Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation – 07

Meanwhile, back in Hakone…

Yowamushi Pedal 3 - 07 -2With the state of the Sohoku cycling club more in flux than ever (stock report for this week: Onoda up, Naruko down) Watanabe-sensei takes a detour (or at least the anime does) to the Izu Peninsula.  That’s the home of Hakone Gakuen, of course, and they’re the sole focus of not just this week’s episode, but next week’s as well by the look of things.  HakoGaku has always been more of a co-lead team than an antagonist or supporting one, so it’s not really much of a surprise.

Yowamushi Pedal 3 - 07 -3Hakone, like Sohoku, is in a state of transition.  They’re losing not just three seniors that were the center of their squad, but four.  But in watching them right after seeing the state of the Sohoku side, it’s striking just how wide the gap between these two clubs is.  With HakoGaku it’s always just a question of choice – there’s never an instance where there’s no one to step in, but a choice of options.  Climbers, sprinters, all-arounders – at Hakone there’s always someone waiting in the wings to take their chance.  That doesn’t mean things are going to come easily for them in the absence of their third-years or that Izumida will prove a worthy leader, but they certainly start out with a considerable advantage over Sohoku.  It just points up what a miracle it was that the Sohoku Six beat them even once.

Yowamushi Pedal 3 - 07 -4The occasion of the farewell “fun ride” for the third-years is a good opportunity to take stock of just where this team is at the moment.  “Fun” is a loose term in this case – as Kuroda Yuki (remember him?) points out, anytime there’s a finish line at the end Hakone riders are going to try and win.  And the course is a full 120 km, looking a lot like a one-day condensed version of the Inter-high layout.  There are flats, sprint checkpoints and mountains – a chance for the whole squad to show what they have.  And there’s also time for the third-years to express their feelings for each other, and to pass the torch to the new generation (catchy title – someone should use it).

Yowamushi Pedal 3 - 07 -5This being Yowapeda those emotional moments are not exactly low-key, but they’re certainly effective.  That also goes for the duels among men with pride on the line, starting with Shinkai and new skipper Izumida fighting for the sprint checkpoint.  The big news here is that Izumida (Abu!) has rolled out a new team member to join Frank and Andy – it’s Fabian (as in Cancellara, AKA “Spartacus”, arguably the greatest time trialist in cycling history).  Fabian is in charge the back muscles, apparently, and Izumida imagines himself naked when Fabian is brought out of hiding.  Izumida and Shinkai are no less absurd in battle than ever, and their duel in the sun fully lives up to their characters’ lofty standard of bombast.

Yowamushi Pedal 3 - 07 -6I think the most interesting mystery with Hakone is Manami, though, and he finally makes an appearance here.  Yuki (the guy Manami beat out for the Inter-high climber spot) dresses him down pretty good for the way he’s been beating himself up after losing the Inter-high (Ashikiba gets some ridicule too), but when the opportunity comes to push himself in a grueling climb against Toudou-san, Manami definitely seems up for it.  Izumida has won the day for the next generation in the sprint (unlike Naruko did, I might mention) and now it’s up to Manami to do the same.  When it all shakes out HakoGaku will surely be elite once more, but it’s hard to see them having a chance at winning the G.C. unless Manami can get back to his top form.

Omake:

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3 comments

  1. I

    Completely unrelated to YP but I had a very profound moment as an anime viewer that I wanted to share.

    I was watching Working S2 again and there was this scene where the girls are trying to help Inami improve her record of not punching Takanashi by dressing her up in a waiter outfit. When Takanashi enters and tells Inami its his, she goes red and shreds the outfit off herself. In that moment though Taneshima immediately covers Takanashi’s eyes with her servers plate (not sure what the correct term is) and also shuts out our view of Inami undressing.

    3 things hit me at this point:
    1. Great directing – The fact that viewpoint we as viewers had, despite being 3rd person, was the same Takanashi had of the stripping Inami meant we saw as much as he did. Simply put in one move Taneshima blocked Takanashi’s and our view of…

    2. What would be a crass scene in most anime today – I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the scene of a highschool girl stripping would be glorified for certain viewing experiences in 90% of anime today. Working showed great class and wit in a medium too often dominated by crass and…

    3. Often poorly written archetypal female characters – Taneshima is a loli with a huge rack, a complex about her height and acts childishly cute. Again in most anime that would be the extent that she is written to and then used to milk money from the fanbase into that character type. But in that scene Taneshima showed why she and so many characters in working break their obvious character moulds. Taneshima acted in a fast and decisive manner to protect Inami’s modesty and Takanashi’s sanity I imagine. She acted like a responsible and quick thinking adult that belies her archetype.

    Throwing a bunch of crazy characters in one place is the goldmine of comedy but the best ones show that make the distinction that these people are just really quirky and not morons that should be locked in a mental hospital for ridiculous lapses of basic intellect. Its a distinction that Working is great at making when too few anime even try.

    Again this is just me sharing, I don’t really care for a discussion or list of other people’s anime comedies. I just wanted somewhere to write how I felt

  2. N

    I was rolling my eyes at the silliness of that “abu abu abu” vs “ararararara” showdown… I can sort of forgive most of the ridiculousness of this show, but Izumida is just… over the top. I did lol hard when he introduced us to Fabian, though.

  3. Those Hakone mountains sure look good.

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