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Manga / Sket Dance

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Sket Dance is a very light and upbeat Slice of Life comedy manga that was published by Weekly Shonen Jump from 2007 through 2013, written by Kenta Shinohara.

The manga follows the main character Bossun and campus support group, the Sket Dan, as they help out everybody in need and accept any sorts of missions. From chasing and capturing a monkey, to performing at school concerts, collect toys, try to win all-you-can-eat contests and solve crimes. There are also AU chapters where they go on adventures as ninjas and fly through space. The plot is basically non-existent except for a few more serious and dark story arcs that merely serve as backstory for the Sket trio. The entire manga is full of Shout Outs to any popular manga you can imagine with hilarious lampshades over each and every of them, a boke-tsukkomi routine and an occasional sledgehammer to the fourth wall.


  • Yusuke Fujisaki, known as Bossun, is the leader and founder of the Sket Dan. A fairly normal guy (perhaps too normal according to some), he's loyal to his friends and possesses a strong desire to help others.
  • Hime Onizuka, known as Himeko, is the muscle of the group. A former field hockey player turned Yankee Delinquent, she now serves as both an enforcer and Team Mom.
  • Kazuyoshi Usui, known as Switch is The Smart Guy. An Otaku, he has an unparalleled information network among his fellow nerds and the internet at large, making him the go-to guy for data on other students or various bits of culture or technology. Technically The Voiceless for his own reasons, he carries around a laptop and uses a text-to-speech synthesizer for communicating with others, though he tends to insert various terms and expressions that wouldn't be out of place on a messageboard lol \(^-^)/

Over all, it's random, fourth wall-breaking, random, funny, random and absolutely adorable. Got an anime adaptation in the Spring 2011 season.

The character page is in the development stages.

Do not confuse with Skip Beat!

This series features examples of:

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  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: A force for good, though somewhat at odds with the Sket Dan's rather loose way of doing things, though the council members themselves aren't exactly normal people, either.
  • Accidental Truth: An inversion occurs in chapter 185, when Quecchon is looking for a missing item, but refuses to tell the Sket Dan what it exactly is. She does give some vague descriptions of the item, which Bossun tries to dechiper using his Facial Composite skills. He comes up with a weird butterfly/bat/alien object that somehow really exists in the show's universe (surprising everyone, including Bossun himself), but when he tries to give it to Quecchon, she recoils in disgust.
  • In one arc, Bossun and Himeko got to know each other through online email as "Pudding" and "Samurai". Despite being together all the time they remain ignorant until the end of the episode. The realization drives them away from the email system.
  • Adaptation Expansion: For the anime, Tatsunoko Production had to either expand single chapter plots or adapt a similar themed chapter to fill up spaces of half-hour episodes. In the process, they also gave more spotlight to regular and background characters. Since the manga was still being serialized some time after the anime endednote , the anime was forced to have a Gecko Ending, without any resolution to some plots such as how Switch was actually going to move on to speak again.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Inverted. In the end of the Soltitude storyline of the manga, after Bossun gets suspended for punching Daijirō Kutsuwa Himeko remarks that this is the first time she has seen Bossun punch anyone. Despite this, the Switch On storyline (the latter half of Switch's backstory), that was published much later has Bossun and Switch getting into a violent fist fight while Himeko watches them. The Anime was Cut Short and the Switch On arc was not adapted, thus, averting the Series Continuity Error.
  • Alternate Universe: Multiple omakes featured in the series take place in alternate universes, including a ninja world (Nusutto Dance), a space opera (Robot Dance), a kindergarten world (Biscuit Dance), and a JRPG world (Quest Dance).
  • Art Evolution:
    • The series manages a noticeable one during its 6 years of serialization, although it's more explicit in the character designs, as almost everyone (with Switch's being a constant exception) develops a more consistent and rounded design with larger eyes. This becomes more evident in the girls' designs, with Himeko's being the most prominent example, as she looked more mature during her earlier appearances (from the Jump one-shot pilot, in 2006) compared to her youthful appearance she ended up adopting later (as shown in chapter 257).
    • It gets lampshaded with Teppei, who is oddly one of the few guys that changed drastically from his original appearance until his next reappearance in the manga, which is set months after he was transferred to Kaimei Academy. In-universe, Bossun even asks him if he got taller, as he was now part of the Basketball club.
  • Art Shift:
    • Used whenever Roman activates her "Otome Vision", mentally filtering the world to align with shojo manga (Love Bubbles and Bishie Sparkle abound). Or when her art gets featured in the series.
    • In episode 8, when Momoka is talking about her upcoming audition for a voice acting part in an anime series, and Switch agrees to help her to teach her about anime and manga, he and Momoka change to a simplified old style with heavy outlines, until Bossun and Himeko (who don't change) actually notice it.
    • After the second popularity contest, Bossun got himself turned into a stickman (for crying out loud) for a whole chapter. Cue Tsubaki questiong "What on Earth is this?!" during the rest of the chapter.
    • Himeko lampshade it in "Switch On", when they find out they don't know where to start to help their client.
    "What?! That made us fall like we were in an old anime!"
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: With the purpose of helping Usami feeling comfortable with the rest of the Student Council and Sket Dan's male members, they all decide to reverse-gender dress-up. It works successfully with Switch, Bossun, and Tsubaki (with Kiri in the anime, too) dressed as cute girls and the other girls agree that they can pull it off perfectly... but no one did it more epically perfect than Tsubaki.
  • Author Avatar:
    • During the first Popularity Poll chapter, Kenta Shinohara realizes that things are getting out of control when he is mentioned to be voted as the 17th place "character" in the already Breaking the Fourth Wall chapter. Roman even claims she is hearing a "voice from the heavens".
