Anime Spotlight: Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line

Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line is the fourth season for the Yowamushi Pedal anime franchise. The series aired in Japan from January 8-June 25, 2018. The anime was produced by TMS/8PAN, and was directed by Osamu Nabeshima. As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds streaming rights from North America.

This season began right near the end of the first day of the Inter-High race, picking up right where the last episode of Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation had left off. Fortunately, there was a recap of what had happened in that previous episode, which was a nice reminder of how the previous season ended. There was six months between Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation and Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line, so the recap was very appreciated.

The first five episodes of this series focused specifically on the race for the first day’s finish line. Looking back, that sounds like a long time to show who wins the first day of the Inter-High, but I recall the episodes being done in such a way that it didn’t feel like it took five episodes. What I remember is that there was enough backstory and interplay between characters that, while watching this as a simulcast, it didn’t feel like it was stretched out. At such a point I’m able to watch this in a bigger stretch, though, I might feel differently about this.

After this, most of the remaining episodes take place over the course of the second day of the Inter-High. There are some exceptions, though. There’s an episode that takes place after the winner of the first day of the Inter-High is decided, one episode that takes place the evening after the first day and the morning before the start of the second day, one episode takes place the night after the end of the second day of the Inter-High, and the final episode of the season sees the third day of the Inter-High just starting up.

The second day of the Inter-High takes up the bulk of the season, though, but there are some moments that happen here that will surely become classic moments for the series, if they haven’t already. Aoyagi going back to retrieve Kaburagi from the back and singing the “You Are the Princess” song. The one-on-one race between Yuto and Sakamichi. Izumida and Kishigami’s race for the second day’s sprint line. Aoyagi and Kaburagi reuniting with the rest of Sohoku’s team. Midousuji literally throwing Mizuta during the race for the second day’s mountain line. Midousuji’s bragging and blustering at the second day’s award ceremony. All of the team members from Kyoto Fushimi with shaved heads at the beginning of the third day of the Inter-High.

This season of Yowamushi Pedal includes all of the action, humor, character development, and character interactions that fans have come to expect from the franchise. The viewer becomes emotionally invested in many of the characters, and the races are exciting to watch. I’m happy with what I saw in Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line, but I’m a little frustrated by the fact that the season ends just as the third day of the Inter-High is getting going, and there has been no announcement as to when another season of Yowamushi Pedal will be coming. I fear it’s going to be another six month gap, like there had been between Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation and Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line. I’ll miss seeing the bicycle boys each week, but I’m eagerly awaiting news for when a new season will begin airing.

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