Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line: Episode 16 – “Sohoku Falls Behind”

Is it just me, or does the title of this episode sound ominous?

The episode opens with Izumida and Kishigami rejoining their respective teams at the front of the pack. Right now, at the front, there’s all of Hakone Academy’s team, all of Kyoto Fushimi’s team… and Naruko from Sohoku. This has got to be awkward for Naruko. In fact, we get a monologue of Naruko’s thoughts that corroborates this.

We then go to some of the other members of Sohoku’s team (Teshima, Imaizumi, and Sakamichi) trying to catch up to Naruko. From a flashback of Teshima’s, as well as from his thoughts, we can tell that he’s not feeling very confident about catching up to the riders at the front. While I wish a miracle could happen, this episode title isn’t giving me any faith that such a miracle will occur. Teshima knows he has to try to do something, but he has no idea what to do. Unfortunately, the situation becomes worse as pursuers suddenly appear behind them. It doesn’t help that this team is taunting our guys from Sohoku. Grrr. The guy from the other team (Kumamoto Daiichi) is really annoying.

Oh, Sakamichi remembers the captain of that team from the previous year, and we learn that this new captain is still smarting from last year’s Inter-High. This still doesn’t excuse his cocky attitude. Teshima tries to strike a bargain about working together until they reach the front, but I’m guessing the other captain is going to say “no” and laugh in his face. Well, he didn’t laugh, but he brought up last year’s humiliation and says their team is through cooperating. Annnd… Kumamoto Daiichi moves ahead. But as they leave, their captain gives the guys from Sohoku a parting shot… the pack behind them is slowly gaining speed.

Imaizumi is now kicking himself for making the wrong choice earlier in the race. Imaizumi, please don’t blame yourself. Both Teshima and Imaizumi seem to have given up hope, but not Sakamichi. Apparently, he saw on the board on the referee car that there’s two riders riding ahead of the pack. Could this be… the remaining two Sohoku riders? Has the miracle come to pass after all? Even though this isn’t confirmed, this seems to perk Teshima and Imaizumi back up. While Teshima wants to believe this, he realizes he’s the captain and needs to be realistic. Teshima decides not to slow down and wait for them, and instead encourages the three of them to push ahead. Sakamichi isn’t giving up hope, though, and I really hope he’s right!

We now switch to Aoyagi and Kaburagi, who are trying to catch up with Teshima and the others… and they’re going pretty fast. Unfortunately, we don’t stay with them long, and we return to Teshima, Imaizumi, and Sakamichi. Teshima’s still convinced that Aoyagi and Kaburagi won’t be able to catch up. Right as it looks like we might find out if Aoyagi and Kaburagi are going to catch up, we get a flashback of Teshima and Aoyagi when they were first years on Sohoku’s team. We see their hopes and wishes for competing in the Inter-High by the time they’re third-years.

Annnd… YES! The miracle happens! Aoyagi and Kaburagi have caught up with the other three! YAY! Awww… Teshima cries when he sees them, because he’s given up hope that this would happen. I think Teshima needs a hug. And this flashback appreciation that Teshima has for Aoyagi is very touching.

The reunion was wonderful. And Kaburagi learning the truth about Aoyagi leaving the team to retrieve him… Kaburagi’s reaction was hilarious AND priceless! But after the jubilation, Teshima starts regrouping his team and giving orders.

I’m guessing the next episode will focus on these five trying to pass Kumamoto Daiichi and catching up with Naruko and the others at the front. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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