Yowamushi Pedal: Episode 22 – “The Inter-High Begins”

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.

The Sohoku team arrives at the location for the Inter-High, and Sakamichi is awed by everything he sees. Through Sakamichi asking various questions, both he and the audience learn about how some of the mechanics for the Inter-High work.

A large focus of the episode is on the opening ceremony. During the ceremony, we learn that Shunsuke is looking for Akira Midousuji from Kyoto Fushimi because he has a grudge against him for something he did that caused Shunsuke to lose a race the previous year in junior high. During the ceremony, the announcer walks over to Akira and begins interviewing him. Shunsuke hears him and rushes to the stage. Shunsuke and Akira ultimately cause a scene, with Akira explaining in detail what happened in that race and mocking Shunsuke. Kinjou and Fukutomi break it up before it can get too much more out of hand than it already has.

The last portion of the episode focuses on Sakamichi as he tries to work through his nervousness and excitement for the race to start. The episode ends with the gun going off and the declaration that the Inter-High has started.

Episode 22 was definitely an episode designed to provide character development for both Shunsuke and Akira. In addition, it also helped to establish the Inter-High for the audience, since it appears it’s going to be a setting of the series for a little while.

I just had to laugh at Sakamichi early on in the episode. It was so humorous the way his brain seemed to be breaking just from being around all the activity of the Inter-High. Overall, this was a light-hearted episode, except for the portion that focused on Shunsuke and Akira. And can I say that Akira is just freaky? We knew from an earlier episode that he could be freaky, but in episode 22, he was freaky and creepy to the extreme.

I’m not surprised to see that episode 22 ended just as the Inter-High race was starting. It’s a good way to end, because it’ll make the viewer want to come back for the next episode in order to see the Inter-High race get started. That’s definitely what I’m looking forward to seeing when I watch episode 23. I expect that the race will get underway, and that the episodes are going to be a lot more action-oriented for a while.

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