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The main skaters featured in the show. Clockwise from top-right: 
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SK8 The Infinity (known in Japan as SK∞) is an original Sports Anime animated by Studio BONES and directed by Hiroko Utsumi, who previously directed Free! and the anime adaptation of Banana Fish. It originally aired as part of the Winter 2021 anime season.

The story revolves around "S", a secret downhill skateboarding race held in an abandoned mine in Okinawa where pretty much anything goes as long as someone reaches the finish line. Reki Kyan is obsessed with "S", and when New Transfer Student Langa Hasegawa moves to Okinawa from Canada, the two form a bond as Reki teaches Langa to skate.

However, Langa may be better at skating than he initially seems...


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This show provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The backgrounds during the skateboarding scenes are rendered with computer graphics.
  • Adam and/or Eve: Ainosuke calls himself ADAM and is obsessed with Langa, wishing him to be his EVE.
  • A Friend in Need: Not long after they've taken a level in friendship, Reki is surprised by Langa saving his skateboard (again) when he nearly loses it after a lot of practice, asking how he'd known he'd be practicing. Langa says "Just got a feeling," implying familiarity with Reki's habits, to which Reki laughs cutely.
    • A more intense version happens later in the episode, in which Langa grabs someone's motorbike to presumably support or get Reki out of his race with Adam.
  • After Action Patch Up: There's focus on Reki and Langa bandaging the other's hand more than once, often leading to one-on-one discussions. Reki does it with adhesive bandages after Langa first gets cut, and Langa fixes the injury wrap on Reki's arm when they're hiding from the cops.
  • Agent Peacock: Adam utilizes a flashy red matador suit with an equally flashy mask to hide his identity to the world of S. He's considered to be one of the best skaters despite of it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Animation Bump: The first episode is very good-looking, with a lot of detailed stunts during the beef.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Miya resembles a cat with his sly personality and cat-themed outfit.
    • A dog or a snake can both apply to Tadashi.
    • As the Matador of Love, Adam has some bull imagery associated with him, including his skateboard with horns and his Taurus zodiac sign.
    • Joe is often called a 'gorilla' by Cherry, and is one of the strongest and more muscular skaters.
  • Anime Hair:
    • Reki has spiky, bright red hair that makes him very easy to point out in crowds.
    • Adam, while in his S persona, has vivid blue hair that's even spikier than Reki's. As a civilian, his hairstyle is more realistic and subdued.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: "Langa" is used much more often as a last name in real life (especially in several African countries), but it's meant to make Langa seem more foreign as a half-Canadian New Transfer Student.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: One of Reki's biggest strengths. Judging a person's position and technique when skating, he can deduce what needs to be refined or fixed with the board so that the skater in question can skate to their fullest.
  • Backstory: Aside from Shadow, every main character has their backstory explored at least in brief within the first season. However, due to the emphasis on Langa and Adam's backstories, with Kaoru, Joe and Tadashi tying into the latter's, and Miya getting his own Day in the Limelight episode, protagonist Reki's backstory is the least touched on.
  • Bad Boss: Adam starts off only verbally mistreating Tadashi, calling him "dog" under his breath more than once and ignoring Tadashi's requests and suggestions to focus on his own goals. However, it's revealed later that he plans for Tadashi to be his sacrificial lamb in the political field to save his family's skin, and when Tadashi finally goes up against him, he reacts aggressively, saying "A dog can't disobey his master," and threatening harm if they face each other.
    • The trope is given a twist because Adam knew he was never in any danger of going to jail and was just saying it to get a rise out of Tadashi - who usually claims he doesn't have an opinion. Unfortunately Adam got the usual response, much to his annoyance.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Near the end of episode 3. After Langa and Reki share a moment as Langa is skating to the finish line, Reki runs to hug him, and express admiration—until he suddenly pulls away and turns to Langa's skateboard, retroactively switching the words of praise toward the skateboard he'd designed instead, which Langa disagrees with...before switching again, agreeing that Langa he did even more awesome, which leaves Langa with a pouting expression, and subtly blushing.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 6 starts off with Reki narrating that they plan to go to a hot spring...then makes a significant portion of the purported hot springs episode a beach episode, with the characters pulling all sorts of whacky shenanigans, and having fun together. They get to the hot springs...eventually.
  • Beginner's Luck: Langa beats Shadow in his very first race, despite having never skateboarded before and duct-taping his feet to the board. However, this is justified as Langa has 15 years of experience snowboarding, so he was able to transfer some of his techniques to skateboarding. Then when Langa learns to skateboard normally, he frequently falls on his ass, showing that he is not immediately perfect at the sport. He gets better rather quickly though.
  • The Bet: Most of the "beefs" at S predicate on this rule between two skaters racing against each other. Reki describes the wagers being on just about anything from an apology, money or women. Reki's beef for Adam was him wanting to apologize to Miya if he won, but if he lost, he would skate against Langa.
