This episode backtracks slightly to what we saw at the end of Episode 23, where Sakamichi encounters Toudou while out riding his bike before the last day of the Inter-High. They start chatting, and Toudou says he got a call , and that he’s chasing after a man who’s riding up ahead. I bet I know who it is… let’s see if I’m right.
But we learn that Toudou is in college, and his former Hakone Academy teammates are now his competitors in college road racing. Toudou says it’s disappointing that he didn’t get to see Sakamichi and Manami battle it out during the second day of the Inter-High. Even though Toudou still acts much the same as he did when he was in high school, he does seem to be genuinely interested in Sakamichi and actually having a conversation with him. But the conversation is cut short when Toudou realizes he still needs to catch up to the person he’s chasing after.
Now Sakamichi realizes what Toudou said about chasing someone, and now he’s curious as to who it would be. Sakamichi decides he’s going to chase after Toudou to find out what’s going on. He catches up to Toudou and asks who he’s chasing after. Yes, from what Toudou says, I know I’m right about who this is. I think Sakamichi has pieced this together, but Toudou says that Sakamichi should see for himself. Yes, now that the rider is coming into view… I can recognize that dancing style anywhere.
Oh, Sakamichi’s face when he sees Makishima… this is so priceless. But after this sweet reunion, Toudou makes it clear it’s now a race between Toudou and Makishima. But Sakamichi asks if he can still ride with Toudou, anyway. After a moment, Toudou decides that history needs witnesses, so he lets Sakamichi accompany them.
This reunion between Makishima and Toudou is very touching, although Toudou has to kind of ruin it by asking why Makishima hasn’t answered his texts and calls. LOL! But then Toudou then says it’s about Sakamichi’s feelings, not his, because he’s sure Sakamichi has sent Makishima mountains of letters. Makishima says that’s why he’s here, and then starts moving ahead of Toudou.
And now the race between Makishima and Toudou is on. The banter between these two during their race is very amusing. LOL! And Sakamichi is watching this race with such an astonished reaction. But we hear him think that what he’s seeing is amazing.
They reach the peak, which is where Makishima and Toudou were racing to. Sakamichi is a little disappointed that this race is over so quickly. You know what, Sakamichi? So am I. Even though it wasn’t a race in the Inter-High, it was still interesting and kind of exciting to see these two racing against each other again. Sakamichi says the race was amazing, but it appeared they both reached the peak at the same time.
As they are on the downhill, we see Toudou and Makishima talking about Sakamichi’s statement about them reaching the peak at the same time. We hear them both say that it’s not good that they tied. Does this mean they’re going to have another race against each other? Yep, I was right! They turn around so they can go back uphill and have a second race. But poor Sakamichi isn’t good on U-turns. Will he be able to witness who wins round two? But we can’t forget about Sakamichi’s cadence, so he should be able to catch up.
LOL! We see them doing a round three and a round four. But be careful, Sakamichi… you don’t want to wear yourself out the night before the final day of the Inter-High! And now round five! Yikes, Makishima and Toudou! Now they’re doing a sixth round and claiming it’s the last one. And through narration, Sakamichi confirms the sixth round is the last, and he gives the results of who won between the various rounds.
We see Manami and a couple of the non-racing members of Hakone Academy seeing the bicycles from their room at the inn, but I don’t think they can tell who’s who out there.
Going back to Makishima, Toudou, and Sakamichi, we see that Sakamichi grabbed a couple of drinks for the other two. What a sweet gesture! Sakamichi is nervous about talking to and seeing Makishima after so long, but I like what Makishima said in order to calm him down. But before Makishima leaves to rejoin Kinjou and Tadokoro, he thanks Sakamichi for all the letters. Awww.
But then Makishima asks Sakamichi if he’s OK, because his letters made it seem like he was anxious about the Inter-High. Makishima gives him some good advice here.
This episode was a nice little break from the Inter-High race, but I think this encounter with Makishima is what Sakamichi needed in order to have the determination to go out all on the third day.
With only one episode left for this season, are we going to be starting out the third day with the last episode before taking a break for an undetermined amount of time? Or will it be another episode set primarily in the night before the third day, with the third day just getting underway before taking a break? It’ll be interesting to see what happens in next week’s episode.
Oh, the episode ends with Manami sneaking out of the inn and riding up the hill on his bike. Will the next episode see Manami and Sakamichi encountering each other and racing? Hmmm…