    • Bossun echoes Shinohara's grateful thoughts to Hideaki Sorachi's Gintoki, for being his former assistant and now colleagues in the same medium, during the manga's crossover with Gintama.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite being sworn rivals who just want to outdo each other at everything, Bossun and Tsubaki actually work well together when the need calls for it. We eventually find out why.
  • Babies Ever After: Implied by Bossun's conversation in the last chapter. He mentions his teachers having a baby, which most likely refers to Chuuma and Remi.
  • Baby Be Mine: Twins Bossun and Tsubaki were Separated at Birth through a more benign application of this trope. Their biological parents died the day they were born, and Bossun was adopted by their friend Akane. The doctor hid Tsubaki's existence from her (and thus Bossun) because she did not have the means to raise two newborn children at the time, and also so he and his wife could have a child of their own. Out of guilt, the doctor admits the entire thing to Bossun and Tsubaki during the manga.
  • Back Story:
    • The backstories of the Sket Dan have been presented at various points in the series. And all three of them are touching and melodramatic, whether tearjerking or/and heartwarming.
    • Kiri's backstory details about his aloofness and his lack of trust towards people, as he isolated himself from his other classmates.
    • While not being "backstories" per se, the aftermath of "Switch On" brings up what many of the students at Kaimei were doing when the Sket Dan was recently formed, such as the origin of Switch and Reiko's rivalry.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 266 is appropriately named "Beach Girls Collection" in which things get bad when Bossun drinks Chuuma's Invisibility Potion Mark II and the Gesu club gets involved in it as well.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Bossun and Himeko. Himeko is an extremely romantical awkward Tsundere and while Bossun isn't a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, he is so Innocently Insensitive that the end result is much the same. Despite the constant bickering and being in the She Is Not My Girlfriend territory, the Unresolved Sexual Tension keeps increasing and everyone considers that they do like each other.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Both the Sket Dan and the Student Council had shown (even individually) that they could do anything to help their friends and classmates.
  • Bishōnen:
    • It might not be obvious, but Kaimei Academy has a lot of male students who are attractive (despite their quirky personalities or hobbies). Switch, for example, is popular with the ladies despite being a somewhat unpleasant otaku who speaks with a computer. There's also Michiru Shinba, Daimon Akitoshi, Kiri Katou, Dante...
    • One of the chapters in the manga takes advantage of this, as the high school is in need of "pretty" people to promote their institution for new students in a TV ad. Kaoru Yagi casts Switch, Daimon, Kiri, and... Bossun, from all people (thanks to one of many of Chuuma's experiments, which transforms him into an "ikemen"), with Tsubaki. They are called "Kaimei 5", as a reference to Boys over Flowers's own F4.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The series' main strength is in the ability of the main trio to, at any given time, have 2 boke and 1 tsukkomi. Which ones plays which roles varies: sometimes Himeko and Bossun do something stupid and the rational Switch tells them off (e.g. invisible Bossun); sometimes Switch and Himeko act like, well, shonen manga characters, and Bossun restores the balance by acting like a normal high schooler (e.g. the first Quiz Battle chapter); and usually Bossun and Switch go insane without the Closer to Earth Himeko.
    • For Himeko, being the Tsukkomi is part of her personality. She gets too involved into it, to the point of even scolding people for not doing it when the situation calls it. Heck, she also ended up in a Boke and Tsukkomi contest that aired on TV!
    • It's that important for the Sket Dan that there is a chapter dedicated to 'not do tsukkomi' for a day in the clubroom, just because Switch got very annoyed at it.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Bossun and Himeko meeting each other is what led to form the Sket Dan. In the process, Himeko starts developing feelings for him, although he is unaware of them (and his own feelings too). Once they are closer to College, Himeko realizes that they might be separated (at first it turns out they weren't, but then Bossun decides to travel around the world) and she has to confess her feelings... and it backfires. She then gives up.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • There will be times that either Bossun, Himeko and/or Switch will do this. But the one that takes the honor in its plenty glory, is Roman Saotome, even when she does not appear on scene, remarking on how long we, the readers/viewers, haven't seen a certain character in the series. Heck, there were the chapters of the 2 popularity polls where the Fourth Wall didn't survived at all (and even the author was dragged into it as well!).
    • Special mentions go to both crossover chapters of Gintama and Sket Dance, where the cast is perfectly aware that they are two series randomly getting sucked into each others' worlds. More notoriously in the Sket Dance's crossover manga chapter, where Bossun breaks into an Author Avatar moment for Shinohara himself being grateful to Hideaki Sorachi in Gintoki's place (this was left out from the anime, though).
  • Call-Back: The puppet show in episode 6 (chapters 10-12) has parallels to Himeko (the original Onihime) meeting her imposter in episode 3 (chapters 5 & 6).
  • Censor Steam: Used to avoid more fanservice scenes during the School Trip Rhapsody arc. And it actually gets lampshaded by the narration!
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The series fully consists on this when the situation calls it in some arcs. There are chapters and arcs that are tearjerking at their worst, and heartwarming at their best, followed or preceded mostly by its usual slice of life comedy chapters or episodes. "Switch Off" is the first breakpoint in the serial where it presents events that would (or already have been) affect the characters and their surroundings, until it is later pointed out again for its consequences.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Near the start of episode 10 Switch lists the things that the AV club is responsible for doing in the school. One of those tasks (or more precisely the equipment that they use for it) which becomes important at the end of the episode when it come time to expose the Smug Snake villain.
  • Childhood Friend Romance:
    • Ryosuke and Haru Kirishima were orphans and met each other when they were kids in the same Orphanage of Love. They eventually got together (with help of their friend, Akane Fujisaki), married each other, and wanted to form a family. However, the Kirishima marriage tragically died in separate tragic circumstances, and Haru was actually pregnant. Before she died, she gave birth to twins — Yusuke and Sasuke.
