Yowamushi Pedal is an anime about a first-year high school student named Sakamichi Onoda who is an otaku that wants to join his high school’s anime club, but it has shut down due to lack of members. Sakamichi’s goal is to try to revive the anime club. He also rides a “mommy” bike, and is able to ride it very well. After losing in a bicycle race to Shunsuke, Shunsuke tells him to think about joining the bicycle racing club, because he sees that Sakamichi has potential. In episode four, Sakamichi became friends with a boy named Naruko that he met while he was in Akihibara. After some convincing from Naruko, Sakamichi joins the bicycle racing club.
At the beginning of the episode, we learn that Shunsuke won the 60-kilometer Welcoming Race, with Naruko coming in second and Sugimoto came in third. We also learn that Kawada is withdrawing from the bicycle racing club and joining the tennis club instead, and that Shunsuke is now in charge of the first-years in the club since he won the Welcoming Race.
Sakamichi, Naruko, and Shunsuke begin practicing on their own. Poor Sakamichi finds himself in the middle of Naruko and Shunsuke, who doesn’t want him to tell the other that they’re practicing in secret.
Later, Sakamichi and Naruko are in the club room, and Naruko finds a hole in the wall. Makishima comes in and says that he’s the one who created that hole. Sakamichi and Naruko assume he lost his temper and created the hole, and they’re both now a little nervous around him.
At practice, it’s revealed that they will start training independently, and they do this every year to determine each individual’s assignment. Each first-year will ride with an upperclassman and use the main practice course. The idea is for the first-years to try to beat the upperclassman they’re paired with. Sakamichi finds himself paired with Makishima, since they’re both climbers. Now that Sakamichi is afraid of Makishima, this becomes a rather awkward situation.
The bicycle racing club practice portion of the episode gives us some character development for Makishima, and by the end of the episode, I found him to be a much more likable character than he had been previously. And it’s also through him that we learn of Toudou, the climber from Hakone Academy. From what’s said near the end of the episode, the Inter-High preliminaries are coming up soon, so I’m expecting that to become an important story in the series rather quickly.
The portion of the training that focuses on Makishima and Sakamichi and their climb up the rear gate slope was fun to watch. It turns out Makishima isn’t good at small talk and making conversation, so their conversation is awkward for them, but amusing for the audience. There’s a section here where Sakamichi tries to copy Makishima’s dance when they’re going up the slope, but he keeps falling down and failing, and I liked how Makishima was able to take this incident and turn it into a valuable teaching opportunity. It looks like Makishima could end up becoming an important mentor for Sakamichi when it comes to the climbing portion of the races.
After posting last week’s writeup, I learned that there’s supposed to be 38 episodes. Now knowing this information, I can say that this series is doing a good job progressing the characters and the story.
Even though I may not be much into bicycling personally, I still find myself enjoying Yowamushi Pedal and looking forward to watching the next episode to find out what’s going to happen.
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