The first half of the episode takes place in the evening between the first and second day of the Inter-High race. We start out with a light-hearted moment, when Sakamichi’s mother drops by unexpectedly at the place where Sohoku’s team is staying. She gets to meet Aoyagi and Koga for the first time, in addition to seeing Naruko again. Seeing Aoyagi and Koga interacting with her was rather amusing. While Sakamichi’s mother does still seem to be a little clueless this year, she’s acting nowhere near as clueless as she did at the previous year’s Inter-High. I was also impressed that she gave them some advice that actually helped to pump them up a little.
There was a funny side note about hats she had brought for all of Sohoku’s team. She was actually short one, because she had given it to a nice young man who gave her directions. There’s a punch line as to who the nice young man was, but I’m not going to reveal it in order to avoid spoilers.
Meanwhile, Midousuji has gone off on his own without informing his teammates, so they panic and start looking for him. When we see Midousuji riding around, he really comes across as someone who’s lost it after tying for second place with Naruko. At one point, I was afraid that he was so focused on his sulking, that he wouldn’t be paying enough attention to the traffic around him. We see one of his teammates, a third year who we usually don’t see any focus on, looking for Midousuji. I was almost afraid that maybe he would end up in an accident or something. Fortunately, these fears ended up being unfounded.
The second half of the episode takes place the next morning. Before the start of the second day of the Inter-High, Sakamichi meets Shinkai’s younger brother, Yuto, who informs Sakamichi of the nickname he had gained from the previous year’s race. Sakamichi actually had no clue that he had acquired this nickname, so it was hilarious to see his reaction to the news. Sakamichi is challenged to a race, but he doesn’t make any decision before his challenger leaves to return to his team. But later, we see in Sakamichi’s thoughts that he feels he can’t race Yuto because of something Teshima said at that morning’s team meeting. And in the usual Yowamushi Pedal fashion, the episode ends right before the next race begins.
This episode did a great job of letting the audience see what the three main teams were doing between the end of the first day and the start of the second. Kyoto Fushimi and Sohoku got focused on more during the first half, and Hakone Academy was focused on in the second half. After how Hakone Academy performed during the first day of the race, it’ll be interesting to see if they can maintain their streak for the second day or if other teams will be able to break through.
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