Skateboarding and anime are a long overdue combination. Fortunately, as of January 2021, a skateboarding focused anime is finally here. That anime is SK8 The Infinity.
SK8 The Infinity is a skateboarding-focused anime from director Masanori Miyake who also created Demon Slayer. SK8 The Infinity was premiered on January 24th, 2021, and focuses on two teens who participate in an underground skateboarding scene. You can watch it for free on various sites around the web such as AnimeDao, KissAnime, and GoGoAnime.
You can also watch it with a paid subscription to Funimation. The show is subbed and dubbed and season one is available now (as of June 2021).
What is SK8 The Infinity?
SK8 The Infinity is a skateboarding focused anime directed by Masanori Miyake. It premiered on January 24th, 2021.
The show focuses on two main protagonists, Reki and Langa, who are two talented highschool skateboarders. The two boys get caught up in the underground skate scene and their skills and friendship is put to the test.
The first season is fully available and the show is a generally light-hearted take on an extreme sports anime.
Who is Masanori Miyake?
Masanori Miyake directed SK8 The Infinity, though his catalog is much deeper than just SK8 The Infinity.
Masanori Miyake is an anime producer and director who is best known for the popular anime Demon Slayer. He also worked on projects like Dragonaut, HxEros, and Agame Ga Kill. His catalog is quite large and goes back to 2003 when his production career began.
If you want to know about the best skateboarding movies and where to watch them, check out our guide here.
Who are the Characters?
Reki is the first protagonist we are introduced to. He is reckless, goofy, and passionate about skateboarding. He doesn’t only ride skateboards, but he also loves to build them.
He introduces Langa to skateboarding and the pair quickly become good friends. He struggles with desiring to be as talented as his new friend at skateboarding, but eventually realizes why he started skating in the first place; to have fun.
Langa is a new student who just moved to Okinawa with his mother after his dad died. He is from Canada and is an expert snowboarder who has been snowboarding for 15 years.
He is aloof, seemingly never unnerved, and rather sensitive in nature. He takes to skateboarding incredibly quickly as his snowboarding ability gives him a unique advantage. He begins having fun for the first time since his dad died through skateboarding.
A flamboyant and friendly florist by day and a fearsome Motley Crue-like skater by night, Shadow is the first antagonist we encounter. He is feared and respected in the S scene but is somehow defeated by the rookie Lango. He is hotheaded and emotional, but ends up helping Langa and Reki as they navigate the world of “S”.
This character is never really fleshed out, but his simplicity and dual nature are charming for a background character.
Miya Chinen is a cat-like and outwardly callous Olympic-hopeful skater. He has incredible technical board skills for his age and is well-known in the “S” community.
He frequently calls Reki and Langa trash and claims that heroes don’t associate with scum. This is the tough exterior that he has built up due to losing his friends as his skateboard skills improved. He was good friends with Tadashi and others, who now pretend as if they don’t know him.
He coped with the loss of his friends by focusing on winning and becoming the best skater he can possibly be. He becomes an unlikely friend of Reki and Langa after Reki tries to defend Miya from Adam’s insulting words.
Cherry Blossum is another original member of the “S” scene. He is a logical and well-put together character who works in a calligraphy studio during the day. His board integrates technology and AI to give him an edge. He asks his board’s AI what angle to take the next turn for instance.
He is friends with Joe, another original “S” member, but they are frequently combative towards each other.
Adam is the devilish founder of the underground “S” scene. He comes from a well-known and respected family where he is a successful businessman and speaker. He presents himself immaculately in his normal life and coaches Miya in his Olympic training.
He is more of a legend when it comes to the underground “S” scene. He rarely shows himself and he has never been defeated. He enjoys a sadistic style of racing and has sent many skaters to the hospital for fun. He has a signature move called the “Love Hug”. This move makes him seemingly skate uphill and causes skaters to crash violently.
He also likes to “dance” with the skaters he faces by grabbing their hands and controlling their boards. He is strangely erotic in his mannerisms.
Tadashi was an old friend of Miya. Allegedly, Tadashi actually got Miya into skateboarding. They were close until Miya began getting recognition for his talents. They are now not on speaking terms and Tadashi acts as if he never knew Miya.
Tadashi no longer skates.
Joe is one of the original members who started the “S” scene along with Adam. He is known as the strongest skater and is well-respected and known in “S”.
He runs an Italian restaurant during the day and frequently is at odds with Cherry Blossum. The two are friends, but still very combative towards each other.
Manager Oka runs the local skate shop and sometimes tries to talk common sense into Reki and Langa to little avail. He is mildly protective over the two boys, but his character is never fleshed out beyond his gentle parental nature.
He has a cute pet dog too.
What’s the Plot?
The story follows Reki and Langa as they grapple with their love of skateboarding and the underground, dangerous “S” scene. The “S” scene is a rough, competitive race skating scene where skaters go to compete for respect, money, women, and anything else. There must be a wager.
Reki is a student who works part-time at the local skate shop and is passionate about skateboarding itself and engineering them. He delves into the underground “S” scene and gushes at how cool it is. One rule about the “S” scene is that you aren’t supposed to talk about it, but Reki quickly tells all to his new friend Langa.
Langa is a new student at Reki’s school. He moved back to Japan from Canada after his dad died so that his mom could be back in her hometown. He is emotionally sensitive, aloof, and mysterious in his demeanor. He is also an expert-level snowboarder.
He discovers skateboarding after running into Reki one day after looking for a job. By chance, the manager Oka who runs the local skateshop, needs someone to deliver a skateboard as Reki is too injured to do so. Langa accepts, and ends up in competing in an “S” race.
