Yowamushi Pedal | Review: Ep. 1

I want to ride my Bicycle

vlc 2013-10-09 17-17-31-31

I’m not really sure what I expected from YowaPeda walking into it, but it’s clear to me now that I was not prepared enough for the show’s ridiculous premise. As one of the many sports series this season, YowaPeda takes a focus on bicycling but doesn’t really go the standard story approach for the genre.

Our main character, Sakamichi, is a short bespectacled otaku who rides a “mommy bike” to school, to Akihabara and back home. Because of the length between school and Akihabara, Sakamichi is basically riding the bike to such lengths that even bicycle athletes take a interest in his dedication and ability to bicycle as if it was nobodies business. That’s the set-up and the events of the first episode on a stripped down and simplified basis.

vlc 2013-10-09 17-34-00-32Like I mentioned, the premise is silly, but it works in the show’s favor as YowaPeda is just as much sports show as it is a comedy show. As we follow the intentionally awkward and sometimes annoying Sakamichi through his anime filled life we get to see how others view him, be it with interest, anger or confusion. It never gets funny to the point where you’re bursting out in laughter, but it captures a humorous charm that can often go missing when a show wants to mix comedy with something else, see Unbreakable Machine-Girl if you want to know what I mean.

vlc 2013-10-09 17-21-28-34Shunsuke is another major character. He’s a professional  bicycle athlete, cocky and mean to the bone. He’ll do anything to make himself seem superior and his only goal is to outdo others. He’s basically a stereotype of a dramatic sports character that takes things too seriously and when he clashes with the light-hearted goofy side of the show, it can get pretty funny.

There’s also the girl Miki who takes an interest in Sakamichi and Aya from the Tennis Club who is a minor character, but also my favorite character in the show so far.

Visually, YowaPeda does a alright job at giving a good mix of late 1990 to early 2000 anime with your standard over-defined sports style. While it’s hard to say how well it’ll work for the actual sports sequences in later episodes, it did offer a nice look for the school life part of the show. The character designs aren’t really all that special, but they serve their purpose well.

I think I’m a bit more positive on YowaPeda than some others are, and that’s fine, we can’t all share the same opinion. I found this episode entertaining and I’m looking forward to more as the series progresses.

Episode Rating: 4/5 – I only bike… Free.

Series Available on Crunchyroll

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