    • Sawa and Kazuyoshi's friendship got a dramatic turn. Kazuyoshi had feelings for Sawa, and Sawa did have some as well since they grew up together as Childhood Friends. And they both loved each other... without the other one knowing, and sadly, this gets downplayed in "Switch Off". The jealousy Kazuyoshi felt for Masafumi over Sawa (whom he felt she looked at their relationship as if it was sibling-like) is what kicks off its plot.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Often seen in promotional materials for the series, based in the first manga volume cover. They usually code Bossun in white, Himeko in red, and Switch in blue.
  • Coordinated Clothes:
    • The Sket Dan trio has custom-made T-shirts for each of its members. Played for Laughs in chapter 101 when Jin suspects that Himeko and Bossun are dating. Both of them deny it while wearing the exact same T-shirt.
    • In chapter 208, Tsubaki, absolutely not influenced by the Sket Dan, tries to create matching T-shirts for the Student Council.
    • Suzu, the daughter of professor Chuuma, apparently owns one of these, as well.
  • Creator Cameo: Enta Hinohara is Shinohara's manga counterpart, and is an author that goes to Kaimei to look inspiration for his new manga series.
  • Crossover:
    • Sket Dance has two different crossovers with Gintama (each one has its own version, and both break the fourth wall in their own style). It occurs in both manga and is later adapted by both anime too, although the Sket Dance anime does it earlier in their timeline (right after "Switch Off" instead of Kiri's arc, hence the absence of Housuke who's yet to debut).
    • Partly with the Bakuman。 anime, as it wasn't a formal "crossover", since mentions were thrown back and forth to each other during the airing week of their respective episodes.
    • "Biscuit Dance" had a crossover with gag series Inumaru Dashi as an extra, featuring the main characters of the series with the Sket Dance cast.
  • Cuteness Overload:
    • Himeko, who really likes children, is absolutely ecstatic when she sees a shrunken Bossun and doesn't hesitate to fawn over him.
    • Almost everyone's reaction towards the shrunken down Tsubaki is to dote over his cuteness. Daisy even goes hysterical.
  • Death Glare:
    • Tsubaki's default expression is to glare, in order to establish his presence as a student council member.
    • Former delinquent Momoka can give a pretty scary look, if someone pushes her berserk buttons.
    • Himeko, when she gets angry, can give very angry looks... Could you have expected it from the former Onihime? (And it seems its also a family trait, as well. Her mother was known as the Oniyome for a reason.)
    • Shonen-manga club member, Gaou's usual expression... since he is a lively reference to old 80s shonen characters such as Kenshiro.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: A few of the culprits from the Sket Dan's cases eventually become their friends, and even assist them on occasion.
  • The Ditz:
    • Roman Saotome mentions that she is very clumsy and a ditz in her introduction, as she often parodies the stereotypical clumsy female protagonist of a manga series.
    • Remi Misora and her entire family (with exception of her brother) are very absent-minded, to an extreme where they confuse words and phrasings.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: A few characters are actually voiced by actual idols/musicians who contributed music for the openings/endings. There are also a few specifically sung by the characters.
    • Rumi is voiced by a member of AKB48 subunit French Kiss who sing the first opening.
    • The Sketchbook, the name of the band the Sket Dan formed, is a now-disbanded real life band made specifically for the anime, with the members recruited made to represent the Sket Dan members. They provide the music for their Kaimei Rock Festival performances (both instrumental and Bossun's vocals), and also performed for Openings 2, 4 and 6, and many of the endings (both main and one-episode ones).
    • Dante is voiced by Gackt who provides the music for the third opening.
    • The fourth ending is sung by Bossun, Switch, Tsubaki and Agata's voice actors (together they're called SKET ROCK).
    • Ending 6 is not only performed by The Sketchbook but also by the Sket Dan voice actors (together they're called Sket+Sketch).
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • "Switch Off" and "Switch On" are arcs about the past of Switch. "Off" is when he wasn't known with that nickname, but it also tells the story of how his little brother, Masafumi (the original Switch), died. "On" concludes Switch's backstory, as Kazuyoshi assumes "Switch" as his nickname, and it also tells how he met the Sket Dan (and how he became his present day self).
    • "Happy Rebirthday" is the immediate continuation of "Happy Birthday", which narrates Bossun's own past story (a story that happens during his birthday). "Rebirthday" is where Bossun finds out that Tsubaki is his biological brother, in the present. The title actually refers to their birthday, now as siblings.
    • "Last Dance" is not only the name of the final arc of the series, but also the last job of the Sket Dan as well, before they retire and graduate from High School.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Bossun is often on the wrong end of Himeko's Unstoppable Rage anytime he makes fun of her lack of certain skills or qualities, and especially during Accidental Pervert moments.
    • Bossun also takes the brunt of most of Koma-chan's attacks, even those aimed at other boys.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: When Remi finds out Chuuma has a daughter, he informs her that he's a batsuichi, a term which usually refers to divorced people but can also be used for the widowed. Both manga scanlations and Crunchyroll's subtitles for the anime assume he's divorced — this causes confusion for those who get to Chapter 224, as it shows Remi and Chuuma visiting his wife's grave hence confirming he is in fact a widower (the scanlations do make this correction in this chapter).
  • Dynamic Entry: In the first episode, when the Sket Dan realize that Jougasaki must be watching events from nearby Himeko figures out where he's hiding and smashes through a wall to get to him.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Used to trap a school criminal with the help of the PA system.
  • Everyone Can See It: The whole Kaimei Academy suspects that there is much more of Himeko and Bossun's relationship rather than just being Vitriolic Best Buds...
