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In Skate-Leading Stars EP9, the side characters shine, but not enough to brighten this dull plot

Guaranteed a spot at the nationals, the Ionodai Skate-Leading Team sits back as the Grand Prix Series enters its final stages—featuring some very familiar stars.

Himekawa and Kuonji
It’s ace skater Izumi Himekawa vs idol skater Noa Kuonji.

Unfazed by their runner-up finish against rivals St. Clavis, the Ionodai Skate-Leading Team are in high spirits as they rank fourth overall in the Grand Prix Series—practically a shoo-in for the nationals. That is why the team—including Maeshima—migrate over to the back seat in this episode as the remaining schools battle it out in this last stage of the series.

In Episode 9 (“One-Lead”), it’s figure skating idol Noa Kuonji of Yokohama Super Global High School versus Kogahara High’s Izumi Himekawa, who you may know as Ionodai’s former ace. They and their respective schools are the frontrunners for the sixth and last spot in the nationals. Who will it be?