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The Winter 2018 Anime Preview Guide
Yowamushi Pedal Glory Line

How would you rate episode 1 of
Yowamushi Pedal Glory Line ?
Community score: 3.7

What is this?

Onoda loves anime so much, he can pedal his old clunker of a bike from Chiba all the way to Akihabara, and his resulting bike skills made him a starter for the school cycling team! Fast-forward to Onoda's second year of high school, and he's racing once again in the Inter-High, the pinnacle of school cycling races in Japan. Will Sohoku be able to defend its title against both the old guard, Hakone Gakuen, and the up-and-coming cycling school Kyoto Fushimi? Yowamushi Pedal Glory Line is based on a manga and streams on Crunchyroll, Mondays at 3:05 PM EST.

How was the first episode?

Lauren Orsini

Rating: 3

Out of all the anime I've seen this winter, Yowamushi Pedal Glory Line feels the least like a first episode. If anything, thanks to its focus on the tail end of a punishing race, it feels like the second to last! The Inter-High race picks up right where it left off with little fanfare. Don't look for character introductions or even much reminder of the context. After a brief recap of Yowamushi Pedal New Generation's non-ending, we get right back in the saddle. It's perfectly fine for die-hard fans who don't need to be reintroduced to the series, but I want to make it clear that this episode is not ideal as a new viewer's introduction to Yowamushi Pedal.

The rest of my review is for the fans who've been waiting for more. To sum it up, it's a pretty average episode of what we've come to expect from Yowamushi Pedal. We're in between two checkpoints in the race, which means no emotional fights for the finish line today. The bizarre techniques are out in droves as Kuroda talks a big game about his “mochi-like” muscles, while Naruko develops a cornering strategy that consists of tearing the sleeve of his jersey. As always, I'm a sucker for character relationship growth and emotional development, and fans of similar minds will find a lot to love in Naruko and Imaizumi's odd couple team-up and Kuroda's chance to make amends with his idiotic but brilliant underclassman, Manami. Onlookers provide the humor while a “did you forget about me?” final cameo provides new suspense. All the elements are where they should be, but it's not something I'd be compelled to devour immediately.

Yowamushi Pedal New Generation said goodbye to seven main characters (all upperclassmen) while exchanging surprising, lovable Onoda for stoic, ordinary Teshima as its focus, and in these respects it didn't live up to the original. Yowamushi Pedal Glory Line is continuing where New Generation left off, but with the return of the upperclassmen (as onlookers this time) and with Teshima's story all but concluded, this season could easily surpass the former. It's too soon to tell with this just-okay first episode, which didn't provide any big wins or reveals.

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