  • Betty and Veronica: To Langa, Reki is the Betty, Langa's best friend who introduced him to the simple joys of skateboarding and was always by his side, supporting him. ADAM is the dark and mysterious Veronica who shows Langa the riskier, heart-pounding thrills skateboarding can offer and is actively trying to seduce him.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: Subverted for Langa when his skateboard smashes against a mook's pipe during his race with Joe, leading to him almost lose his race, and in particular, breaking the skateboard Reki crafted for him in half.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Reki and Langa are discussing a big upgrade Reki is about to add to Langa's board in episode 3, at one point, instead of looking at Langa, Reki looks directly at the viewer and says "Just wait and see!"
  • Breather Episode: Episode 6, which comes after the introduction of Adam, but before a break-up and its aftermath.
  • Boy Meets Girl: "Boy meets boy" is how Langa and Reki's storyline can be summed up. They have a Meet Cute, become very close friends, lose each other, then find each other again.
  • Bookend: At the very end, in an internal monologue as he's skating somewhere, Langa brings back Reki's story told at the very beginning, about a hero who asked their viewers about what their happiness was.
  • Boring, but Practical: Adam calls Cherry out for utilizing Carla like this to try and win against him viciously, but Reki later comes within moments of beating him by observing the weather and equipping his skateboard to fit, of all things.
  • Bowdlerise: The dub has been noted to have the very strange mix of changing some of the lines, tones and context of Langa and Reki's relationship (leaving the effect of randomly reducing their ship tease, if not necessarily erasing it on the whole), while simultaneously giving Joe and Cherry an adaptational flirtation upgrade.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: After Reki finds Langa, they finally sit-down to have a heart-to-heart, with Langa emphatically expressing everything he admires about Reki, and Reki agreeing with Langa that he wants to skate with him 'infinitely.'
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: It turns out that after causing Reki a lot of hell, Adam doesn't remember who he is in later episodes of season 1, though not to his face, at least. Averted by another top-level (and not villainous) skateboarder, Tadashi.
  • Canada, Eh?: Langa is half-Canadian and just recently moved to Okinawa from there. Although he does not act stereotypical, those stereotypes are invoked in episode 2's preview where Reki asks Langa about Canada. Also, he does really like poutine as seen in episode 4 as he orders an extra large version at the fast food restaurant.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Not explicitly, but in a subtextual to near-textual way. While the antagonist Adam is the only one who openly equates skating with male characters to dates, weddings and something involving the concept of "love," a majority of the main cast (Langa, Reki, Cherry, Tadashi, and even Shadow in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment) seem to be Ambiguously Gay or Ambiguously Bi, and with more heavy intent than typical series with a Cast Full of Pretty Boys, as Langa expresses that Reki is his Implied Love Interest several times, and the two have a Boy Meets Boy storyline throughout the series with a lot of romantic overtones.
    • The English-language dub even ups this by including Joe in the mix, as while he could be called Ambiguously Bi even in the Japanese for his Stupid Sexy Flanders moment and has a highly interpretative interaction with Cherry listed under Homoerotic Subtext, it's much less blatant than several other characters.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: All of the characters are visually very distinct from each other in some way, whether it's hair color or facial features.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Some of Reki's passing remarks in earlier episodes act as Foreshadowing for heavier episodes. For example, in episode 1:
    Reki: I'm fine. I can do it.
    Oka: There's never been a time when you've said "I'm fine" and meant it.
    • The moments in early episodes where Langa seems to want to, or simply does, protect Reki, take on heavier connotations by episode 7, where Reki starts seeing Langa as a star he can't reach or stay beside.
  • Chaos While They're Not Looking: For some reason Joe and Cherry are introduced lightly brawling every time Cherry's business client isn't looking. We soon learn they're childhood friends.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Among the wheels that Reki has when rebuilding Langa's board in episode 11 are a set of tire-like wheels that are meant for rainy conditions. Realizing the potential of rain during his rematch with Adam, Reki used them on his skating deck to give himself the advantage once the downpour starts to hit.
  • Child Prodigy: Miya is one, being a contender for Japan's national skating team despite being in middle school.
  • Combat Commentator: Typically a groupie, or any main character who's not participating in a beef.
  • The Comically Serious: Langa rarely shows emotion, which makes it all-the-more hilarious when he tumbles or is part of a Funny Background Event all stone-faced.
  • Competition Freak: Adam uses his illegal skate park to find someone he thinks can actually stand a chance against him. Turns out that if it's someone he thinks shouldn't be able to, he freaks out.
    • This sets Adam and Reki up as foils in an In-Universe Casual/Competitive Conflict drama. While initially Reki is focused on skating for the fun of it, he's invested in the competitive arena of S, but is shut down from competition by Adam, who thinks he's not capable or worth it. When Langa is, Reki starts realizing the imbalance in his and Langa's relationship, and struggles to reach competitive heights. This comes to a head in his rematch with Adam, by which time he regains his Pollyanna outlook, which makes Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy Adam furious.
  • Cool Board: The characters have their own skateboards with cool designs on them, but special notice goes to Cherry Blossom's skateboard Carla, which is a hi-tech AI-powered skateboard that can calculate angles for turns, among other things.
  • Crisis Catch And Carry:
    • Langa catches Reki before he slips and falls while they're skateboarding away from the mysterious beings on Miyakojima, to which Reki exclaims, "You saved me!" and Langa responds with a gentle smile.
    • Adam caught Cherry in the same manner while they were on the run from the cops during their Former Teen Rebel years.
