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EP. REVIEW: Sk8 the Infinity


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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 484
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:01 pm Reply with quote
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I think I could honestly watch these boys just screw around and fall off skateboards for a whole season (unsurprisingly, Utsumi's no stranger to the slice-of-life genre either); that I'll get to watch them lavishly skate and/or die against a bunch of cool cartoon characters is pretty much just a bonus.

I'll admit I'm still holding off on starting this series until it becomes apparent whether or not it will become Danganronpa on skateboards, or if the injuries in the first episode are the actual limit and simply an exaggeration of the inherent risks of extreme sports. I'm pretty over the death game genre (thanks, Danganronpa V3!), but I am jonesing for another Utsumi-directed sports show.
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#919730



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:15 pm Reply with quote
I’m really enjoying this so far. The eye catches are fun to watch.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2893
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:25 pm Reply with quote
Yeah much better episode 2 than 1, mostly because it was more grounded in actual skateboard and less anime-ey (snowboarding skill do not really transfer to skateboarding, downhill race on skateboard aren't very exciting). Still could use with less gimmick, drop the talking skateboard and super villain, they bring nothing to the show and detract from the skating and skate culture, which, believe it or not, is interesting enough to stand on its own without gimmick!

I'm a bit disappointed in the soundtrack, there's really nothing that stand out and it's far too "clean" for a skating related show.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9357
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:30 am Reply with quote
wolf10 wrote:
I'll admit I'm still holding off on starting this series until it becomes apparent whether or not it will become Danganronpa on skateboards

Wut? oO No, I don't think you have to worry about this turning into a death match anime. Where did that even come from? Laughing

I'm loving this to pieces so far. I love the easy camaraderie between the two leads. Usually they'd be all prickly and defensive while they felt each other out for drama or jokes and that gets so tiring. Watching them just hang out and listen to each other and get excited about skateboarding like real teenagers is like comfort food.

I don't know what all is brewing in the background with the shady characters, but I'm not worried about them turning into anything more than maybe some angst or motivation yet. The cartoon trappings of the mine races are fine. The animation is fantastic (especially all of the various ways poor Langa crashes out), the facial expressions are outstanding, the skateboard lore is interesting. Nothing in this not to love at the moment.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 484
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:18 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
wolf10 wrote:
I'll admit I'm still holding off on starting this series until it becomes apparent whether or not it will become Danganronpa on skateboards

Wut? oO No, I don't think you have to worry about this turning into a death match anime. Where did that even come from? Laughing

I never said it was a particularly valid worry Laughing , and it's mostly based off the resumes of the staff involved, but admittedly my spidey sense hasn't tingled like this since The Price of Smiles. I was able to call that twist from the teaser.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1553
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:39 pm Reply with quote
I'm enjoying this more than I thought I would. Reki and Langa are entertaining to watch.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 683
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:35 pm Reply with quote
Am I the only one getting "how do you do fellow kids" vibes from this show? I mean, the skater costumes, the skater "gang", even the slang used (in Japanese, I don't know about the English) just have this "cool sk8er kids according to 40 something adults who have only ever been otaku and are unfamiliar with other subcultures" vibe to them. "Yesterday was so gnarly! This new guy had a beef with Shadow!" etc. which is like... not really how actual Japanese skaters speak and use these words, at least to my best knowledge, and sure, it's anime, I don't expect to be down-to-earth and terribly realistic, but it is trying to go there, and so I can't help but find it kind of cringey. (It's kind of like "Yesterday was totally rad! This new guy opened a mad can of whoopass on Shadow!") And the "hip and cool" designs are just by-the-numbers "cool" elements applied to the characters, the sort that have been used again and again in anime and manga for decades...

The animation is fine I guess, and the characters are bland and unoffensive but not terrible so far (I'd be more excited if this was the first show of this kind I see, but after a bunch of these I find that they tend to follow certain patterns as far as the main characters go), but the whole skating aspect really doesn't sit well with me.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
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Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:14 pm Reply with quote
There's only 3 episodes so far and I like how over the top the whole thing is without being overkill. However, Adam seems like the factor that could push the show into overkill territory.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 683
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:30 am Reply with quote
phia_one wrote:
There's only 3 episodes so far and I like how over the top the whole thing is without being overkill. However, Adam seems like the factor that could push the show into overkill territory.

Yes, the whole premise is terribly silly edging over into cringy, but this character is just ridiculous and not in a good way. Yes, being over the top can be fun, except in this case the show keeps such a straight face about grown-ass adults dressing in very-not-cool costumes competing in an "underground" (= extremely visible, clearly well-maintained and well-organized) skateboarding competition that just makes me wonder if the show actually wants us to take it at face value. I'm not saying shows with over the top elements need to be completely self-aware and constantly poke fun at their own expense, but when you have a character so utterly unreal and ridiculous as Adam (whose name is written with kanji and has a meaning along the lines of ~*LOVE and DREAM with a PASSION*~) you either acknowledge just how ridiculous he is, or... well, become ridiculous yourself for taking him seriously.

This show in general seems to me the equivalent of a Disney TV series (a formulaic story about youth written by completely out-of-touch adults, taking place in a sanitized version of reality where small things are hugely important while important things are carefully not touched on, etc.) and I guess it's fine for that, but this Adam/Shindou character is just breaking all the suspension of disbelief I was willing to have.

