Yowamushi Pedal New Generation
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 12 of
Yowamushi Pedal New Generation ?
Even though this episode of Yowamushi Pedal New Generation is titled “Conclusion”, I think we're about to embark on a new cour, perhaps with new OP and ED songs. This is the twelfth episode, and while other spring anime are wrapping up, Yowapeda is simply ramping up for more. With a swifter pace than usual, this episode packed an entire race in and still had time to check in on two teams we haven't seen for a while. It's an episode that's more silly than substantial, but it makes up for this with a wider than usual scope.
Last time Sohoku had to qualify for the InterHigh, the race wasn't even a bit suspenseful. We saw it from Onoda, Naruko, and Imaizumi's perspective as they showed up to cheer on their seniors right as they crossed the finish line in first, second, and third place. Now the new captain, Teshima, has a different idea of how to treat the race—rather than having his junior member cheer everyone on, he wants to turn the qualifier into a teachable moment. Issa, who I've formerly referred to as Naruko 2.0, is starting to get some character development. He races to win, and Teshima wants to show him the superior power of friendship by putting on a front and telling him that he can totally race ahead of everyone else and win this thing himself. Sure enough, Issa gets a flat tire 2 kilometers in. I was really hoping Sohoku would just dunk on him here like, “What's wrong, ACE,” but of course this pure-hearted team kills him with kindness instead.
Now Sohoku is left with a conundrum, and they'll need to break all the laws of physics to overcome it. It's great to finally see a return to Teshima's evil side and “tea time.” Seeing this personality switch so late in the game makes me realize how far we've come since last year's training camp. Meanwhile, Aoyagi has somehow learned to inflate his body to the size of Tadokoro's. It's impossible, just like it's near-impossible for Sohoku to somehow turn things around from last place to achieve a perfect victory, but that's never stopped them before. I was expecting them to lose, give Issa a hard time about it, and then be like, “Oh by the way, since we won the InterHigh last year, we didn't have to place in the qualifier.” That would make more sense, right? At least it doesn't wrap up neatly with Issa changing his mind and deciding that teamwork is more important than winning—I love these characters because they're not perfect.
The goofiness that begins in this qualifier carries on for the rest of the episode. There's a strange and simple environmental humor to Mizuta's phone conversation with Midousuji, whose body slithers bizarrely as he chats. He's getting a butt massage from a brand new character, Komori. I don't usually pay attention to voice actors, but Komori is voiced by Jun Fukuyama, who also voiced another purple-wearing degenerate: Ichimatsu in Osomatsu-san. Komori and Midousuji have some kind of telepathic connection, and it seems like our Lizard King has finally met his match in terms of weird grossness.
Then there's Manami, finally making amends with Onoda over the phone. It's another instance of that silliness—workers are carrying a feathery wing behind Manami, making him look positively angelic. It's one of Onoda's favorite people in Onoda's favorite place, and he's overcome with an immediate urge to be there. We don't see that reunion happen, but we do get a glimpse of two new members of Hakogaku—Doubashi and Yuuto. Counting Komari, that's three new characters in one episode! It may be titled “Conclusion,” but Yowamushi Pedal New Generation is clearly just getting started.
Yowamushi Pedal New Generation is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist
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