Never underestimate the power of an otaku when he wants something!
What They Say:
Imaizumi witnesses Sakamichi climbing the high school’s steep rear gate slope on his mommy bike while singing. In order to test his strength, Imaizumi challenges Sakamichi to a bicycle race. Sakamichi is surprised, but hearing Imaizumi’s offer to join the anime club if he loses, Sakamichi accepts the challenge. Kanzaki Miki and her friends hear about the race and look on as Sakamichi and Imaizumi’s rear gate slope bicycle race begins!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When we last left Imaizumi, he had challenged Onoda to a race up the old hill leading to their high school. Onoda is initially hesitant and refuses, but when Imaizumi learns that Onoda is trying to re-create the anime club, he offers to join if Onoda beats him. After some akward back and forth Onoda accepts!
We learn that Miki is a bike otaku and has an older brother who runs a bike shop, and she gets beyond excited about the race, getting some fan girls who think Imaizumi is dreamy to attend the race. Onoda is initially scared by all the attention, but when Miki tells him that everyone will think he’s cool if he wins on his mommy bike against someone with a professional bike, he gets his courage, and launches out to win the race to get one more member for his anime club. Onoda is shocked to see how fast he goes when he peddles hard, keeping pace with scooters, and hesitates briefly at the beginning of the hill, but steels himself and begins climbing. Imaizumi does catch up and pass Onoda with ease, and then he stops, feeling defeated. But Miki, with her knowledge of bikes, realizes that Onoda hasn’t moved the seat on his bike since he was in 4th grade, and after doing so, he is able to get so much more power out of his legs pushing his pedals, that he races off to catch Imaizumu. We’re left having to wait until next week to see who the winner of the first-ever Miyashita to Sohoku Rear Entrance road racing event will be!
It sounds ridiculous. Hell, it IS ridiculous. But that’s what makes it so good. When I compared the first episode in a lot of ways to Initial D, I wasn’t off at all. There are great moments of animation that focus on the bicycles in this episode, and the music they play when Onoda is racing off at the beginning reminded me of ‘I Need A Hero’ by Bonnie Tyler. A similar sounding song plays when Imaizumi launches off after his generous 15 minute handicap, and as he catches up to Onoda there are dramatic scenes where his gears shift and there’s sparks and he’s passing cars and these girls think he’s riding a motorcycle and ALRIGHT IT FEELS LIKE IT’S A RACING ANIME EXCEPT THEY’RE ON BICYCLES AND THAT’S AWESOME. Because that’s exactly what it is.
But for real, it’s dramatic and fun in all the right ways to give you a rest from serious or intense shows that might be on this season. And that’s a good thing. I think too often people get caught up on an anime needing depth and serious problems and being full of intense action and loss and sadness and fall and redemption. But sometimes, you want something fun. Something that you enjoy and can laugh and get excited over that is, in the end, kind of silly. And that’s exactly what Pedal is. This is easily on the high list of my new shows for this season, and we won’t be dropping it any time soon.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Intel Alienware laptop, Windows 7, 17’ Screen at 1600×900 resolution