  • The Faceless: Himeko has a friend who is named Nakatani, but even though some of the characters know her (and it proves that she exists), Bossun doesn't know who is she or how she looks like, and goes a whole chapter looking for her to finally meet her. However, her appearance remains as a mystery.
  • Fanservice:
    • The manga features some basic fanservice in some extras, although it amplfied once Cherry and his friends of the Gesu club were introduced in the series. However, a notable exception could be "School Trip Rhapsody", since it was written before Cherry's appearance. The arc has plenty of fanservice, despite the cast's insistence to avoid it, due to the "Freaky Friday" Flip situation that Bossun and Himeko were involved in, as both of them were expecting the worst of the collateral damage.
    • The anime takes it Up to Eleven from the very start — The second OP is set on a beach, featuring all the female characters while wearing either bikinis or swimming suits... including Yabasawa), while the third ED features the girls in their nightwear (with a bubbling scenery reminiscent of "bubbling censorship"), and Himeko almost stripping off her nightgown at the end of the sequence. The second season takes it beyond as the staff takes advantage of Kura, Saaya, and Usami's appearances. And there is also official merchandise, like "oppai mousepads" featuring both Mimori and Himeko.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • Due to their friendly and easy-going nature, the Sket Dan refer to some customers/friends by their first names, such as Saaya and Shinzou. In return they are referred by their nicknames (which is what they prefer).
    • Himeko considers it is a big step for Bossun and Tsubaki to refer to each other as "Yusuke" and "Sasuke", respectively, even a year after they found out that they are siblings. With Bossun's initiative, they eventually do, during the events of "Inherit The Twin Stars".
  • Forgotten First Meeting:
    • Bossun and Tsubaki met a few years prior the events of the series, during their birthday. Due to Tsubaki looking relatively different, and since Tsubaki's glasses were broken, they couldn't recognize each other in high school.
    • Bossun does not remember that he bumped into Switch, several months before he changed his looks and turned into a shut-in.
  • Fountain of Youth: A result of one of Chuuma's experiments is a youth potion (originally conceived as a hair tonic...) that makes the drinker seem ten years younger. He's also got one that makes the drinker seem ten years older. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensues. Then, after too much experimenting it worked also decreasing the mental age of the user as well!
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: There are a couple of chapters that dealt with the results of two different character popularity polls.
    • The first one takes place in a winners' announcement rally, and what makes it hilarious is the fact that not only the actual characters, but even the (in-universe) imaginary characters and character variants (e.g. the toddler Bossun after he drank the youth serum) were eligible, so many react with dissapointment and anger of these "joke" votes, while others (of course) lampshade how that is even possible.
    • The second one is a guess game hosted by Enigman and Quecchon, with the Sket Dan as contestants. Each one of them has to guess which positions they (and the rest of the series' characters) got. But, this becomes hard for two reasons — one is that the position results are different from those of the first fan poll, and two is that they also feature one-shot characters and joke votes of characters from other series! The punishment for the loser is that they would be drawn as a stickman for the next chapter.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The School Trip Rhapsody arc starts badly when Bossun and Himeko have this... thanks to Chuuma's experiments.

  • Good Samaritan: The purpose of the Sket Dan is to help anyone who asks, without demanding anything in return. Note that "sket" is a corruption of "suketto", which means "help".
  • Goggles Do Nothing:
    • Zig-zagged with Bossun's current goggles; they do help him concentrate and focus on a target when he uses his slingshot and pachinko balls, but how much of it is all in his head (no pun intended) is sometimes questioned and remains to be seen.
    • Bossun's old Poppman goggles also zig-zags this trope. The lenses were so old that Bossun could barely see out of them, but they helped him block out distractions when he tried to think.
  • Happily Married: In a series where unrequited love or mutual love being cockblocked is present, there are a few couples that are/were in a genuinely happy marriage:
    • Bossun and Tsubaki's biological parents, Ryosuke and Haru, who were in a good marriage up until their deaths and were super excited to start a family.
    • Chuuma and Remi. They become engaged after some contemplating (Remi at first has the choice of tricking Chuuma into a relationship with the Love Potion but decides she'd rather it be genuine, and Chuuma is encouraged by his daughter to remarry for love) and eventually marry towards the end of the series. They appear to also have a child together in the epilogue.
  • Hikikomori: While Switch used to be one (due to the unfortunate circumstances), the Sket Dan has to deal with another one, this time being Fumi's classmate and friend, Morino, during the "Christmas Card" mini arc.
  • Important Haircut:
    • Switch had to go through one in his Back Story: He wanted to keep his brother's image in his presence.
    • Tsubaki cut his hair as a way to show that he wanted to be stronger and manlier. During his first encounter with Bossun, he was inspired by his courage to be able to stand and face others.
    • Himeko zigzags it because it's also a Expository Hairstyle Change. She had a shorter black natural colored haircut when she was a kid, but later she grew it up and dyed it to be blonde to go with the delinquent image she already was having in middle school. After the Sket Dan was officially formed, she cut it out (but decides to keep herself as a blonde) to start fresh and forget her "Onihime" past.
    • Kiri decided to dye his hair after he decided to isolate himself when his friend from middle school, Kihara, transferred because he was being bullied by their classmates and teachers.
  • Inelegant Blubbering:
    • Bossun usually cries loudly and it becomes a mess with his speech (also often ends up blubbering "dummy, dummy, dummy!"). Such as when he was worried about Himeko and Captain arriving just in time to save them in "Ogress", or when Captain tells the Sket Dan about her Missing Mom.
    • Shinba's crying as such when he expresses his grateful wishes to the Sket Dan during the Seniors' graduation, in February 2010. Bossun even mentions that he can't understand whatever he was trying to tell them.
    • In Chapter 286 when Switch finally speaks to his friends, the three of them become so emotional that they start laughing about this event (with snot and saliva) until it finally weighs down on them about what just happened.
