Thursday, June 22, 2017

10 Second Anime - Yowamushi Pedal - New Generation - Episode 23

Onoda unleashes his Singing Climb, passing many riders on the intermediate climb. Some teams don't make it easy for him as he tries to reach the front of the race.

Ride.23 - "Sakamichi's Pursuit"


There were two flashbacks with graduating seniors on different teams that combined for a meaningful encounter in the middle of the episode. In the first, Onoda tried writing letters to Makishima, with Teshima warning him that he hardly ever writes back. Teshima gave Onoda advice in Makishima's stead: trust your instincts.

In the second, Ishigaki of Kyoto imparts a team duty to young sprinter Yamaguchi: be Midousuji's conscience. Everyone recognizes Midousuji's strengths and talent as bike rider and strategist, but he's too calculating with his riders on the road. Ishigaki knew that the team isn't made up of robotic Zaku (fodder), and neither are the opposing teams, so having a counselor to act as an intermediary between Midousuji and the other riders is necessary for team morale and for race politics. Neither of those things factor into Midousuji's strategies and tactics, so it's up to somebody else on the team to save Midousuji from himself.

These two flashbacks met up for squared meaning when Yamaguchi was tasked with blocking Onoda as long as he could after Onoda rejected Midousuji's devil's bargain. Onoda relied on his instincts to refuse the offer to share the load in reaching the front. Yamaguchi played diplomat in letting Onoda know he was right to do so because dragging Midousuji to the front would have hurt his own team's overall chances. Onoda collects these chits of friendship in the back of his mind, so Yamaguchi's extended hand could pay dividends later. Onoda's nice guy regard in return already let Yamaguchi save his energy to help Midousuji in the lead up to the stage's finish line.


Onoda doesn't listen to people. He just makes stuff up in his head! Teshima clearly said to stay close to the team and stay near the front of the pack. He didn't say, "I'll be waiting for you in the mountains. Follow me." Pbbbtt.

Okay, enough of the obtuse literalness shtick: Onoda, as a socially inept otaku, is finely attuned to emotional undercurrents in conversation. Nerds have to be, because other nerds suck at expressing emotions openly. That's why there's so much hesitation for a nerd in talking to normal people: do they trust the external emotional expression, or the internal emotion they picked up on? Nerds would do better in social situations if they also bothered to learn politeness rules to smooth over these sometimes contradictory messages. Anyway, Teshima had a fear that Onoda could get lost in the pack and he phrased his order in just the right way for Onoda to get his meaning.

Ha. Open declaration of war! "Excuse me. I'm going to be passing you now."

Yeah! Bring on the power of Love Hime!

The other riders have heard rumors of THE NATIONAL CHAMPION OF JAPAN going faster when he starts singing. They better watch out!

Alright! Love Hime got a second season, which means Onoda has a new song to sing!

This is hilarious to me. Onoda just went on a full-on nerdgasm muttering to himself and the other cyclists don't know what the hell he's saying. It must be some kind of strategic code!

The new song is titled "The Princess' Spinning One-Sided Love." Good to know.

Uh oh. Bad news. THE NATIONAL CHAMPION OF JAPAN is smiling as he pedals faster and faster. The other cyclists have heard this rumor as well.

Onoda's superpower has been given a name! The Singing Climb! This is better than Toudou giving himself nicknames. He called one of his attacks Sleeping Beauty, but everyone in the peloton called it Sneaky Ninja.

Finally. Someone among these high schoolers knows proper cycling etiquette for riders trying to pass you on a climb.

Oh. Of course. Just like last year. Midousuji's team is controlling the big bunch on the intermediate climb. Midousuji's tactics are kind of boring at this point, but they still appear to be working.

This time around, Midousuji knows it's futile to burn himself up trying to smother Onoda's escape.

Look how close they've gotten. Midousuji calls Onoda by his given name Sakamichi.

Hey, Mizuta. No chit-chat! That's probably a good idea because Mizuta talks too much anyway and has been known to give up secret team tactics.

Onoda's not really going to take this devil's bargain of dragging Midousuji to the front of the race, is he?

Nah. He followed his instincts. It smelled hinky. If Midousuji is offering, you shouldn't be buying.

Yamaguchi has been given the role of "normie" on Kyoto to make sure Midousuji doesn't harm the team so much that he also loses the race. Like last year.

If Onoda knew Midousuji better, he could have broken away at any time while they were chatting.

Good. Introducing Midousuji's Pearl of Victory image early in this year's race will make his expected flashback and side story much less bolted on than in the second season.

Come on, Sakamichi. Join the Kyoto Express! Ha. Midousuji's train station sound effects to keep his metaphor going on was funny in a desperate way.

The whole peloton should be scared to death by THE NATIONAL CHAMPION OF JAPAN's bloodcurdling war cry: "Hime!"


Yamaguchi was smart to let Onoda go without too much of a fight. Midousuji might not think he needs a sprinter this early in the race, but he'll need one at the finish. Yamaguchi will just have to be strong enough to take all insults before he steps up for Midousuji in the final kilometer.

This reunion with Sohoku was nice, but it didn't have the emotional impact from last year after Onoda had crashed or how he brought back Tadokoro on the 2nd stage.

Kuroda said that "trouble caught up." You know it! Izumida is calculating like Teshima, and doesn't think that Onoda is going to chase after the front. Teshima has hopes though, if Onoda's feelings are to be believed.

Imaizumi gave Onoda the expected choice of saving his legs because he didn't have enough time to catch Teshima at the front or to just go anyway. As if he had to ask. As if there would be any hesitation from Onoda. He's been relaxing in the back for the last hour. He's got plenty in the tank.

Water bottles are like magic in this show. Just take one with you. Good things will happen.

And now Onoda is hopped up on Nakama Fuel. He's going to catch up real quick.

Haha! The omake showed Imaizumi getting surprised and excited by the new season of Love Hime Pettanko. Onoda got his Anime and Manga Club (with cycling) renewed for a second year.

New end card with the shorties admiring Ashikiba Tower.

Cycling Porn.

This week we got some good looks at Onoda's BMC, the blocking cyclists' Giant, Kuota, and Anchor, and just a peek at Midousuji's De Rosa. Those blocking guys never did figure out the best way to slow down a climber is not to get in front of him. It's to follow his wheel, saving your energy, and then attack so he has to break up his rhythm to follow you, and when he catches you, then sit up so that he slows down again, breaking his rhythm the other way.

The riders in the show just gave Onoda a slipstream for half an hour or more, letting him rest up. At least one guy figured out they may have been giving Onoda an advantage by saving him from the wind. Bike racing is supposed to be hard. You can't beat a guy by going slower. You beat a guy by forcing him to go faster than you.

Next time, more of Sakamichi's Dramatic Pursuit.

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