Man this was such a fun episode! Although it’s happening quite quickly, I am loving the friendship and bond that is flourishing between Langa and Reki. It is also endearing to see how quickly Langa has become become completely enamored by the sport. It blows his mind how flexible skateboarding is has a lot freedom of where it can be used and brought around to. It is understandably a stark difference to snowboarding, which has its limitations due to the dependence of environmental conditions. So when you combine his enthusiasm with Reki’s, you have this wonderful combination that makes it so wholesome and heartwarming to watch.
Since the premiere focused a lot on Langa, I was happy to see it was Reki’s turn to enter the spotlight, highlighting his knowledge and craftsmanship of skateboards. It is a pleasure to see how happy he is to have made a new friend to share his passion with. He has been a great mentor so far, being very patient and running through the basics, all while incorporating the bits of knowledge about snowboarding into the process. It’s not everything, but it certainly gives Langa something to work off after having snowboarded for fifteen years. Of course some of the major differences between snowboarding and skateboarding Ollies. Snowboarding has your feet attached, where as Skateboarding, they are not, and the way you start and stop are different too. Langa learned that the hard way when he realized he didn’t know how to stop and ended up flying straight into the middle of traffic. It’s a miracle that he didn’t suffer from more than just scratches and bruises. (And boy Langa’s body sure has taken a beating as he strives to get the hang of the basics. His mother was understandably concerned it was because of bullying, but thankfully he had told her it was because he was learning how to skateboard!)
As Reki learned more about Langa’s fears of not having his feet secured to the deck, and the way he skates, he went ahead and built him a custom design based on a type he showed him in a magazine. He also was able to identify what Langa had silently desired based on his habits. So now Langa has a skateboard with a larger deck because with that the wheel base can be wider which will give him more stability. They didn’t specify on which wheels he went with though, as varying on their weight and size, it can impact the overall speed. But can we just takea moment to appreciate the perfection of the board-art being a freaking Snow Monster! Poor Langa, he was hoping for a wolf, bear or deer, but it’s so cute! I love this even more. What’s even better, he nailed the snowy vibe! If he doesn’t want it, I will take it, hahaha!
But that wasn’t the end of Reki’s kindness. When he hears how Langa hasn’t had any luck getting any callbacks, and learns that a big part of that is because he doesn’t have enough experience with reading and writing, so it makes it tricky for him to land on. (It could also be said its his hilariously bad picture he submitted with it). So it is an understatement to say Langa is in quite a pickle when it comes to finding a job. With that Reki drags him off to Dope Sketch and pleads the manager to find a way to hire Langa.
Seriously he’s such a good kid.
As for Langa, apart from his signature clumsiness and series of wipe-outs today, we were able to learn a bit more about his circumstances today. As suspected, the main reason why he was looking for a job was because he wants to help support the family income. He and his mother moved back to Japan after his father had died, and he revealed he hadn’t snowboarded since. So when he touched a board for the first time in a while, it made him really happy because he’s having fun again.
And that is definitely a big part of why it is a great pleasure to see much Langa has become engrossed in skateboarding. In fact I find his joy to be quite contagious because it never fails to make me smile. It is also hilarious how it hasn’t even been a month and he is already getting into trouble at school (and not for terrible reasons mind you). He and Reki are practicing where-ever and whenever they can, and that includes in the freaking hall-ways. Though he definitely needs to start paying a bit more attention in class, considering he and Reki are a bit too hooked on studying the arts of skateboarding hahaha!
Nonetheless, his efforts are paying off because after two weeks of
rigorous training, Langa managed to do his first Ollie! (Albeit he needs to perfect the landing so he doesn’t stumble!) It took Reki two months to learn the Ollie when it is said to take about three months or so.
Overall this week’s episode was simply fun to watch! It was great to learn more about the types of boards one can use (Long Board, Street, Cruiser), and we also got the chance to see a variety of customization and technical bonuses, such as Cherry Blossom’s board has his A.I. Carla implemented into it. So it will be interesting to see what kind of unique quirks other characters may have on their boards too!
I also liked we got the chance to see what some of the other characters are like outside of their “S Party” personas. I burst out laughing when they showed us Shadow working at a freaking flower shop! With his nasty attitude, I wouldn’t have ever guessed he would be working in such a place. A perfect example of how you can’t judge anyone by their cover haha! We also got to see a bit of Cherry Blossom’s and Joe’s dynamics, the two being friends for god knows how long. It’s quite entertaining to see them childishly bicker at each other.
Next week it looks like Ranga is up for another “S” race, this time against Chinen Miya, the Japanese national hopeful who sought him out at the shop. It appear the challenge may be related to the host reaching out to him because he was disappointed he hadn’t seen Langa show up since. Anyways I’m looking forward to seeing how Langa will fair this time round! Until then, see you next time!
PS: Anyone else burst out laughing when they gave Shadow the Sailor Moon transformation. I freaking lost it.