Yowamushi Pedal: Episode 24 – “Trembling Izumida”

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 vast majority of Episode 24 focuses on Izumida, Tadokoro, and Naruko battling it out to reach the first checkpoint. During this battle to the checkpoint, the audience is treated to a flashback of Izumida. We learn that he started out not being a strong cyclist, but after it’s pointed out that his power is in his body, Izumida begins working out a lot to build up his body to where it is now. After building up his body, he strengthened his back and abdominal muscles and became a first-rate sprinter that was chosen to be part of Hakone Academy’s Inter-High team.

For most of the episode, it appears that Izumida has the upper hand and will easily make it to the checkpoint first. However, when there’s only about 700 meters left to the checkpoint, both Naruko and Tadokoro end up using techniques that help to speed them up and pass Izumida. However, right at the end of the episode, Izumida throws down the gauntlet and is getting ready to try to make it to the checkpoint first during the last 400 meters.

It was nice to finally get some backstory for Izumida to better understand why he’s the way he is. Prior to this episode, he just came across as a guy that was just so obsessed with his abs that he named them Andy and Frank. This flashback shows the viewer why Izumida is so obsessed with his abs and how he became so obsessed with them.

I also liked the science lesson that Tadokoro gives when he’s giving the explanation for what he’s doing as he uses his technique to give himself more speed to try to get to the checkpoint before Izumida.

There’s also a scene where Fukutomi comes back to where Kinjou is, and the two talk. However, I have to say that Fukutomi came across as sounding a bit obsessed. Yes, I understand from an earlier episode that he feels guilty for what he did to Kinjou at the previous year’s Inter-High, but he was little “over the top” during this scene. Fortunately for Fukutomi, Kinjou took it all in stride.

So the race between the sprinters will definitely be continuing in Episode 25. But considering how close they are to the checkpoint, I suspect it will end in the next episode. The burning question, though is, which of the three will make it to the checkpoint first? I really want to see Episode 25 with the hope of finally getting an answer to that burning question.

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