Manga Review: Yowamushi Pedal Volume 11

Yowamushi Pedal sees an otaku named Onoda Sakamichi joining the bicycle racing club through some interesting incidents after he fails to get the anime club up and running again. He ends up being selected as one of the six riders to compete at the Inter-High for Sohoku High School’s bicycle racing club.

Yowamushi Pedal Volume 11
Written by: Wataru Watanabe
Publisher: Akita Publishing Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: April 30, 2019

Volume 11 is set during the third and final day of the Inter-High race. Arakita and Manami, two riders from Hakone Academy, have made a temporary alliance with Sakamichi in order to escape the peloton that they’re trapped in. But Machimiya, a rider from the Hiroshima team, isn’t going to make it easy for them. He’s challenged them to a race, and whoever can get 20 meters lead will be considered the leader.

It’s up to Arakita to face off against Machimiya, and during the race, we get to see some backstory for Arakita and how he, a high school delinquent, ended up joining Hakone Academy’s bicycle racing club. I thought this was some great backstory, and it helps the reader to better understand this character and why he acts the way he does.

In the end, the winner of this challenge is on the predictable side. However, the reader basically figures out that Arakita and his makeshift team would have to win in order to catch back up with their respective teams. But once they do, their temporary alliance is over. The rest of this volume primarily focuses on Hakone Academy and Sohoku High School going head to head, but we get one scene of Midousuji and Ishigaki from Kyoto Fushimi right after Arakita’s makeshift team beats Hiroshima in the challenge.

But there are some emotional sections in this battle between the two teams, because we start seeing team members having to fall away and be left behind. And something happens to Kinjou, Sohoku’s captain, right near the end of the volume, that changes the course of this final battle between Hakone and Sohoku.

Volume 11 was an overall exciting read from cover-to-cover. While there were some moments that weren’t as action-packed, such as Arakita’s backstory and some sections where the teams talk about strategy or ponder over what the other team’s strategy is, but a lot of what’s included are action panels that progress the Inter-High race.

Even though I already know how the story is going to progress from watching the anime adaptation, I’m still looking forward to seeing how these events were depicted in the original manga. For me, Volume 12 can’t come out fast enough.

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