Peer pressure often prevents us from being the person we want to be. Everyone experiences this during their teenage years. For Onoda Sakamichi, he finds his place by pedalling and pedalling forward.
Yowamushi Pedal is a story of an otaku finding joy in life through the sport, in this case, cycling. Nobody, including himself, knew he would be capable of this sport, especially since he rides his cheap bicycle from school to Akihabara once a week. However, somehow, some way he finds his way to the cycling club at his school.
Unlike other sports anime, Onoda is not a hot-blood, he is timid and weak. He pedals because his aching muscles and the wind beating against him makes him feel alive. While Onoda may not be likeable, much like Mihashi from “Big Windup”, you can’t help but root for the poor guy.
The other members of Souhoku’s cycling club are fairly exciting, though most of them are nothing you haven’t already seen before in a sports anime. There’s Onoda’s rival, Imaizumi, but the rivalry seemingly vanishes into thin air as the Interhigh tournament approaches. Naruko represents the life and energy of the club, while the three seniors unsurprisingly serve as mentors to the first-years. The most interesting of all the characters is Makishima. His long, green hair, skinny body, and creepy smile have him come across as a creepy dude, but gradually you come to like him.
There is also a rivalry between Hakone High and Souhoku (two high schools). This rivalry feels genuine, honest and most importantly, real as a result of a number of flashbacks, and these scenes are handled wonderfully by the studio.
Yowamushi Pedal does an excellent job of being easy to understand to those who do not know a lot about the sport of cycling. It does occasionally stray from realism during the Interhigh tournament, though. Every main character seems to have some sort of superpower, similar to a lot of sports Animes. The Anime is also one of the best-looking sports anime. However, the best part of the visuals is the most basic: colour. Too many shows forget the importance of colour — something this Anime does well to capitalize on.
All the OSTs, soundtracks used throughout the Anime really bring this Anime to life and are used extremely well. This is most prominent during scenes where the moment is intense, high action, or instances where the characters need to be motivated. Gotta love a good soundtrack!
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