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Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club Episode #07 Anime Review

3 min read

Episode 7-2What They Say:
As the girls enter the middle of the Night Criterium, they find themselves struggling to catch up to the “Mr. Bear” in the lead while the second- and third-years pursue them from behind. However, things become even more difficult when Fuyune and Tomoe start to run out of stamina, and even Natsumi’s shoulder begins hurting…

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Night Criterium is under way (for real this time) and the cycling team is pushing itself to the limit, or as much of a limit 10 Km at about 12 MPH can challenge I suppose. Recovering nicely from her spill, Natsumi is poised to lead the girls and through some foundational racing strategy have found themselves near the front of the pack. What is otherwise a very impressive outing for the team’s first race, is overshadowed slightly by a cosplayer of all things. That’s right, leading this race is the venerable “Mr. Bear”, and it’s taking every bit effort for the team to simply catch up let alone pass the animal. Already utilizing their superior equipment and racing tactics, what can the girls (especially Hiromi) do to close the gap?

Episode 7-3

Recovering from her fall at the close of the previous episode, Natsumi and the gang attack the race with a renewed confidence and vigor. Set for 10 laps around a 1Km track through the high school campus, the Night Criterium is an annual school tradition and a surprisingly hot media bed. With all eyes on them thanks to a handy drone cam, the team feels the pressure to win, even if the art and action doesn’t do a great job of conveying this. Typical to form in this show, JC Staff and company employ plenty of CGI and incredibly slow pacing to make even a full-fledged race like this, well, boring. With the race being as short as it is, one would think it would fit snugly into a single episode…but no. The writers are actively trying to stretch this bad boy into THREE parts, almost an entire hour dedicated to 10 laps around a 1 Km track, it feels absurd.

Episode 7-1

The actual conflict here I suppose is not the race itself, but the inner turmoil of the girls in trying to stay focused and confident. Each member of the team has a little bit of time to showcase their individual talent, be it through course memorization, strategic planning, or sheer grit, that can elevate the team along the way. Except for Hiromi, however, who should clearly do her part by driving to the finish as a sprinter; she will be the last member to have any leg strength left so it will most likely befall upon her to seal a win…against a bear. That’s the killer here, the character development they get is curtailed by the fact that a cosplay bear on a “mommy bike” is whipping their asses; especially considering that the girls are taking the bear as a serious threat and not some funny side act, as most would considering the circumstances here. With just two laps to go before the finish, one final rocket launch style attack is all the girls, and Hiromi, have left in the tank to assault Mr. Bear’s seemingly insurmountable lead.

In Summary:
Marred by excruciating slow pace and poor CGI, the Night Criterium gets its 2nd of three parts in gear, covering a majority of the race and the girls’ struggles to gain the ground they lost helping Natsumi up from her previous fall. Next episode should seal the deal for the team, one way or another, in terms of the fated “results” they need to obtain to prove their legitimacy.

Grade: C-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll