Manga Highlight: Yowamushi Pedal – The Slam Dunk Of Cycling!
How do you turn something that’s as seemly mundane as cycling into an exciting manga/anime that’s full of male bonding, personal and group growth? You turn it into the seminal basketball manga Slam Dunk, or at least that’s what Yowamushi Pedal has done!
For those of you who don’t know, Yowamushi Pedal is the incredibly popular team road cycling manga that debuted in 2013. The story focus on, wait for it, Sohohoku high school (yes, some might spell it different but yeah!) freshman Sakamichi Onoda.
Onoda, a self professed Otaku joins the school cycling team by accident and slowly starts to love the sport of road cycling. Doesn’t this all sound very familiar to a certain…Hanamichi Sakuragi?!
Coincidence? Probably. Anyway, this isn’t the point of this post. Yowamushi Pedalis an awesome manga in it’s own right regardless of the similarities that it has to a B-balling story about a red-headed Japanese hooligan who turns good after chasing a young woman.
The story is told in a way that’s very much like a bildungsroman. Young Onoda, a loner looking for friends, slowly finds those friends that hes been wanting all the while discovering an additional call in life that’s not Anime. In addition to the tale of Onoda, the manga/Anime also covers the lives of his teammates; the Ace wannabe Imaizumi (Rukawa anyway?), the speedster Naruko and the Freshman upstart Sugjmoto to name a few.
Yowamushi Pedal has a strong and expanded cast that gives helps push the plot as well as gloss over the world building aspect of the series (course it’s set in the real world). The comedy is simple, the drama is light, but what makes the series shine is the amount of heart that is found in the sport. Each and every racer aims to be the first to cross the finish line and their determination is easily translatable to any reader. Again, in a way similar to Slam Dunk…
The one that definitely sets Yowamushi Pedal apart from Slam Dunk is, it’s still going strong. Cycling series is still racing towards the finish line, telling the story of Onoda and the Shohoku cycling team beyond their first years. Oh, that and it also has an official Live-Action series! and…a ridiculous…ridiculously awesome stage show!
If you haven’t started watching/reading, I highly recommend it. If you have, how excited are you for Sophomore year? Let us know in the comments or in Saiko+