  • Cue the Rain: Just as Reki hits an emotional rock-bottom, it begins to rain.
  • Cultured Badass: Cherry Blossom is a calligraphy expert and is a highly-skilled skater with the knowledge to back it up.
  • Declaration of Protection: In episode 6, Langa "pretends" to state this in a joke skit between him and Reki. By later episodes it's heavily implied that part of what drives him is protecting those he loves, and in episode 11, he protects Reki by placing his body before his when Adam goes to harm him.
  • Depraved Homosexual: While his sexuality isn't confirmed, Adam plays with the Depraved Homosexual or Depraved Bisexual trope. He is not only dangerous, but his skateboarding moves and mannerisms ooze sex appeal as his theme is "love." Not to mention, his fixation on Langa borders on more than just admiration, and he also has a sexually suggestive conversation with him in the preview for episode 5. Then there's the fact that he calls him his "EVE" in the heat of their race of episode 5, becoming enamored with him by the end.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Adam's family is very, very toxic, abusive, and obsessed with self-image.
  • Disappeared Dad: Langa's father died sometime before the events of the series.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul":
    • Cherry Blossom has a hilarious moment in episode 2 when Joe calls him his real name, Kaoru. Complete with a full body kick and all.
    • Episode 5 also has another moment with Cherry Blossom, this time when Reki calls him his S name outside of S.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: In his daily life, Shadow has a huge, comical crush on his manager and often does more than necessary to help around the flower shop.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Played with and defied. While tough, it turns out Adam isn't as "unbeatable" as the first half hypes him up to be for Hidden Badasses like Reki and Langa. Reki doesn't quite get there, but doesn't care, which stings Adam more, and Langa's focused on someone else by the end of the race.
  • Dramatic Irony: Despite being pivotal in helping Miya out of his hang-ups about having friends, Reki falls into the same pitfall in later episodes of season 1, to all his friends' stress.
    • While Reki glooms over not being able to catch up to Langa in episode 7, throughout it Langa's shown not being able to reach him, or otherwise chasing after him, leaving the impression that actually, Reki is leaving him behind.
  • The Dreaded: Adam is very much this In-Universe, being a highly intimidating skater that not only has some serious skill, but some very dirty tactics that revolve around intimidation. Shadow notes that he's taken out all of his favorite skaters as soon as he came onto the field and has caused major injuries to his opponents.
  • Enhanced on DVD: Of particular note are later episodes, in which there's additional moments of animation that weren't originally present.
  • The Engineer: Reki is a skilled skater, but even better skateboard creator. He is able to create custom boards using his analytical skills and creative usages of simple items.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: All the main characters seem to have male groupies, some of whom sound like they have a fan-crush on them, even though they're not focused on like the female groupies are. This doesn't even go into how Langa has sights solely for his best friend Reki, despite the main antagonist Adam trying to gift him the likes of roses and push him into an "Eve" role, Cherry's former very likely crush on Adam in their childhood, and Joe's Adaptational Sexuality in the dub pushing his relationship with Cherry into clearer Belligerent Sexual Tension territory (versus the more low-key Japanese Snark-to-Snark Combat that could still be interpreted as such, with his Stupid Sexy Flanders reaction at one point).
  • Everyone Has Standards: There pretty much are no rules in "S", with things like using AI assistance, throwing fireworks at your opponents, and shoving and tackling the competition being totally fair game. However, all the racers and onlookers are genuinely shocked when Adam hits Cherry over the head with his skateboard, which could've killed him. In general, even the racers who admire Adam's skills seem a little wary of him because of just how dirty he's willing to fight, his tactics putting multiple people in the hospital.
  • Evolving Credits: Near the end of the series, instead of Tadashi covering the screen when Adam makes a mistake, he's the one catching him.
  • Eyecatch: The eyepatch before and after the commercials features a silly cartoon featuring the characters in their chibi forms.
  • Faceless Goons: When a bunch of undercover skaters gang up against Langa during the wedding beef, Langa Curb Stomps off of one, and handles the rest as easily, impressing Joe. Joe helps with at least one, though.
  • Fictional Social Network: We're shown a lot of commentary by S members on one that looks similar to Twitter - they're hyping Snow and trashing Shadow, who's pissed.
  • Fiery Redhead: Downplayed. Aside from comedic moments, Reki is a levelheaded, if not passionate person.
  • Fight Clubbing: Though it isn't presented as such per se, along with the more typical practices, S is an illegal skate park where skateboarders compete one-on-one, to potential grievous injury.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Reki and Langa have a habit of things like this initially, until their breakup. The most straight example is when they excitedly finish each other's sentences after Langa is first enamored by skateboarding, but by episode 4 they seem in-tune with each other's thinking enough that it amazes Miya.
  • Foil: Although Cherry and Joe can't quite reach (or are denied by) Adam, as Joe empathetically points out, he's alone, while they're...well, not. Though this can switch to Mirror Character depending on interpretation, Joe at least encourages Langa and Reki to avoid following that path.