Somehow he defeats his opponent by taping his feet to the board. He rediscovers a feeling of happiness skateboarding that he lost after his dad died. He decides to learn skateboarding with Reki.
Reki teaches Langa the basics while the local skate community gossips about the new guy. He starts to get the nickname Snow and he defeats another high profile challenger named Miya.
Miya is an Olympic hopeful with a mean exterior, but really he is callous because his friends rejected him as he surpassed their abilities. After a defeat Miya becomes an unlikely friend of Reki and Langa. It starts to seem that Lango will quickly leave Reki behind in skill as his talent is unique.
Reki struggles with the idea that his friend is surpassing him while he also tries to support him. Langa has a run-in with the legendary Adam. Adam allegedly started the “S” scene and is undefeated on the course. They race, but the race is interrupted by the police. Adam is very interested in Langa.
Joe, Cherry Blossum, Miya, Reki, and Langa have a one off adventure where they are attacked by spirits. Reki confides his insecurities and Adam plans a tournament.
Upon learning about the tournament, Langa expresses his desire to race Adam again and Reki gets upset. Reki begins avoiding Langa altogether as he struggles with the difference in their skills.
The tournament kicks off with a surprise inclusion of Tadashi. Characters begin to get eliminated as the inevitable showdown between Adam and Langa builds up. Reki begins supporting his friend at the “S” race again even though he still hasn’t fully come around.
Reki has an encounter with Tadashi that makes him realize skating should just be for fun. He apologizes to Langa and the two make up again.
Reki and Adam have a rematch as Reki gets placed in the tournament for Joe. Reki almost wins as Adam loses grips in the rain, but eventually loses. Still, he realizes how fun skateboarding is again and the crowd supports him.
Tadashi forfeits and lets Langa and Adam race each other. The competition is close, but eventually, Langa wins. With a little prompting from Reki, Adam realizes the reason he starting skating in the first place; fun. Adam narrowly avoids jail time from a bribe he made to set-up the tournament.
Reki and Langa are friends again and the two decide to race each other, but without caring who wins.
If you want to see some cute dogs skateboarding check out our video list here.
Where Can I Watch SK8 The Infinity?
The following places are where you can watch SK8 The Infinity for free:
You can also watch SK8 The Infinity with a paid subscription on Funimation. The first two episodes are free though.
Can I Watch SK8 The Infinity for Free?
You can watch SK8 The Infinity for free in many places across the web. Some places I checked and verified were:
Board and Wheels has no affiliation with these sites.
SK8 The Infinity Review
SK8 The Infinity is a bold take on an extreme sports-focused anime. Sports anime are notoriously difficult to pull off and seem doomed to cater to a very specific audience and never break out to the mainstream anime community.
SK8 The Infinity is not the exception. While I do think the writing and characters show depth and definitely invoke thought and emotion, the series seems at odds with itself.
After struggles between and within the characters, the main theme that comes out of the anime is that skateboarding is about having fun and making friends. Yet, this alone does not make a compelling series and the show is juxtaposed with the deadly and competitive side of skating; the underground “S” races.
The two sides of skateboarding are meant to contrast each other, but actually come across as at odds against each other. The viewer is left a bit in disbelief as it doesn’t quite make sense.
Why is Reki, the goofy skater who skates just for fun, challenging people to deadly “S” races in the name of respect? At one point, Reki has given up in a race until he thinks to himself that “I will beat him because I want to defeat this guy!”
I get the feeling that the anime would be better if it stuck to one aspect.
Despite this, the characters are definitely charming and likable. Langa has a mysterious side of him that he keeps throughout the series and is full of surprises. Reki grapples with the reality that he isn’t as talented as his friend and also wanting to keep supporting him.
Miya struggles with being rejected by his friends after becoming very talented at skateboarding.
The other characters such as Joe, Cherry Blossum, and Shadow are less developed, but nonetheless distinct and likable characters.
The series is charming, visually pleasing, funny at times, and feels good to watch. SK8 The Infinity might struggle to break into the anime mainstream, but nonetheless, it is a pleasing anime that has the opportunity to flesh out with seasons to come.
Watch it, but don’t expect an emotional hard hitter. Imagine if Brooklyn 99 was an anime. That’s the kind of light-hearted feel I got from this anime.
Are There Other Skateboarding Animes?
There are no other skating-focused animes like SK8 The Infinity, however, skateboarding shows up in a limited capacity in many animes. Some examples include:
- Air Gear is about inline skating and skateboarding makes appearances.
- Hunter x Hunter’s Killua sometimes skateboards, but the anime is about anything but skateboarding.
- K Project features a minor character who skateboards
- Rocket Power isn’t typically considered anime, but features skating and surfing frequently.
Is SK8 The Infinity the First Skateboarding Anime?
Many people are excited about SK8 The Infinity for finally creating a skateboarding anime. But is it really the first skateboarding anime out there?
While there are certainly manga that focuses on skateboarding, SK8 The Infinity is the first anime that focuses on skateboarding. Skateboarding shows up often in many different anime, but rarely as more than a simple character detail.
So, feel free to be excited. Though there is still only one season out now.
In conclusion, skating and anime kind of go hand in hand at least in my mind. The unique stylings of jazz-based and hip-hop-based animation like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo made skating seem an obvious choice to make an appearance in the anime world.
SK8 The Infinity brought skateboarding fully into the anime world. The series is a light-hearted and easy-to-watch show with enough depth and visually pleasing aesthetics to keep it interesting. However, sports animes are notoriously difficult to pull off and it is unlikely that SK8 The Infinity will become wildly popular like some other anime.
Still, if you enjoy skateboarding and you enjoy anime then SK8 The Infinity is definitely worth a watch. I definitely got a little kick out of it.
Thanks for reading and look out for more articles from Board and Wheels.