Friday, March 26, 2010

"Over Drive" - Road Cycling, Anime Style

It might surprise you that I have interests outside the world of cycling. Shocking, I know. One of them is Japanese animation, or anime.

I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose, that someone created an anime centering on road cycling & racing. There's anime on just about every subject out there: History, martial arts, spaceships, robots, racing cars, tennis... Why not teenage angst + cycling? You see, in Japan, animation is given the same respect and leeway as live action, so there are many different types of anime; just because a show or movie is animated, doesn't mean it's intended for kids.

In the first episode (Boy Meets Bicycle, Part 1) of Over Drive, we meet high school freshman Mikoto Shinozaki during his first week at his new school. He's an artist, a bit of a slob & a klutz, and half in love with Yuki Fukazawa, a very pretty classmate. She encourages him to join the cycling club as a way of changing himself and improving his image.

The problem is Mikoto can't even ride a bicycle, and protests that he has no athletic ability. Still, to impress the girl of his dreams, he's going to learn the sport.

Here's an action sequence, the second part of three, from episode 18:

You can find all 26 episodes on YouTube user dansam39's channel or episodes 15 - 21 on percom132's channel.

Finally! Something that combines two of my obsessions, anime and road cycling.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.

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