Skate-Leading Stars EP11 REVIEW: Prelude to Victory?

The final leg of the Grand Prix officially begins!

Shinozaki
Will the Ice Prince claim the skate-leading throne?

After two months of back and forth, of push and pull, between our skate-leading stars (mostly Maeshima though), the series nears its end. But who will emerge victorious this season?


In the penultimate episode (“Perfect”), the final leg of the Grand Prix Series officially begins. Just to jog your memory on who we’re rooting for and keeping an eye on, the final six includes Chutei University, home of the unison twins; Kogahara High led by ace Izumi Himekawa; and the two “rival” schools, St. Clavis and Ionodai.


Everything seems to be coming full circle now, especially for Maeshima and Sasugai, who have both been waiting all season long to face off against their common “rival” Shinozaki.

Ideally, this full circle moment should be the peak of the entire season. Instead, the circle doesn’t even look like circle as the lines zigzag in all sorts directions just like this tired storyline.

Kogahara
An excellent performance by Himekawa and the Kogahara crew.

The episode only features the free skate performances of Chutei, Kogahara, and St. Clavis. Of course, they want to save Ionodai for the finale. Anyway, the skating sequences, as usual, though nothing extraordinary, are elegant enough to warrant awes and. And funnily enough, the performances are sometimes more compelling than the skaters themselves. Even the entire plot, actually, and here’s why.


From the very beginning, the show was rooted on this quasi-rival plot between Maeshima and Shinozaki, with Sasugai crowding later on. While this is fairly common in most sports anime, the problem with Skate-Leading Stars is they built the entire storyline on that particular plot only if you really think about it. Why did Maeshima enter skate-leading? Shinozaki. Why does Maeshima want to win the Grand Prix? To best Shinozaki. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, but show us more variety, at least.


This reviewer mentioned in previous reviews that a lot of the characters here are in endanger of fading into the background—and a lot of them already did because the show didn’t give them enough screen time! And what makes sports anime exciting and memorable is the exciting and memorable storyline and characters. Save for the protagonists, Skate-Leading Stars falls flat in both areas. Should this gets renewed for another season, please focus on the characters as well.

Maeshima
Expect the ice rink to catch fire next week.

So, next week is the season finale and the much-anticipated finale performance of the Ionodai Skate-Leading Team. To be honest, they are up against some tough competition, and kudos to the series for actually developing that aspect of the story quite well. As the series trudges for the last time, let’s hope we get a finale we—and the skate-leading stars—rightfully deserve.

Skate-Leading Stars Episode 11 premieres March 21 at 10:30PM JST.


Official Anime Website: Skate-Leading Stars

Official Anime Twitter: @Skate_Leading

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