  • I Owe You My Life:
    • As we find out from the flashbacks, the pre-Sket Dan days were miserable for Himeko and Switch before Bossun lent them a hand and they are thankful to him.
    • After the events of "Solitude", Kiri thinks he owes Tsubaki for what he did for him (and since he is a descendant of ninjas, well...). Tsubaki doesn't enjoy his praise and finds it incredibly irritating at first, but he gets used to it.
  • It's Always Spring:
    • Chapters 15 through 138 all take place in the autumn.
    Narrator: And this long, long, really, really long autumn comes to an end...
    • As a slice of life, the series averts it in its entirety after the events from "School Trip Rhapsody", indicating that the characters have the opportunity to grow up and graduate from High School.
  • It Runs in the Family: The Misora family are mostly insanely clumsy, and the Morishita family are all very tall and very strong, too.
  • Late for School: The cliche of the female protagonist running late for school (usually with bread in her mouth) is lampshaded and parodied, as Roman is incapable of writing a manga without including this opening.
  • Last-Name Basis: Several characters refer to each other by their surnames such as Bossun/Tsubaki. Notable is that prior to establishing their nicknames and the club, the Sket Dan (mostly Bossun/Himeko) also referred to each other by their surnames.
  • Legacy Character: There has been at least three different generations of a group or club of helping other people.
    • The Sket Dan is initially unaware that there was another similar club to their own, called the Otasuke-gumi, decades before their existence. The leader of that group was no one other than the Director of the Disciplinary Committee, when he was a high school student.
    • The Pocket Dan, formed by Tact, Silk and Smile. They originally wanted to take over the Sket Dan when they met, and they often stole their clients (as there couldn't be two simultaneous groups with similar interests, approved by the Student Council). Once Tact realizes that as soon as Bossun and the others graduate, there wouldn't be another Sket Dan, he dissolves the Pocket Dan to formally be part of the Sket Dan.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: During the student council orientation camp, Tsubaki starts freaking out when he believes he's getting hit on by random girls from another school... only to then find out the three girls are in fact Usami (without her hair band), Daisy (with her hair down, her bangs not swept to the side like usual and without her glasses), and Mimori (with her bangs down). They had all been fresh out of the baths.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: A certain incident that happened during "School Trip Rhapsody" and lead to many awkward situations. For everyone involved, it's for the better to not remember anything of it.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
    • Bossun and Himeko usually see their quibbling but close relationship as one between siblings. However, they act much more similar to an old married couple.
    • Rumi and Tsubaki eventually start to treat each other as siblings since they both share the same brother Bossun (not blood-related and blood-related respectively).
  • Long-Lost Relative: During the events of "Happy Rebirthday", it's revealed that Bossun and Sasuke Tsubaki are actually twin brothers.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Regarding Saaya's feelings... at least in her brother Soujiro's mind. According to him, Saaya used to like Tsubaki but is now dating Michiru, while Tsubaki and Bossun like her. When the gang attempts to fix this misunderstanding, the dodecahedron in Soujiro's mind worsens. The end product: Saaya and Switch apparently have mutual feelings for each other (which lead to Switch breaking her and Michiru up), while Saaya still has mixed feelings for Tsubaki (which lead to Michru being angry with him)... and Himeko also happens to like Tsubaki. Hilariously, Bossun (aka the one Saaya really likes) is left out altogether.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Switch liked his childhood friend Sawa who also liked him back; however he misunderstood things and assumed she liked his brother (who may or may not have liked her). This is what kicks off the tragedy that haunts Switch to no end.
    • Saaya has a crush on Bossun and eventually confesses to him (while also hinting it to Himeko when she was in Bossun's body during the School Trip Rhapsody arc); Bossun is implied to like Himeko (but doesn't know it), however is still somewhat unaware of what Himeko truly feels for him.

  • Magic Versus Science: Invoked in the supernatural/occult vs technology/science debates which Reiko and Switch usually engage into.
  • Maybe Ever After: In a sketch Shinohara drew before closing his Twitter account, all of the main trio are shown 10 years older. Bossun and Himeko, despite separating as friends in the finale, are both shown with a wedding band and sitting next to each other. Taking into account that's just how trio images pan out and that we never get any elaboration on who they married, their relationship is up in the air.
  • Meido: Himeko has one of these outfits, from when her class ran the obligatory Maid Cafe for the school festival. It turns up in a later chapter.
  • Meta Casting:
    • Momoka shares some similarities with her voice actress, Marina Inoue, since Inoue started at a young age (20 years old compared to 17-year-old Momoka) in the voice acting/singing industry, too.
    • Dante shares some similarities and musical influences with Gackt.
  • Mood Whiplash: Along with Gintama, the series run with it in Shonen Jump by mix-and-matching comedy and drama. The series is usually comedy-themed, but it could suddenly be stroke with a dramatic arc that could affect permanently the series, in contrast to some of slapstick that invokes Status Quo Is God.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. There's even a full chapter dedicated to Bossun's Potty Emergency where he keeps fluctuating over wanting and not wanting to poop and is cockblocked in some way when he does want to.
  • Nonuniform Uniform: Quite a few students make variations to the school uniform, such as the Sket Dan trio (which includes but isn't limited to Switch's green vest/jumper, Himeko's collar and Bossun's red hat). This is averted in the graduation ceremonies for the third years, as everyone including the Sket Dan forgoes the accessories and wear the proper uniform such as the blazer, tie/ribbon and pants (for guys).
  • Off-Model: It happens often, from off modeling the Gintama characters in the crossover episode (justified since Gintama is produced by Sunrise and Sket Dance by Tatsunoko), depending on who is directing the episodes... and who is also animating. Try to not cringe in the first episodes when they start to use the 3rd opening animation.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Parodied with the Kaimei Academy Disciplinary Committee (referring back to SEELE). The Academy's principal is not part of this council, as much as others say the opposite, and it's also implied that Prof. Yamanobe is part of it as well, as many other teachers from the high school.
