I must say, it has been quite a while since I’ve seen the classic “beach episode” anime trope pulled out by a series. SK8 the Infinity does just that here in its latest episode, which (despite feeling like a bit of a filler episode) did manage to include a few moments of importance and progression.
The premise behind this week’s episode is that after the S race had been discovered by the cops, no one has been able to hit the trail since. This leads our crew to decide to go on a bit of a vacation while, hopefully, the heat on the S race and its participants dies down. They decide to head to an island off the coast of Okinawa and, as expected, some beachy shenanigans unfold. There isn’t too much remarkable to comment on here. The guys try to pick up chicks and fail spectacularly, they play beach games, mess around in the water, and just have some fun in general.
However, there was a really pivotal moment in this episode. Reki examines Langa’s board and remarks upon how quickly Langa has progressed as a skater, and it becomes clear that Reki is perhaps feeling a sense of jealousy. He had, of course, failed to defeat Adam whereas, before the police intervention, it appeared Langa had Adam’s number on the S race.
Reki later confides in Joe that he is worried about being left behind and enlists Joe’s help to train him and help him learn some more tricks. Of course, Reki is still injured from his S race with Adam, which is contributing to him feeling this way. After this moment, there are some more island shenanigans and some hot-springs time, but it’s all ultimately just some filler fluff before the episode’s big ending: now that the S race is no more, Adam announces that he is going to launch a skateboarding tournament.
With this episode, we officially have passed the half-way point for the series, and it looks like we will be barrelling ahead into a tournament arc—which may very well be the main focus of the series going forward. At times, the series can appear to be more flash-and-style than substance and this episode definitely felt like that. That said, now that we know these characters and their motivations, I am keen to see some substantial storytelling kicking in here going forward.