Saturday, February 11, 2017

10 Second Anime - Long Riders! - Episode 12 [END]

Team Fortuna takes a two-day tour to Shimanami Kaido and rides through the rain. Season Finale.

Episode 12 - "Long Riders!"


Aww. Last episode. Only 6 weeks late...

We have a bit of continuity building with Saeki buying a lugged chromoly Bianchi from Alpaca.

We're also back to pure cute girls do cute things with Fortuna's two day trip to Japan's cycling Mecca of Shimaniam Kaido. This place in central Japan on a series of islands. The nearest large city is Hiroshima, but better yet for anime fans, it's also near Takehara made famous (anime famous anyway) by the healing anime of Tamayura.

For real touring, you need to travel light and Hinako really lit into Ami for all the extra stuff she brought. Please don't show panties to a train station crowd, Hinako...

Ha! Ami's teddy bear had his own Fortuna cycling kit.

Sometimes I think this show should have been structured around Saki. She maps out her trips based on which spots serve tasty food.

Apparently, there was so much story to cram into this last episode, they had to take out the opening and closing credit sequences. We still got the opening song as montage music.

I still find it curious why cycling culture focused on the brevet part of Brevet des Randonnée. Brevet just means certificate. It's the randonnée that means "hike" or long ride for French cyclists. Officially completing a randonnée means you get a certificate proving it, the brevet.

The Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneurs is a timed randonnée of 1200 km, and it is the most prestigious of brevets. Like the World Cup or Olympics, it's run every four years. Randonneurs have 90 hours to complete this distance, which was first run in 1891. The next one is in August 2019.

What the hell is Saki saying in her sleep? Is she asking for more food?

Oho, that's some heavy rain.

Riding in the rain isn't that bad if you have the proper gear. Just realize that you're going to get wet no matter what, but at least you can stay warm.

Oh yes, metal grates, train tracks and white paint are terrible in the rain for road bikes.

I thought Ami was going to split in two as well! I don't care how good your mountain bike shoes' tread is, they're still going to slip on a wet metal surface.

Ah hahaha! The bent brake handle! Every cyclist goes through this. It can happen even if you just make your bike fall over from leaning it wrong against a fence. The whole assembly is just mounted to the handlebars, so if they get bent like that, just loosen the o-ring and tighten it up again in the right position. It looks bad because you never see what's under the brake hood.

Riding in the rain is fine. It's cleaning up afterwards that's a mess. I can't believe they didn't mention all the crap that would have accumulated on their butts and backs from the muck flying off the back wheel.

Yes, Saki has very nice thighs...

We got a nod toward continuity as the season wound down. The sakura petals falling showed that Ami had been riding for about a year and the sound of Saeki's inner tube popping from a CO2 cartridge brought us full circle on Ami's journey.

One of these chests is not like the others in Team Fortuna...

And that's the end. I'll talk about how I feel about that in the Final Thoughts section.

Cycling Porn.

We got a look at Saeki's lugged chromoly Bianchi, the girls pedaling showing off Ami's Focus, Saki's Makino, Yayoi's unbranded chromoly, Hinako's Pinarello and Aoi's Felt.

The highlights of this last episode were definitely how a cyclist deals with the rain. Touring cyclists use those lightweight parkas, but endurance athletes opt only to keep their cores dry and insulated against the wind. Their legs are churning hard enough to stay warm even if their thermal knee warmers get wet. They will cover their shoes though. I noticed the girls didn't opt for long fingered gloves in the rain either. If you're not going fast, I guess you're hands won't get that cold, but the handlebars and brake levers can get slippery and good gloves will give you a grippy surface along with keeping your fingers warm.

Depending on how cold it is, I use neoprene gloves, the stuff that wetsuits are made out of, to keep my hands warm in the cold and wet. Just like a wetsuit, these kind of gloves use your own hands' moisture to form an insulating barrier. Your hands will be very wet when you pull those gloves off. For anything colder than 40 degrees F, I resort to my thermal gloves. They have a harder waterproof shell and heavy insulation. The neoprene relies on a body's own temperature regulation for the extremities to stay warm, but when it gets near freezing, water isn't going to stay an insulating liquid for very long.

The advice and cautions against wet metal were all good. Train track crossings are another hazard that cyclists have to worry about even more in the rain.

Ami mentioned how wet she got from sweat underneath her parka. This is true. A wind breaker or rain slicker doesn't have the breathability and wicking features that cycling jerseys have. It's like a hot box or sauna inside there.

Final Thoughts.

Parts of this last episode made my disappointment in the series as a whole a bit wistful for what it could have been. It had great musical themes to keep the mood light. The voice acting was comical and endearing. The characters were well developed and quirky as were their designs. Unfortunately, because this was a cute-girls-do-cute-things anime, when the girls don't look so cute, it sours the experience.

Actas. Remember the name of this animation studio. Its staff was behind the well-loved Girls und Panzer, which also suffered many delays and had its last episode broadcast out of season. This production studio also infamously "restarted" the Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars anime from last Summer after three episodes because of how poor its broadcast quality was. Whether that delay impacted Long Riders! or it was just Actas' usual poor time management with anything longer than one episode, I don't know, but it doesn't matter. They failed in putting out quality anime during its broadcast run.

I know for a fact that their DVD's and Blurays look great from what I've seen of Girls und Panzer, but I watch anime for the weekly experience, not the binge experience. If Long Riders! gets a disk release, I'm confident that all the "quality" scenes will be fixed, but this is a kind of show that needed it done right the first time.

The cycling aspects were fine as far as the knowledge that most beginners would receive. I did notice that the CG versions of the girls got better treatment so they looked more animated than looking like video game sprites as the season wore on.

If you are curious about this show, I recommend waiting until all the disks are released for viewing and avoid anything that shows the original broadcast editions. There's just too much stress in wondering if the next scene will have off-model faces and proportions for the characters.

It's just too bad. This is one of those rare shows that doesn't take place in high school, had a great concept, fun music and friendly characters. It could have been so much better.

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