Yowamushi Pedal: Episode 37 – “Passing the Crown”

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 37 is basically a race between Kyoto Fushimi and Hakone Academy, with Midousuji spending a lot of time talking and taunting the competition. There were definitely moments in there where I wished that Midousuji would just shut up because of how much he insisted on talking throughout this episode. Unfortunately, the talking and taunting is what Midousuji excels at, but this is what makes him a bad guy that the viewer loves to hate.

During this race, Midousuji declares that his team will move on to their next phase, where they drop their “dead weight” (i.e. their sprinters who can’t handle climbs), and we see these sprinters officially drop out when they’re found by the officials. Fukutomi also declares that they don’t need dead weight, and Fukutomi and Toudou pull on ahead. For much of the episode, the audience is led to believe that Fukutomi left them behind. However, at the end of the episode, the viewer sees that this may not be the case…

There was also a flashback for Ishigaki, the third-year member of the Kyoto Fushimi team who was supposed to lead them this year until Midousuji joined the team. In the flashback, we learn that he would have led this team in a similar manner to the way Kinjou leads the Sohoku team. Unfortunately, his hopes for the team were destroyed when Midousuji took over. And when Midousuji orders to leave the sprinters behind, we can see that Ishigaki truly regrets having to do that to his teammates.

This episode gets the race past the mountain checkpoint, but not to the finish line for the second day of the Inter-High. Since next week’s episode will end the series until it returns in Fall 2014, I feel safe in saying that at this point, the second day of the Inter-High will end during the next episode.

This episode only saw the Sohoku team appear briefly, and it was right at the beginning; this was a slight recap of what we had seen with their team right at the end of Episode 36. Hopefully we’ll see more of the Sohoku team in Episode 38.

It’s hard to believe that the second day of the Inter-High is almost over, and the fact that the series is almost done for now until it returns again in Fall 2014. With this being a show I’ve been watching over the past three seasons, it’s become ingrained as part of my Monday routine; I’ve also been truly enjoying Yowamushi Pedal and look forward to watching it week after week. Luckily, there’s only a one season break before it returns.

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