    • Ainosuke (ADAM) and Tadashi versus Reki and Langa's relationship. While there's a lot to contrast, a small part of it would be: While Tadashi believes that his and Ainosuke's relationship should not be one of equals, that he should have never introduced him to skateboarding and that it has dangers and risks alienation, Reki yearns to be of equal footing to Langa, is honest about his love for skateboarding and wants to connect to Langa with it.
  • Foreshadowing: Reki and Langa's boyfriend-girlfriend skit highlights Langa's Bully Hunter tendencies, and the imbalance Reki sees in their relationship.
    • In episode 2, Reki casually brings up [the misogynistic] tendency of skaters to "even bet on women"...which serves as subtle Dramatic Irony when Miya essentially treats Reki (and his growing friendship with Langa) as something to bet on, and Langa (obviously thinking he wouldn't lose) agrees to. While it's Played for Laughs in the episode, later episodes explore more serious aspects of power imbalance.
    • In Episode 3, Joe tells Reki and Langa that anyone who beefs against Adam ends up severely injured and some even have to quit skating. In Episode 9, Cherry takes Adam's skateboard to the face, falls unconscious and has to be taken to the hospital. Thankfully, he suffers no permanent physical damage.
    • In episode 10, Shadow protects his boss (and crush) after the boyfriend of the girl he humiliated comes to take revenge, screaming about how she left him because of Shadow. Later in the episode, Adam, who's becoming more obsessive over Langa and why he stopped being excited to skate against him, starts eyeing Reki as "an obstacle." Then in episode 11, Langa gets in front of Reki to protect him from Adam.
    • Episode 9.5's recap format actually foreshadows...Adam drone-stalking the skate park Reki and Langa are at.
    • In episode 11, just as he says he will in a skit in an earlier episode, Langa does protect Reki.'
    • A few of the eye-catches foreshadow future events of the series very subtly, such as when Langa crashes into Reki. This one is actually brought back within the episode it happens in canon.
      • Not to mention how near the end of episode 12, Langa purposefully flies off his board and tackles Reki in a hug, only for them to fall onto the floor in a heap.
    • In episode 6, Langa saves Reki from falling off of his board and dying. In episode 12, seeing the skateboard Reki made for him with the word "FUN" emblazoned on it, and recalling his memories with Reki, is what saves Langa from certain death.
  • Friends All Along: Kojiro and Kaoru are revealed to be childhood friends not long after their introduction...and eventually, it's revealed Ainosuke (Adam) was one to them too.
  • Gender-Blender Name:
    • Shadow's given name "Hiromi" is more often used for women.
    • Cherry Blossom's given name "Kaoru" is also more often used for women, but it is sometimes used for men.
  • Good Parents: Langa's single mom and Reki's mom qualify. Langa's mom in particular frets about being able to communicate with her son.
  • Go Through Me: In episode 11, Langa uses his body to shield Reki before Adam can even think about hurting him.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Reki's storyline explores this but ultimately subverts it, mainly through his regaining confidence, focusing on having fun with his passion, and in doing so, figuring out how to work his talents into his passion. It's noted that he's not necessarily the same as Langa and his other friends, and this is what works for him.
  • Held Gaze: As their friendship deepens, there's more than one between Langa and Reki, before Reki breaks it off.
  • Hidden Depths: Shadow, surprisingly enough, is a florist as a civilian.
  • Hide Your Gays: The entire series has a back-and-forth of the adult Adam being an openly Depraved Homosexual or Bisexual with a Villainous Crush on the teenage Langa, and the increasing Ship Tease buildup between Langa and his best friend Reki...but at the very end, despite being the protagonists, all that culminates for the latter is Langa subtly expressing that Reki is his Implied Love Interest (while Reki is Ambiguously Bi, it's shown mainly through occasional blushing and body language subtext toward Langa, instead of direct words). Meanwhile, canonically gay/bi Adam gets teasing with his Extreme Doormat secretary, Tadashi. In contrast, too, the series explicitly showcases male-female romantic/sexual interest without the characters involved being villainous.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: While highly dependent on interpretation, as one could easily take Joe's dialogue as one of friendship (or romantic, if so inclined), the visuals, audio and the way he phrases his You Are Not Alone speech to Cherry in the aftermath of episode 9 can lend to the interpretation of unspoken feelings, as well. The English-language dub changes Joe's very subtextual interaction by making Joe more obviously Ambiguously Bi, coloring the scene more potentially romantic or with some amount of unspoken feelings.
    • While he can still be seen mainly as a Big Brother Mentor, Joe can also be seen as a subtextual Shipper on Deck for Reki and Langa. While he doesn't explicitly express approval or teasing a la a typical Shipper-On-Deck, when considering the series' Ship Tease of Langa and Reki, his body language and words to Langa in episode 9 follow traditional Shipper-On-Decks. In episode 10 he seems very impressed by how fast Langa chases after Reki, as well.
  • Hope Spot: After being outclassed, overwhelmed, and downright humiliated by Adam's dance during their heat, Reki regains his spirit and finally manages to pull off the railslide he'd been practicing. But just as things are looking up, Adam pulls off an even more impressive move, swings his board around, and initiates the infamous "Love Hug".
