Sk8 the Infinity
For Reki, skateboarding is a passion. When not at school he works part-time in a skateboarding shop, and he competes in a prestigious underground skateboarding race called ‘S’, with a host of other colourful characters. Half Canadian transfer student, Langa hasn’t skated before in his life but it isn’t long before he’s drawn into Reki’s crazy world and discovers that perhaps he has a talent there which no one would have suspected. Thus begins, SK∞ , otherwise known as Sk8 the Infinity, the newest colourful show from Studio Bones. Directed by Hiroki Utsumi, who originally also worked on smash hits, Free! and Bananafish, this anime looks to be another strong series.
Visually, this show is absolutely stunning – colourful and imaginative character designs, brilliant camerawork and music during all the skate races, and masterful use of lighting throughout make this anime a delight to look at. The cast of characters thus far is incredibly zany, matching up perfectly with the sport they choose to perform in. It borders on the ridiculous at times but really does fit the fun nature of the show. It brings to mind shades of TRIGGER shows, which can only be a good thing. This is far from a realistic show, but what it does it does very well – and that’s having fun with the sports elements and really getting that hype to feel. It also reminded me at times of that old anime, Initial D – the crowds of people come to watch the races, the high stakes, and over the top characters.
For me personally, unfortunately, I found Reki rather annoying at times – he’s passionate as hell, but this passion borders on obsession at some points so he comes across as very oblivious to everything else around him. Langa thankfully is his polar opposite – quiet and stoic – and so hopefully will act as a good foil for Reki in future episodes. The two didn’t really develop much of a bond in the first episode and we know very little about either character aside from their sporting hobbies – it’s to be seen if the series will choose to delve deeper into these characters. Thus far, however, the main strength of the series is in the skate races itself, which are exciting and engrossing to watch. This is, after all, a sports anime, and it’s definitely in these moments that the episode really shines.
Still with two other sports animes airing this season – ice-skating anime Skate Leading Stars, and volleyball drama 2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu, has Sk8 the Infinity done enough to catch attention? It’s too early to tell yet if there’s any real substance to this series but if the storytelling and characters catch up to the gorgeous animation, then it’s certainly a strong contender!
Sk8 the Infinity Episode 1
A skateboarding show which managed to capture the dynamic and hectic feel of the sport itself, though a little lacking thus far perhaps in terms of character development. Still, this anime is a fun, zany watch for anyone who wants a light watch.