Anime Taste Testing: SK∞

Fast and Furious: Okinawa Drift.

This is exactly the kind of anime we all need right now. It’s dumb as hell, it’s completely detached from reality despite apparently being set in present-day Japan, and it plays everything completely straight. Oh, and half the supporting cast look like something out of a Kiss fan group if you also imagined them while tripping on LSD.

I’m going to keep this one relatively short, because it really is the kind of thing you should experience firsthand. SK is what you get when a long-running studio like Bones has the money to create an anime-original title about skateboarding, choosing to reimagine the sport as an anything-goes downhill race where the competitors can and will literally throw explosives at each other as the onlookers cheer, knowing it’s totally fair game. Needless to say, this sport is of course surrounded by a fanatic underground (sometimes literally) social movement, populated by characters who look kinda like they were inspired by heavy metal versions of Harley Quinn groupies.

Now I don’t claim to know a damn thing about skating and have never been even slightly interested in the sport, but luckily, you don’t need to be – SKclearly has no interest in taking itself seriously, even as it goes about approaching every aspect of its story as if does. Basically, it’s probably the closest you can get to a parody without technically being a comedy series at all in terms of outward presentation. What’s more, it manages to pull this off very stylishly indeed, with some solid artwork and more than decent animation that’s genuinely enjoyable to watch play out.

If I had any critique, it’s that SK could probably stand to push the buck even further with its straight-faced silliness. Why go for mini-firecracker explosives when you could have people engaged in melee combat while careening downhill at over 60mph, for example? Mind you, I do assume that the show is keeping a few idiotic surprises up its sleeve – with 11 episodes to go, it likely can’t lay all its cards on the table right away if it aims to continuously deliver right up to what (I hope) will be a truly ludicrous finale. Here’s hoping the title lives up to that potential.

Score: 7/10

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4 thoughts

  1. Heh, that was surprisingly fun. Some of the early skating scenes had me looking away from the screen (motion sickness), but the second half was fine in that respect. Not much to say, but it’s fun.

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