Tuesday, October 18, 2016

10 Second Anime - Long Riders! - Episode 1

Ami, a new college student, decides to take on cycling as a hobby with her friend Aoi. She meets new friends and experiences new things on her long distance rides. Season Premiere.

Episode 1 - "A Small Miracle"


Here we have another cute-girls-do-cute-things club procedural, except the girls are in college, so it's technically what the Japanese term a "circle" and it deals with recreational road cycling. It's a formula that works and I'm willing to forgive the blatant use of its conventions just because expensive bikes are involved.

Our conventional main character is Ami. Following the rules, she's clumsy, has never been really good at anything (although she was smart enough to get into a university), but decides to try something totally outside of her experience because she thinks a short folding bike would be easier (and cuter) to ride than her athletic friend Aoi's road bike.

Good bikes are expensive! It's the first thing anybody getting into cycling learns from the huge numbers on the price tags at your local bike shop.

Alpaca Cycle? I thought Love Live was over...

Ami is a bit more responsible than the usual clumsy girl starting a new pastime. She actually saved money by buying an affordable bike, but following the formula, it was also very cute!

There might be a few comparisons made to K-On during the season because Ami's personality is almost exactly like Yui's and she even has a younger sister who appears more down-to-earth.

I guess I'll mention that there are fetishists out there who prize girls' bike seats for the obvious reasons, so I wish Ami hadn't been cherishing "Ponta-kun" (what she dubbed her bike) this way. Still, you can't really fault her because the saddle is the softest part of a bike that you can actually cuddle.

Yes, taking pictures and selfies with your bike is totally part of bike culture. My Finds from the Grind posts on this blog attest to that very well.

Riding a bike on a river path is fun! It's flat, there's no car traffic and hardly any pedestrians. Of course, this means you might pedal too hard if you're inexperienced and don't save anything for the way back.

Bonk! Like so. Ami didn't eat breakfast before her ride and she wasn't packing any food, so, bonk. The Japanese chose to appropriate the British term "hunger knock." If you haven't stored enough glycogen in your muscle groups and you run out of free flowing glucose in your bloodstream, you will crash. I wish they had shown the sudden spike in sweat from the shock, but this is anime, so we can't expect every detail to come through.

The show got this part of group and club riding just right. Ride out to fun little snack shop. Eat. Ride back. And meet other friendly cyclists along the way.

I will mention this right now: it is very rare to see women cyclists. Perhaps 5 percent, maybe less, of the other riders a cyclist sees on a long ride will be women. I'm going to make some sweeping generalizations, but they're just that, generalizations. Women are generally not attracted to endurance sports or physical activities where the use of tools and gear is the focus. If they do end up in such a sport, the draw will be a strong social dynamic from an organized team.

For individual sports, women are generally attracted to activities where the gear is wearable because it fits the general mode of fashion. I see many women runners, joggers and swimmers, but hardly any cyclists. So, that's in general, but this anime is showing you the exceptions because of the social dynamic that comes with any cute girls in a club type show.

The fun thing about meeting the pair of friendly cyclists is that they go to the same university. Ami will definitely get to know their names.

Cycling Porn.

No, not that kind of porn...

If you've followed my coverage of Yowamushi Pedal, you'll be familiar with how I break down bike brands, techniques and general cycling knowledge. When 3DCG versions of bikes are put into a show, how could I not? 

So, yes, that's the same face I make every time I step into a bike shop and when I see the first bike in a cycling anime. Let's get to it!

Of the bike brands, I saw Pinarello with two different rebrandings, Giant with two different rebrandings, Colnago, Cube, Prologo saddles and Clif Shot gels. Things I had to look up because I was not familiar at all with them are the folding bikes. The first one Ami wanted was a Birdy brand, but she ended up with Ponta-kun. There's a Japanese outfit called FDB which brands their bikes with car logos, so there is actually a Pontiac Firebird FDB166. There's also Jaguars, Hummers, Fiats, Chevy's, Mini, you name it. I had no idea, but I don't mess around with folding bikes, only the bikes with lots of digits in the price tag.

That 10 Grand dollar bike is the same Pinarello Chris Froome rode to win the Tour de France 3 times, which is why it could be bathed in yellow light, not just gold for being expensive.

At some point, Ami is going to leave Ponta-kun behind. I can't decipher the brand yet, but it looks like BMC or Orbea.

This is going to be a fun show with the cute girls riding cute bikes, er, bikes. I'm looking forward to getting to know the "ara ara maa" girl and the snaggle tooth twin tail pettanko.

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