Yowamushi Pedal New Generation is a two-disc set that includes all 25 episodes of the series as well as a couple of bonus features.

Yowamushi Pedal New Generation
English Publisher: Discotek Media
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: June 28, 2022

Even though this third season is titled, Yowamushi Pedal New Generation, it doesn’t start with the third years being gone from their respective teams. Instead, the first eight episodes of the season see the various teams getting their new team captains and then finishing off their school year after the third years leave their respective teams.

For Sohoku, Sakamichi finds himself having to deal with Makishima’s sudden departure due to him heading off to school in England, and how this sudden change affects his performance with the team.

During one of the final races of the season before everyone moves up a year, Teshima discovers an old friend, Akishiba, is on Hakone Academy’s team. Between becoming Sohoku’s captain and this discovery, Teshima becomes more of a focus in this season than he had been in the previous two seasons. Teshima gets quite a bit of character development in Yowamushi Pedal New Generation, and I really came to like him even more as a character. He’s a good captain for Sohoku’s team, and he embodies the dynamics that had developed for the team during the previous two seasons of the series.

Before the next school year starts, we see Naruko go through a time wondering if he should remain a sprinter or try to become an all-rounder after Imaizumi brings up the possibility to him. When Naruko returns to his home racing track, I was surprised to see who else showed up there. This unexpected person is ultimately the cause for the decision that Naruko makes about his position on Sohoku’s team.

When the new school year starts, three new characters join Sohoku’s team: Sugimoto’s younger brother, Sadatoki, as well as two friends named Kaburagi and Danchiku. Kaburagi comes across as being full of himself, since both he and Danchiku come from a prestigious team. Not only does Kaburagi have an ego, he’s also not terribly bright. Fortunately, he does have Danchiku to help ground him somewhat. Kaburagi easily replaced Sugimoto as the most annoying character of Sohoku’s team.

Speaking of Sugimoto, this season of Yowamushi Pedal helped to humble him considerably. The major turning point for him was when he competed in the first-year race as a second year, with the goal of winning the race to potentially get a spot for the Inter-High. He was up against Kaburagi and Danchiku, who were also vying for spots on the Inter-High team. I actually found myself rooting for Sugimoto to win this race. Sadly, he doesn’t, but this experience seems to humble him, and he starts taking charge of the support team that aids their team at the Inter-High.

During the training camp, a Sohoku character named Koga comes to the forefront. He’s been seen in the background as the team’s mechanic previously, and it turns out he’s actually a good rider who had been sidelined due to an injury. Koga, who’s now a third-year, reemerges as a rider during the training camp and races Teshima. The wager: the captainship of Sohoku’s team. The training camp provided backstory for Koga, as well as some more backstory for Teshima.

Hakone Academy and Kyoto Fushimi have added new members as well. Hakone gained a big, muscular, obnoxious loudmouth named Doubashi, along with Shinkai’s younger brother, Yuto. During this season, more emphasis was placed on Doubashi than on Yuto.

For Kyoto Fushimi, the standout new member is Kishigami. We first see him as a masseuse for the team, and he obviously takes too much interest in other cyclists’ muscles. But it turns out that Kishigami is also a rider, and he practices on his own time. The only person on the team who knows about Kishigami’s training is Midousuji.

The first day of the Inter-High also begins during Yowamushi Pedal New Generation. With this Inter-High, Sakamichi has to deal with the pressure of being last year’s winner and how wearing the #1 tag makes him a target of other schools. Of course, Sakamichi hadn’t even remotely expected this, since this is only his second Inter-High. But this is a rather important plot point, because by becoming this target, it makes Sakamichi less of a focus during the last couple of episodes of the season.

Right at the end of Yowamushi Pedal New Generation, the race to the first day’s finish line is just getting underway. At the end of the final episode, though, we get an additional scene of the three Sohoku alumni having a reunion instead of the usual omake.  While we do see Kinjou a couple of times at his college, this marks the first time we see all three of these characters together since the very first episode of the season.

I was impressed with how Sohoku evolves with their new team during this season, and I appreciated the pacing for the storytelling. While there’s obviously more story to be told in another season, this season hits the narrative beats just right. It didn’t feel like the story was being stretched out or was being rushed. The races were always exciting, and I found myself rooting for someone to win each race. Unfortunately, for the two Inter-High races that appear in this season, I chose the wrong person both times.

Something I hadn’t noticed when I watched this series as a simulcast, but did this time, is a design choice made for the logo of Yowamushi Pedal New Generation. Instead of having an “A” in the word “Generation,” it’s a delta symbol. In math, a delta symbol represents change, and this design choice is a perfect touch for an anime season that ultimately focuses on change.

When it comes to this Blu-ray release, it has 1.33.1 4:3 / 1080p High Definition video. The audio is Japanese Linear PCM 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or the audio quality of this release.

There are a total of three bonus features included in this release. The first is a textless opening, and the second is a textless ending. The other feature is roughly six minutes of promos associated with Yowamushi Pedal New Generation. There are some to promote the television airing of the series, and most of the rest are promotional spots for the Japanese DVD and Blu-ray releases for the season. I liked this feature but was a little surprised at how many promos were included.

This Blu-ray release of Yowamushi Pedal New Generation is worth picking up if you’re a fan of the series and want to add this season to your anime home video library.

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