This is why you should wear a helmet, kids.

Pint-sized otaku Sakamichi Onoda, whose first name literally means ‘slope’ (apparently his parents hoped it would mean he could rise against adversity), has just started high school! Since he never had any anime-loving friends in middle school he’s hoping to make his big anime fan debut in high school by joining the anime club, but when he gets there, its been disbanded. He takes it upon himself to attempt at reviving it.
Meanwhile, a few people such as the freshman biking ace Imaizumi and the chirpy and cute soon-to-be-Cycling-Club-Manager Miki, have noticed Sakamichi, due to the fact that he can ride from the school to Akihabara (a total distance of approximately 45km) on his ‘mamachari’ (a basic, single-gear type of bike primarily used by housewives to buy groceries with). What happens when bike-nerds and anime-nerds collide?

The blend of 2D and 3D actually kind of works for the biking scenes. It looks much better animated than as a still.

Although I’d been anticipating Yowamushi Pedal (the name means something like ‘Weakling Pedal’ although I’m not sure if there’s a more elegant english alternative), I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as I’ve yet to read any of the ongoing and long-running manga. I already know this manga has been something of a sleeper-hit with the fujoshi crowd for some time, although its presence is much more quiet than the likes of Kuroko no Basket or Shingeki no Kyojin. After watching this episode I think I just might have been drawn into its world.
Sports anime seems to be the ‘in thing’ right now, but for me personally it’s difficult to get into series about sports I’m not interested in (which is, admittedly, almost all of them.) But I do like cycling, so Yowamushi Pedal already has that interest factor for me. Granted, these boys don’t just like cycling. They really really like cycling. They love cycling as much as, if not more than Sakamichi loves his anime with ridiculous saccharine theme songs he likes to sing aloud. Because this is a shonen series, there’s the potential for the highly specialized fields of cycling for each exaggerated character – in the cycling club the hardcore cycling 3rd years are made up of those that excel at climbing slopes, those that excel at sprints, speed, and so on. (I’m going to take a guess that Sakamichi’s speciality is going to be endurance.) Along with the appearances of these characters, (who also look far, far too old to be highschool students) it’s very silly, very goofy and very shonen, but it also has the potential to be very, very fun.
The other characters also seem fun enough; Miki is so far being the typical chirpy designated female character but she’s likeable at least – the same can’t really be said for her constantly scowling anti-anime friend, whose shtick could wear thin rather quickly. Imaizumi is also that typical ‘main rival’ type, but I’m willing to give him a chance to know more about him because his bike-nerd level seems almost humourous. And Sakamichi himself is probably the damn cutest otaku I’ve seen in an anime, and has managed to be a likeable protagonist so far.
Since this is scheduled to run for about 39 episodes (and that’s only if it doesn’t have more announced) I won’t be blogging it, but I’m definitely going to try more of it. I feel like going for a ride on my own bike now, too.

check out these Typical Highschool Students

Out of 5,