  • Hot Springs Episode: Absolutely subverted. Despite Reki beginning the episode monologuing about Miya pushing him into going to an onsen, they instead spend its near-entirety at the beach, then on the journey to the onsen, only to get chased by mysterious monster-looking assailants. There is at most a minute of focus on them at the onsen, and four out of six characters are NOT okay when they get there.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Both Langa and Reki come back from near-death experiences at one point (or three).
  • Inciting Incident: Langa's first race kicks off the plot when he catches the attention of Adam and the rest of the S community.
  • Indy Escape: A portion of episode 6 involves Langa and Reki running from people who want to drown them in mud. It makes just as much sense to them as it does to the audience watching.
    • A flyaway brochure at the end of the episode explains that the mud-slingers were part of a festival, covering people in mud to protect them from evil spirits.
  • Instant Expert: Played straight and then subverted. In his first race, Langa is able to best Shadow despite having no experience in skateboarding, though this is justified when it's revealed that he snowboarded during his childhood. The very next day, however, he crashes and burns nearly every single time he tries to get on the skateboard, leading to Reki having to teach him all of the basics. Though it's downplayed soon enough when Langa's able to do an ollie after two weeks of learning... only for him to fall on his face again.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Shadow who is twenty-four becomes fairly fast friends with Langa and Reki who are still in high school while Miya is still a middle schooler.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Cherry Blossom argues with Joe about this when he reveals that he named his board Carla.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In episode 11, Tadashi drops out of the tournament and admits that Langa is the one who is most suited to restore Adam's love of skating. .
  • I Will Find You: Langa begins searching for Reki at the end of episode 9, and Reki reciprocates throughout episode 10—until he finally finds him.
  • Jerkass: Adam is the most predominant example of this in-series, being an egotistical, condescending skater who actively willing to use force against his opponents to make them either bail out or force them to bail out.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Shadow is initially a Jerkass through and though, being a highly unpleasant player who beats everyone because of his dirty tactics (which are allowed in S), and is not afraid of shoving his wins right in front of their face. However, after he loses to Langa and unwittingly falls into Reki's crowd, he bickers with Reki at first but eventually lets him have his way. It doesn't stop him from using his dirty tricks, however.
    • Miya is also this, being a condescending skater who loves to tell people that they're worse than him. He starts getting better after losing to Langa and getting some encouragement from Reki.
  • Kicked Upstairs: In the final episode Kiriko Hamata, the policewoman who had spent half the show trying to uncover Ainosuke's involvement in a political scandal, is "promoted" to a position in Tokyo and flat-out told not to mess with Ainosuke ever again.
  • Kick the Dog: Adam terrifies and injures Reki and tries to do the same with Langa, veering uncomfortably towards I Have You Now, My Pretty at one point. Played for Drama in subsequent episodes, as they highlight the effect his abusive actions have on Reki and even Langa (in terms of his Let's Get Dangerous! tendencies heightening), and the strain it puts on their friendship.
    • He seals the deal by smashing his skateboard against his Childhood Friend Cherry's face when they finally face each other in episode 9.
    • In episode 11, Adam graphically injures Reki, and then just straight up attempts to kill him. Reki goes full Determinator though.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Shadow humiliates the girlfriend of the opponent at the very beginning of the series, which leads her to dump said opponent...and that opponent comes back near the end of the series looking to exact revenge, initially targeting Shadow's crush but then beating Shadow up instead.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Beethoven's 5th Symphony in C Minor pops up whenever Adam is really relishing his enjoyment with someone (usually Langa). Whenever he appears at S, he's usually accompanied by a track called, "Dance Like a Marionette".
    • Langa's theme once he starts getting serious during a race is "Dimensions of the Wind".
    • Reki also has a theme called "Seize the Moment!!" when he starts getting a moment during his beefs. One of them being when he decides to try and jump from a cliff during his second beef against Adam.
  • Le Parkour: Several episodes feature parkour-like movement from Langa in particular, but special mention goes to the episode where Joe and Langa have to figure out how to survive a steel beam flying toward them.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • Whenever Langa starts seeing snow, that's usually a visual cue for him about to do something amazing using a snowboarding skill.
    • Adam usually starts off a race by smoking a cigarette as a way of intimidating his opponent. Then, when he starts getting serious, he goes fast. And when Langa manages to avoid his Signature Attack, Love Hug, his eyes start glowing red!
  • Living Legend: Adam is this to the "S" world, as he is the founder of "S".
  • Lonely at the Top: Miya explains that as he got more and more skilled, the more and more his friends resented him. It got to a point where his friends completely abandoned him, leaving him to believe that he's much better on his own.
  • Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders: How the "S" community views Reki's friendship with Langa.
  • Ma'am Shock: A rare male version: Reki calls Shadow "old man", to which Shadow retorts that he is only 24 years old.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Cherry Blossom's family name has the kanji for cherry blossom in it (桜 "sakura")
    • Adam has the kanji for love (愛) in both his given name (Ainosuke) and his S name (the A in "Adam")
  • Meet Cute: Langa and Reki's first meeting evokes this, and a later episode outright implies that Langa has a crush on Reki. It's lampshaded in a SK8: Chill Out comic, where after Reki fails to hit on the girl on their ferry, Langa's shown reminiscing that first meeting and musing, "...Was he hitting on me?"
