Yowamushi Pedal (The Cowardly Cyclist) is a 38 episode long anime which aired from October 2013 to July 2014. It was surprise hit sports anime in this year, it was so popular that a second season has been announced for the anime autumn season . That popularity is no hype, it’s success is well deserved, I’m writing this post to tell you more about it’s qualities.
This show is all about cycling, I didn’t have the best opinion about it, but I picked this show nevertheless. The professional bicycle sport suffered badly, after former stars confessed that they were using illegal substances to increase their performance. The ambitious amateur scene is in focus of the anime, when looking back the anime changed my opinion a bit to the better.
The story centers around Onoda Sakamichi, a shy, meek boy with a small body and no real talents on first sight, who is enrolling into a new highschool. As anime otaku he wants to join the anime club. So far his only connection with bycicle sport were his regular rides to Akihabara which is 45 kilometers away from his home. His bike is a so called granny bike with basket and a wrong gear transmission, yet Onoda manages to climb the hill up and down with ease.
In the first arc Onoda meets Shunsuke Imaizumi, who is quite obsessed with cycling, he gets curious about Onoda’s way of riding up the slope with his crappy bike and challenges him to a race, later Onoda meets Naruko, a pushy character who easily manages to befriend with Onoda after they met during a trip to Akihabara. These little events help with pulling Onoda out of his rather lonely shell and he really starts to enjoy the physical exercises during riding his bike.
Steady progress is an substantial aspect of Yowamushi Pedal, Onoda who is a real klutz at first takes small steps in becoming a competitive cyclist, a way full hardships and challenges for himself. It’s true that sport makes you more self confident and believe in your own abilities, slow but at a steady pace Onoda gets stronger, mentally and physically.