Why is the foreigner character always the coolest one? Most recently we had Patricia Martin of Lucky Star, who lit up the scene whenever she was there with her stereotyped impression of Japanese culture, and had a little too much knowledge in very specific topics. We had Ana Coppola from Ichigo Mashimaro, who got stuck in a strange place being seemingly more Japanese than all the other characters, and yet tried to maintain her foreigner identity. Then there was Sawachika Eri from School Rumble, the flaming hottie of the show voiced by Horie Yui.

Meet Kate, the foreigner of Sketchbook! See, it’s a common understanding (at least in anime) that Japanese people are rather apprehensive when meeting a foreigner, particularly one who speaks to them in English. The thing is, Kate speaks Japanese – not too well, but definitely well enough to make some cold, cold puns…

So this episode is about Kate and the cast getting acquainted with each other, and Natsumi’s subsequent endeavor to teach Kate about Japanese culture. Why Natsumi? Well, her puppets have foreign names. OTL

Natsumi gets constantly frustrated by Kate’s loose cannon spirit, but eventually with some behind the scenes persuasion by Sora, everything is able to go smoothly. The art club has a welcome party for Kate, and all is well in the world of Sketchbook.


Ahhh token foreigner debuts, and she’s a total hoot. There’s just something about the gaijin character in anime that makes them so fun. Maybe it’s the over-the-top accent, or that their lifestyle is totally different, or that they’re always rich. Kate!


Well, I think we all knew that a few more new characters were gonna pop up, but I totally wasn’t expecting a gaijin character – and what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be. It’s hard to understand Kate’s bad jokes without a pretty good understanding of Japanese, so it’s gonna be interesting to see how the sub groups pull this one off. Either way, her cuteness and hyper personality are infectious and it’s great fun just to watch her run circles around the rest of the slow-paced cast. Look for her to provide the punchlines a few times every ep from now on!

Captions up


  1. Further cementing its status as easily THE best anime show of fall 2007 for me. As much as I love ef, Clannad, Bamboo Blade and Moyashimon, this show just keeps me in a permanent grin.


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