Sohoku starts the 1000 km training camp. Kaburagi worries about riding that distance alone. Teshima faces a rival in Koga.
Ride.13 - "1000 km Again"
You can tell it's the start of the new season because YowaPeda has new opening and end credit songs.
Onoda is just happy to be there with his friends. Oh, and girls! I always have to say that when they have a scene with girls in this show.
The OP had a lot of hints about what who we'll see during the rest of the season. We'll finally get to know that glasses wearing mechanic. Izumida and Midousuji are both sporting new hairstyles. What happened to Midousuji's white streak?
Hakone's masked rider is still masked. I wonder if the opening scenes will change when he's finally revealed.
The prologue with the bus ride into the cycling center was a good way to get our heads into a new act. Showing Teshima worry about the other teams was another good way to get the audience primed for drama and strategy.
Hee! Onoda got carsick, again. But no sparkly ikemen came to help him out this time. Just Kanzaki and Koga the mechanic. He seemed so nice and friendly. Seemed...
Har. Kaburagi doesn't believe that he'll have to ride 1000 km in four days. They even give them lights to ride at night! This is old news for the veterans and they treat it as such.
Amazingly, even with way more riders doing the training camp than last year, only three of them have actually finished the regimen, Imaizumi, Naruko and Onoda.
Teshima figured out the handicaps properly. Instead of a handicap on the bike, Kaburagi got a mental handicap: he can't ride closer than 10 meters to Danchiku. Smart. Danchiku's not on the roster, so Kaburagi better figure out how to ride by himself or gain team spirit from other guys.
Danchiku was able to yell at him from 10 meters away that Kaburagi was a spoiled youngest brother, so he always did everything he could to get his way. He called it a good talent for competition. He's right. The charitable interpretation is "tenacity."
Danchiku is such a Kaburagi fan boy.
Teshima put the same handicap on him and Aoyagi! This guy has no ego at all. He makes a good coach, even if he might not be the captain on the road.
Both Naruko and Imaizumi got cheap heavy wheels to ride on. They just need miles and stamina training, obviously. No hint yet on what Onoda got.
The introduction of Koga mirrored pretty much the introduction of Teshima and Aoyagi at last year's training camp. Some older guy who just might take your spot!
He's also the source of a good narrative device to revisit the past, when Sohoku was really set up to win the Inter High. There was high drama when Kinjou was yanked off his bike by Fukutomi, but it appears there was more going on with Sohoku which might explain how desperate and angry Tadokoro was when he confronted Fukutomi at the finish line.
Yowapeda is great at this stuff. Just like Sugimoto was always around in the background, but could suddenly become a great character for Kaburagi to rub against for development, here we have Koga thrust into the spotlight. The difference was he never spoke or had any fun presence at all like Sugimoto did. That's why it felt a bit too much for me to accept right away this cipher's Jekyll and Hyde switch when he got on the bike. Unfortunately, this too quick elevation and the lack of race scenes with him and the other teams in the credit sequences gives me hints that Teshima is going to rise to the occasion of keeping his spot for the race roster.
Still, Koga's stained jersey and how he got onto the Inter High team without completing the 1000 km training camp is going to be an interesting story to reveal. I have a feeling the elder Kanzaki and his knee brace are going to be a factor in this blast from the past.
Koga pointed at his shoulder when he talked about an injury that took 18 months to heal. Did this happen at the Inter High race, or before?
Kinjou sure does like weirdos. He called Koga the Stamina Simpleton. That's not a good sign for Teshima to beat Koga in a 1000 km race.
Well, I'm ready for flashbacks galore in the next couple of episodes.
Hey, look! A girl! That'll never get old for me...
The omake didn't spend enough time looking at the cutesy food prep that Miki did, so it took a couple of replays for me to figure out why Kaburagi didn't want to be seen eating something that his favorite senpai Onoda offered. So, yes. Eating a cute panda's head, even if it was made by a cute girl like Miki, might be too much to stand for a young lad trying to act all macho.
This week, we got a good look at this show finally drawing a rear derailleur correctly, Aoyagi and Kaburagi taking a turn with Daboushi as they ride their Felt, Corratec and Specialized S-Works, old school digital Garmin computers, clipping into a Shimano pedal, Koga's Merida leading a pace line and Koga's black Shimano Ultegra components.
Koga's characteristics lead me to think he's a rolleur, a man who sets a high steady pace at the front of a peloton. This means he won't have an aggressively explosive kick for sprinting, but he'd be useful as the second to last man for a sprint leadout.
I can see the end card illustration having lots of fun with all the faces on the teru teru bouzu. I can recognize Onoda and Makishima in the upper left, and I can make out Tadokoro, Naruko, Kaburagi and Imaizumi in Aoyagi's arms. I can't make out the fifth one he has. Koga, the "glasses-senpai" according to Naruko, naturally has a super duper deluxe version of Kinjou. That might be a hint of their roles and relationship on the drama-filled team from two years ago.