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Hiromi Higa (比嘉 (ひが) (ひろ) () Higa Hiromi?), known in "S" as Shadow (シャドウ Shadō?), is a character in the SK8 the Infinity anime series. He's an "S" skater who's known for his rowdiness and violence within the race, but who's known for his kindness and serviceability in the flower shop he works at.

Appearance

Hiromi is a tall and wide-set man with slightly tanned skin, noticeable muscles and defined facial features. He has a mohawk of short orange hair that he wears combed down in the center, as well as small eyes of a dark gray color. While at work, he wears a brown apron over dark blue pants and a plain cream-colored sweater, its sleeves rolled up to his elbows, as well as a pair of pale green sneakers.

While in his Shadow attire, he combs his hair up into a spiked mohawk and wears face paint not dissimilar to that of a clown, with his entire head painted white and accented around his eyes and mouth with green and purple. He wears a sleeveless black jacket with white lapels and a metal-decorated undershirt that reveals a tattoo of the letters "SD" (presumably for his skater name) on his left bicep, as well as spiked bracelets around his arms and the hems of his gloves. His pants are a similar dark gray as his undershirt, and he wears metal shin guards and a purple and black cape with its lower end ripped.

Personality

Hiromi at his workplace

Hiromi lives something of a double life. During the day, he works at a florist's shop where he is kind to the customers and maintains a positive energy. He is always willing to assist his boss, no matter the task. In the evening, he participates in "S" as Lord Shadow, the self-proclaimed anti-hero of the "S" races. In contrast to his florist persona, Hiromi is arrogant and rude under the guise of Shadow, aiming to entertain the crowd with his tricks. He is shown thriving on the attention of onlookers as early as the first episode. It's no surprise that after his defeat at the hands of rookie Langa, Hiromi is visibly upset as he reads the social media mocking him and supporting Langa. As upset as he is, however, he sets those emotions to aside while at the florist's shop to maintain his perfect employee persona.

Though he is introduced as an antagonist, Shadow gradually becomes part of the protagonists' circle as a mentor figure after he gets closer to Reki and the others. Even so, he never quits his morally dubious skating antics. Despite his outward protests, Shadow gives the younger skaters rides in his car, takes them out to eat, and becomes something like an older brother figure to Miya. Shadow is also the first to warn the group about Adam, as while he himself often performs dirty tricks, such as throwing firecrackers that are likely to hurt his opponent, he states that he is different from the legendary founder of "S".

Hiromi with the other well-known skaters

As a frequent participant of "S", Hiromi is familiar with Cherry and Joe, and eventually spends time with them in a group setting along with Reki, Langa and Miya. While he appears to admire both Cherry and Joe, he displays jealously over the fact that Joe is someone who has a natural charisma and can attract a woman's attention with ease. However, given his affinity toward his boss, it is likely he is envious over the fact he can't be as charismatic toward his boss like Joe is toward women in general.

Abilities

Shadow's absolute confidence in his abilities

Shadow is a self-proclaimed 'dynamite flower'[1] and the 'Anti-Hero of "S" Races'.[3] He's known reasonably well inside "S" as one of the more aggressive skaters, likely down to his use of taunts and dirty tricks during beefs, though he's claimed that he's nowhere near the level of Adam in regards to the injuries he leaves people with.[4]

  • General Prowess: Shadow's proven that he's a formidable opponent during beefs, and is a relatively skilled skater despite appearances.[5] He has a good grasp on skating as a concept and is able to pull off many difficult tricks and moves even when moving extremely fast.[3] Although apparently not innately talented at skateboarding like Miya, it's been shown that he persevered during his time practicing which was what was able to get him to the point he's at now.[6]

Shadow using Haemanthus Bomb against Langa

  • Named Moves: Shadow also has a number of named moves that he likes to use in beefs:
    • Haemanthus Bomb: Shadow throws a number of miniature lighted "bombs" under his opponent's skateboard, tripping them up as they roll under the wheels or explode below his target's board.[3]
      This can be avoided, as demonstrated by Snake, if the target instead jumps up before the bombs interfere with their movement and uses their board to repel the attack.[5]
    • Gladiolus Laser: Shadow uses a red laser pointer to temporarily blind his opponent by shining it in their face.[7][5]

Background

Hiromi works at Tulip, a flower shop in Okinawa, where he publicly acts as a presentable and kind man in order to appeal to the girl he likes: the store's manager. However, he's renowned in "S" as the great Shadow, a skater known for his dirty tricks and rude personality, a double aspect of his life he keeps separate from his time working at the florist's.

He's apparently originally unfamiliar with many of the other skaters, like Cherry and Joe, which may be down to how dislikable he is while in his Shadow persona, but he eventually joins the friend group of Reki Kyan and Langa Hasegawa after they become known in "S", and seems to be especially friendly with Miya Chinen despite their polar differences.