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • In-Universe, Joe is named "the strongest six-pack skater", known for two things: his strength and his abs. His S outfit features him in an open jacket that shows off his marvelously toned upper body. Outside of that, he dresses in a more conservative fashion in his daily life.
    • Adam also gets a decent amount of screentime dedicated to showing off parts of his body, especially his backside. From his Walking Shirtless Scene in his first appearance, to his Sexy Backless Outfit he wears in the finale when he races against Langa.
  • My Greatest Failure: Kaoru and Tadashi, and to an extent, Kojiro, treat Ainosuke's current treatment of people as their personal failure.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Kojiro's the nice, Kaoru's the "in-between," and Ainosuke (Adam) is the mean...nowadays.
  • Not Afraid to Die: While Langa could qualify due to never giving up even after Adam first shows he's willing to grievously harm skaters, by episode 11 special mention goes to Reki, of all people. Adam threatens and possibly did mean to murder him, but going full Pollyanna, he ignores him and is just focused on how fun skateboarding is for him, at that point.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Reki saves Langa in the nick of time when the cops find him.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Langa and Adam, as Adam points out during their heat. They're both thrill seekers, have unique and unpredictable skating styles that challenge all sense and reason, and completely enthrall the "S" community effortlessly.
  • Odd Couple: Reki's energetic and expressive and leaps headfirst into conflict, while Langa is reserved and stoic and mainly responds to others' challenges.
  • Odd Friendship: Kojiro skates by instinctual feeling and strength, while Kaoru is all about precision accuracy via AI and is a Fragile Speedster.
  • Odd Name Out: Langa's given name uses katakana, while everyone else uses kanji for their given name. This is justified as he is half-Canadian.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In the preview for episode 5, Langa and Adam seemingly have a conversation where Adam promises to "love" him sweetly and warns him he may use bondage if necessary. Langa gives responses that suggest he's more than open towards the idea — except it turns out that he's not even having the conversation with him and is actually talking to Reki. In a Chill Out comic that came with the 2nd DVD, it turns out Reki, Miya and Langa were having a camping trip at Crazy Rock and Adam was watching on his screens and pretending to be talking to Langa while Langa was requesting something to eat.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Reki, Langa, and Miya easily figure out Shadow's true identity and are able to track him down at his workplace without anything to tip them off.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Averted. Langa, being half-Canadian, has light blue hair.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: In episode 7, Reki brings an abrupt and vicious end to his friendship with Langa right before the tournament.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The death of Langa Hasegawa's dad, Oliver, is what has him choose to move with his mom to Okinawa.
  • Police Are Useless: Mentioned in episode 5 that the cops never get involved in the skateboarding fights due to some strings being pulled. The fact that they do show up to crash the one between Langa and Adam catches everyone off guard and leads Adam to suspect something's up.
  • Power of Friendship: It's the main theme of Miya's introduction episode—Miya becomes a Green-Eyed Monster towards Langa and Reki's growing friendship, until his defeat, after which Reki and Langa promptly befriend him.
  • Power of Love: After Langa gives away a likely crush he has on Reki in episode 8, episode 9 heavily implies that Langa performs at his peak when he's driven by love and affection, and he only reaches his full potential in the episode after a watching Reki screams his name as he begins to falter down a course.
    • In episode 10, Langa acknowledges familial Power Of Love too, remembering the fun he had with his dad and how it pushed him to do his best.
  • Product Placement: An A&W restaurant is seen in episode 4. This is also Truth in Television, since Okinawa is the only part of Japan where there are A&W restaurants.
  • The Promise: Langa and Reki make three that are centered on in episode 5. First, Langa promises Reki without his asking that he won't quit skating simply due to injury (together with him is implied), and Reki then implores, "Don't be reckless." The third is after the race with Adam, and comes off one-sided—Reki makes Langa promise he won't go near Adam again (though it's due to fear for his safety). Langa breaks it.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Between Reki and Langa, whose friendship has a romantic aspect to it from early on, to the point that it seems like they're on the precipice of something before Reki suddenly expresses romantic interest in a girl in episode 5 (and is promptly rejected). Episode 8 heavily implies that Langa has an out-and-out crush on Reki by his gasping, blushing and averting his eyes when his mom asks if he 'likes' the person he broke a promise with (his mom clarifies she meant the romantic insinuation, though assumes it's a girl, and Langa only questions the gender in confusion). Late series on Reki's side, it's a little more ambiguous, but the animation seems to imply things.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: While Adam does win his race against "nobody" Reki in episode 11 he is decisively baited and outsmarted during it, publically humiliates himself with a Villainous Breakdown, and only beats Reki out at the finish line by the slimmest of margins thanks to serendipitous luck (and is immediately thrown from his board in an undignified manner). To rub salt into the wound Reki and his friends don't even act like he lost and are just as exhiliarated as if he had won.
  • Real Men Cook: Joe runs a restaurant as head chef in his civilian guise. Langa also apparently cooks for his mom whenever she comes home late after work.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: In his daily life, Shadow works in a flower shop and is well-known among his customers for being sweet and adorable, at least on the surface. He also drives a pink car with flower decals for his job.
  • Real-Place Background: The series takes place in Okinawa, and many of the backdrops are based on real-life locales.