  • One Steve Limit: Inverted in one chapter (full of Japanese writing/pronunciation puns) and taken to its logical conclusion. The jokes about this begin when the Sket Dan meet several girls with very similar kanji in their names and/or different kanji with the same pronunciation (Hagiwara Midori 萩原緑, Hagihara Midori 萩原翠 and Ogiwara Yukari 荻原翠)... and things escalate from there as more girls with similar names come up and the confusion thickens.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: After Agata ruins the Principal's bust by drawing graffiti on it, he along with the rest of the Student Council freak out for a bit but then Aata just wants to go back and sleep, because his morning horoscope said "Your graffiti on the bust will probably not be noticed".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Due to their low budget as a school club (since the Student Council do not want to give them any), the Sket Dan's quality of disguises is also incredibly poor. Some of their most notorious obvious ones are the afro costumes (which are just wigs), and, of course, "Deer Man and the Sket Squad Kyeunja". Cue Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • The Pilot: As many other series of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, Sket Dance counts with two one-shots: one that was published in Akamaru Jump in 2006, and another one in the Shonen Jump magazine.
  • Potty Emergency: There's a full chapter dedicated to Bossun with a touch of Toilet Humour... really, poor Bossun... And in the School Trip Rhapsody arc this also happens again, to Bossun... while in Himeko's body and Himeko in Bossun's body as well.
  • Punny Name: Shinohara takes an advantage a little too far in naming his characters.
    • Hime Onizuka, a Tomboy with a Girly Streak, with a feminine given name (Hime generally meaning "princess"), who was also known as "Onihime" ("ogre princess", "ogress").
    • The Anime club president's name is Otakura (who is an otaku).
    • Yuuki Reiko (結城澪呼) . "Yuurei" (幽霊) means "ghost" in Japanese, although the kanji used in Reiko's name (結澪) are different. If the whole name is characterized in different kanji, you can interpret "Yuuki Reiko" as something like "Dark willed, spirit child", which is perfect for our resident occult-freak.
    • Usami Hani, implying her double personality problem. "Hani" is how Honey is pronounced in Japanese (like Cutey Honey), while "Usa" comes from bunny, most likely referring to the Ms. Fanservice ones, rather than the rabbits.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Although the series focuses more on the Sket Dan and the Student Council (whose respective members are weird in their own ways), the entire Kaimei student body also have their own quirks and individual characteristics.
  • Reality Ensues: Plays for laughed in chapter 160. After Sket-Dan accidentally burnt the clubroom with stupid card game in previous chapter. The clubroom did't return to normal state, and the whole team summoned to be judged at the disciplinary committee because their action is likely to be arson.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • Initially invoked, but eventually deconstructed with Kazuyoshi to his little brother, Masafumi. A year before the actual start of the series, he copied his image, and took his original nickname, "Switch". Kazuyoshi used to be laid back and fairly normal, until he was guilt tripped due to the circumstances that led to his little brother's death. He knew that he would never replace him but, at the end, he only wanted to preserve Masafumi's image in himself just for a little longer.
    • In the pre-serialization pilot chapter, it was deconstructed and invoked, as well. Ichiro's girlfriend Nanako died in an accident. Her twin sister, Namiko intended to replace her in order to help him cope.
    • Coming to terms that the Sket Dan is going to retire and graduate, Tact tries to invoke this when the Pocket Dan do a trial run as their potential successors by attempting to copy their personalities instead of acting like themselves. This becomes an issue when Cherry does his usual sexual harassment shtick towards Silk and instead of helping her Tact just plays along and expects Silk to defend herself (like Bossun and Himeko respectively), which upsets her.
  • Reverse Relationship Reveal: Two distinct instances of this in the Switch Off flashback arc.
    • Sawa is presented as having a stalker problem, and her friend Yukino accompanies her to protect her. It turns out, however, that the stalker was Yukino's ex-boyfriend who was only looking for the right chance to confess to Sawa, while Yukino is a jealous yandere who got close to Sawa, wanting revenge because she "stole" her boyfriend.
    • There is also Masafumi, AKA the younger Switch, and An-chan, his older brother. However, it's revealed that An-chan is Kazuyoshi, AKA the Switch we've been following throughout the manga. The original Switch, Masafumi, died protecting Sawa from Yukino, causing Kazuyoshi to take up his mantle and angst about the events for years afterwards.

  • Sadist Teacher: Daijirou Kutsuwa, especially when he transfers to Kaimei Academy, imposes rules to anyone, and mostly threatens Himeko because she was formerly known as a delinquent. He was a teacher from the middle school where Kiri was one of its students. He was the main reason on why Kiri didn't trust in anyone, as a result of bullying some of the students, such as Kiri's friend, Kihara. Of course, he's very shocked when Kutsuwa was transferred to Kaimei. And then he threatens him with his life as revenge.
  • Senior Year Struggles: Although the main trio are initially sophomores, the story follows them until the end of their senior year. Said senior year is fraught with angst as they have to figure out how the club they started will stay afloat after they're gone (they do manage to find successors) and come to terms with their impending separation.
  • Separated at Birth: As it's revealed in "Happy Rebirthday", Bossun and Tsubaki are long-lost twins who were separated due to tragic circumstances, including the death of their biological parents and other decisions that had to be made at the moment, such as Haru's wish to not let Akane, (her and Ryosuke's best friend), raise both babies on her own.
