OP Sequence

OP: 「♡㎞/h」 by Ray

「小さな奇跡」 (Chisana Kiseki)
“A Small Miracle”

For whatever reason, I was expected Long Riders! to be a more serious sports series than you might assume by first glance. Turns out I was a little too optimistic, as Long Riders! is more slice of slice than sports anime – like Yama no Susume and Bakuon!! had a college-aged baby. If that sounds like a match made in heaven for you, then you’re likely to enjoy the tempo and tone of this episode. I enjoyed it enough, but after expecting something more substantive I’m not sure if it’s something worth betting on changing anytime soon. What’s most peculiar is that scenes from the OP indicate this could be a serious girls biking anime – like the female version of Yowamushi Pedal. If that’s the turn things take, I’ll be all aboard, but for now it seems like we’re more on the moe side of the spectrum.

Even if expectations weren’t matched, there were details and elements to this premiere that worked well. For one, I appreciate that these characters are college aged; they may not look it, but it’s always nice to have a look at some actual adults (or young adults) rather than high schoolers. It doesn’t solely determine quality, but that setting could prove a little more unique than your typical Japanese high school. Another thing that is hard to ignore is how pretty this show is. The Yama no Susume comparison comes from the fluidity of the character animation and the vibrant spring colours. It’s pleasing to the eye, and there were some genuinely impressive scenes in this episode. The 3D bikes are not one of them, but I’ll take moments like these for that trade.

The plot is basically the beginning of any moe seinen manga of this ilk: We get introduced to a quirky lead girl – in this case the out-there and clumsy Kurata Ami (Touyama Nao) – as she discovers a new-found love for some niche hobby. It doesn’t matter whether it’s guitars, mountain climbing, motorcycles, or fold-down bikes, you’ve likely seen this routine before, and Long Riders! didn’t aim to push past the boundaries. It’s cute, plenty of scenes are visually appealing, and there’s comedy that’s more likely to make you smile than roar with laughter. If you want a classic moe anime with a hint of sports interest, Long Riders! is for you. It’s not what I signed up for, but if the show actually decides to become what the OP advertises, then I’ll hop back on and see where it leads.

As such, there are currently no plans to blog this on a weekly basis.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「ハッピーアイスクリーム!」 (Happy Ice Cream) by Ami Kurata (Nao Touyama), Aoi Niigaki ( Hiromi Igarashi), Honako Saijou (Rumi Ookubo), Yayoi Ichinose (Yurika Kurosawa), Saki Takamiya (Yoko Hikasa)

Preview

17 Comments

  1. When I watched this it totally felt like Yama no Susume – you hit the spot there. It’s really more slice of life than sports, at least considering episode one. Anyway, so far I like it. 🙂

    Pega
  2. I didn’t think of Yama no Susume. I was thinking a love child of K-ON! and Yawamushi Pedal especially the way Ami was gushing over her new bike. It reminded me of the way Yui did the same to “Gitta”. Obviously from the OP/ED and the first scene they’re going to join a cycling club. Somehow I don’t think it’s a competitive club but that remains to be seen.

    Bear
      1. But monsieur! Let me explain monsieur! That is because Bakuon is a parody of K-ON. While this anime that we have here is inspired from it in a more straightforward manner.

        Nishizawa Mihashi
  3. On the other hand, this is exactly what I signed up for. I like slice of life, I like cute girls doing cute things, and I like biking, so I actually win on three levels with this one. I got some K-ON! vibes from this one, like at least one other viewer said above; both from Aoi’s notable resemblance to Mio, and from Ami’s rather… excessive fondness for her new bike.

    But those things aside, I really enjoyed this first episode. Out of the various “cute girls doing x” shows I’ve watched this season, this one engaged me the most with its first episode. I’m eager to see more.

    Wanderer
    1. I’m glad you got what you expected. Perhaps I would be more inspired by the result if I was the same. I’ve still to watch Stella no Mahou, but I suspect that might be my favourite of the cute girl shows this season.

      Samu
    1. Bakuon!! was quite a generic series though in general. Take a random group of girls, like the ditzy one, the quiet one, the boisterous one etc, make them form a club, and watch it play out.

      Lyfe
  4. Don’t you feel these sorts of shows are overdone Samu? It’s just the same stuff(Slice of life with a random group of girls), with a different sport or hook to attract an audience.

    I’d like to see a show like this that’s original.

    Lyfe
    1. I do think the premise is overdone, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be some good (or even great) takes on this story template. Long Riders is decent overall, I’d put it somewhere in the middle of the list of these sorts of shows.

      Samu
  5. I did not like Bakuon!! I disliked most of the characters and the comedy was very miss for me. Even though this was fairly light-hearted, it was far from the gag comedy of Bakuon!!. I was able to get into this much better and have higher hopes that this will stay enjoyable till the end.

    Avalon
  6. Non, non, non! One does not call this a product of Yama no Susume and Bakuon. This is but a clear example of what happens when one throws Yowamushi Pedal and K-ON into the mixer monsieur!

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  7. The other girls may be diversed in some way here and there but why does the main girl always the exact yui clone? Light brown hair, mildly retarded, have no hobby prior, capable younger sister and nickname her tool.

    Not like I care though. The show is good and that’s what important.

    Henrietta

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