Sunday, February 19, 2017

10 Second Anime - Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu - Episode 7

The Cycling Club plays catchup during the race and tries to figure out a way to win.

Episode 7 - "What Can I Do?"


As a cycling fan, I was not impressed with how the race tactics unfolded on the road. Unless my understanding of the timeline is totally wrong, I thought the girls had 3 months to prepare for this Night Criterium. Sure, they needed to concentrate on fitness during this time, but they definitely should have been practicing pace lines, cornering and the sprint train for the finish line. Yet, all they got for "hints" or "clues" to help with the race happened right before or during the race. That's... that boggles my mind.

Even Mori-sensei's advice on turning pedals instead of stomping on them would have been addressed during the many hours the girls would have spent on their bikes training. The girls are out on the road for a long time during these sessions; would they really not talk to each other about, you know, cycling?

I suppose I'm not the audience for this attention to detail when it comes to this cycling anime, but it struck me as a cheap way to build tension and root for the girls as they use their own gifts. Natsumi is a fit athlete, so using her speed made sense. Tomoe is a smart girl and has leadership skills, so it made sense for her to become a patron of the peloton and recruit other girls into her sprint train rocket booster tactic. Fuyune has a good memory, so she used it to memorize how Natsumi took the turns to call out maneuvers to the rest of their pace line.

Hiromi's question is the basis for the title: what can she do? She hung back behind Natsumi during the whole race and it looks like she's being set up to win it with Natsumi as her last leadout rider. Since this is not sports anime, we haven't been given any clues about her special abilities on the bike. She's just been the cute inspirational character the story revolves around. Which means she's going to win by "paying back" the feelings and sacrifices of the other girls by sprinting on guts or something. Meh.


The word for the episode is "Kuma!"

Seriously, it's the word that was said the most by the rider who lead the race from the very beginning. Mr. Kuma was the best thing in the whole episode!


From what we gathered, the Cosplay Club has been turned into a circle, an informal club, which meant they couldn't participate in activities outside of the school. With the principal making almost everyone enter the Night Criterium to make some audacious "result," it's not surprising the Cosplay Club entered too. If Mr. Kuma wins, the Cosplay Club will become a real club again.

Of course, we know that's not going to happen, because Hiromi is going to win and the blond girl we've only seen in the opening credits and the first episode is going to pop out of the bear suit and join the Cycling Club afterwards. Sucks to be the Cosplay Club in this predictable shoujo narrative.

Racing Stuff.

That short Cycle Bro is a gadget nerd. That's a common thing among recreational cyclists *cough* ahem. I just hope that video drone doesn't drop on anybody.

Ha! Both swimming club presidents Hiroko and Mikoko have a competitive streak. Catching from behind to win is the best way to win! Too bad it's going to be Hiromi doing that to Mr. Kuma...

Whut. Korone taught the senior girls how to manage a peloton by taking turns at the front while dishing out yakisoba and omelets. At least she told Hiromi how to take corners.

Natsumi's wrist hurts after that fall. It makes sense that the swelling and soreness would develop after a few minutes instead of right away.

Oh and Kuma! Kuma! Kuma! Kuma! Kuma! Kuma! Kuma!

Cycling Porn.

This week we saw the girls on their bikes, everyone else is on flat pedals except Natsumi, cornering is a skill that takes practice and a common problem of a crash is what happens afterwards with all the bikes tangled up with each other.

Regardless of when the girls got their advice on pace lines (or "train" as Mori-sensei calls it), taking turns at the front of a group, how to pedal smoothly, slow-in fast-out cornering techniques (no mention of the apex, but the inside of the curve is fine) and using up the leadout riders in a sprint train, these are all well known things that cyclists and cycling fans know about. Just don't talk about them minutes before a race starts...

Natsumi taking charge of the line. I'd like to see the girls take a deeper lean and really tuck their knees out, but this is new to them.

Next time, the girls do something "all together." Maybe we'll hear more about Mori-sensei's "All for one, one for all," piece of advice from Hiromi to beat Mr. Kuma, the swimming club presidents and the senior girls at the line.

The End Card features the Akitsuki sisters Tomoe and Yuika. No more hard feelings about calling the cycling jerseys "flashy,"  I guess.

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