Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road: Episode 24 – “ROAD.24 Winner”

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 24 concludes both the Inter-High and Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road. It was amazing to see how announcing the winner took a little while early on, even though tires were seen crossing the finish line at the end of the previous episode. Besides the expected recap, there are also final reactions from both Sakamichi and Manami before they cross the finish line, as well as various reaction shots as they reach the finish line. While it was a little frustrating how long announcing the winner took, this is a case where stretching it out helped to maintain the suspense and tension. And it was an absolute surprise when it was revealed that Sakamichi was the ultimate winner. Shortly after Sakamichi’s win, it’s revealed that the top six spots were filled by riders from either Hakone Academy or Sohoku.

Most of the rest of Episode 24 shows the aftermath of the Inter-High, starting with all the congratulations and interactions that Sakamichi has with most of the other members of Sohoku’s team. There were definitely some great “bromance” moments between Sakamichi, Makishima, and Shunsuke. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s Hakone Academy’s reaction to Manami’s second place showing. While Fukutomi and the other third-years aren’t angry with Manami, they make it clear that they expect him to guarantee that their school will win the Inter-High next year.

Outside of the final part of the race, Manami’s interactions with Hakone Academy’s third-years and Kinjou and Naruko almost not making it to the award ceremony, the remainder of Episode 24 is actually rather light-hearted in nature. Right near the end, Sakamichi takes the other five team members he rode with during the Inter-High to Akihabara so he can buy and give the third-years gifts. This is a rather comedic portion of the episode, with much of the comedy deriving from the third-years feeling like they’re out of their element. Probably the most amusing part of this section is when Tadokoro hears the actual recorded version of the Love Hime theme song and realizing that was what he was singing during the Inter-High. His facial expression was priceless.

Unfortunately, some of the animation looks off during the Akihabara section, especially with the characters looking very obviously off-model. Did the animators have to rush through this portion in order to get the episode out on time? But maybe this explains why Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road‘s stream time was pushed back half an hour for this particular episode.

Episode 24 was a satisfying way to bring Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road to a close. I enjoyed watching this season, and I’m looking forward to a time when I can get both seasons of Yowamushi Pedal on home video and re-watching the series from the very beginning.

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