  • The Seven Mysteries: Kaimei Academy (like any other Japanese school) counts with their own "Seven Mysteries of Kaimei". It is a relevant topic in one of the light novels, and it gets referred once again in the Fanbook as a section of trivial data hosted by the resident Occult specialist, Reiko Yuuki, about "strange" and "unexplained" events that make sense in context of the series, but not to the rest of the student body.
  • Ship Tease:
    • There's plenty of teasing towards Bossun and Himeko through the entire series. It doesn't help that both are Oblivious to Love in some ways or another, ever since Bossun helped Himeko in their first year of high school. As a friendship gift, Himeko gave him her red horned hat, and eventually Bossun returned the gesture with a "choker" (which was actually a wrestling armband). He admits once that she would be a "great wife", they have the entire incident of "Samurai" and "Purin", and the list goes on and on. She even tries to confess to him... but she's interrupted many times, and the final attempt backfires badly.
    • There's a chapter that teases there could be something more for Tsubaki and Daisy, when he goes on his own to save her from being blackmailed.
    • Kiri and Usami share some moments between the two, especially since they have to start communicating to each other if they are going to stay in the Student Council, when Tsubaki and the others graduate.
    • Switch and Momoka's relationship is teased as something more than mere mutual admiration, and it plays some important factors here and there for later arcs when it is revealed that she has a crush on him.
    • Switch and Reiko, perhaps, are a little too involved in their usual argumental debates and fights, and it is shown that they do care and respect each other, even if they do not think of themselves as "friends".
    • In episode 28 of the anime, there are some scenes with Agata and Shinba that invoke teasing towards their friendship. Although these aren't present at all in the manga, it's a fact that Shinba appreciates his friendship with Agata a lot, to even worry about him when he failed his entrance exams to Tokyo U.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page!
  • Show Within a Show: A lot of shows are seen within the series, such as various anime Switch is interested in and Popman (the one who wears Bossun's hat). They are, more often than not, completely uncomprehensible.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Suzu, Chuuma's daughter, wants him and Remi to be together, and she succeeds in making them into a couple. Chapters later, they get married.
    • It's strongly hinted that Captain favours Bossun and Himeko, as she has been a close friend to both since they started high school.
    • Switch has been encouraging Bossun and Himeko to be together since the very beginning. However, he knows he can't do much than just giving them a push. Many chapters later, he even admits it to Himeko, as a final push for her to confess her feelings to Bossun.
  • Sliding Scale of Fourth Wall Hardness: Most of the time it stays at Lampshade Hanging, with occasional slipping into Medium Awareness. Then, Roman Saotome shows up and shatters it to pieces.
  • Snowball Fight: In chapter 183 Bossun and Himeko from the Sket club and Tsubaki and Katou from the student council have a snowball fight to decide which group gets to clear the snow from the school's grounds. The student council wins (but they get too distracted in their rivalry with the Sket club to do the job).
  • Something Completely Different: Although the series' main genre is comedy, it jumps into different formulas when you less expect it (and it happens often). You could be reading normal comedy Slice of Life chapters, jump into Alternate Universe gag ones, until the series treats you with dramatic arcs that supply character developments to the cast. Once the dramatic arc is finished, the series returns to the normal slice of life formula, until it gets into this cycle, once again.
  • Stylistic Suck: Any time where we got to see any character's manga, or any Show Within a Show, it's almost certain this trope is in effect.
    • Roman and Himeko are terrible, terrible artists, but Roman has its own merit.
    • The Sainon and Magarfunkle duo of the Shonen Manga Club and their completely incoherent story, "Space Cosmos Universe", from the manga battle chapter. Much to Himeko's disdain.
  • The Stoic: Switch and Daisy qualify but Kaoru Yagi of the broadcasting club takes the crown. Switch and Daisy will have some occasional Not So Stoic moments here and there (Daisy often expresses annoyance towards others and sorrow when her mother accidentally threw away her favorite soft toy while Switch will smirk occasionally and showed some degree of disgust, anger and confusion when an invisible Bossun wanted to use Switch's newly purchased anime posters to cover his crotch), Yagi is so expressionless that even Switch calls her out.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Switch, Daisy and Yagi.
  • Talking with Signs:
    • Switch is forced to communicate thusly if his computer stops working.
    • In episode 4, whenever Roman does an Art Shift into Manga style panels her dialogue appears in speech bubbles, even though it can still be heard.
    • Smile usually reccurs to use signs (and Hand Signals) to communicate with the rest of the Pocket Dan (and the reader) as he is mute.
  • Tomato Surprise: Shinohara loves to apply these "plot twists" in the series, as a matter to confuse the reader, when important development about certain characters is being revealed.
    • "An-chan", the guy narrating "Switch Off", is Kazuyoshi Usui all along. The reader even assumes that the present Switch is supposed to be Masafumi, since both of them share similar physical characteristics, until The Reveal. The anime even hides it well as neither of the siblings are fully credited in the first part of the arc.
    • The guy who stars "One Guy's Quiet Day Off" is actually Ryosuke Kirishima, Bossun and Tsubaki's biological dad. Bossun is a Generation Xerox of him, and at first it looks like it is a chapter about him. Similar to "Switch Off", the anime plays along with both characters being voiced by the same voice actor.
  • Took a Level in Badass: During the Ninja AU, Roman and Reiko turn from a Damsel in Distress and a ghost, respectively, into highly trained ninjas less than a page in.
  • Troll: "Trolling" seems to be one of Switch's favorite hobbies. In one chapter, Bossun and Himeko has an anti-tsukkomi competition. What does a nice, good friend like Switch do? Invite Roman and Cherry to the clubroom, of course!
  • Tsundere: Parodied and exemplified by Saaya ever since her introduction, which starts with the discussion of the trope itself due to a dating sim's character. However, Himeko fits as a tsundere as well, especially with Bossun, amplified during their awkward moments.
