OP: 「Determination」 by LASTGAP
It almost feels like Yowamushi Pedal never went on break last season, considering how this episode jumped in right where the last ended – mid-way through the intense final stretch of the second day of the Inter High. After a reminder of the dramatic events that occurred near the end of the the first season, we’re not even given a chance to breathe properly before the action is thrown at us.
If there is one aspect of Yowamushi Pedal that acts as either a positive or a negative, it’s the characters, and by extension, their teams. Funnily enough, despite them being the main team, I hardly find myself absolutely rooting for Sohoku. Why? Well, because although I think there are a few very likeable characters amongst them, for the most part I’ve never really ‘clicked’ with all of them like I do with other sport series (like in Haikyuu!!). But that’s not necessarily a bad thing for me, considering that I really, really like Hakone – I think each of them is individual enough that they stand out on the road and I always know what I can expect from them. But then again, that’s just my taste in characters for you!
Talking about characters, this episode mainly focuses on four (our main character Onoda is not one of them, which isn’t actually surprising at this point in the series). First off we have my favourite of the series thus far, Hayato Shinkai (Hino Satoshi), the rabbit-loving ace sprinter of Hakone. His showdown with Midousuji last season was one of the best parts for me, even if the outcome left me feeling defeated. Shinkai steps forward (or cycles forward, rather) and leads Hakone in the final kilometres that lie ahead. I can’t get enough of how laid-back, caring, and cool this guy is despite the cheesy thumbs up that he gives at every opportunity. Actually, now that I think about it I think I also enjoy that quirk as well…
Over at Sohoku we have Imaizumi taking the lead after a few swaps to keep the pace going. But before long the arch nemesis of his past manages to knock his handlebars. It’s a dirty play, but Imaizuki recovers, and in his head and his heart he knows that he is over Midousuji, the one who has shadowed him and plagued him with negativity and doubt.
Finally we have the third team, Kyoto Fushimi High, with Ishigaki Koutaru (Nojima Hirofumi) finally having his moment in taking the team forward in the same formation as the others. For a character we haven’t seen much of, Koutaru has always been quite sympathetic, so seeing him slide right near the end of the episode made me feel so, so sorry for him. It’s obvious how much this win means, even if he has to be used and disposed of by Midousuji in the process.
I’ve mentioned him enough times so far, but I think it’s time I finally say my bit about Midousuji. God, I hate him. But I’m suppose to hate him, so it works. Seriously though, I want to see this creeper lose so bad. I want to see him defeated, crying, and maybe understand that he isn’t the best. Is that bad? At the same time, he surprised me this episode by him saving Koutaru from his slide… but it’s obvious that everything he does is for his benefit alone. I suppose he makes the perfect antagonist, considering everything he has to offer, though I could do with less of his many disgusting facial expressions.
All in all, a great episode to jump back into, even if we didn’t see that much of our main team – but then again, I’m not too bothered by that! Yowamushi is as much about it’s characters as it is about the road racing. It’s all dramatic close-ups, shonen powers in their pedals, and cheesy dialogue. But you’ve gotta love it!
ED: 「リアライズ」 (Realize) by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D
Ah!!! Yowapedal! I was not expecting this on RC but pleasantly delighted! Is this to be a regular thing?
Midousuji is such a great antagonist. Awful and devious but never quite lowering himself to cheating. I like that. It’s cool, too, that once he realizes he’s surrounded by zombies — “I kill them but they keep coming back!” — he abandons his extensive plans to undermine the enemy and just pedals. I’d be interested to see how much character development he gets over the season. It seems almost inevitable.
I’m afraid there aren’t any plans to blog this weekly. I just thought it would be nice to have the first episode covered since me and Enzo are the only ones who watch Yowapeda and he’s not here to do the honours!
You hatin’ on Midosuji? Are you serious? He’s like… the best part about this anime. He’s so fun it’s downright insane.
It wouldn’t be Shinkai without his unlimited supply of energy bars too xD
Missed this show so much, especially the amazing soundtrack, glad it is back!
How could I forget the energy bars? Damn. Shinkai has so many quirks (though I suppose every character in this series does). And I’m glad it’s back as well, Yowapeda always makes for a fun watch.
