- Titles: SK Eight, SK∞
- Genre: Sports!, comedy, drama, school, action
- Episodes: 12 + recap
- Studio: bones
Reki loves skating. Skateboarding that is. Like Langa, I’m Canadian and if you say skating here, it’s got to be on ice. Oh, who’s Langa you ask? OK, so Langa is Reki’s new classmate and he’s never been on a skateboard before. But he has been snowboarding his entire life. Some of those skills transfer. And now that Langa has seen Reki skating, he really wants to learn as well. Lucky for him, Reki is an affable fellow with an infectious enthusiasm for everything related to skateboarding. There is no better dude to teach you the sport. And before it’s all over, Langa is not only going to have a new hobby but also a new best friend, an exciting competition and a whole world of excitement in front of him.
Guys, I flubbed that synopsis. It’s o.k… But it’s not great. It’s o.k., I know. No need to spare my feelings. I think I usually do pretty decently on these but this time, it just wouldn’t come to me. Look, all you need to know is that SK8 is one of those friendship pr0n stories with skateboards. And it’s charming AF. What’s with all the potty mouth. I’m blaming SHADOW.
I immediately thought that SK8 looked way better than it had any right to. I admit I found out it was bones like 1 minute ago when I put it in the anime stats and now I’m like oooohhhh, that explains it. See, before watching it, I thought that SK8 was some random low-budget sports show that just happened to be fun to watch. That’s why it had gotten such unexpectedly high ratings and reviews.
But it’s actually more of a prestige project. I wouldn’t say it’s a flagship series or anything. It’s probably fairly low down on the list of priorities for bones but let’s face it, anything the studio does is going to look pretty great. at least to me. And regardless of what you may think of the art styles and designs, you can’t argue that they are unfailingly consistent, filled with some really great colours that pop onscreen and the animation is bomb.
My vocabulary for this post is…something. I’m not even doing it on purpose. Not entirely. I’ve even self-censored a few times. My inner skater girl is coming out. I can’t skate… I can ski. Yeah, all of this is super relevant to the production.
SK8 is a solid production. No huge surprises anywhere but it’s put together with care and expertise. In a show like this, with constant high-speed movement onscreen, that fluid animation really brings it to the next level!
Story & Characters
So why did SK8 manage to stand out, even among some fans who proudly declare that Sports! is their least favourite genre? Well, I think there are many factors we can point at. It’s paced really well. The story beats are sort of predictable, especially if you’re familiar with the genre but they are just executed well, not lasting too long and swiftly moving the story along. It’s easy to just get swept into it.
The characters are just a hoot of loveable morons. aside from the two leads, there’s actually a pretty well-developed ensemble of assorted bishies (some of which are less bishi than others) and they all have varied personalities and quirks. It’s impressive how much you get to know about each of them in 12 episodes considering most of it feels like nonstop action. Again, that pacing is fantastic.
Finally, the show doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sure there’s some drama, clashes between friends, a bad guy with a sad childhood, but on the whole, I always had the feeling that the show was telling me, this is just some cheeky fun! Sit back and enjoy! Actually, the show was literally telling me this, there’s this insistence that skateboarding is sort of a useless sport so it has to at least be fun. I liked that.
Granted, I’m the ideal audience for SK8 (maybe not though because I rated it lower than average). I love anime and by default will prefer a story in anime form regardless of everything else. And by a lot. In anime Sports! is one of my favourite genres and stories that explore friendships are my favourite themes. It’s made by bones, and I always tend to at least like what they put out. And one of the main characters is Canadian and it’s important to the story, that’s two extra points right there. Basically, SK8 was my perfect anime before I even started watching it.
And what can I say, I actually wasn’t disappointed. The early episodes were funnier than I thought they would be. I was impressed by how large the cast actually turned out to be and had a blast watching them practice, and fall..a lot. Skateboarding looks like a really painful sport! At least when you snowboard you fall on snow and you have that huge snowsuit. I was wondering how these guys weren’t constantly concussed.
And somehow, through all this, the show managed to make me connect with the characters so by the third act when the more dramatic elements set in and the conflict was put in place, I actually cared. I was emotionally invested in the outcome which made the entire thing way more compelling to watch. Good job!
But that’s about it. I don’t actually have all that much to say about the series. SK8 the Infinity is a mostly goofy show about learning to skateboard. And it’s fun to watch! Oh, I really liked both the OP and ED as well, but I have another post about that!
You might like this anime if:
You like silly friendship stories, you love skateboarding, you like pretty boys and/or impressive animation.
My favourite character:
I kinda need to say Langa, don’t I? But I have to admit that Shadow brought something really fresh to the show. He’s a rare archetype for the genre and I enjoyed how he changed up the dynamics. Oh no wait, it’s Sketchy! Of course, it’s Sketchy.
- Every time anyone wipes out (bails) – take a sip to disinfect
- Every time it “snows” – whoa
- Every time we see Reki’s family – take a sip
- Every time we see the Dope Sketch façade – take a sip
- Every time Reki and Langa have to run from authority – raise your glass
- Every time Reki makes a board – take a sip
- Every time Adam stares at Langa – get chills
- Every time Langa sparkles – uh oh
- Every time a new beef is declared – put the glass down
- Every time we see Shadow at his day job – gwaaah
- Every time Joe and Cherry bicker – take a sip
- Every time Carla speaks – take a sip
- Every time we see Sketchy – Cheer!
- Every time we see teenage Cherry, Joe and Adam – pour some out
- Every time Joe and Cherry call each other by their first names – take a sip
- Every time Joe cooks – get a snack
- Every time Miya calls someone a slime – take a sip
- Every time adam smokes – don’t smoke kids…
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.