ADAM, Ainosuke, or Someone In Between: Analyzing A Dio-Ass Motherfucker

Sk8 the Infinity is an original shonen sports anime currently airing on Funimation with a red-headed protagonist and the word “skate” in the title.

no, not this one; the other one. this one sucks

The plot, so much as it matters, revolves around a teenager named Reki, his new Canadian friend Langa, and a super-secret-but-not-really skateboarding race called S. The primary antagonist is Reki’s growing sense of inferiority after Langa quickly becomes a much better skateboarder than him and attracts the attention of the other primary antagonist, a walking meme that looks like Jonathan Joestar, sounds like Dio Brando, and- when in his alter ego of ADAM, the Matador of Love- poses constantly. He’s the best and every second he spends onscreen is a delight.

i leave my assumptions about the sexuality of fictional characters out of these essays if i dont have textual evidence to support them, but this is a gay

Normally, “this cartoon man is fun to watch perform Shenanigans” would not be sufficiently meaty to support an essay analyzing his character and motivations, but another reason he’s so fun is the dichotomy between the ADAM persona and his alter ego as mild mannered newbie politician Ainosuke Shindo.

this is a man who knows how stocks work

The dichotomy is so striking, in fact, that it becomes immediately apparent that he’s playing a character, but the question is, which one? And does he even know?

Kayfabe is the name of the game with this guy. In the fourth episode he returns home from a trip to the Diet and the first thing he’s asked isn’t “how was your flight” or “have you had lunch yet” but “Did you behave in a way that didn’t tarnish the family name?” which like. Can’t you let a guy take a shit first?

The pressure to conform to some insane idea of perfection is shown even more strongly in the most recent episode, when a flashback reveals that his father burned his skateboard while he was in high school because he (his dad) felt that he (Ainosuke) was spending too much time on skateboarding instead of whatever Aiichiro felt he should be devoting his energy to. Given that, it’s not surprising (though still not okay) that he didn’t hesitate to throw his secretary and the closest thing to an ally he has under the bus at the first sign of trouble. As Ainosuke Shindo, he responds to everything with a neutral smile and benign statement, no matter how he may feel about it personally.

ADAM, on the other had, is as flamboyant as Ainosuke is reserved, while still giving away little about his personal thoughts and feelings. ADAM loudly leans into his gimmick and enthusiastically embraces the role of the wrestling heel. ADAM ignores boundaries and gleefully puts himself and his opponents in danger of injury specifically because while under the pressure of “being worthy of the Shindo name” he can do nothing but set up walls and avoid risks. ADAM doesn’t have a family name to uphold or impossible expectations to meet. He can just skate and have fun doing what he wants to do because he wants to do it, and if he ends up pushing away the people who genuinely care about him or injuring his fellow skaters in the process, so be it.

We’ll likely find in the next few weeks which character he plays is closer to the real person he is and/or wants to be. The person fellow founders CHERRY BLOSSOM and JOE knew in high school may or may not be long gone, buried as he is by layers and layers of performance. Only time will tell if he can ever find an authentic self to be, and if so, how much damage he’ll cause to himself and others in the meantime.

hey this ended up shorter than i thought it would. support us on patreon

2 thoughts on “ADAM, Ainosuke, or Someone In Between: Analyzing A Dio-Ass Motherfucker

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