Once upon a time, there were two friends who loved watching anime series. One of them watched more than the other. She told the other not to watch a certain sports anime centered on road racing because it isn’t good. That’s why the other friend decided not to watch it.
Time passed and the other friend did not know what to do as she procrastinated with her academics despite having finished re-watching a certain sports anime about volleyball and catching up with a new sports anime about figure skating. So, she started watching that anime about road racing and after some episodes, she got sucked in and ended up binge-watching the first and second seasons plus the movie of the anime.
Obviously, I am that other friend. It took me four days to finish them all. For someone who said she won’t watch it, I think four days is fast.
Yowamushi Pedal, or YowaPeda, is a series written and illustrated by Wataru Watanabe. TMS Entertainment is the studio that handled its animation. Just recently, the third season is confirmed to air starting on 9 January 2017.
Sakamichi Onada is a wimpy high school freshman who loves anime. He initially wants to enter the anime club, but winds up joining the cycling club after meeting two classmates who are already famous cyclists. He undertakes the grueling training to compete in races, and discovers his own hidden talent in cycling. (Source: ANN)
I guess that plot summary should say “grueling training to compete in races” because he’s only gone to one training camp before jumping on his first ever official race. Unless the races there refer to his races with one or two people. That was one of the things that didn’t sit well with me when I started watching it — the pacing. Too fast development for a beginner. I know Imaizumi mentioned something about Onoda being a fast learner, but still, his improvements are a bit ridiculous for me. Then again, I remembered watching KuroBasu and the flashy plays, so I just stuck with it.
Anyway, from the 23rd episode of the first season to the last episode of the second season, only one official race is covered. (The event lasts for three days, though.) How I admire the patience of the anime-only fans for waiting for the second season. The first season ended with such a cliffhanger!
One of the things I loved about this series is that it has lesser characters it focused on as compared to other sports anime (ehem TeniPuri ehem). Despite the many racers, it only focused on the main rival school’s members and other two characters from another school. These characters are given background and we got to know them in the span of two seasons. I loved the members of both Sohoku and Hakone Gakuen. I loved the relationships between and among each one of them.
Kinjou, Tadokoro, and Makishima were lovable senpaitachi. They guided each of their members. They knew how to encourage each of them. They valued each of the members. Personally, Makishima is my favorite. It always hurts to know that my beloved third year characters from the every sports anime I’ve watched would graduate. He actually made me cry because of that fact. (Oh, I don’t want to think about how I’ll take it once Haikyuu!!’s Suga, Asahi, and Daichi’s turn to graduate.)
I wasn’t initially fond of Aoyagi and Teshima, but they grew on me especially after certain events. They were wonderful supporters. Despite not having the spot to compete for Nationals, they did not give up; instead, they showed their dedication and continued to practice all the while giving support to their senpaitachi and kouhai. As I am currently reading the manga, I’m loving them even more.
Imaizumi (who reminds me of Kageyama Tobio because of their looks and somewhat similar personalities though Imaizumi is intelligent while Kageyama’s just that adorable idiot) is likeable. He strives to be the best of out them all I loved how he developed by the end of the second season. I loved how he interacted with Onoda as well as his friendly rivalry with Naruko.
Aside from Makishima, Naruko Shoukichi is one of my favorite characters here, too! He burns with passion in road racing. Just as warm as this and his favorite color red is his love for his friends. Many times in the series was shown how he deeply cares for his friends, even during races.
I also loved the members of the rival school, Hakogaku. Well, maybe not really all. I was not fond of Fukutachi and Izumida, especially the latter. Though I liked how passionate he is, my head ached with his Andy and Frank. (Oh, in the manga, there’s even more — Fabian.) And I did not like his having to say “
There’s also Hakogaku’s Shinkai, their ace sprinter. To me, he’s more good looking than Toudou, but he’s scarier when he goes all out in sprinting. He is a good senpai to Izumida. I just have an issue with his backstory because, I’m sorry, no matter how cute that rabbit was, I still think the effect on him was a bit overboard.
Anyway, there’s also Arakita. Now, I liked him more than Shinkai because I liked his backstory. His relationship with Fuku-chan is adorable.
Meanwhile, Toudou is my next favorite character from Hakogaku after Manami. This is mainly because of Makishima. Those two are just so adorable! I just love how Toudou is clingy and Makishima is just so cool about it. How he constantly texts and calls Makishima! I loved him most on the movie.
Manami is that adorable cinnamoroll of the group. He’s such an angel. It was adorable seeing his younger self struggling to pedal. (I kinda don’t buy his drama, though.) He’s got some Class President who likes him and I enjoy seeing how he’s either just oblivious of it or he just did not really want to focus on romance. He’s best when he’s being a free spirit of the group.
Midousuji and Ishigaki were the other two who got their own screen time. They’re racers from Kyoto Fushimi. Ishigaki is the captain while Midousuji is the ace. Midousuji is actually involved in Imaizumi’s past and is the one who drove the latter to improve even more. He’s got this ridiculous way of biking and facial expressions. I’m kind of scared of him because of his face. Good thing he has a touching backstory. Anyway, I found Ishigaki likeable because of his character who was ready to support even Midousuji.
The other supporting characters are the Kanzaki siblings, Coach Pierre, Aya, and the other named racers. Miki, the younger Kanzaki, has a big role for bringing Onoda to the world of road racing.
The opening and ending songs are likeable, but the song that caught my attention the most is the Koi no Hime Hime Pettanko song. Normally, I wouldn’t like something like that, but it’s just so memorable! And there is that adorable moment on the movie when it was sang by the characters! (Hime Hime~)
Now, I’ll see how the story goes on the manga. (I hope there’s no more overly exaggerated riding or characters there.) Generally, I wouldn’t say that this is going to my favorite list, but it sure gives me enjoyment, so I’ll be following it for a while. I decided to create a separate post to rant on for the drama adaptation. (I only have the last episode left to watch.)