  • Red Baron: Most of the characters use their "S" names when racing.
    • Hiromi Higa is known as "Shadow", the "Anti-Hero of S."
    • Kaoru Sakurayashiki is known as "Cherry Blossom", the "AI skater."
    • Kojiro Nanjo is known as "Joe", the "strongest six-pack skater."
    • Ainosuke Shindo is known as "Adam", the "Matador of Love".
    • Downplayed and subverted in Reki's case. While he does use his real name, he uses the katakana version of his name (レキ) in S in lieu of the kanji.
    • Also downplayed and subverted in Miya's case. Miya opts to use the romanization of his name instead of the kanji.
    • Many people have come around to calling Langa "Snow" in S, but he doesn't personally use the name.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Personality-wise, Reki is animated, passionate, and outgoing, represented with a red color motif. Cool-headed Langa, on the other hand, is represented with a blue color motif. However, the roles gets reversed in rationale, as Reki presents as the more thoughtful, rational mind while Langa is straightforward and extremely stubborn.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Subverted for Cherry Blossom. He appears to be a nice, gentle person, but he can be exceptionally acerbic whenever someone pushes him the wrong way (usually that person being Joe).
  • Ryokan Inn: Reki thinks he and his teen friends Langa and Miya are going to stay in one. Their chaperone Shadow booked the run-down inn across the street, instead. Thankfully, they're still able to barge into Cherry's room at the ryokan due to Joe, especially for Langa, who seems very anxious over a dirty-looking bidet at their inn.
  • Sailor Fuku:
    • Reki and Langa's high school uses the classic serafuku for the girls' uniforms and gakuran for the boys.
    • The uniforms at Miya's middle school notably have sailor collars for both the girls' and boys' uniforms.
  • Say My Name: After several episodes of a breakdown in his friendship with Reki, Langa only gets back to his top form after Reki screams his name.
  • Security Cling: Reki purposefully parodies this with Langa in the beach episode. A subtle point of Ship Tease seems to be their holding onto each other a fraction longer than necessary.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Cherry Blossom is depicted as shrewd, clever, and slender, while Joe is muscular.
  • Ship Tease: Like many Sports Anime that focus on a pair of protagonists, one of the biggest focuses in the series is on Reki and Langa's growing friendship and conflicts, but unlike many, SK8 seems to very deliberately ship tease the two, whether it's Reki's tendency to be a Cuddle Bug and admiring towards Langa, or Langa's tendency to seek Reki out even at his own detriment and occasionally even (subtly) blush around him. The pair's writing can at times fit in with romance-oriented series', such as their Meet Cute-style first meeting, and a Rescue Romance-style catch while they're on the run from hijinks. The likelihood of deliberate ship tease is elevated after episode 8 and 9 heavily imply that Langa has a crush on Reki, and his mother not so subtly thinks their falling out is just a romantic quarrel with a girl (until he clarifies later).
    • Exclusive to the English-language dub, Joe and Cherry get more explicitly flirty lines in several of their (less frequent) appearances, such as Joe going "You're cute, but..." when faced with Cherry's demonstration of the Love Hug (against him). In episode 8, Langa's highly implied crush-betraying gasp sounds a little more panicked, as well. This isn't helped by the fact that, at least in English, it's rare for someone to ask another "You like this person, right?" in a conversation like theirs outside of a romantic context.
  • Shout-Out: In the second eyecatch for Episode 2, Shadow does a Transformation Sequence in the same style as Sailor Moon.
  • Shown Their Work: Although the S at Crazy Rock is entirely fictionalized, some of the characters' skating styles are based in reality.
    • Most obviously, Miya is a freestyle skater, frequently performing highly technical tricks both in the gym and at S.
      • As revealed in this article, Miya's moves were heavily inspired by Rodney Mullen, a skateboarding prodigy who went pro at age 14 and invented such staple skateboarding trick such as the ground ollie, kickflip, impossible, and heelflip - all moves that Miya uses in the anime.
    • Reki is a street skater, sticking mostly to basic tricks and grinds.
    • ADAM's flashy skateboard dancing is actually based on the real-life style of longboard dancing.
    • JOE minimizing his air resistance in his beef against Langa is a key part in real-life downhill longboarding, although most downhill longboarders tuck themselves in as small as possible instead of planking on their skateboard.
    • Skateboarders have noted that the animators don't have the characters randomly change their stance (whether regular or goofy) while skating unless the characters purposefully mean to switch into a different one, such as when Langa fakes out during a match.
  • Signature Move: Adam's "Love Hug".
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Cherry Blossom wears glasses in his daily life and is the CEO of an AI company. He also has quite the encyclopedic knowledge on skating, as well as snowboarding.
  • The Stoic: Tadashi is a straight-laced, emotionless man who consistently has a tired look on his face. Compared to the more lively personalities within the series, he looks downright somber next to them.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Skateboarding and snowboarding, no matter their similarities, are fundamentally different sports. At the beginning, Langa trying to treat them as the same due to snowboarding for as long as he can remember causes him to wipe out as Reki trains him. While his background in snowboarding does help him adjust to skateboarding, he only gets better after he learns that different techniques need to be applied to skateboarding in order to do it well.
