The beginning of the episode backtracks slightly to the final scene of Episode 16. Tadokoro, Kinjou, and Makishima are in a vehicle headed to the finish line in order to see who wins the race from there. As they head there, Kinjou sees Arakita and asks Tadokoro to stop the vehicle because he sees someone from college. Tadokoro and Makishima are shocked to discover that it’s Arakita, and there’s a fun scene of these four character interacting before we return to the race.

When we return to the race, we backtrack slightly here as well to the final scene between Imaizumi and Midousuji, where Imaizumi is exuding confidence and tells Midousuji to bring it. After mocking Imaizumi in his thoughts, Midousuji agrees to Imaizumi’s challenge. After this, the rest of the episode focuses on these two characters competing to be the one in front as they get closer to the finish line.

At one point, when Imaizumi falls behind, he has a flashback to a conversation he had with Naruko. Considering what Naruko is talking about, this conversation would have had to take place after Naruko lost his unofficial race with Midousuji and had to give up being a sprinter. But after this flashback, Imaizumi finds the determination he needs to catch back to Midousuji. It’s kind of interesting that it’s something Naruko, of all people, says to Imaizumi that gives him the push he needs to keep fighting. We’ve definitely seen over the past two or three episodes that the relationship between Imaizumi and Naruko has improved, even if they themselves haven’t figured that out yet.

Right before the commercial break, Imaizumi gets ahead of Midousuji and makes it to the final downhill in the course. Just as it seems like Imaizumi has it made, the weather suddenly shifts in the mountains and it starts to rain. At one point, Imaizumi skids on the downhill, and this gives Midousuji a chance to catch back up. It becomes a battle between Imaizumi and Midousuji in the rain, and it becomes intense. One of the most exciting parts is when they’re both going at full speed toward a banner that falls, and they both make their bikes jump while riding in the rain, with neither one falling. In addition to the excitement, I’ve been glad to see in this portion of the race that Imaizumi isn’t falling for Midousuji’s tricks and retaining his confidence. This is quite the change from the Imaizumi who participated in the previous year’s Inter-High.

Right at the end of the episode, we see that Onoda is catching up to the two of them in the rain. We hear in his thoughts that he dislikes both the rain and downhills, but he’s still determined to chase after Imaizumi. But something happens right at the end of the episode that could potentially derail Onodoa’s plans.

This was another exciting episode, which was made even more exciting by the fact that you never know what kind of crazy thing to expect from Midousuji as he races when he’s this overconfident. It’ll be interesting to see if, just like the previous year’s Inter-High, if Midousuji’s hubris will cause him to go overboard and force him out of the race.

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