My God, I’m so swamped – I blogged ten series over the past three days but I’m still buried. It’s going to be quick and dirty until I catch up, I’m afraid, as I’m not getting any breaks in my non-anime schedule either. C’est la vie.
So, Yowapeda, quick and dirty… Well – I confess I’m a bit conflicted about this latest turn of events. Partly that’s because I never found Teshima to be among the series’ most compelling characters, to be honest. But Koga is the real issue for me. It’s odd enough that you’d dump him right in the middle of the story with barely a hint, for starters – it seems almost like violating one of Knox’ 10 Commandments of Detective Fiction. But even more, in the words of Peggy Lee: “Is that all there is?”
Koga is a problem, no question about it, especially if he fades into the background now that Teshima has scored an unlikely victory over him in a meaningless sprint. What was the point of introducing him in the first place, then – was he just a foil to help make Teshima seem more heroic? And he raises uncomfortable logic questions, too, because it seems bloody obvious to me that the Sohoku team would be helped a great deal by having a rider as strong as Koga on-board for the Inter-high. Don’t all these team selection gimmicks seem a bit, I don’t know- arbitrary?
The last issue for me is Onoda. Or should I say, No-noda – because Sakamichi-kun continues to be a minor supporting player in “New Generation”. I do love the supporting cast of Yowapeda and I believe that a great sports series will always develop that cast, both friend and for. But it feels to me as if the eyes have gone off the prize a bit. Onoda is the best character in Yowamushi Pedal, its heart and soul – and Makishima might just have been runner-up in both categories. After their mini-arc ended (in what – Episode 2?) they’re basically AWOL – and the show has suffered for their absence, to be honest. Only in the Sugimoto arc did it really achieve the captivating quality of its best days. I’m not disappointed in the series, but I want to be more enthusiastic than I am – and hopefully soon, as we only have two cours this time.