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Sk8 the infinity - that one Winter 2021 sports anime that everyone is talking about

Winter 2021 has no lack of sports anime. New sports anime such as "2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team", "WAVE!!- Let's Go Surfing!!" as well as "Skate Leading Stars" all came out about the same time. But one anime that stood out from the rest was definitely "SK8 The Infinity". 

The twelve episode anime follows the protagonist, Reki, who loves skateboarding more than anything. After meeting the transfer student Langa, Reki and Langa became good friends and bonded over their mutual love for skateboarding. 

An original series animated by Studio Bones and directed by Hiroko Utsumi, she is also  known for directing a popular 2013 sports anime, "Free!", which surrounds a high school boy and his love for swimming, as well as "Banana Fish." In case you did not know, both "Free!" and "Banana Fish" were heart-wrenching enough to cause viewers to cry, especially the latter. Naturally, many fans were wary of this new skateboarding anime and the emotional pain that it may or may not cause.

I'll leave that for you to decide, but for now, here's a more in-depth look on "SK8 The infinity". 

The anime started of in a typical fashion- protagonist who is obsessed with sports and suddenly a transfer student catches the eye of the protagonist. In this case, Reki and Langa's interactions were no doubt funny and interesting due to the fact that Langa isn't used to skateboarding. 

Langa's first appearance

In search for a part-time job, Langa chances upon Reki skateboarding and agreed to accompany him to "S", where skateboarders race down a winding road carved from an abandoned mine. For the first time, Langa's eyes were then opened to the life of skateboarding. Shortly afterwards, the both of them were then caught up in a "beef" with an experienced skater "Shadow" who's known for pulling dirty tricks in order to win. 

Even though Langa had no experience in skateboarding in his entire life before, he easily wins the "beef" against shadow due to his snowboarding experience- much to everyone's surprise. Soon after, Langa gets hooked and asks Reki to teach him skateboarding, much to his friend's delight. Ever since then, Langa has been taking skateboarding lessons fro Reki. Shortly after, they formed friendships with other skaters such as "Cherry Blossom" and "Joe", two of the big three who were there when "S" first started and "Miya", a skating prodigy with a sharp tongue. Surprisingly, "Shadow" turned over a new leaf and became part of this unusual friendship group as well.  

 Langa and Reki immediately become good friends 

Things were going well for the both of them, until Reki realizes that despite being the first one to get into skateboarding and working so hard to get where he is today, people prefer Langa over him due to his sheer talent in skateboarding. Slowly but surely, the friendship between the two of them started to turn for the worse, with Reki losing confidence more and more throughout the entire series. Like any anime, there is bound to be a villain and in this case, the "villain" is really just an misunderstood character who had a terrible childhood that made him into the man he has become. But having said that, it doesn't excuse the fact that what he did to Reki and Langa was indeed terrible and childish for a grown man like him. 

Many fans including myself were extremely cautious of episode nine, where it has the reputation of inflicting emotional hurt on viewers. Some anime that were the result of this "tradition" includes "Banana Fish" and "Given". As expected, after episode 9 of SK8 was released many fans were left with broken hearts. 

My heart definitely went out to Reki and he quickly became my favorite character, only second to Joe. Throughout the entire show, I felt so unjust for Reki. I mean, imagine working so hard on something with nothing but sheer hard work and someone else outshines you just because they have the talent and you're left feeling like your confidence has just been stripped from you. 

A dejected Reki devoid of anymore confidence 

But despite the pain that this show has brought its viewers, it's definitely worth watching. From the amazing visuals to heart-racing scenes that will leave you at the edge of your seat and interesting characters, SK8 could easily top the rest of Winter 2021 sports anime. This anime has everything; stunning colors, funny character interactions, a little bit of emotional pain thrown in, and simple yet interesting plot. 

The ending has also left viewers satisfied and relieved that many were hoping for a second season as well. Although there has been no talks of a second season, positive responses has been so overwhelming that this original series has been adapted into a manga and released on BookLive!, an e-book store. 

You wouldn't want to miss watching SK8 the infinity. For a twelve episode anime, this will definitely be in my top 10 sports anime. It is available on Funimation so do check it out! 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this overview of SK8 and is now convinced to watch this anime. 

Until next time, 

Rika ^-^ 

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