Yowamushi Pedal: Episode 32 – “Night of Hope”

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.

Episode 32 sees Makishima being asked by Tadokoro to keep a secret from the others: he threw up everything he ate and is sweating. Tadokoro believes he’ll feel better the next day and be able to ride in the second day of the Inter-High. Makishima agrees, and helps Tadokoro get somewhere to rest.

When Makishima returns to Sohoku’s area, he comes up with a rather lame reason to explain why Tadokoro had called him back in Episode 31. As Makishima worries about the situation to himself, Shunsuke becomes frustrated that he didn’t beat Midousuji. Shunsuke gets upset and quickly stands up and snatches his jersey. Kinjou is able to get Shunsuke to calm down, but isn’t able to get out of him what’s bothering him.

That night as the Sohoku team rests at the inn, Sakamichi gets an unexpected visit from his mother. It’s rather awkward, but by the end of it, the audience is given the impression that Sakamichi’s mother knows what’s going on a lot more than she had let on earlier.

The second day of the Inter-High gets going near the end of the episode, and after the cyclists who came in front get going (including Kinjou and Shunsuke), the main bulk of the Sohoku team goes, with Sakamichi pulling them. However, they come to realize that Tadokoro isn’t with them…

For the most part, Episode 32 is an episode that allows the audience to stop and catch its breath before getting the excitement of the second day of the Inter-High going at full steam. The beginning of the episode is a bit tense, between Makishima’s doubts as he tries to keep Tadokoro’s secret and Shunsuke’s anger at having lost to Midousuji again.

The bulk of the episode, however, lightens the mood a little more while they’re at the inn. The visit from Sakamichi’s mother not only provides some much needed comic relief, it also allows his mother to impart some wisdom that gives Sakamichi the determination to give the rest of the race his all.

The episode ends on a cliffhanger note when it’s realized that Tadokoro, who has joined them at the starting line, didn’t go with the team when it was their turn to go. It’ll be interesting to see whether his lack of movement is due to what had happened to him the day before, or if he’s waiting to go to maintain the suspense.

I’m looking forward to watching Episode 33 in order to see how the second day of the Inter-High will proceed.

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