As a skateboarder myself, I have been eagerly awaiting the premiere of SK8 the Infinity, a full-fledged skateboarding anime series. Lucky for me, SK8 the Infinity turned out to be every bit as great as I had hoped it would be. The animation, the music, the attention to detail regarding the skateboards themselves, and the way the show captures the feeling of skating so authentically were truly remarkable and noteworthy achievements to me.
SK8 the Infinity follows skateboarder Reki, a young lad who works at the local skate shop Dope Sketch. Reki participates often in the local underground skateboarding race known simply and mysteriously as S, which is not unlike the Downhill Jam level in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. The champion, Shadow, who looks like a rejected member of KISS, decided to completely and utterly humiliate Reki after defeating him in the S race by burning his skateboard in front of the entire crowd. So yes, Shadow is a bit of a dick.
After the failure and loss, Reki comes to meet an exchange student from Canada by the name of Langa. Langa is immediately enamoured in the world of skating after Reki abruptly decides to pop an ollie right over the top of him. Langa looks like he just fell in love. Maybe he did? I’m not really sure whether this series is going to be more in the style of Free! Iwatobi Swim Club or more in the vein of Haikyu!! for example. That said, skateboarding is not your typical sport and SK8 the Infinity fully embraces that.
Over the course of the episode, we see Reki and Langa become good mates and, ultimately, Langa winds up challenging the champ on the S race—in order to help a guy who had tried to get his board upgraded at Dope Sketch, but Reki had bungled his order and brought a wrecked board instead by mistake.
We see Langa hilariously tape his feet to the wrecked board and slowly push off with his hands as the entire crowd bursts out laughing. We learn that Langa was, in the past, involved in snowboarding to some extent but we don’t get the full picture on that just yet. The episode ultimately reaches its climax with Shadow losing his shit and setting off fireworks at Langa in an absolutely astonishing animated sequence, leaving us hanging for more for next week. It really looked so damn cool.
Overall, I though this was a great way to kick-start the series. I loved the animation of the skateboarding and the attention to detail that shows the people working on the series really care about the skateboarding medium. Now, I’m not quite sure what’s next for SK8 the Infinity but strap me in for the ride ’cause I’m eager to find out.