Man this episode was brutal for my heart. It made me want to cry. I knew it was just a matter of time, and today Reki finally reached his breaking point. At first Reki didn’t mind Langa’s knack of picking up faster than average, but now it has gotten to the point where he feels like he is falling behind and there is no way for him to close the distance between them. There was a combination of factors that chipped away at the last of the confidence he had in their friendship. Such as learning how he is regarded as a nobody, a low life, somebody not worth remembering. How awful that is to have to listen to that, and it certainly doesn’t help his already wounded self-esteem.
Then he starts hearing how Langa possesses the skills and talent to potentially in the National Team. While Cherry pointed out how Langa has clearly been honing his talent from an early age thanks to an excellent instructor, the prospect of just how much better he will become in a a matter of months scares Reki. So he tries to do the same high air trick as Langa did, and much to his dismay the star he is trying to touch is out of reach. Man that symbolism hurts in more way than one.
And then on top of all of that, following that failure, Langa tells him how he wants to enter the tournament and that despite the promise they had made, he wants to skate against Adam again. OUCH. But you know what was a biggest slap in the face for Reki? Being told that skating with Adam is fun and it gets him excited. And that was what broke the dam. Reki just fell apart. He asked Langa to make that promise with him not because he didn’t want him to skate with a talented skater, but because he experienced firsthand just how dangerous this man is. He is terrified of him, and he is scared that Langa could get seriously hurt. There are other strong and more responsible ones out there, but Adam is DEFINITELY not one of them. When he is skating, that man is like the the devil incarnated and not someone to not be trifled with, no matter how skilled and talented one may be.
It definitely hurts that Langa lacked the tact to notice Reki was hurting a lot and was distancing himself from him as result of it. I know he isn’t the brightest bulb on the block when it comes to awareness of those around him, but this is definitely part of the consequences of being too caught-up with chasing the devil.
And we saw that play out today with Langa playing with fire, and if he isn’t careful, he might just seriously get himself hurt. Not even geniuses can’t escape injuries. He was lucky that Joe snapped him out of it when he did because he was going way too fast and he could have gotten seriously hurt. In fact Joe described it best, as “Overconfidence is poison, confidence is power.” Though I personally wouldn’t say Langa is overconfident. He has a one-track mind when it comes to being extremely passionate about something. Once he is hooked, he latches onto it and forgets about his surroundings.
Their friendship is definitely being strained right now, but if they truly care foe each other they will find a way to meet each other half way. Both of them need to address their own respective problems that are rooted within themselves, and then they need to confront each other to clear up the air. However I do think that Langa needs to be the one to rise to the occasion because what Reki needs is some form of reassurance that he isn’t going to be left behind for someone who is more talented than him. It’s easy to say he just needs to get over it, but Langa is the one who broke the promise, so he needs to understand where Reki is coming from when he says they aren’t a good match anymore.
That said, I do feel like Miya is gonna give him a piece of his mind. After-all, Reki had promised him he wouldn’t be intimidated by his skill-gap. Miya became along after everyone left him behind due to his talent, so there’s no way in hell he is going to stand by and watch this rift form between these two.
Last but not least, we see some politics at play with Adam’s family. I am interested in learning more about his secretary Tadashi’s story. It appears he has been serving the family for a long time now, so he has seen the kind of shit Adam has gone through. He is now in an awful position where he has just been ordered to take the fall for Adam if Takano (a politician) is found guilty and accuse Adam of perjury. We also got to see a bit more of their relationship (though only a tease of it), giving us a glimpse into Adam’s past, such as the time his father destroyed his skateboard. They also shared with us Cherry’s and Joe’s history with Adam, their final hangout where the two were confronting him about how he has changed the way he skates. Cherry had asked him not to skate like that anymore, and Adam refused to and broke off their friendship after he was sent off to America. It does leave me with the impression that Cherry may have been in a similar position as Reki at one point, as he expressed concern about the way Adam was skating. They didn’t say anything specific, but I am left with the impression that he was being reckless. I am hoping we will be able to learn a bit more from Joe’s side of things next time.
Speaking of which, next week the tournament is about to kick off. Apparently is has been eight years since the last one has been held. Everyone (but Reki) is fired up for it so it’s I am curious to see how this is going to pan out with his exclusion from the process.