Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road is the second season of the Yowamushi Pedal television anime series. It continues the adventures of the Sohoku High School bicycle club and their rivals, Hakone Academy and Kyoto Fushimi High School; specifically, this series focuses on the Inter-High race that all three teams are participating in.
After a brief recap of the end of Episode Seven, this episode sees the pack starting to be thrown into chaos. At first, most of the members think that Machimiya and the Hiroshima team have a plan for overtaking the leaders that includes them breaking away; but others quickly point out that they’ve been tricked, and reality comes crashing down when they realize they’ve used up too much energy because of Machimiya’s promises of the pack overtaking the leaders. Pretty quickly afterwards, we see the Hiroshima team catching up to the allied Sohoku and Hakone Academy teams; during this scene, we get to see how much of an asshole Machimiya really is.
Sakamichi finds himself in the midst of the chaos and he’s upset over the fact that Machimiya doesn’t play fair. He decides he needs to chase after Hiroshima to stop them, but knows he’ll need help. Sakamichi starts asking around, but I could tell rather quickly that he’d keep getting the same answer: “I don’t have the energy.” Sakamichi finds himself having to ask Arakita, and Sakamichi doesn’t know how to deal with people like him.
A lot of the episode focuses on Sakamichi’s interactions with Arakita. At first, it looks very doubtful that Arakita will be willing to work with Sakamichi. After all, they are polar opposites: Arakita is loud and brash while Sakamichi is quiet and timid. Even though Sakamichi is afraid of Arakita, he grits his teeth and keeps trying to convince Arakita to help him. I felt rather proud of Sakamichi, because this was a big leap of character development for him. The Sakamichi we met at the beginning of Yowamushi Pedal wouldn’t have been this determined, and would have retreated in the face of Arakita’s biting criticisms. As a viewer, I felt rewarded by how much Sakamichi has grown and changed over the course of the series up to this point.
But in the end, Arakita relents to work together with Sakamichi to catch up to Hiroshima. Sakamichi, along with the audience, gets a surprise when Manami comes out from the pack. Together, the three of them work together to not only catch up to their own teammates, but to move past them and catch up to Hiroshima right at the end of the episode.
Even though it took a while, it was awesome to see Sakamichi, Arakita, and Manami work together. And while working with them, Arakita shows off some incredible speed. It was so fast that poor Sakamichi almost couldn’t keep up!
I was glad to see Sakamichi and his allies prevail, but I was a little sad to see them not be able to reunite with their own teams for very long. But as it was pointed out in earlier episodes, the stakes are higher during the final day of the Inter-High and that sacrifices may have to be made. It appears the next episode will focus on Sakamichi and his allies going up against Hiroshima, and I really hope that Sakamichi and the others will be able to wipe the grin off of Machimiya’s pompous face!
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