Anime Blu-ray Review: Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE and Yowamushi Pedal Re:ROAD

Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE and Yowamushi Pedal Re:ROAD is a single disc Blu-ray release that includes both of the compilation films for the first two seasons of the anime series. The only audio option is Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE and Yowamushi Pedal Re:ROAD
English Publisher: Discotek Media
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: July 30, 2019

Both compilation movies distill their respective season down to around an hour and a half, but there is some new footage included to serve as “bookends.”

Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE opens with Sakamichi narrating how he ended up joining Sohoku’s bicycle racing club and became part of the group that went to the Inter-High race. After the opening credits, we get to see the first of the new footage that was made specifically for the film. The premise is that Hakone team member Toudou comes from a family that owns a hot springs inn, and he invited Makishima and Sakamichi to come visit after the Inter-High race is over. During their time at the inn, both Sakamichi and Makishima have memories of the events that happened during the first two days of the Inter-High race. Most of the new footage animated for the film was rather enjoyable and worked well as “bridge pieces” between the memories.

Overall, I thought the scriptwriter did a good job condensing down the episodes of the Inter-High down to this film length. To achieve this, it was decided to simply focus on the important events that happened to the members of the Sohoku team. In the anime series, there was the occasional episode where the focus was primarily on non-Sohoku racers, so the events from those episodes weren’t included. And this made sense since it’s Makishima and Sakamichi having the memories of the race. They certainly can’t remember events that happened when they weren’t around! Overall, this condensing down was executed smoothly except at one point where Sakamichi had fallen to last place because he had been involved in a big bike crash. The movie jumped from Naruko realizing that Sakamichi wasn’t with the rest of the team to Sakamichi lying on the ground right after the accident. That felt jumpy, but maybe that was just me.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the omake that appeared after the ending credits of the movie. Since this was always done at the end of the episodes in the anime series, I thought this was a nice touch for the movie.

When it comes to Yowamushi Pedal Re:ROAD, the new “bridge footage” was amusing and it kind of fit into the storytelling of the film, I felt that this new footage wasn’t quite as strong as the new footage in Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE. The new footage focuses on Hakone Academy’s third years surprising Juichi with a trip to an amusement park to thank him for being their team captain. The only important thing about the new footage in this movie is the fact that it directly ties in with the omake that appeared at the end of the film.

Like with the first film, Yowamushi Pedal Re:ROAD did a good job of condensing down the episodes of the second season to around 90 minutes. The action just kept moving and made the film interesting to watch, and it became frustrating at times when the new footage would show up and break up the flow. With this film, I can say that I never really felt like the condensing down made any point of the film feel jumpy.

The video on this Blu-ray release has 1.77.1 16:9 anamorphic widescreen / 1080p High Definition. The audio is Japanese LPCM 2.0. I had no real complaints about either the video or the audio quality of this release.

When it comes to bonus features, all that’s included on this release are textless versions of the openings and closings for both films.

This release will appeal to fans of Yowamushi Pedal who want to have everything released for the franchise in their anime home video library. For fans who want to introduce new people to the franchise, these compilation films would be a great way to condense the first two seasons of the series down to around three hours.

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