Sunday, February 12, 2017

10 Second Anime - Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu - Episode 6

The girls get their bikes and gear ready for the Night Criterium. They start the race with a minor setback.

Episode 6 - "First Race!"


There were a couple of things that detracted from this episode compared to the previous well done episodes. The first was an obvious downgrade in animation quality. The second was a pivotal plot point that made me roll my eyes so hard, I'm still running around the room trying to catch one of them.

Let's tackle the cheap animation first.

Most of this episode looked flat and cheap. This mainly came from the girls standing around talking while the camera panned across still shots composited with background art to add some depth. This is a standard anime studio trick to plan around a time intensive episode and it's to JC Staff's credit that the stills and background art looked great, but if you use these sequences too much, the perception of quality goes down. I can only hope the next episode covering the race looks fantastic.

In addition to the heavy reliance on still shot pans, there was a minor continuity error. Notice how somebody above has a glove on before they set off for a test ride, but in the next cut, no gloves. Not only that, that glove and the helmet Natsumi has on are from the custom cycling kits they haven't received yet. The helmets with that color scheme were bought after Hiromi's temporary bike was assembled. Natsumi's helmet before this episode had blue patterns. This may have come from the time crunch affecting quality and animation checking.

But the thing that annoyed me most of all in the episode was the manufactured drama from Natsumi not starting with the rest of her teammates. She's the most experienced of all of them, having a road bike for longer, yet there she was, standing on her bike without one foot clipped in like she would normally do at a stoplight. It makes no sense.

There was a small scene prior to the start where Natsumi seemed preoccupied, so maybe another small scene showing her not being able to clip in because of nervousness was cut out, but even then, it seemed out of place. Plus, all the other girls standing around yapping about friendship and stuff when they needed to get Natsumi back on her bike rubbed my nerves raw. Granted, this is cute girls do cute things club anime instead of shounen anime, but they could have saved that for when they were pedaling.

My jaundiced eye makes me think that Natsumi was the team's protected rider to win the race, so this kind of drama would add to her narrative increasing the tension. Considering all that, pick something else to delay her at the start instead of panicking about not clipping in. That should not have happened without something else to explain it.


Everybody knows everybody somehow. Tomoe's family liquor store, Benten Liquor, just happens to be where Fuyune's family gets their supply. Must be quality hooch there and expensive.

Ha! Fuyune cracks me up with how proud she was of her Pinarello.

I wish my bike shop would just "loan" me a bike made out of spare parts from last season. That Anchor bike Korone assembled for Hiromi is still worth over 3 Grand.

Neat. A training montage using 5 bikes as a screen wipe instead of 4. That Specialized obviously belongs to the blondie we still haven't met.

This is also part of the cheap animation trick I talked about in the Meh section.

I'm placing my bet she's in that bear suit for the Cosplay Club. My second bet is that we never see who's in the suit because it's the club president, but because she didn't make a result in the Night Criterium, she can't keep blonde girl from joining the cycling club.

Oh ho! Time to see what these girls look like in their "flashy" cycling jerseys.

Calm down, Hiromi!

Yes, very nice and very tight. Also flashy. Don't hurt your younger sister's feelings, Tomoe!

"Re-pan" is how these girls abbreviate "race pants" (レースパンツ re-su pantsu). They talked about not wearing any underwear to avoid chafing, but they didn't talk about their sports bras.

Natsumi says she gets "switched on" when she wears her cycling gear. She wants to ride immediately! Maybe when she grows up, she'll feel the same way about lingerie...

Huh. Lots of people for this Night Criterium. Oh. The principal pretty much made every club race in it for "results" or to settle membership claims like Hiromi did with Hiroko of the swimming team. This isn't too much of a stretch considering how bike crazy the principal was in her youth.

You're still not taking Natsumi!

Yakisoba Flat!

They make omelets too and get confused for a younger-older sister pairing by grade schoolers...

Okay, after the stupid not clipping in and getting knocked over and the "starting over" comments, it's time to get this race started. Get switched on, Natsumi!

Get started again just in time to end the episode. Meh.

Cycling Porn.

This week we got to see the final forms of Tomoe's Liv and Fuyune's Pinarello. Douyo! It's electronic and stuff! Only the shifting, Hiromi. It's pretty rare to see the underside of a bike saddle and look at its rails. That seat is shifted pretty far back. Tomoe must have long legs...

Hiromi's loaner bike is another Anchor, an RFX8 which was last made in 2012. Those ladies warming up show that it used to be a popular model.

Natsumi fell over at the start line after getting bumped. She shouldn't feel too bad. This still happens to pros in their mass starts, but usually because they already have one foot clipped in (hint, hint Natsumi), but lose their balance because they're on uneven ground or reach for something the wrong way.

The omake covered how to fix a dropped chain. Most dropped chains happen when switching from the big chain ring to the inner chain ring. While rolling, if this happens to me, I just shift back into the big ring and pick up the chain again. The only time this doesn't work is if the chain jumps between your easiest cog in your cassette and the spokes in your back tire. Then you have to stop and yank that chain out of there. The tensioner trick to loosen the chain will help reseat the chain when you've got it onto a back cog again.

Let's take a look at all those nice panning shots from that cheap animation trick.

Tomoe's Liv, Fuyune's Pinarello ("Douyo!") and poor Natsumi struggling with her cleat.

Next time, somebody's going to figure out what only they can do to help the team win, or something equivalent. Fuyune has to take pictures of her Pinarello ("Douyo!"), of course.

Natsumi appears to be a favorite of these end card illustrators. Tan swimmer from Okinawa in skin tight lycra? What a surprise.

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