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    SK8 the Infinity First Impressions: The Anime for Noob Skaters

    Yes, I fall in the category of noob skater. It wasn’t until last month when I could finally push off the ground and have both me and the skateboard move without falling down. While I can’t go faster than 3 mph, I was still able to enjoy the first episode of SK8 the Infinity and felt a desire to pick up the board again and try to make it to that 5 mph milestone.

    Photo by Bones

    Here’s the plot of SK8 the Infinity according to Aniplex US:

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    Reki, a high school sophomore and skater, is addicted to “S,” a highly secret and dangerous downhill skateboarding race that takes place in an abandoned mine. The skaters are especially wild about the “beefs,” or heated battles that erupt in the races.

    Reki takes Langa, a transfer student returning to Japan after studying abroad, to the mine where the races are held. Langa, who has no skateboarding experience, finds himself pulled into the world of “S”…

    The episode starts out with Reki dueling Shadow, the self-proclaimed anti-hero of “S”. When Reki gets too close to Shadow, Shadow releases a handful of mini bombs, causing Reki to crash and injure his arm.

    Shadow vs. Reki, Photo by Bones

    While at school, Reki begins to sketch out plans on how to beat Shadow, which his friends are very much not interested in. Langa transfers into Reki’s class at the same time, marking the two’s first encounter.

    Langa, Photo by Bones
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    Langa tries to find a part-time job, which is when he encounters Reki for a second time after rescuing Reki’s runaway skateboard. This is the moment their friendship blossomed. Reki notices Langa’s interest in his skateboard and offers to teach him how to skate. Langa has never been on a skateboard, however, and immediately falls down. I related to this moment so hard because that’s exactly what happened to me when I first set foot on a skateboard.

    Reki, Photo by Bones

    Langa gets hired at the same skate shop Reki works at and their first task is to deliver a skateboard for someone at “S”. After obtaining the pass to enter “S”, Reki accidentally switches out the customer’s board with his hand-made board. The customer, now completely furious, demands that Reki skates in place of him. Langa decides to take matters into his own hands and tapes his feet to the board so that he can stay on. Since Langa was a snowboarder back in Canada, he figured that taping his feet to the skateboard would make it feel the same as snowboarding.

    Reki, Photo by Bones

    After a couple of minutes of Reki trying to stop Langa, the race between Langa and Shadow starts. Langa has a rough start, but soon realizes that the only difference between skateboarding and snowboarding is that the skateboard has wheels. Using his snowboard skills, Langa wows the audience and manages to beat Shadow, which is an incredibly impressive feat.

    Langa, Photo by Bones

    While I’m not a pro-skater, I found the first episode of SK8 the Infinity to be very interesting. Reki’s love for skating seemed extremely genuine to me, especially when we see the scratches on his board and his homemade board. Reki seems like the kind of passionate protagonist we’d see in a shounen anime. The opening also makes the anime seem all the more promising. The sequence where Reki and Langa do a little dance on their boards was adorable.

    Character-design wise, I’m not going to lie, Shadow’s design threw me off. The Kiss-inspired makeup and outfit screamed “Look at me! I’m quirky!” to me. I know that Shadow’s entire personality is that he loves being the center of attention and that he’s not supposed to be like-able. However, his get-up and not-so-quirky personality just made me not want to see him on the screen.

    Shadow, Photo by Bones

    Based on the trailer, I originally thought that Langa was going to be a character who knew absolutely nothing about skating and that Reki would end up teaching him everything. While a couple of steps will be skipped due to Langa’s snowboarding history, we will definitely still get to see him learn how to skate without taping his feet and watch him grow to skate among the best.

    What did you think of the first episode of SK8 the Infinity? Are you going to continue watching it or will you drop it?

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