At the beginning of Episode Five, Sakamichi discovers that he and Naruko attend the same school. While having lunch together, Naruko says he chose this school because they have a bicycle racing team. Naruko encourages Sakamichi to join the bicycle racing club, and tells Sakamichi to meet him after school at the rear gate slope.
When Sakamichi gets there after school, Naruko is nowhere to be seen. However, the members of the bicycle racing club come riding by on their bicycles, and Sakamichi is impressed by the amazing wind and sound, as well as the incredible intensity. After they pass, Naruko comes out and asks what Sakamichi thought. Naruko gives Sakamichi another sales pitch to join the bicycle racing club.
When Sakamichi rides home that night, he discovers he has a flat tire. Miki’s brother happens to be driving by and takes Sakamichi and his bike to his bicycle repair shop. We learn that Miki’s brother was once the captain of the bicycle racing club, and he also gives Sakamichi a book about bicycling to read.
At school the next day, Naruko talks with Sakamichi on the school roof and asks if Sakamichi has made a decision. After a couple of tense moments, Sakamichi replies that he’s going to join the bicycle racing club. The rest of the episode focuses on Sakamichi, Naruko, and a know-it-all boy named Sugimoto joining the club. Unfortunately, they joined on the day that the club is holding a 60-kilometer race for the first years as a way to welcome them into the club.
I’m glad to see Sakamichi finally join the bicycle racing club by the end of this episode. From the opening credits, you knew he would eventually be joining, but it took a little while to finally get him there. However, the length of time is pretty realistic, considering Sakamichi’s character and everything that had to happen to lead him to this point.
So far, Sugimoto seems to be a rather annoying character, and hopefully we’ll start to see some redeeming qualities for him in future episodes of the series. Naruko was a little annoying when he was first introduced, but there were redeeming points that came out for him relatively quickly.
According to the next episode preview, it looks like the focus of Episode Six will be the actual race. From what the team captain was saying to the upperclassmen in this episode, part of the reason for the race is to determine which two of the first years will be selected to participate in the Inter-High preliminaries. Since only two can be chosen, which two will it be? Of the six first years, there are four I could see potentially making it, but I have no idea which two of these four it will end up being.
Even though I may not be a fan of cycling, I’m still finding enjoyment in Yowamushi Pedal. Since the beginning of the series, Sakamichi has evolved into a protagonist that you can relate to and root for. I’m really looking forward to seeing what will happen in Episode Six and to find out whether or not Sakamichi can end up being one of the two first years to be part of the Inter-High preliminaries.
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