Thursday, January 03, 2008
Sugoi! ("Amazing!" or "Cool!" in Japanese)
This anime is about road bicycle racing, and it's sugoi!
It reminds me of Initial D, an anime about drift racing on twisty mountain roads in Japan with venerable cars like the Toyota AE86 and the Mazda RX-7. Although there were a lot of races in Initial D, Over Drive's first season is all about one big long race of 168 km (over 100 miles).
This young kid, Mikoto Shinozaki, is a 15 year old high school kid. He's small and gets picked on by some bullies. He falls in love with a cute girl in his class. He draws pictures of her in her bikini. She sees his drawings and slaps him silly. She asks Shinozaki to join the bicycle club. At first, he can't even ride a bike. He keeps practicing to impress her. Then, a short time later, he and his bicycle club friends enter a local bike race. He promises that he won't disappoint her.
This is a great combination of anime and road bike racing. The beginning starts off kind of slow. The first ten episodes is about Shinozaki meeting the cute girl and the events leading up to the race. The next fourteen episodes is about the big long race. There's a lot of flashbacks concerning each of the characters. It's kind of childish sometimes, but funny and cool most of the time. I like more mature anime, especially mecha, like Macross, Robotech, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, and Appleseed. I'm not talking about hentai when I'm talking about anime for adults. Japanese have very perverted tastes like hentai involving school girls getting raped by tentacles.
Anime always makes characters seem older than they're supposed to be. The upper class high school kids seem to look like they should be in their twenties. They portrayed a 30 year cyclist as an old man.
Anyway, Over Drive motivates me to cycle harder in preparation for the triathlon later this year. If they cycle in the pouring rain up steep mountains and bike 'til they drop, then I must train that hard too. Too bad I have so many hobbies and interests. All of them take up too much time. I need to be able to focus on one thing.