And so the tournament has begun. Reki and Langa are still painfully “broken up”, but we are starting to see the beginnings of some kind of reconciliation for the pair. I, personally, am not the biggest fan of relationship dramas between characters in anime, other than a few exceptions (see Luffy versus Usopp in One Piece), because most of the time it just feels like drama for the sake of drama rather than a genuine emotional reasoning to cause their conflict—and SK8 the Infinity is straddling that line somewhat dangerously at the moment.
This week’s episode largely focuses on the beginning of the tournament being held by Adam, and we see a few of the races along the way. Frustratingly, Reki chooses not to enter the tournament and continues to wallow in his misery. I feel we are starting to lose sight of the Reki we know and love, and it is starting to border on being out of character here. I understand that Reki feels jealous and hurt, but it honestly feels like the happy-go-lucky Reki we met at the series outset wouldn’t be doing this. I feel like that Reki was more focused on the joy of skating than he is on being the best at it.
With all that said, the tournament races were pretty fun, albeit brief, thus far. Notably, Tadashi (the character who was randomly introduced last week as the assistant of Adam in his business) decided to enter the tournament and says he will defeat Adam and make him renounce skating and never skate again. This feels completely out of nowhere and this whole side story regarding Adam’s dodgy business dealings and supposed past with Tadashi really isn’t doing anything for me, personally. It just isn’t very interesting, to put it simply.
Ultimately, I for one hope that the Reki and Langa break-up storyline wraps up soon because these two characters are at their best when they are together. I’ve had enough of the melodrama, and I want to see these boys carving it up on the streets of Okinawa together again. Let’s hope things resolve sooner rather than later.