Sorry, Midousuji takes a lot of my enjoyment out of this anime and the manga. The realism and the excitement of watching what is close to a real road race is greatly reduced by his insane appearance and riding style. He belongs in some horror anime and not in a sports anime. I love this show when I don’t have to look at that thing. If they had made him realistic in appearance and the way he moved (bending his head 180 deg backward? ugh) He still could have been an SOB and someone you could hate without the absurdities. The rest of the show is so well done and I’ve been waiting for it’s return.
What of he was doping? Would be realistic in that case.
“The realism and the excitement of watching what is close to a real road race is greatly reduced by his insane appearance and riding style”
Yeah you mean like when Fukutomi, Kinjou and Midosuji all finished at exactly the same time in the first day? Like when Teshima gave Onona his pedal cleats even though he had already been a member of cycling club for some time now and the only reason Onoda received them so late was so he could have a shounen-y power up? Sorry to burst your bubble but realistic this anime is not. It’s pretty cartoony, and honestly, that’s why I love it. I mean seriously just look at Abs-kun. Midosuji fits like a glove in this and he’s extremely entertaining, I have no idea why you’re treating him like he doesn’t belong here just because his quirkiness is more exaggerated for the villainous effect.
Is that the best you can do to support why Midosuji fits in? Yeah the characters are exaggerated. Are some of the things they do not totally realistic? So what? The bikes and most of the action is what you’d expect from a road race and the characters look like real people. What next? Are you going to say he fits in because they all have anime eyes? Midosuji is a psycho clown on a caricature of a bike and is something that looks like it came out of Full Metal Alchemist and would have fit right in with that story. Here his appearance is disgusting. My complaint is about that and that voice, not about his actions in the story. You’re entitled to your opinion, but I’ll stick with mine.
There are little quirks that only a real bike racer would understand and get. The nuances are there which tells me that they have either a real bike racer on staff or they had a really good consultant. The story on the other hand- well- there are some aspects where you really have to push your willing suspension of disbelief. Things like- 500 meters does NOT take that long- once you get dropped it’s almost next to impossible to bridge the gap- the caricature of Midosuji etc.
That said- I think the entire story is a blast and hopefully will get more folks into racing in Japan.
>and the characters look like real people.
Yeaaaaah, I’m sure lots of “real people” look like Makishima or Manami. Now you’re just being delusional.
And you are too if you think Modousuji matches up with the other character designs. You like him? Fine enjoy.
Ahh~ Now I feel like bringing my own bicycle out for a long cruise by the seaside~ Of course, my bicycle resembles a mamachari more than a road racer!
I like your writing style Samu. You mentioned Haikyuu, do you mind me asking which one you think is better? I’m a big fan of both, but I think Yowapeda has been the best sport series since Feb 2013. Haikyuu is probably second. Brilliant full-fledged characters.
and Midousuji… wow. Do you remember the time before him, where everything was just normal, realistic, but still intense and amazing? He’s a tough pill to swallow. Definitely a masterpiece if you just accept him as an exception to the rule of Yowapeda characters. If you don’t, then you’ll have a hard time.
Thank you, I really appreciate that!
Well, Haikyuu!! is my 3rd fav anime and 2nd fav manga, so in comparison to any (sports) series it’s right up there as one of my all-time favourites. I haven’t come across another series where every character of the main team (and most of the others in the opposing teams) feel so fresh and stand out from one another. One thing I always like to say about how great the characters of Haikyuu! are, is that you could take any two Karasuno members and throw them in a scene/match/play with one another, and it would be different and completely effective each and every time. So yeah, my answer goes to Haikyuu – I just love it. And with it getting a perfect adaptation, I’m glad it’s gaining in popularity!
Compared to the sport series I have seen, Yowapeda would probably be in the bottom quarter, or at least bottom half for sure. I like quite a few characters, but most of them just don’t stand out at all. I feel with group sports series such as these, the characters are key to its success, as well as many other factors, of course. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter which sport it is – if it’s good, it’s good.
First episode and… nothing happened. Well, this is Yowamushi Pedal, it’s like Goku vs Freeze and their 5 minute fight.
But for some reason I’m sure I’ll still watch this until the end.