Season 1: Completed Episodes: 38/38
Aired: Oct 8, 2013 to Jul 1, 2014
Season 2: Completed Episodes: 24/24
Aired: Oct 7, 2014 to Mar 31, 2015
Producers: TMS Entertainment, Discotek, TOHO animation
Yowamushi Pedal is a manga adaptation originally written by Wataru Watanabe.
Meet Sakamichi Onoda. A massive dork and a otaku. Onoda goes to high school hoping to join an anime club and finally have friends to go to Akihabara with every week. Except the club as disbanded meaning if he want to do that, he needs to reform it! In the process Onoda ends up attracting the attention of the biking club. Making friends and gaining a new skill in the process.
Onoda’s got an undeniable charm which entrances anyone who mets him. He’s a little obvious and very determined. He is also very whole hearted and when he gets something into his head of his, he goes with it. Meaning he needs to be calmed down occasionally. He is also very serious about his duties and if you tell him to do something, he will do it without fail. Onoda is interesting because he doesn’t set being no 1 as his main challenge. Honestly his main challenge is simply to catch up to his friends, which is hard enough given they all have many more years of experience than him. What Onoda has is years of cycling 60 miles to Akiba and back with a children lock on his bike to reduce his distance. Everything which happens after than is just a progression to follow his orders.
Like many sports animes, this anime does have a habit of taking a short amount of time and someone spanning over x amount of episodes. The bulk of the later half of season 1 and the entirety of season 2 takes place during the Interpol race which is set over 3 days. Its the most important race for their age group and its the seniors last chance to win. As well as their last chance to settle old scores. Which brings about another key point of this anime. The main theme? Friendship and teamwork. Clique but its different to most animes.
In most teamwork animes, the friendship is between the team itself, and between the members of their rivals. However in this anime we also see a lot of friendship between the teams, even before the battle is over. The third year climbers from both teams for example. With a fight which makes you yell and scream at the TV. Seriously I was watching this with my team-mate and we were yelling at the TV for people to win. You get so caught up with all the characters you end up uncertain as to who you are supposed to be routing though. Apart from Onoda. You always route for him, even when he is pulling of the impossible.
Even the ‘bad guys’ in this anime like Onoda and are willing to fight fairly with him. Also they can’t help but like him. He just stumps people by saying the things people least expect. And getting his bearlike teammate to sing that anime song while riding up the hill has got to be one of the most funny scenes I have ever seen in anime. And Onoda’s direct rival is one of the most lovely and well mannered people you will ever met with a positive outlook on life. The last race is fun, not traumatic.
Honestly, this anime was one of the best anime I have watched in a while. I love how sports anime’s manage to get you wrapped up in the tale and locked in for more and this anime certainly ticks all those boxes. Its easy to see why its one of the most popular anime in Japan at the moment and I look forward to seeing more from this anime. I only hope they give the manga enough time to write another season worth before scheduling another season. So gold. Definitely Gold.