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EP. REVIEW: Sk8 the Infinity


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JadeDahlia



Joined: 14 May 2015
Posts: 52
Location: New York, NY
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:11 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I also think we learned a great deal about Adam this episode. All his crazy flamboyance and focus on "Love!" is him acting out against his father, who burned his skateboard and forbade him from doing what he most loved, and who he couldn't/can't challenge head-on (is he even still alive?), as well as the biddies that sit in judgement of all he does. And I think Kiriko's role in bringing this all to a head will shortly become apparent (or at least by the finale).


I completely agree. I'd also add that while maybe the part about the political corruption could have been condensed a bit, it also led to the scene where Adam ordered Tadashi to take the fall for him if the politician was proven guilty, showing that his ruthless streak isn't just limited to his skating persona. He also definitely resents Tadashi for not standing up to his father back when he tried to stop Adam from skating anymore.

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But making it initially seem like Reki is merely jealous of the recognition Langa's getting comes off perhaps too simplistic. It's a sharply relatable feeling, to be sure, but it immediately doesn't jibe with the issues we'd already seen Reki grappling with.


It didn't seem to me like they were portraying Reki as simply being jealous. He was even openly supportive and proud of Langa at the beginning of the episode. There could be some jealousy there, but it's really more about him feeling inferior, especially when people are openly saying things about him at S like "that lowlife who hangs around Reki" and "the one who's not Langa". His insecurities have been building up in subtle ways for the last few episodes, and it comes to a head here, along with his concern for Langa's well-being and fear of losing him as a friend.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:45 am Reply with quote
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Skateboarding as a language of love has been a nascent theme of the series since Adam made his debut
For the added sledgehammer, his actual name is "Ainosuke." Phonetically anyway, it's a pun on "skate of love." Sk8 has no need for subtlety.

And speaking of lacking subtlety, go back to episode 4 and watch Tadashi's face when the obahans are telling ADAM to find a wife. If that's not a bodyguard crush, I don't know what is. Knowing these two are the original skate bros for this series (the Adam and Eve, even?) adds some extra depth there. I don't think he'll end up as a Death by Newberry Medal, at least, but SNAKE made a critical error in crashing the party right as the stakes were being raised. The only real question is what state he'll be in when ADAM's done with him.

Not that I expect anything to actually happen with either duo, even in a post-YoI world. At this point I'm just grateful we weren't subjected to too much of Langa's reaction to his mom's "misunderstanding," because funny as they can be, those scenes always come with the baggage that it is a misunderstanding.
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JennLegacy



Joined: 12 Oct 2013
Posts: 62
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:11 pm Reply with quote
I've never felt so bad and laughed so hard at a character getting injured before. Poor Cherry, but the sheer audacity. If this show were more realistic, we would've witnessed a death scene this week.

EDIT: Also, I am with you with being unable to feel out where my suspension of disbelief should be at this point. My immediate reaction to that scene was screaming "YOU CAN'T DO THAT. THAT'S ILLEGAL!" at my screen.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:48 pm Reply with quote
I suppose I had a completely different takeaway from this episode. I thought Reki learning the joys of a supporting role from a conveniently timed TV interview was entirely too easy a solution to his problem, and the series even knew that this was the obvious answer and simply played that card fast as it could. As someone who got used to being the only one not tagged in group photos, Reki's arc is actually the part of this show I relate to most.

And then there's the board smash. I believe my first comment in this thread sums up how far I expected this series could go based on the premise, so I'm kind of surprised it took this long to test the true limits of "no rules." Now that I'm this deep into the series, though, I think there are a few reasonable extrapolations as to why things don't generally go that far.

To get the messy stuff out of the way first: nobody wants to draw unwanted attention to S. Japan is very proud of its law enforcement, so a dead body would put a full stop to everything. This is also the reason yakuza tend to be depicted with a "no killing" rule. A high frequency of similar injuries reported at the same hospital in a short window of time would also probably send up a red flag for law enforcement. (I could actually see this being a plot point later.) Fortunately, everyone's made of the same stuff as One Piece characters, so this becomes largely a moot point.

More importantly: it's a skateboarding competition. People are there to compete on skateboards. Even Shadow's "dirty" tactics are only treated as seriously as Mario Kart items. Nobody wants to break that unwritten rule, because at the end of the day they want to win because they're the best skater, not because they smashed someone in the face with it.

To paraphrase a Kino's Journey episode: just because something isn't forbidden, doesn't make it permitted.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:40 am Reply with quote
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Joe and Cherry's remarks had always told us that Adam had changed, and while we still aren't clear on the why

We're not? I guess they could still surprise me, but if these characters were any more transparent they'd be invisible. I feel pretty confident in saying it's because his childhood bestie who taught him how to skateboard betrayed him to his father, indirectly by not supporting him, and maybe also directly by ratting him out. He no longer trusts anyone he can't control, and Langa is at a level that can get his adrenaline pumping while still, he thinks, being controllable.

