SK∞ is definitely getting more ridiculous, that’s not in question. The actual question is whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, and I’m not quite sure. I was leaning towards “yes” for the first half of this episode, but this is such an unapologetically loopy exercise maybe just going bigger is the only path forward. At the very least I think the viewer is left with the choice of embracing that or tuning out, and the former seems like a much more fun option.
Adam is the sort of character that will drag any series into the nether reaches of ridiculousness, that’s for sure. I was sort of half-buying the Hisoka thing before, but all pretense fell away this week – what we got here was an unabashed homage to the creeper magician. I do think there are times when he’s just so out there that SK∞ suffers for it – Hisoka is a character that would never work if he weren’t Hisoka, if that makes any sense. But Adam is clearly the main plot driver in this series, for better or worse, and if nothing else he promises to deliver plenty of theatrics.
Reki, for his part, seems to be consigned to the second tier as far as skating is concerned. Langa has already surpassed him and the gap is growing ever wider. For now Reki (not seriously injured but out of commission for a few weeks) is mostly concerned with convincing Langa to drop the idea of a beef with Adam. But he’s frankly not in a very strong position to make that argument, all things considered, and his friends (including the manager) are pretty much resigned to trying to keep Snow from getting wrecked too badly. But Langa doesn’t even want to wear protective gear, much less drop out of the race.
Reki eventually enlists Cherry to help, but that was a bit messy. I mean, he knows everyone involved in S is basically living a secret life – to accost Cherry in public like that (and on camera no less) was a seriously dumb move. Eventually Cherry does gather everyone together at Joe’s cafe to give a little lesson in how Love Hug actually works – and the trick is rather simple, once revealed. But understanding it and defending against it are two different things – and Cherry doesn’t understand it quite as perfectly as he thinks he does.
Then race is another banger, of course, as we’ve come to expect. This is Adam at his most Hisoka, and his ardour for Snow is packing everything but the “schwang” from Episode 36. Hell, he even – after Langa manages to avoid Love Hug – calls the lad his “Eve”. All that on top of a bouquet of roses (which Langa accepts) and a mysterious pull of the heart. But the cops show up before all this can be sorted in the abandoned factory, and I hardly think that can be a coincidence – someone arranged for that to happen.
If you’re one of the ones who predicted Langa would eventually be turned to the dark side and become Adam’s disciple, your bet is looking pretty good right now. He’s got nothing much left to learn from any of the good guys, really – he’s already better than any of them probably. If he wants to become the best, he has to study from the best. And for all his ludicrousness Adam seems very clearly the most brilliant skater we’ve met. Snow will be won won back over to the good guys in the end, I’m sure – maybe that will be a chance for Reki to surprise and make an impact with his board. But not until the final episode, probably.
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