Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road: Episode 12 – “ROAD.12 Izumida’s Pride”

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road is the second season of the Yowamushi Pedal 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.

Episode 12 becomes a race between Hakone Academy and Sohoku. Sohoku’s first-years declare that they’ll do anything to help the team win, and we see Shunsuke and Naruko work together to pull the rest of the team. They successfully catch up to Hakone Academy, but then Fukutomi orders Izumida to accelerate.

Like with Arakita in the previous episode, once Izumida finishes his job of pulling Hakone Academy ahead, he falls behind. As Izumida falls behind, we get a flashback sequence that shows how much Izumida looked up to Shinkai and how Izumida became the rider he is today thanks to some words that Shinkai had told him. This was another nice send-off for a member of Hakone Academy, and the team is now down to four riders left in the race.

When Sohoku’s first-years try to set up a rotation to try to catch back up, Kinjou tells them to fall back because he plans to have the first-years separate from the rest of the team just before they enter the mountains. While the first-years aren’t happy with this idea, they understand that it has to be done if Sohoku wants any chance to catch up with Hakone Academy. It’s a little sad to know that the Sohoku team will soon be splitting up, but it has been stressed in recent episodes that sacrifices have to be made on the third day of the Inter-High if a team wants a chance to win.

We didn’t see Midousuji and Ishigaki from Kyoto Fushimi at all in this episode, and I wonder if they’re going to somehow catch up with Hakone Academy and Sohoku before the third day of the Inter-High is done. But considering that Midousuji didn’t seem to be worried at all back in Episode 11, I suspect that these two will somehow find a way to catch up and become an important part of the action somewhere within the remaining episodes of the series.

With the prospect of Sohoku’s team splitting up here soon, it really makes me curious how this race will progress. Could we see the remaining members of Hakone riding against Sohoku’s third-years, while the two members of Kyoto Fushimi ride against Sohoku’s first-years?

Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks in order to find out how the story goes from here. According to Crunchyroll, Episode 13 won’t be available for premium members until January 5, 2015, and for free users on January 12, 2015. While I’m glad to have a break coming up, it’s also a little frustrating since the third day of the Inter-High has reached a point where I really want to follow the race and find out where the story heads to next.

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