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 entirety of Episode 25 focuses on three sprinters trying to make it to the first checkpoint: Hakone Academy’s Izumida, and Sohoku’s Tadokoro and Naruko. This episode covers the final 400 remaining meters to the checkpoint, and includes inner monologues, discussions between Tadokoro and Naruko, as well as backstory for both of the Sohoku sprinters.
We get to see Tadokoro’s backstory first. It turns out he lost the first-year race when he was a first-year and almost quit the bicycle racing club. He feels he’s not an asset because of his big bones and big body and that he can’t climb. Kanzaki was the captain at the time, and he convinces Tadokoro to stay and work on being a sprinter because that’s what he does best. Through Kanzaki’s training and guidance, Tadokoro works at becoming the character that we know today.
We also learn that Naruko lost a lot of races due to his small size, but he kept working at it and has trained hard to try to improve. In middle school, he was basically a laughingstock when it came to bicycle racing. He says it ultimately took him five years to win.
The final 150 meters of the race are intense, but a winner is finally decided in this episode. And the winner is…
Sorry that I won’t say who wins, but I don’t want to provide a spoiler. All I will say is that after the backstories were presented, I was able to correctly guess who would ultimately cross the checkpoint line first.
I really liked seeing the backstories for both Tadokoro and Naruko. They really helped me to better understand who these characters are and why they act the way they do when they’re racing.
I’m glad to see that the first checkpoint has been reached, so the Inter-High can now move on to the next part, whatever it may be. Yes, the part with the sprinters was stretched out a bit, but the backstories in this episode were able to provide some information in addition to stretching out the time to build up the suspense.
Now I’m looking forward to seeing how the Inter-High will proceed from this point.
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