Tuesday, February 04, 2014

10 Second Anime - Yowamushi Pedal - Episode 17

Yowamushi Pedal - Episode 17

One 2nd-year got his spirit crushed by the power of otaku, but the other didn't. Trust the imagination of a sports club anime in drawing out the tension.

I was sure we would finish up the race in the first half of the episode, and have some downtime in the second half, but noooo. The plot just said, hey, you forgot about that other 2nd-year. Onoda's otaku power didn't crush him. I'm still not going to learn their names, though.

So, Perm-guy miscalculated, he went to chase after Onoda, started cramping up, and Imaizumi and Naruko passed him by. Quiet-guy was doing his job, and came up to him right on schedule. He pauses, and reminds Perm-guy that they promised to get to the Inter-High race together. With morale restored, they take off together, with Quiet-guy doing the pulling. Their extra close pace-line has to have a title, this being a sports club anime and all: Synchro Straight Twin. Yeah, Tadokoro should stick to food clinics instead naming cycling techniques.

Meanwhile, up the road, Onoda is just about to collapse like he did at the Welcome race at the top of climb. This time around, he's got his teammates to catch him. They see the lights of the finish line, and know they're close, but Imaizumi hears the 2nd-years coming up behind them. They've got to pick up the pace! Onoda says he can't go any faster, but they tell him to follow. Onoda finally feels the power of the paceline. Unfortunately, it's dark and hitting a crack in the road slows him down while he recovers. In those few seconds, Quiet-guy and Perm-guy already catch him.

Naruko sees Onoda is dropped, but Imaizumi won't let him go back to pick him up. Naruko suspects it's Imaizumi being his old ruthless self, but he's wrong. Imaizumi gives him two justifications for continuing on. They're already at their limit, and they don't have the strength to catch up to the 2nd-years again if they get past, which would let Onoda's efforts in breaking Perm-guy's wall be in vain. And second: Onoda isn't just a climber, he's a chaser! He reminds Naruko about the events of the Welcome race, most of his catching up was done on the flats before they got to the hill. Trust in his chase, not just in his climb. Imaizumi is right, of course, as the 2nd-years notice they can't shake Onoda.

With less than a kilometer to go, the experienced cyclists get into sprint mode. Onoda hasn't seen this before, but he feels the change in atmosphere. They've gotten into their drops, they've stood up, and they've started ramp up their pedal speed. Onoda tries to do the same on his brake hoods, but he's not catching up. He recalls a conversation with Naruko about that part of the handlebar. He says, you feel this "Guaah!" and you go really fast. Onoda doesn't understand at the time. He tries it now, and he goes "guaah!" With his chase, and his "dantsingu," he catches the other 5, and they're all abreast for the finish line. Who wins? Bah, you know you'll have to wait another week.

This week's cycling porn includes more shoes, pedals, sprinting, and a brand name walkback:

Back in Episode 13, we had a full-on Calorie Mate product placement. I guess we're back to good old Stamina Jelly. We've got some clicking in, clicking out. All those shoes look like Shimano shoes to me. We see Onoda recover nicely by making sure to land on his back wheel first. The Synchro Straight Twin shows the theoretical limit of a paceline, which is to follow the wheels as close as you can. Normally, it's a bad idea to overlap wheels, because sudden movement on that back wheel can wash out a front wheel. We see Quiet-guy give his thigh cramp the old Jens Voigt treatment, "Shut up, legs!" And finally, we see Onoda go all "guaah!" on the drops. To help visualize how much power this stance on the bike gives to your push down on the pedals, take a bungie cord in both hands, bend over, raise one of your legs, position the bungie cord underneath your foot, and simultaneously straighten your leg with a kick as you pull up on cord. On a bike, it's the frame that's the bungie cord, which is why sprinters talk about wanting a stiff frame. You also see that sprinters have bigger shoulders and chests than climbers, because they actually need that upper body strength to yank on the handlebars. They really do go "guaah!"

And finally, I know Onoda wants to emulate his climbing mentor Makishima, but wrapping his long hair in a towel is not that cool.

Okay, okay. Makishima pulls that look off. I'll give you that.

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