't wait to see the continuation of this story but I am left with some questions. In the past, when someone needed help in serious moments like these, Bossun was there to help. Even when Hime and Switch seemed to have reached a depression point, Bossun was there to help them. When the person who everybody goes for help needs help himself, who does he go to? I guess we'll find out in the next episode...
PS. Thanks to Team W.I.K.I. Nation for their assistance.