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YP was the first anime that I started following from week to week back in september 2013 when the first episode aired. It was recommended to me by a close friend and I’m so happy that he did that.
(WARNING SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD)
*First of all I'm a big cycling fan so I was extremely happy that there was finally a good anime about cycling. There are some other cycling anime’s out there that I tried like for instance Overdrive but they aren't that good. Yowamushi Pedal created a really good cycling anime even for non cyclists. YP educates it’s viewers as a lot of cycling techniques are explained along the way. I can see why the anime is such a succes in Japan. 52 episodes, 2 movies, CD’s, stage plays and a game in the making proof the succes of YP.
*The story and tension that goes along with the races glued me to my screen. YP was my weekly Monday appointment and every single week I was looking forward to the next episode. The tension that's build up during the races puts you at the tip of your seat and makes you come back week after week after week.
*Another big positive point were the characters, every one of theme is very well worked out with loads of different personalities. We also get backstories for every single character from YP and there are quite the number of them: about 15 of them. Each with their own unique and intriguing backstory. My favorite characters were Kinjou and Arakita. The determination that Kinjou shows and the way he can motivate people makes him the perfect team captain. Arakita is just one crazy dude and for me the most interesting character from the entire anime.
*Related to that is the development that our 3 main protagonists (Onoda, Naruko and Imaizumi) go through. All three of them make big progression in their character especially mentally.
*A last positive point were the songs. I enjoyed every intro and ending song from YP all 10 of them. They’re all on my IPhone and I regularly listen to them when I’m training indoors. And then there is of course the Hime song which makes you laugh out loud multiple times throughout the anime when a certain character sings it.
*I thought that it was a shame that they didn’t do anything with the romantic possibilities in YP. There was clearly a connection between Onoda and Kanzaki on one hand and between Manami and Miyahara on the other hand. I would have loved to see something evolving in these 2 relationships but there wasn’t. A missed chance in my eyes.
*I had a bit of a problem with the way that some characters left the anime. This start to happen in Grande Road. For most characters their exit was very well done but for Midousuji and Machimiya it was quite superficial. I don’t really understand why Midousuji falls to the ground all of a sudden. It happens without clear reason to me. Than for the Hiroshima team, when I saw the first opening of Grande Road and saw that there was an entirely new team I thought that they would play a major role in the second season but after approximately 10 episodes they just leave the anime never to return again.
*A last negative point is really nitpicking from me because 95% of the viewers won’t even notice this. I noticed it because I’m a cyclist myself. I found that there were some improbabilities and impossibilities in the race mechanics, going from gear ratios to characters who seem to have an endless amount of stamina. An example of these improbabilities is the training camp where the riders have to ride 1000km in 4 days. That’s something that even professional road cyclists don’t do. But again this is nitpicking from me and the most of you won’t notice these flaws.
As a conclusion, I had an absolute blast watching YP. I enjoyed it from episode 1 all the way to episode 52 without one moment that I thought that the anime was declining. No, it just keeps getting better and better until the end. I’m going to rate YP at 4 stars and I would definitely recommend it even if you’re not a fan of cycling.