OP: 「Heart to Heart」 by Sphere
Side-car racing, or kneeler racing, is often overlooked. There are a couple appearances it’d have here and there in some films and TV shows, but tends to be overshadowed by racing other locomotives like stock cars, bikes and motorcycles, Formula 1, and souped up sports-cars. However, Two Car plans to give side-car racing it’s time in the sun, and luckily, it’s able to shine bright enough to leave a good impression.
The main plotline of the first episode focuses on the pairing between Megumi Meguro (Tanaka Aimi) and Yuri Miyata (Koga Aoi) as they enter the national division for side-car racing on behalf of their hometown and their faceless legendary coach. The two compliment each other as Yuri can drive, accelerate, and brake with ease while Megumi is strong enough to handle cornering as a passenger. They are compatible in almost every way except for their utter contempt for one another as they have a hard time dealing with each other’s bickering. Will this odd couple manage to strengthen the bonds they have together, or will they be too angry with one another to be the ideal partner?
It’s starting out as a pretty standard sports anime, but it’s format works well with its subject matter. What I’ve found myself repeating within the last couple seasons of watching sports shows is that the reason I gravitate towards some over others is how much dedication or love the anime has for the sport it’s featuring. The most effective sports series gives the viewer incentive to see from the cast’s eyes why they fell in love with the sport. Whether it’s the character’s in-detail descriptions of what they love about the sport or how well it’s animated, my favorite sports anime are the ones that give you a newfound appreciation for the sports the characters are obsessed with.
After watching the first episode of Two Car, I can say one of the show’s best attributes is how much effort they put into capturing side-car racing. Yuri and Megumi’s aptitude as driver and passenger help explain why they are ideal for excelling as partners in the sport. The chemistry between the two is problematic as they are shown fighting among themselves frequently, and are at each other’s throats about most of their private lives, but as racers, they show a deeper passion for knowing when to turn or when to adjust their speed based off of the race track and their opponents’ movement.
The story in Two Car isn’t too intricate as the two racers aim to live up to the prestige their town has as a historically-renowned village in side-car racing where many legends reside, including their coach. The coach’s side-story of making it to the TT didn’t reel me in, especially because he remains faceless during the entire episode, but the anime shows a lot of promise in seeing if Yuri and Megumi’s relationship will eventually develop into something meaningful and deep. There is some ship-teasing between the two, which should be interesting if Two Car decides to take the yuri path more seriously. To see the two go from being vitriolic partners to loving partners would make for some neat chemistry, but I wouldn’t mind settling for a close friendship if they don’t follow through.
My personal favorite aspect of the show is how they introduce the other racers that Yuri and Megumi will continue to encounter throughout the episode. There are some fun archetypes that the other characters play around with such as gothic lolita racers, a sadist/masochist pairing, identical twins, the fanged girl with a regional dialect, and the suave, androgynous racer. As a supporting characters kind of person, it is exciting to see the anime begin with a good chunk of our side racers introduced with quirks to make the plot and races fun to see unfold. I’d hope that they commit some time into fleshing them out as well as Yuri and Megumi, though I’d suppose it’d always be good to make sure the main two still have the spotlight.
Two Car isn’t the most original anime of the season, but it’s a fun racing show you can add to your schedule if you can fit it in. The cast looks like they’d be fun to follow up with, the premise tackles the unique subject of side-car racing efficiently, and it’ll be entertaining to see how the chemistry between Yuri and Megumi builds up throughout the series. There are some CG and butt shots that can be distracting, but the animation is spot-on, and there are numerous still-shots that look gorgeous. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything unfolds as Yuri and Megumi continue their uphill battle to become side-car champions.
ED: 「Angelica Wind」by Void_Chords
Character designs by Tiv, artist of the Masamune-kun’s Revenge manga.
As a guy who loves watching Isle of Man TT every year — this show was god damn amazing.
Shit in fact I want to go on a god damn rant because how fun this show was.
First off the coach is voiced by Takumi from Initial D. Already a plus.
Second off the entire backstory for Miyake Island is pretty much the actual backstory for Isle of Man. Might as well call this shit Isle of Woman. Hell the police car is somewhat of a point too.
Third off the way they present the race is just spot on and it pretty much feels like watching an actual side car race. The contrast between the scenic routes of the island and the roaring engines of the riders dashing through them is exactly how Isle of Man’s side car race works. Setting it up as some sort of racing program on the TV adds to that effect as well.
Fourth off the sound design is fucking chilling. I actually had to watch this show again but this time setting up my audio so that it feels like I’m in an actual race. And oh boy did it feel like an actual race. It’s eargasmic and you could tell the actual accuracy of the audio samples they used for the bikes especially.
For the most part it was still just an exhibition race but holy shit did this show leave me hyped. It was a fine move to use a largely inconsequential race for: a.) Showcasing the basics and concept of side car racing, b.) Showcasing each quirky character, c.) Setting up the actual main characters by splicing their backstory with the rice to a largely effective degree.
Tight butts in tight suits making tight turns.
Bless. This. Show.
And holy shit I even forgot to mention that the main pair’s side car number is a reference to Tim Reeves. Go google him. You’ll understand.
I feel the love and as a side car fan I feel pandered to.
My favorite part of the episode. Also my favorite character so far.
Holy crap, they made an anime remake of Sidehackers!?!?
My first exposure to sidecar racing was the brief demonstration by Keiichi and Belldandy in the Ah My Goddess movie. Glad we have a dedicated show on it.
Though in my opinion making a racing anime is difficult since its easy to make the protagonist go from last to first place.
I was interested at the end of the episode, and now I’m more interested now that I’m aware sidecar racing is an actual thing. The relation between the heroines is great, especially how it comes down to their team saying “They’re performing great… we’re screwed.”
The newest reincarnations of Haruka Tenoh / Sailor Uranus and Michiru Kaioh / Sailor Neptune.
I wonder if the “Alice” and “Cross” names are some sort of play on something, or just because they sound more goth-related, lol.
I say it needs fewer static shots of monkeys in extreme positions and more dynamic shots of monkeys moving from one position to another.
Actually glad to hear Shinichiro Miki’s voice again (even if his coach character is conveniently faceless) after marathoning Initial D from First to Final Stage. (Speaking of Final Stage, that last race… *sniffles* Also, “86-239”.) Too bad “Coach Takumi” doesn’t stick around for long as that would cause a hetero love triangle to develop. It’s tough being the only male(?) in an improbably female cast…
Megumi and Yuri’s letters to the coach also seemed to have served as informal love letters that would have ended with a love confession from either Megumi or Yuri if both didn’t have the same idea on where to meet with with their coach before he left. The fact that neither Megumi nor Yuri would admit to their feelings toward their coach makes me wonder if that’s also part of the reason why they’re vitriolic best buds. (Oh well, more les yay for the yuri fans then…)
And did I just see an Isetta microcar doubling as a police/safety car? XD
Anyway, time to cue a certain Initial D Eurobeat meme…
“GAS! GAS! A**!” ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Somewhat OT spoiler:
Show Spoiler ▼
Cute girls riding bad ass machines… I’m sold.
They sure love it Fast and Furious.
The racing certainly looked fun. Hopefully we’ll get a little more focus to it. Things were jumping around a lot in this first episode.
The main pair looks interesting. They’re so close that the managed to do a double KO!
They say the line between love and hate are razer thin.
Only one grip for me, why must they mention high school? Some of those girls look older than the sensei. Not that it’s something unprecedented. XD
Why must most of the interesting shows air on the same day….?