Well, it had been teased in the previous episodes, and everything comes to an ugly head here: Reki and Langa have officially broken up. What does this mean for our favourite skater-boy duo? I, for one, hope this is only a temporary separation because I love seeing these two skating the streets of Okinawa together. It just doesn’t seem right for them to skate alone.
This week’s episode was rather significant in its goings-on compared to last week’s breather beach episode. A lot the focus here is on the slow but sure divide growing between our two leads, as Langa improves and surpasses Reki as a skater. Reki feels jealous and like Langa is leaving him behind. Langa, of course, is just having fun and loving skateboarding, blissfully unaware that the more he improves the more distance he is creating between himself and Reki.
Reki goes into a bit of a depression spiral over the course of the episode trying to replicate tricks Langa had done and even chooses to not attend the reopening of the S race. He misses out on the announcement that Adam will be hosting a skateboarding tournament to determine the King of S.
There is a side plot here regarding Adam’s real life business dealings which, personally, just did nothing for me and I couldn’t have cared less about if I tried. We are also introduced to Adam’s assistant Tadashi, who I can’t remember being in any prior episodes, who is suddenly an important character in this side story—where Adam may be charged with perjury due to his illegal dealings with some politician. It seems Adam is going to pin it on Tadashi, which he strangely accepts. We see a very brief flashback of Adam and Tadashi at a younger age with some old man having burned their skateboard in a fire pit. I don’t know what was going on there. All I could think while these scenes were happening was how much I wanted the show to get back to the skateboarding.
The episode comes to an emotional climax with Reki and Langa meeting up in the rain, where Reki loses his shit at Langa who confirms he is entering the tournament with hopes of defeating Adam. Reki is incensed because Langa had promised he would not skate against Adam again. Langa says it’s just exciting to skate with other good skaters, to which Reki replies that he is scared of doing that. He then officially ends his friendship with Langa, brutally, stating that they aren’t a good match anymore, leaving Langa to shed tears in the rain.
Overall, I thought this was one of the better episodes of the series so far. The emotion surrounding the Langa and Reki relationship is a highlight and there is a lot of intrigue there as to where it is going. However, this episode was bogged down by the unnecessary and completely random Adam side plot regarding the political corruption. I couldn’t have cared less about that. At the very least, it looks like next week the tournament will begin, so we can look forward to some skating action.