Where to start on this one? Lets go with the basics first.
When I watched the first episode of Capeta, I was a little turned off by the animation. The main character wasn't the usual handsome type. However, that was something I definitely learned to love. I ended up completely falling in love with Ca-chan's big eyes and button nose. His entire look oozed cute, yet dashing in a racing suit :)
The music was also excellently matched to the storyline. It's also one of the better soundtracks I've come across in my years of trapiezing through anime OSTs. It set the right mood and, at times, tugged at the heartstrings! Now that's what I'm talking about.
The characters well well-developed. Especially for a character that didn't have a lot of screen time, Minamoto Naomi was certainly my favourite. In the short scenes that he was in, the anime was able to tell viewers that he was hard-working, passionate, and a bit of a tsundere. What I loved about him was his cool and respectable attitude. It was refreshing! The bond between the characters was also very nice to see. It was very touching to see the brotherly bond between Capeta and Nobu.
The best part was the story! Instead of the usual battle against other competitors, Capeta's real battle was with poverty. Since the beginning, Capeta's biggest challenge was trying to earn enough money to compete in races. For me, and also for a lot of others I'm sure, it was an aspect of Capeta that was very easy to relate to. Watching him struggle against it and not give up was inspirational. Again and again, Capeta triumphed against it and found other ways to race.
Overall, I managed to marathon this one in about a week's time (given I work 40 hrs a week -_-). This one had me hooked. While it didn't have quite the effect as Geass (which has now become something of a benchmark when it comes to anime), it definitely had me loading the next episode while I watched the current one.