Then again, I guess we're not supposed to watch this for the story or the lip service to skateboarding (that is mostly just an excuse for flexing animator muscles), and the creators are aware that as long as there's enough pretty boys having shippy moments people will stick by the show through anything.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2893
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:16 am Reply with quote
I think there's also a bit of a hicky factor, we have a bunch of 20 to 40 adult playing around with high school kid while wearing silly outfit. Imagine you go to a local skate park and saw this your first tough would probably be "weirdo pedophile!".
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Super_M



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 174
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:34 pm Reply with quote
This anime is neat. It's just one of this show that you turn your brain off and have fun, something like JoJo expect instead stands there are skateboards.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 683
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:47 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
So we all know what ‘cool’ actually is, right?

Well, not this show, that's for sure.

Is the animation really really slick? Sure. Is the direction capable and confident? Sure. Are the visuals just overall nice? Sure I guess. If this is all you want from an anime then yeah, I guess this is probably a highly enjoyable show for you.

But cool? No, definitely not. Not for me, anyway. Because every point the show scores on the above it loses on the characters and just its overall approach, by which I mean how it just feels like a Disney TV series for teens, written by hopelessly out of touch adults trying to depict "cool kids doing cool things". It ceases to be anything even remotely cool the moment we realize we're expected to take Adam seriously because everyone else does. (I mean really, come on, Reki thinks his outfit is cool? What kind of 21st century skateboarder teenager is he?) Really, it loses any chance of being cool with every character and conflict template it regurgitates without adding anything interesting or indeed "cool" in particular. (A show doesn't need to reinvent the wheel to be great fun, most recently see: Akudama Drive. But this show is like color-by-the-numbers.)

Sure, you can say "just lie back and turn off your mind" - but that doesn't work when you keep getting dragged out of that headspace again and again. I could barely make it through this episode.

It just really irritates me because there's so much budget and effort behind the show, so many hyped staff members, and then the result is like a twelve year old's half-assed original fic inspired by all the Pretty Boys Do Sports shows and light novels, just with really shiny animation.


Last edited by SHD on Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bonbonsrus



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 1326
Location: Michigan, USA
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:13 pm Reply with quote
Despite the SHaDe thrown around above, I frickin love this show, and I am HERE FOR IT!
I DO find this show cool, I love the attention they put into every single aspect of this show and I can't wait for more, it's one of my favs this season. I have seen a literal ton of anime and find this one supremely enjoyable.

I also don't find the more adult characters out of place. Why should they take their years of experience and expertise and simply stop doing and enjoying what they love while they are still amazing at it? That would be more odd...Shawn White (extreme snowboarder, Olympian) is 34, and for goodness sake, wasn't there just a highly anticipated boxing ppv between some old boxers? George Forman became the oldest heavyweight champion at age 45. Why should only teens get to be active? Why shouldn't Adam and Cherry and Joe still be icons and legends?
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all-tsun-and-no-dere
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 06 Jul 2015
Posts: 282
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 5:06 pm Reply with quote
SHD wrote:
Yes, being over the top can be fun, except in this case the show keeps such a straight face about grown-ass adults dressing in very-not-cool costumes


People apply this logic to real-life situations of adults having fun with things that society believes they should have grown out of, and it sucks. You don't age out of enjoying things and become capable only of thinking about taxes and stocks when you're 25.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 683
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:24 pm Reply with quote
all-tsun-and-no-dere wrote:
SHD wrote:
Yes, being over the top can be fun, except in this case the show keeps such a straight face about grown-ass adults dressing in very-not-cool costumes


People apply this logic to real-life situations of adults having fun with things that society believes they should have grown out of, and it sucks. You don't age out of enjoying things and become capable only of thinking about taxes and stocks when you're 25.

One, let me assure you I'm way older than 25. Older than 35, even. And I have some really silly hobbies, including watching Japanese cartoons and arguing about them with strangers on the internet.

Two, my problem is not with some of the characters being adults. It's how they're adults behaving like teenagers alongside a bunch of actual teenagers in an "underground" (lol okay) gang situation that everyone takes very seriously, while wearing really outdated and silly tryhard-cool costumes, and nobody even bats an eye, in fact, we're supposed to just accept that even the cool kids think these dudes are really cool and awesome. And I could roll with that, with some effort, but not on the level that Adam requires.

When Reki was like "okay Adam's mask is pretty cool" my suspension of disbelief just broke beyond repair and it just kept being broken further as the episode went on. Because let's face it, he's not cool. His design is ridiculous and not in a good way - many characters have really uninspired and derivative designs in this show (really, design elements that have been used for "cool kids" since the '80s...) but Adam especially is a walking case of "this was really lame even two decades ago, unless aimed at small kids or poked fun at". His characterization is just... that... (Koyasu Takehito doesn't help, he sounds so hilariously melodramatic and unreal even compared to the rest of the cast.) And yet the show doesn't show any signs of acknowledging this at all, on any level. We're supposed to accept Adam as a cool and intimidating character. Which is disheartening if true, because it kind of implies that the creativity of the "creative powerhouse" supposedly behind this show is hopelessly stuck with old, often outdated, design, character and conflict templates, and is either not interested or not capable of even "updating" them or just adding their own spin on them - or hell, just accepting the OTT ridiculousness and fully leaning into it.

Which is why I said that ultimately my issue is how, aside of the slick and powerful animation, this show just feels like a twelve year old's enthusiastic but completely cringy origfic based on all the pretty-boys-doing-sports anime and LN they've seen and read.

But this is my opinion, you don't have to share it. If you enjoy the show go on, have fun with it.

(Edited for typo and clarification.)
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