Anime Film Review: Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE

Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE is a compilation film for the first season of the Yowamushi Pedal television anime series.

Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE
Directed by: Osamu Nabeshima
Written by: Reiko Yoshida
Starring: Daiki Yamashita, Jun Fukushima, Kosuke Toriumi, Atsushi Abe, Ayaka Suwa, Daisuke Kishio, Hirofumi Nojima, Hiroki Yasumoto, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Junichi Suwabe, Kentaro Ito, Ken’yu Horiuchi, Koji Yusa, Kouki Miyata, Megumi Han, Satoshi Hino, Shotaro Morikubo, Tetsuya Kakihara, Tomoaki Maeno, Tsubasa Yonaga, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
Run Time: 90 minutes

I have to admit that when I heard that this would be a compilation film for the first season of the Yowamushi Pedal anime with some additional new footage added, I was a little skeptical of what the final product would be like. But after watching this film, I can say that it’s probably one of the better anime season compilation films that I have personally seen.

It opens with Sakamichi narrating how he ended up joining Sohoku’s bicycle racing club and became part of the group that went to the Inter-High race. After the opening credits, we get to see the first of the new footage that was made specifically for the film. The premise is that Hakone team member Toudou comes from a family that owns a hot springs inn, and he invited Makishima and Sakamichi to come visit after the Inter-High race is over. During their time at the inn, both Sakamichi and Makishima have memories of the events that happened during the first two days of the Inter-High race. Most of the new footage animated for the film was rather enjoyable, and worked well as “bridge pieces” between the memories.

Overall, I thought the scriptwriter did a good job condensing down the episodes of the Inter-High down to this film length. To achieve this, it was decided to simply focus on the important events that happened to the members of the Sohoku team. In the anime series, there was the occasional episode where the focus was primarily on non-Sohoku racers, so the events from those episodes weren’t included. And this made sense, since it’s Makishima and Sakamichi having the memories of the race. They certainly can’t remember events that happened when they weren’t around! Overall, this condensing down was executed smoothly except at one point where Sakamichi had fallen to last place because he had been involved in a big bike crash. The movie jumped from Naruko realizing that Sakamichi wasn’t with the rest of the team to Sakamichi lying on the ground right after the accident. That felt jumpy, but maybe that was just me.

For viewers who see this movie without watching the first season of the anime will likely be confused at the end, because the Inter-High race doesn’t end in the film. But since this movie came out between the two seasons (and the second season focused on the third day of the Inter-High), it makes sense that there’s nothing shown for the final day of the race in this compilation film.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the omake that appeared after the ending credits of the movie. Since this was always done at the end of the episodes in the anime series, I thought this was a nice touch for the movie.

Viewers who have already seen the first season of Yowamushi Pedal should still watch this film, both for the new footage and to be able to see a more condensed version of the race. Since it had been a while since I personally watched the first season of the series, this was a nice refresher on the main points of the story in that season. This could also work well as a way to introduce someone to Yowamushi Pedal, as long as it’s explained that the race shown in the movie doesn’t actually conclude because the conclusion appears in the second season of the television series.

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