As the title and cover photo suggests, SK8 Infinity is a very stylish, cool skateboarding show. But it is also something much more than that. It is as how about self-discovery, about finding a passion, maintaining it and rediscovering it. And it shows how different hobbies, when elevated to passions which fuel life in a person can leads so many, and so many different, people into become a major part of each others life.
The show is very stylized. The animators really worked hard to create a whole skate scene in this fictional part of Japan. That is not only categorizes by the designs of the few protagonists, their “side-kicks” or the main villain of the show, but by every single character that appears in the show. Even every single random side character that appears in and around every single race has been meticulously crafted by the animation department. It is quite the action packed show. The races really dominated your attention, and combined with a very good use of music and editing get you on the edge of your seat. I’m not a “skate person”. I played a few games growing up, Most notably a few Tony Hawk games and Street Sk8er. If you are a hardcore skater, there are elements of the show that might be off putting to you. I imagine that “purists” might have issues with the show, in the same way I have issues with “Kuroko’s Basketball”. I love basketball, which can be seen by the number of NBA Draft articles I put out this year. And Kuroko, as SK8 is in its own right, is also a shonen show, and we all know they go way over the top with certain aspects of the sport they are covering. But I still think, the finale excluded, SK8 approaches skating more fairly and realistically than Kuroko approaches basketball.
The main connection of the show are Reki and Langa. There are a lot of differences between them, and the character design department really does a great job showing that from the first time we see them side to side. Reki is far more expressive, both in his behaviour and his dressing. Langa is more simple, introverted. Where they both feel the most similar to one another is riding skateboards. Langa is a newcomer, but super talented, and a former snowboarder. Reki is someone who’s whole life is build around skateboards. Langa’s rapid ascent and improvement will test their friendship, but also face a very interesting burden/dilemma for Reki. It is hard for someone who works hard at something every single day, to see a newcomer just ascent with rapidity towards heights that are far greater than your own. Reki does have an period where he feels completely lost. He doubts everything about himself, and every single minute he spend on skateboards. He flips around between wanting to quit, or being just a sideline person, who helps create boards, but never rides them. In the end, he realizes the most important thing, he loves skating. It doesn’t matter what skating bestows upon his life or near future. The important thing for him is that he is using his free time doing something that means so much to him. Even if he isn’t improving in his the rankings, who cares. He has a passion that fulfills him, that helped him bond with all kind of new friends, people he wouldn’t have met otherwise, and all that is what truly counts.
The sort of subplot of the show is the relationship between three famous skaters, Joe, Cherry and Adam. Adam is sort of the villain of the show. He was to Joe and Cherry what Langa is to Reki. But, Adam in a way turned this thing he loves into a infinite quest for something bigger, greater, and it has eaten him up completely. Will Joe and Cherry find a way to bring their former friend back? Is Langa destined to turn into the new Adam?
To answer those questions, and many more, watch SK8 Infinity.