OP: 「Paradise」 () by (Rude-α)
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「はじめてのサイコー！」 (Hajimete no Saikō!)
“Awesome for the First Time!”
Is anyone else completely enamored by this series?
There’s a lot to be found in simplicity. Recalling one of the first series I covered with RandomC, Kaguya-sama, at first glance the simple narrative felt tedious and repetitive. I’m not saying this series resembles Kaguya’s format at all, but they do have one thing in common: simplicity.
There’s nothing complex about a pair of teenagers bonding over a shared love of boarding whether it involves snow or not. In a sense, the simplicity of SK8 the Infinity is also familiar. We’ve seen similar character arcs, high school settings, friendships, mentors, and competitive journeys like these before. Watch a handful of sport-genre anime and you’ll recognize the naturally talented kid who needs to hone his skills a little before acing the competitive scape.
There are a few psychedelic and plot-heavy series you can dive into this winter season but if you’re looking for something grounding I think this might be it. It’s easy, fun, heartwarming, and the script will inevitably bring out some much needed and refreshing belly laughs. And, because of how straightforward the story is, it leaves room for the skateboard-loving
addict creator behind the show to truly showcase their love of the sport, really pulling the viewer into the skateboarding world.
Forgive the comparison if you disagree, but at this rate, SK8 Infinity has the potential to do for skateboarding what “Queen’s Gambit” did for chess. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think everyone is going to head off onto Amazon and buy a board, but… True, the audience is a niche one compared to Netflix’s hit show’s but nevertheless, I think it portrays the sport in a very accessible way, which wouldn’t be possible without that familiar format.
The characters, as mentioned in my previous post, all come with their own set of charms and quirks. Joe (Matsumoto Yasunori) & Cherry Blossom (Midorikawa Hikaru) easily fill in the ‘stooge’ roles, Shadow’s self proclaimed antagonist role is still on theme, and the introduction of a new supporting character Chinen Miya (Nagatsuka Takuma) is already setting the groundwork for the first season’s biggest challenge (I think). So, yeah, a little easy to foresee but nothing wrong with that if it means an easy watch. I think one of the most interesting things about these older characters is their dual personas. Cool-headed and approachable by day, and like the Sailor Moon inspired commercial bump hints at, heroes (or antagonists) of S Community by night where they can express themselves fully as individuals.
I think the budding relationship between Langa and Reki makes up the true gem of the series but, I think it’s better to experience it rather than be told what’s happening between them as it is at the center of this episode and so are part of their backstories. One thing’s for sure, Langa’s win against Shadow is making waves in the community and has attracted some serious competition (re Miya). Langa’s spent the episode, the course of two weeks, learning how to land an ollie rather than showing face at S but not without Reki’s selfless desire to help. I guess, in retrospect, Reki finally has someone his age and at his school with whom he can share his passion. I do, however, hope that if anyone makes it and wins a huge competition or challenge, it will be Reki. The boy lives only for skateboarding and I’ve stubbornly decided that between the two, he deserves the medal, recognition, and fame.
This second episode has not shaken my resolve to keep watching, however, with my schedule I’m not sure I’ll be able to cover this as well as Kemono Jihen which has also piqued my curiosity. I hope though, that having read these last two reviews, you choose to at the very least try out the series. In a time where every day, almost every week wherever you’re based in the world is a little unpredictable and unknown, there’s comfort in this familiarity. It’s just what we need right about now. And maybe you learn a little about skateboarding while you’re at it.
ED: 「Infinity」by (Yuri)
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