Manga Review: Yowamushi Pedal Volume 13

Yowamushi Pedal focuses on an otaku named Onoda Sakamichi, who ends up joining Sohoku High School’s bicycle racing club through some interesting incidents. He’s one of the six riders for his school to compete at the Inter-High race.

Yowamushi Pedal Volume 13
Written by: Wataru Watanabe
Publisher: Akita Publishing Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: January 14, 2020

Volume 13 continues the third and final day of the Inter-High race. At the beginning of the volume, Sakamichi catches up to Imaizumi. Not too long after, Midousuji catches up to them, and the race is on between Imaizumi and Midousuji. I loved seeing how Imaizumi gained enough confidence during the Inter-High that Midousuji’s taunts no longer get to him. In fact, Imaizumi is willing to throw the taunting right back at Midousuji… much to Midousuji’s surprise. Midousuji tries to brush it off and dismiss the diss that Imaizumi gave him. However, the reader can tell that Midousuji doesn’t seem to know how to handle it when someone he had easily mentally tormented before is no longer affected by the taunting.

The next seven chapters focus primarily on the race between Imaizumi and Midousuji. This race is both intense and exciting for the reader, especially with how much more emphasis there is on the action than there is on the dialogue. However, in the last couple of chapters, we get to see a little more insight into Midousuji, as well as his final thoughts before the final result of their personal race is decided.

And during this set of chapters, Sakamichi’s mother appears at the finish line and runs into Miyahara, Manami’s friend again. We get some interesting interactions between the two, and it’s especially amusing to see how she’s clueless when she comes to her son but picking up on Miyahara’s feelings for Manami.

But the race isn’t over for Imaizumi yet, even though his bicycle frame isn’t holding up. There’s still a threat from Hakone Academy, and Manami shoots ahead to not only catch up to Imaizumi, but to surpass him as well. But Sakamichi catches up, and Imaizumi sends him forward to face off against Manami for the finish line.

While Manami and Sakamichi are having their own race, Fukutomi catches up to Imaizumi and the two of them talk. We get to see a flashback of when Manami was chosen to be part of Hakone’s team for the Inter-High, which includes the reactions of the others. The race in the flashback between Fukutomi and Manami was interesting to see, and it helps the reader to understand why Fukutomi is convinced that Manami has what it takes to win.

The race between Manami and Sakamichi is intense, but also fun to read. This is what Manami wished for when the two of them met earlier in the series. During their race, the reader gets to delve into Manami’s mind and see what kind of mindset he has as he’s approaching the end of the race. Manami, though, received conflicting advice from Fukutomi and Toudou before the Inter-High… but it looks like Toudou’s advice is winning out. Manami’s trick seems a bit questionable, but it’s not a deterrent for Sakamichi. The volume ends with the two of them being neck-in-neck, and only 500 meters away from the finish line.

What I’ve loved about reading the manga after seeing the anime is realizing just how faithful the anime was to its original source material. The anime didn’t feel a need to take anything out, and nothing was added, either. Even though I may already be familiar with the story from the anime, that hasn’t hampered my enjoyment of the manga. I find that I enjoy the drama and the action just as much reading these volumes as I did when I first saw the anime episodes as a simulcast on Crunchyroll a few years ago.

Even though I know how the Inter-High is going to ultimately end, I’m still looking forward to reading the next volume to see how the end of the race and the aftermath are depicted in the original manga source material.

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