Yowamushi Pedal: Episode 36 – “Strongest and Fastest”

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 36 opens with Midosuji and Shinkai battling to take the sprinter checkpoint. At first, Shinkai is leaving Midosuji in the dust, but Midosuji manages to pick up his pace and catch up. They’re neck-and-neck as they’re approaching the finish line, and the final result is a little surprising…

However, a large focus of this episode is on Sakamichi and Tadokoro as they work to catch up with their team. Finally, we get to see them in action after not seeing them for two episodes! Sakamichi works at drafting Tadokoro as they see Kumamoto Daiichi in front of them. The captain for Kumamoto Daiichi is so confident that Sakamichi and Tadokoro can’t possibly pass them, but the joke ends up being on him. We get to see the reunion of the Sohoku team near the end of Episode 36, and Kinjou gives the team their orders as they fight to catch back up with Hakone Academy and Kyoto Fushimi…

I should have figured that we would have missed out on actually seeing Sakamichi and Tadokoro passing the pack. Considering how much time was spent on the race between Midosuji and Shinkai, a corresponding amount of time would had to have passed for Sakamichi and Tadokoro. But we got treated to hearing Sakamichi and Tadokoro singing the Love Hime theme song. It was so amusing to hear Tadokoro getting so into it at this point.

And it was also nice to see Sakamichi getting his due from his teammates when they reunited. It’s amazing how much the attitude of the other members of the team have changed toward Sakamichi over the course of the series up to this point.

From what was said near the end of the episode, the second day of the Inter-High is down to the last 30 kilometers. At this point, I would guess that Episode 37 will focus on those final 30 kilometers and that Episode 38 will see the aftermath of whatever the result is for the end of the second day. It’ll be interesting to see if I’m right.

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