Face Smash was a pretty rad move, gotta say. But probably ineffective once the element of surprise is gone, so I don't see it proliferating like a lot of the other dirty tricks.
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RubyRed



Joined: 17 Aug 2017
Posts: 20
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:20 am Reply with quote
Hell, yes. Absolutely yes to everything about the episode 9 review. I came away from this one feeling extremely frustrated, and have now withdrawn my previous 8/10 rating for the show on various anime sites, pending further developments. (8/10 being a very high rating by my standards.) But I could find only two people out of a literal hundred on the MAL forums - not to mention god knows how many on twitter - who agreed with my bleak view for the future of this show if it continues to flog the dead horse of Reki's Inferiority Complex.

The reviews have been excellently presented and very logical so far; I'm sorry I only started to read them last week. I'd long given up on ANN/MAL reviews being anything more than a reflection of the views of the masses, but your comments on this series have actually given me food for thought, not to mention a much needed confidence boost that I'm not "reading SK8 all wrong."
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:39 am Reply with quote
I guess with Evangelion finally on its way out, for real this time, anime fandom was overdue for a phrase to replace "Get in the robot, Shinji!" as a way to simultaneously show off nerd cred and lack of empathy.

"Get off the skateboard, Reki!"

I feel like being upset with him or the show for giving his problems screentime over more interesting/exciting characters is kind of missing the point. Simply accepting that he was never going to be good enough and falling back into a support role is the obvious solution, maybe, but also kind of a cop-out. There's a less obvious, but arguably simpler, solution that's been staring us in the face since he made a board that let Langa overcome his own difficulties and compete. He just needs to find it.

(If you haven't been paying attention: he's the only character in the cast using a standard deck. He may be able to quickly identify what other skaters need, but he hasn't put any real thought into his own needs yet.)
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:08 pm Reply with quote
That statement... didn't age all that badly, actually. I'll admit I was hoping Reki would start working towards some kind of crazy last-episode powerup, because come on, this is totally the show for that, but I suppose I will accept simply "not quitting" in the face of everything thrown at him the last couple episodes.

That fist bump, though. Nervous, hesitant, but also a little excited. That was a kiss, right? They even looked at each other like, "Wait, did we just...?"


(Not really sure where the love hotel thing came from, except that I've seen those come up a few times in crime stories as places organized crime loves to do deals, precisely because of the confidentiality and lack of windows. Just a bit of "common knowledge," I guess.)
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 6:52 pm Reply with quote
wolf10 wrote:
That fist bump, though. Nervous, hesitant, but also a little excited. That was a kiss, right? They even looked at each other like, "Wait, did we just...?"


I totally thought the same thing, that the whole bit was certainly intimate that if you are predisposed to notice things you would see it. Even if contextually it was just a bromance.
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aaa1e2r3



Joined: 16 Apr 2017
Posts: 100
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 8:52 pm Reply with quote
Regarding the Love Hotel bit, I don't know if I'd call it Gay Panic, as much as it was more a Stranger Danger vibe, especially with Reki being approached from behind, from the shadows. That being said, it was pretty bait-y when there are other locations that could have been chosen. I get that he wanted to avoid making a public spectacle of things, so it probably would have been safer to have Reki rest in a manga cafe, or have him sleep it off in the car while it's parked in an alley or something.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9456
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:18 am Reply with quote
aaa1e2r3 wrote:
have him sleep it off in the car while it's parked in an alley or something.

Yeah, that wouldn't look suspicious at all. Laughing
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Ichiro Okouchi is an indisputable master of the "penultimate episode tonal swerve." I've seen enough of his work to expect it at this point, and honestly thought the face smash was it... up until Reki was lined up under ADAM's crosshairs last week. "Is this going to be the episode with the Okouchi twist?" I asked myself.

Yes, actually, but this time he's using his talent for shock value in the most cathartic way possible. Reki even got to use his skater nerd powers the way I had been hoping for for weeks now. I am still thinking about this episode, and will probably continue to do so until the finale next week inevitably sticks the landing in the flashiest way possible. After this, how could it not?
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Waterdragon884



Joined: 10 Feb 2020
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:48 pm Reply with quote
Does anybody but me hope there’ll be a season 2?
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9456
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:43 pm Reply with quote
Some random, not deep thoughts: it was really nice to see Reki embrace Langa's approach to the sport once he got over his fear of Adam. That fear and his feelings of inadequacy were always what I thought were driving his rift with Langa, more than any philosophical conflict, so his finding out first hand how exhilarating it feels to push just a little bit farther than the next guy or yourself was very satisfying.

As predicted, the "Full Swing Kiss" isn't very effective once the element of surprise is gone. Just, you know, duck.

Man, that is one cold, fickle crowd. Turned on him in a heartbeat, then turned right back when he won.

I hate Tadashi's red hat. Some may surmise why, but he also just looks really stupid in it.

Best line: "Oh, you're that guy from the love hotel!" Laughing

Dopest sketch: Sketchy dual micro-boarding.
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:43 pm Reply with quote
Shadow deserved better
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