Oh, this anime is going to be all about that tension. Right off the bat we’re introduced to a one-sided childhood rivalry between hot-headed Kensei Maeshima and skating prodigy Reo Shinozaki. But don’t worry, it looks like there are plenty more conflicts between the characters that are just waiting to be discovered. I mean, we also have Hayato Sasugai, Shinozaki’s half-brother who also has quite a bit of beef with Shinozaki. But all around, it seems like everyone wants to prove themselves to him, regardless of if he acknowledges it or now. Perhaps everything would be different if Shinozaki just acknowledged Maeshima as a rival.
Despite Maeshima’s skill as a figure skater, he’s very impulsive and seems to decide things based on what’s happening around him. He’ll leave the skating scene if he gets a lower score or he’ll play whatever sport seems fun in the moment. Heck! He’ll even try Shogi out even though it relies more on his smarts rather than physical ability. But overall, he seems like he just does what he wants and definitely sticks to whatever he says he’ll do. He’ll even go as far as to taunt to the Skate Leading Club at his school, despite most (if not all) of the members had skated with him prior. I think it’s kind of funny that he treats the Skate Leading Club this way, because… it’s been so long since he’s been out of the figure skating scene and… none of the team members actually want him to join the team. Regardless of how good he was or even still is, that’s all in the past. And not only that, who’d want to join a team with someone who thinks they are better than everyone else? Well, in all fairness there are some other cocky members on the team, but at least they had the courtesy to at least join the team.
Personally, I’m pretty indifferent to Maeshima’s character. He really seems like a typical sport anime protagonist who just really loves the sport that he is a part of. He’s reckless and loud but at the end of the day all he wants to do is Skate. And if he can get revenge in the process? That’s a bonus! So Maeshima, I’m rooting for you, do your best! Make friends!
Aside from Maeshima we’re also introduced to Sasugai who I’m much more interested in as a character strictly because of his sneaky puppet mastery shenanigans that he’s pulling in the distance. There are some parts of him that don’t quite sit right with me, but I have a feeling he’s going to be the one to really push the plot forward. He has all the tricks up his sleeves so, whenever things get tough, I think he’ll be the one to set things right even if he brings in a little bit of chaos to do so. I’m mostly interested to see his dynamics with other characters! Sure, when he’s the one making plans on his own, he’s the smartest one there and things go according to plan, but when he has to consider other personalities? Oh, that could be fun.
Overall, I think this was a pretty alright first episode. I’m certainly not expecting it to be the anime of the season, but I think it’ll still be one that I’ll look forward to each week. I’m excited to meet the other members of the Skate Leading club and even some of the rivals from the opening (and speaking of the opening I’m not sure how I feel about it, the long periods of no animation, isn’t unheard of for an opening, but it just seems a little off putting for an anime like this.)!
Possibility of Blogging: Moderate
Possibility of Watching: High
Notice: This anime has already released 3 episodes early for streaming. But we decided to reserve the first impressions following the Japanese release date. Moving forward, we hope to catch up with the stream schedule! We will release as double posts to catch up to the stream.