  • Talking to the Dead: Langa's mom, Nanako, has some rather amusing internal dialogue reaching out to her dead husband, Oliver, to implore on how to communicate with their son.
  • There Are No Therapists: A bad case for Ainosuke (Adam) and Tadashi, not to mention anyone else caught up with them. Of course, it'd be realistic if it were considered unthinkable by his family. Langa basically has to be the one to reach out to Adam in any capacity, at the end.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Cherry Blossom prefers using precise calculations and measurements to ensure his best chances of winning, unlike Joe, who prefers using tricks. The downside to this is that this makes Cherry's skating incredibly predictable, as Adam points out in episode 9.
    • Also seen in Reki and Langa. Langa has a lot of natural talent while Reki knows more about skateboards. During his second race against Adam he uses his knowledge of wheels and weather predictions to almost win.
  • Third Wheel: There's a meta-level gag in a pair of eyecatches in episode 5—right after a warm and quiet scene between Reki and Langa after Langa drops Reki off at home in-series, the eyecatches have Adam throw a rose between them, and then skating right between the two, momentarily splitting them up. It turns out to be foreshadowing for episodes to come. Then, in episode 11, Adam just outright sends Reki a card calling him "The Third Wheel."
  • True Companions: Miya, Reki, Langa, Cherry, Joe and Shadow are like this by mid to late episodes of season 1, supporting each other and looking after one another. Of note, aside from more obvious moments like Reki defending Miya near the beginning and Miya trying to help him in return, Shadow quickly tells Joe that they should focus on getting Cherry to the hospital instead of picking a fight with Adam, and Joe and Cherry look after both Reki and Langa in a Big Brother Mentor way.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Unfortunately, this is averted for Reki after he challenges Adam to a race for trash-talking his new friend Miya.
    • Subverted and played with in episode 11. Even though Reki lost, no one treats it as such, with the audience cheering for him, and his friends immediately rushing to his side while yelling his name. This highlights how Adam's "techniques" (harming people) are not inspiring, and no matter how much he wins, the way he goes about it isn't something anyone roots for.
    • Played straight with Langa, who is very much an amateur despite being able to learn skateboarding at a phenomenal speed. He tends to struggle against his more experienced opponents but is able to pull off victories or at least get out of tight situations thanks to his snowboarding experience and his ability to think on his feet. All of his races so far have been against well-known personalities in S, and he has yet to lose.
  • Villain Respect: Adam arrives with nothing but cold derision for Miya, but expresses clear admiration for Langa's skills and unpredictability.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Cherry Blossom and Joe are this both on the race track and in their civilian guises, often bickering about anything and everything. And yet they are still friends.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Joe skateboards with an open shirt, owing to his nickname as the "strongest six-pack skater."
  • Wall Pin of Love: Adam does an over-the-top variation of the kabe-don during a sharp turn where he throws Reki against the ground and leans forward, looming over him, which, given his "love" theme and thirst for sadism, is nothing less than suitable for him.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 8 has a double whammy for the audience.
      • Adam's aunts were revealed to be Abusive Parents to him, continually hitting him under the impression that it was all for love. This led him to find skating through Tadashi, who taught him how to skate. Eventually this morphed into his obsession with trying to find his "Eve" in skating, continually injuring opponents in the process. This directly led to Cherry Blossom and Joe breaking off his friendship with him.
      • Tadashi entering Adam's tournament as the new skater "Snake", as an attempt to make Adam quit skating for good if he loses to him. As the episode reveals, he's still impressively skilled at the sport despite years of not skating.
  • Wham Line:
    • Near the end of episode 7, when Reki decides to cut off his friendship with Langa:
    Reki: (towards Langa) You and I... aren't a good match anymore.
    • Adam brushes off Tadashi, as he believes that he can win against him. The latter fires back with this line:
    Tadashi: You may have forgotten, but I was the one that taught you how to skate.
  • Wham Shot: Adam unveiling Snake as Tadashi in Episode 8.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Langa and Reki by later episodes of season 1. With Langa's feelings being somewhere between near-textual and textual, Reki blushing heavily around Langa by episode 10, their relationship writing following the path that many romance-oriented series' do, and Adam now trying to rope Reki into his "wedding" beef plot so as to get Langa's attention, it's to be seen whether the romantic undertone of their relationship will be addressed in any clearer fashion.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • In the first four episodes, Reki has only raced twice and lost both times, both instances only to demonstrate how powerful his opponents are.
    • Shadow gets beaten by the new skater "Snake" (who's actually Tadashi in disguise) in the eighth episode by a landslide.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Many of the main characters have bright hair colors:
    • Langa's hair is a light ice blue.
    • Reki has bright red hair that is spiky.
    • Shadow's hair is orange, and is styled to stick up while he is in his racing persona.
    • Cherry Blossom, befitting of his name, has pink hair.
    • Joe has dark green hair.
    • Adam has bright blue hair that is even spikier than Reki's when he's in his "S" costume.
  • You Are Not Alone: Joe essentially says this to Cherry after he, heavily-injured, falls asleep in his restaurant in the after-credit scene of episode 9.
  • Younger Than They Look: Reki often calls Shadow "old man" whenever he and his friends need a ride. Shadow continuously has to state that he's 24.

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