  • Twin Switch: While Bossun and Tsubaki are fraternal twins rather than identical ones, they take advantage of this as a tactic... which has its good and down sides.
    • In order to defeat the the fortune teller in chapters 103 and 104, Bossun and Tsubaki (with freshly trimmed eyelashes) switch places. When she tries to tell Bossun's future, it's proved that the fortune teller uses intel on the subject she's reading to make a fortune seem more legitimate.
    • Shinba takes an advantage of this as a way to put an end to the Love Dodecahedron around Saaya in Agata's mind to let him concentrate for the second chance of the Tokyo U entrance exams. However, Tsubaki is unaware of the whole situation; so in order to avoid dragging him into the mess, Bossun dresses up as Tsubaki and acts out the make-up/break up scene with Saaya in front of Agata.
    • In chapter 217, Bossun exploits this to trick the Student Council, and unexpectedly, they fell for it. Obviously, afterwards, Tsubaki finds out and he's not amused at all by it.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The main characters comprise a guy (Bossun) and his two close friends and fellow club members, Switch (male) and Himeko (female). Bossun and Himeko have Ship Tease (with Switch being the Shipper on Deck), but all are otherwise good friends with no rivalries.
  • Undying Loyalty: Himeko and Switch have unwavering faith in Bossun. Also, Kiri pronounces Tsubaki his master at the end of "Solitude".
  • Unflinching Walk: The Sket Dan invoke this after many difficulties they have to pass when they are trapped inside a warehouse (and trapped inside full-body costumes) during "Costume Break" (chapters 76-77), as they burn it down.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Bossun and Himeko, in spades, especially after the Ogress arc, with quite a few Ship Tease moments sprinkled every few chapters or so. In-universe nods to these make the pairing canon. A few guest characters will comment on their complicated relationship from time to time, most notably by Jin and Saaya, who have crushes on Himeko and Bossun, respectively. The whole School Trip Rhapsody arc emphasises this; Bossun and Himeko go through "Freaky Friday" Flip, resulting in many awkward and questionable-looking actions such as dressing and washing each other (with the other person wearing blindfolds so they don't see anything).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Despite the constant bickering, Bossun and Himeko are shown to actually care for each other a lot, slowly approaching Belligerent Sexual Tension territory.
  • The Voiceless: Switch, who communicates via text-to-speech with a laptop. In the last arc, the gang is also introduced to the new board director's son Yuuki who refuses to talk due to bullying or so his father claims — it turns out he's afraid to speak up and reveal his voice, as he's biologically female but doesn't identify as such.
  • Wacky Homeroom: After the Sket Dan start their final year as high schoolers, their new class contains every recurring character (who are all quirky in many ways) in the same group. This is lampshaded when a rather stoic student-teacher starts teaching them and they have to keep reminding the class to not do anything weird in order to not provoke him (this of course fails).
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • Himeko is basically a street brawler (although a retired and reformed one), so she uses a field hockey stick as a weapon. Bossun and Switch are non-combative types, but Bossun, as a bratty type, can be very skillful with a slingshot if necessary.
    • Switch's laptop may count as a Gadgeteer Genius. During a mock duel, even though he's a horrible shot, his laptop and calm demeanor allows him to get the upper hand on Daisy.
    • Meanwhile, Shinzo swings a bamboo practice sword and Tsubaki uses boxing gloves when prompted.
  • Weirdness Magnet: While not supernatural, the Sket Dan members have noticed that it's usually the people with the most colorful personalities who tend to show up at their door.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Ogress", the backstory arc that focuses on Himeko, as it reveals that reason she was seen as a delinquent, and how Bossun helped her to be a better person, despite her personality and appearance.
    • "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Rebirthday", the arc that not only reveals the original motivations of Bossun to form the Sket Dan, but also reveals that he and Tsubaki are twin brothers that were separated at birth, due to tragic circumstances.
    • The storyline of "Switch Off" and "Switch On" reveals two different facets from the Large Ham that Switch is supposed to be — one that happened before he became a shut-in, while the other happens some months after that event, which describes how he got into the Sket Dan, and why he became the way he is in the present.
    • "Solitude", in a similar aspect as "Ogress" does to Himeko, reveals why Kiri Katou is very distant to his peers (especially the Student Council), when a Sadist Teacher he knew in Middle School gets transferred to Kaimei Academy.
    • During the last chapter of "Last Dance", and after too much thought, Switch finally decides to speak.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Te-chan in episode 7 is only a supporting character but Bossun's rant at him is nearer this than a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Though considering his dedication to the girl he loves Te-chan could be seen as the Hero of Another Story.
    • Touched during "Switch On". Kazuyoshi is trying to play as a "hero", as a way to apply justice and a well-deserved punishment to the "bad people" that are hiding their dark pasts. He engages them into a Death Fight, with the punishment that the loser will have their "sins" shamefully exposed to the world. He admits (out of guilt) that he is doing that because he thinks he's also a bad person, and that he should be punished too, as it was his fault that his little brother was killed. Bossun calls him off after discovering his charade and after receiving help from him to get... him.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Kenta Shinohara's Author Avatar shows up at the school looking for inspiration for a new manga series. Bossun thinks that this opportunity would be perfect to make the Sket Dan incredibly popular. Unfortunately, "Enta Hinohara" decides that Bossun is too boring to be a shonen lead character and makes a manga about the Student Council instead.
  • World of Ham: The whole cast is often very melodramatic, and very enthusiastic about their own interests. Sure, some of them take the cake, like Switch, but at least a high percentage of the cast has their Large Ham moments.
  • X Must Not Win: Telling the Student Council or the Sket Dan that the other group is involved in something is a perfect way get to them to join in. This is especially pronounced with Tsubaki and Bossun, due to their rivalry (especially after it's revealed that they are siblings).


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