Monday Manga Review: Yowamushi Pedal Vol. 1

yowamushi-pedal-coverFor the love of all things otaku–anime, video games, figures, you name it!

Power-pedaling Sakamichi Onoda has long been conquering the steepest slopes and regularly making the ninety-kilometer round-trip to Akihabara on a mommy bike!! But when his bike commute to his new high school lands him in a confrontation with the serious first-year road racer Imaizumi, Onoda has a major showdown on his hands! Can this meek geek really out-pedal the future ace of the school road-racing team?!

A manga about bicycling? Wataru Watanabde gives us Yowamushi Pedal a fantastic series that delivers in a hell of a lot of ways.

Focused on Sakamichi Onoda the first volume is a simple tale of a young boy who heads to high school where he feels like he can finally fit in by joining the anime/manga club, but it’s canceled. For a long time now he’s been heading to Akihabara to get the latest releases and due to the distance and the bike he’s been using he’s really good at biking. Challenged by a die hard bicyclist Imaizumi, this is a chance for Sakamichi to prove he’s more than an anime/manga otaku.

The series is a fun that’s relatable as it dives into the geek vs. jock dynamic so many of us are familiar with. But, it also has a lesson that appearances can be deceiving and even though he might look like a stereotypical geek, he’s really good at biking.

The first volume is a hell of a setup giving us reasons as to why Sakamichi is so good and more than enough to relate to him as well. Watanabe nails it as far as story and art drawing us in.

The art is fantastic with a great mix of action of quieter moments, but all of them in a way that’s engaging. What I personally really enjoy about this particular volume is that some of the translations and explanations of the original Japanese are in the margins on the page as opposed to being in the back of the manga (though there’s some of that too). So, you can spend a bit more time on the page appreciating everything and helping to understand some of the details.

While the lessons and themes of this first volume or simple, they’re also familiar, and due to that it makes this series relatable and one I can’t wait to read more of.

Story: Wataru Watanabe Art: Wataru Watanabe
Story: 8.85 Art: 8.85 Overall: 8.85 Recommendation: Buy

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