Skate-Leading☆Stars – Episode 8

The next competition is here and we finally get to see some competitive skating!! I mean, we’ve been seeing some skating throughout the whole series, but this really felt like the first time where we got to see passion and drive in a performance. Still, I would appreciate it if they would let us watch a full set without cutting to other content. My hopes are a lot higher for this though! We’re getting closer to the Grand Prix so perhaps we’ll see their performance in full for the grand final performance.

I’m glad to see that everyone, including rival teams are getting riled up with these performances. Before everyone just had a very “I’m good, and I’m going to show you how good I am” attitude, but both St. Clavis and Iondai were able to pull the “Yeah, but is your good, this good??” It really adds some excitement to the competition despite us probably not really caring about our rivals at this point anyways. The twins’ team already had their chance in the spotlight at the first competition and it was mentioned that Himekawa and the Idol team also did well in their respective competitions. I don’t really know how they’re going to be able to give all of these rivals a chance in the spotlight now that we’re in the final stretch of the season.

I really wish there was more character development across the board, but at the very least I wish there was a little more with the Iondai team. It really feels like the only growth we’ve gotten is from Maeshima… and even then, I don’t really feel satisfied with it. He was really hot-headed and proud then every couple of episodes he’s slightly humbled, but then his humbling doesn’t even matter because Sasugai is like “No wait, we can use that”. And that isn’t to say that I dislike Sasugai’s tactics. He’s sneaky and confident and I do like him for that. But sometimes I feel like he just exists to stir the pot and toss in something unconventional. It really seems like the character development we’ve gotten for Iondai is Maeshima vs the rest of the team as a whole. Like aside from some generic trope buckets the characters fit into they all just seem to be bundled together for their development and that’s a bummer.

But you know who did get some development? Or rather more of a personality reveal? Shinozaki!!! Finally, the character who seems so distant from everyone gets to show his true colors – well only kind of but it does excite me for the episodes to come. His smile, his “watch me”, wow! I think I actually got chills from watching that! And I really don’t mind his attitude towards Maeshima. Yeah, it’s kind of mean or rude, but at the end of the day, Shinozaki can still show just how good he is! Shinozaki never took a break from skating and he’s really just been improving this whole time. Maeshima is a rival that pushes him to be better so he can show how much better he is and honestly? Good for him!

I’m really hoping these next few episodes are going to bring out the absolutely most from every single character. I want all their emotions to be on display as they fight for that victory. This is their chance to prove how strong they are and if they are planning to hold back that will only be a disappointment. This episode alone managed to rile up all the competitors so I’m expecting great things from future performances!


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