Hello and welcome back tto Otaku Thursday and to our annual Doki Doki Days! Today is day three and today I get to do a bit of a fun post. Because today I finally get to talk about a very specific love–and a very specific guy who is both obsessed with and has a warped sense of, love. Today I’d like to take a deep delve into the matador of love himself, Adam from Sk8: The Infinity.
So I’m just going to start off by saying yes. I know that Adam is a pretty disliked character. I’ve run into people who either greatly appreciate him or absolutely hate his guts. But I fall into the realm of thinking he’s actually a decent character. And for some reason, when I thought about what I wanted to write about for Doki Doki Days–it was Adam and his idea of love. Because I think we can all agree that his version of love is warped, but I really wanted to look into how his perception of love got so warped. But of course, it’s all interpretation that Star and I have talked circles around. So, spoiler alert (as an FYI).
When Adam is introduced he is very over the top. You know very little of him–just that his entire thing had to do with love (again, the matador of love). His signature moves during beefs have to do with hugging–his hug of death, and he also practically salsa’s on his board with his competitors–a violent and ‘sexy’ dance. At first, when Star and I saw this, we were like–okay–the gimmick. But once we started to hear the few sprinkles of Adam’s past, we began to see him as more than just a one-toned character. In his past, Adam had been the victim of abuse. While the anime doesn’t make it clear how far the abuse went, it’s mentioned that there was a physical element to a lot of mental and emotional abuse. We also know that all of this was done to Adam at the hands of his aunts and that they often said they did it out of love. So it was clear that Adam’s perception of love was warped at early ages from essentially being conditioned to think that love and violence came hand in hand.
So when Adam began skating–an activity he really loved–of course, he unconsciously began to incorporate his warped love into it. Because Adam doesn’t necessarily skate to win (though he really does want to), he originally started to because he loved it. And he loved the thrill of skating with someone on his level. Which is exactly where his quest for his ‘Eve’ came from. That love he experienced for the sport–and his infatuation with the feeling he got from his favorite skaters when he beefed with them, manifested into a twisted and violent skating style that reflected the love he was brought up to believe was real. Everyone who couldn’t excite him was boring, and he there was no point in wasting his ‘love’ on them. But of course, being from an abusive household–it didn’t matter whether or not you were boring or excited him, he would resort to violence either way. Yet surprisingly, the more he admired someone, the more violent he would be towards them in beefs. Essentially, Adam spent his time subconsciously recreating the abuse he’d suffered through skateboarding and his quest to find the thrill and love of the sport.
Which I think is why we found it so great when Langa was able to show Adam how to enjoy skateboarding again in a different way–a gentle and friendly way to enjoy and love the sport. A kind of enjoyment and love Adam hadn’t had since he was a kid–before all the abuse began to warp him. So, when looking at Adam and how and why he got warped–it makes a lot of sense. His own trauma just manifests into his perception of what love is like. And while, yes, he shouldn’t be recreating his own trauma on kids–it makes sense that he doesn’t think about it as wrong or crossing a line–after all, he was much younger than Langa when he suffered his own abuse. And then Langa is the one to save him–maybe years later–but still save him from the twisted world he had grown into all by himself. But it’s clear by the end of the anime that his perception of love is beginning to change, which is why we actually really enjoy Adam as a character. Though at first the anime tried to let his trauma define him, he was not bound by it by the end of the show.
Welp, that was it for day 3 of Doki Doki Days. It wasn’t exactly the cute fluffy stuff that we normally do for Doki Doki Days, but it also wasn’t the worst one yet. But remember, even twisted love is still love. Anyway, that’s it for today! Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another great post as we march towards Valentine’s Day!