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Whenever I think about this anime, I’m instantly transported back to that one time I went to yaoi-con and was browsing the artist alley. Right there, by the door, was an artist with some super cute merch! So cute that I decided to buy some of their stuff without knowing the anime.
I hardly, if ever, do this. I like to spend money on my OTPs and favorite shows, sometimes on OCs, but shows I haven’t watched? Nope. But I just couldn’t resist these pins!
Fast-forward sometime later, and yes, I’m finally getting to that show!!
From what I’ve gathered in just one episode, Yowamushi Pedal is an anime about competitive biking. The club seems to have really good members, as they all have really impressive codenames like “The Peak Spider” and “The Rampaging Human Bullet”, and as first-year potential, we have Imaizumi, who has a complex over placing second in his last middle school race. So much, that he is hyperfocused on “improving” just to beat this unknown (to us) nemesis. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if he clashes with the other members. He seems a bit bigheaded and focused on the wrong reasons for athletics
And because this is a sports anime, we also have cute and adorable Onoda. Onoda, who just wants to spend his high school life as an otaku, decides that he must gather enough members to reopen the anime and manga club, but constantly finds himself being questioned about his biking prowess, which he has honed with the power of otaku passion.
After all, if you don’t need to spend money on transportation, then that means more money for anime merch, right? Genius. I love the way he thinks. Big brains in this house
As for why I hadn’t started this show sooner… honestly, the art didn’t grab me that much. I thought the expressions were a little weird and creepy, and maybe it’s because it’s too soon in the anime, but so far I’ve been sort of spared from intense stares and creepy grins. But I will comment that I’m kind of sad about the animation “quality”. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just have different preferences
For the most part, I’m finding everything really cute and I love the character designs (ok, the guy with long green hair is so COOL! And of course, our mains are super cute in different ways), but when the characters are riding their bikes, we start to see a lot of CG moments. Some moments that stood out to me the most were at the start when we’re getting these sort of flashbacks of racing, and then when Onoda is riding his bike to school and all the kids are heading to the bus stop.
I suppose this is the part where I thank I must read subtitles because they kept me semi-distracted in later moments
I’ve never been a huge fan of CG because I feel like it really takes away from the feel of the characters. They start to look all plastic-like, their anatomy starts to not be right (catch me hyper-focusing on the joints, squish squish, only air in there), and just, I don’t like how glaringly different it is to the rest of the show
I’m crossing my fingers there’s not much of this later, especially during the races, but who am I kidding, that’s kind of the purpose of using it in this show. I like that we do get close-ups of the character’s faces as they’re biking though because it breaks that CG style, but I just wish it wasn’t there at all (and now you all know why I don’t touch CG shows)
Now that I’ve ranted on that, the characters!
I only watched the first episode for this first impression because I felt enough happened that I could write how I’m feeling. Plus, I was afraid I’d get so into this show that by the time I remembered to stop, it would be too late to call this a “first impression” so we’ve technically not met too many people
We mainly just have Onoda, who just wants to live the weeb life in high school and have friends, Imaizumi, who is his own sort of weeb, and a girl that is unapologetically a bike weeb (Miki). God, so many weebs in this show. I have a feeling I’m going to really enjoy it
Well, except for Miki’s friend. I refuse to remember her name. How dare she act like that with cute little Onoda!
Am I the only one who could see the Onoda and Imaizumi potential?! Probably not. I’m like what, seven years late to the party? I haven’t run off to ao3 YET because it’s always good to know a bit more about the show and characters before jumping into such spoiler-filled territory, but oh, was I so tempted
I just LOVE how adorable Onoda is and how big Imaizumi is compared to him, his roughness, but also how he worried and was nice to Onoda (except for the racing bit like bro, what are you doing challenging someone who just rides their bike non-competitively?!). We can totally see Onoda making those angry flames burn brighter, but I think with more interaction, Onoda can really mellow out Imaizumi
Like, I’m getting these Kageyama angry vibes from him. Remember how Kageyama was so impressed by Hinata back when they were in middle school, and then there were those harsh words of “what the hell have you been doing all this time” (or something). I don’t really see Imaizumi saying that but I do feel that aggression
Besides, I think he’s also charmed by Onoda. DON’T DENY IT. How can you possibly be mean to baby Onoda and his tiny body and his round eyes and his baby haircut and those round glasses and that cute boyish smile AND THE BLUSHING *starts crying*
The amount of cute in Onoda’s bones is off the charts. He’s just so bubbly and adorable. And I kind of worry about all those biking accidents he’s been having. And it’s only been the first day of class!
Also, Onoda’s voice is SO familiar but I can’t figure out from what show I’ve heard it from. It’s like, on the tip of my tongue, niggling at my brain. Maybe I’ll figure it out one day
Obviously, Onoda’s going to join this bike racing club instead of reviving the anime and manga club, but I think that what he actually craves is being able to be himself without shame and having friends. I think that if the others are like Miki, and eventually there WILL be bonding (sports anime world must-have), I think Onoda can get what he wanted, just maybe not in the way he expected. Or at least, I hope so!
And he’ll obviously come away with a soft marshmallow boyfriend. GOD, that ending scene was truly the cutest thing ever! We know your secret now bad boy Imaizumi~
Oh, and I haven’t said it yet but Imaizumi should calm down as well. It would really be a shame if he let all those negative feelings turn into a “tyrant King” but more importantly, we don’t want him to get hurt! When he fell off his bike at home and his legs buckled, I felt that in my legs like please be careful! That stuff HURTS
I don’t really have any idea of how this show is going to play out but there are four seasons, so there’s a lot of content to get through! If you’ve watched this show already, let me know what you thought of it. Am I in for a great ride?