Appearances

SK8 the Infinity appearances
Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7
Episode 8 Episode 9 Episode 9.5 Episode 10 Episode 11 Episode 12

Trivia

  • Hiromi's name contains the kanji for "proportion, ratio" ( hi?), "praise, esteem" ( ga?), "wide, broad, spacious" ( hiro?) and "sea, ocean" ( mi?).
  • The writing on the bottom of Hiromi's skateboard reads "bâts-toi si t'es un homme", which is French for "fight if you're a man".
  • The makeup Hiromi wears while portraying as Shadow during "S" could be inspired by Gene Simmons of the band 'KISS,' as their makeup styles are similar.
  • Shadow's 'special attacks' he uses in skating matches are named after flowers, a nod to him being a florist outside of "S".
  • The haemanthus is named after blood, and the gladiolus is named after strength and integrity.
  • Shadow’s Zodiac sign is Virgo.
  • He is a "regular" skater, meaning he prefers to skate with his left foot at the front of the board.
  • He uses the flower shop's delivery car to drive around "S", hinting that he may not own his own vehicle.[8]
  • When driving as his Shadow personality, he tapes duct tape over the flower shop's name on the car's rear window.[8]
  • He wears more clothes to bed than the other skaters, cute pajamas with flower patterns.[9]
  • He would give flowers as a white day gift.[10]
  • It took him one month to master the ollie, and his struggle to do so nearly made him quit skating.[6]
  • He would have been a clingy crybaby as a kid, something that factors into his desire to become a strong man in S.[11]
  • He would like a surprise proposal. He would like a grand reception. He would not want "see ya" kisses everyday. He would want to go to a place with a lot of flowers for his honeymoon. He'd love his spouse with all his heart and never cheat, and would be protective at all costs. His spouse would have to handle his two vastly different personalities.[12]
  • He would be good at taking care of children.[13]
  • His favorite food is fruits sandwich.[14]
  • His hobby is making flower bouquets.[14]
  • Shadow is 6 on Joe's rankings of the muscles of S. Joe's comment: Hmph….. Not bad. They’re flexible, strong muscles. And they’re floral…… I hear?![14]
  • Shadow is 30% on Adam’s Passionate Love Parameter, how much passion he has for each skater. Adam’s comment: He’s a loud skater but I feel his passion for skating. His costume isn’t bad.[15]
  • Shadow's daily schedule when there's no S:
    • 4:00-5:00 - Wakes up, gets ready
    • 5:00-7:00 - Stocks the flowers (Florists work very early in the morning! For work he seems to be a morning person)
    • 7:00-9:00 - Has breakfast, prepares for shop to open
    • 9:00-12:00 - Attends to customers, does deliveries
    • 12:00-13:00 - Break, checks social media
    • 13:00-19:00 - Makes flower bouquets
    • 19:00-20:30 - Closes shop, has dinner
    • 20:30-21:00 - Has bath, does chores
    • 21:00-22:00 - Checks social media (Even when he's busy he doesn't skip this. He seems to be particular about it......)
    • 22:00 - Goes to bed[14]
  • Shadow would go to a flower field for a summer date, and protect his date from any bees. If there was unexpected rain, he would cover his date from the rain with his big body, and after reaching shelter, he would go buy an umbrella.[16]
  • Shadow has two fashion senses like his two different personalities. At S he's all showy but normally his clothes are pretty adult-like. He would have cologne in his bag that probably has a floral smell, since he works with his manager who he likes and he'd be worried about etiquette. For a date, he would wear a nice white shirt. Shadow would like his manager's casual clothes, different to what she normally wears, and would get excited thinking about it. Shadow would like fast fashion, and probably has a brand he likes because of their flower motifs, and would shop at his brand's store. Shadow would be okay with a shopping date, but would prefer a flower field or botanical garden date to show off his skills. He does his own laundry and it's floral scented. If someone snapped a picture of him on the street, Shadow would act strangely and make wild poses![17]
  • Shadow probably believed in Santa when he was little, but he probably found the things he wanted hidden in their closet or saw that there was still a price tag on things, or that things were low quality so he probably figured it out pretty early. Before loving skating, Shadow would probably want board games for Christmas and maybe also toys. [18]
  • Shadow would be generous with his omotenashi to someone who is precious to him.[19]
  • Hiromi dislikes bitter gourd/melon.[20]
  • Shadow's tournament card is the Two of Diamonds[21]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 SK8 the Infinity Official Website
  2. SK8 DESIGN WORKS
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 SK8 the Infinity Anime: Episode 1.
  4. SK8 the Infinity Anime: Episode 4.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 SK8 the Infinity Anime: Episode 8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 SK8 the Infinity Anime: Episode 9.5.
  7. SK8 the Infinity Anime: Episode 6.
  8. 8.0 8.1 SK8 the Infinity Anime: Episode 5.
  9. Animedia Magazine March Issue: SK8 the Infinity Q&A with Hiroko Utsumi
  10. Animedia Magazine March Issue: SK8 the Infinity Q&A with Hiroko Utsumi
  11. Animedia Magazine April Issue: SK8 the Infinity Q&A with Hiroko Utsumi
  12. Animedia Magazine May Issue: SK8 the Infinity Marriage Certificates
  13. Animedia Magazine May Issue: SK8 the Infinity Q&A with Hiroko Utsumi
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 SK8 the Infinity Anime: BD&DVD Vol.4
  15. SK8 the Infinity Anime: BD&DVD Vol.5
  16. Animedia Magazine August Issue: SK8 the Infinity Q&A with Hiroko Utsumi
  17. Animedia Magazine September Issue: SK8 the Infinity Q&A with Hiroko Utsumi
  18. Animage December 2021: SK8 the Infinity Q&A with Hiroko Utsumi
  19. Otomedia December 2021: SK8 the Infinity Q&A with Hiroko Utsumi
  20. SK8 the Infinity Official Guidebook
  21. Adam's 2022 birthday merchandise

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