Falling in love at first sight with a collapsible bicycle outside the station, Ami Kurata, first-year university student empties her account without a second thought and buys the bicycle. Now she enjoys weekend cycling trips with Aoi, her childhood friend, and Hinako, a senior at her university. "Owning a road bike may change your view of the world completely." Prompted by the comment, Ami purchased a road bike, and she is really impressed with the traveling performance. As soon as she places her feet on the pedals and presses down, everything about riding a road bicycle—the lightness of the pedal, the speed, the acceleration—is nothing like she has ever experienced. Ami's cycle life gets going with the new road cycle as her partner!
There are many anime about girls doing some specific activity, with that activity being just excuse to show cute and heartwarming moments. While Long Riders! doesn't lack those aspects, in my opinion it's first and foremost sports anime and should be treated as one - more about it later.
Story is as simple as it gets. It follows Ami as she starts her adventure with cycling and slowly gains experience and becomes better. There are many cute and relaxing moments, there is comedy too, but main focus is cycling itself. It's exactly why I see it as a sports anime: Long Riders! puts heavy focus on
bikes and cycling. It does excellent (and I mean it) job at showing emotions one feels during their adventure as a cyclist: first bike, feeling of freedom, first 100km and so on. This anime also surprised me with how accurate it was about technical side of cycling. Every episode shared information that you usually learn yourself over time - and managed to keep it natural, without turning into some trivia show. I'm sure person who wrote it had personal experience with bikes - he wouldn't be able to share it so perfectly otherwise.
Sadly, characters are weak point of this anime. While they fulfilled their roles, there was nothing interesting about them. Ami was the only character that got some development. I found all girls rather bland and uninteresting. If this was purely cute girls SoL that'd be a deal breaker.
As a side note: despite being college students they felt like any other group of highschool girls.
I have mixed feelings about art. Backgrounds were really pretty and seeing those bikes made me pause to look at details, but animation, especially moments of mixed CGI and normal animation, was lacking. Character design seemed slightly weird at first, but after getting used to it there were no problems.
And surprisingly there was pretty much no fanservice. Unless, like me, you get turned on by bikes.
Being cyclist myself I really enjoyed it and expect to rewatch it multiple times. Outside of things mentioned earlier, I also found Long Riders! to be very inspirational. I can't imagine any fan of cycling that wouldn't want to stop watching and go for a ride.
Now, I doubt someone not interested in cycling would enjoy this anime. I'll repeat myself here, but it's not exactly CGDCT SoL show. If you came here for cute moments, then I'm afraid you will be mostly bored with all the bike talk.
"Let's enjoy cycling!" - the catchphrase on the title of this anime. It actually describes pretty accurately what you can expect from Long Riders!
With beautiful visual, relaxing atmosphere and cute girls this anime promises you a trip around the beautiful Japanese landscape. The story primarily focuses on giving you the best introduction to what cycling for fun is like and it did it pretty well at least in my opinion. I enjoyed the hell out of this anime.
You can actually call an anime successful if it gets you interested in the topic it presents - this time it is cycling and to be honest
I actually am currently pretty interested in riding long distances just because of this anime. With a concept I am so familiar with I didn't actually think much of Long Riders! when I first saw it nor did I expect to learn so much about bicycles and cycling in general. I Thought this anime as more of as an side dish alongside the other seasonal shows but it actually turned out to be one of my favorite shows of the Fall 2016.
Story: i mean there really is no story honestly to this anime ami is walking to college one time when she sees a random person riding on a bike and then she gets the sudden will to try and start cycling and after that she will easily learn about how to maintain a bike and certain stuff about bikes and stuff like that and that's about it.
Art: Ok so ill first start and say that the CGI here isn't the best but it isn't that bad either could have definitely been a lot better (even though i don't care how the art looks) but still
it good have been better as for the art overall its really good and not the bad or terrible.
Sound: now ill say here (before i say something about the OP and ED) the Voice actress here were really good here but i could see how they could kinda be annoying (with the characters not shiting on the voice actress at all) but some of the character can kinda get annoying but not to that point but yeah as for the Op and Ed they were both good but nothing id download though.
Characters: Yayoi is one of the main female leads and well like what someone said she pretty much the large breasted girl here in the anime she (like most to all the girls in the anime) have the happy attitude to them. Ami is another of the female leads (considered to be the actual legit main) is well a pretty happy go lucky but is usually overwhelmed a lot and what not when she learns new stuff about bikes and what not basically ami in a nutshell. Aoi is another female lead and well again mostly happy and go lucky and Ami's best friend (she of course gets more friends but at the start of the anime she is probably her only friend) again like most she does kinda get embarrassed here and the like all the girls here but again all of them are good. Hinako is another female lead and well she can kinda be abrasive (its not the bad but like to a extent she can be) and like the rest just a happy go lucky person. Saki is the last female lead and well she is a pretty hungry person and (and also shows up a little later in the anime) again another happy person nothing more.
Enjoyment: What i liked: i mean the comedy is here (not as much) but when it was it was really good and also the for being enjoyable it was really (even though i don't cycle it was still enjoyable to watch) also learning about different stuff when it comes to bikes and how to be prepared for certain stuff when dealing with your bike was really interesting. What i didn't like: ok so the comedy here wasn't really there if at all again the few spots it did have comedy it was really good but again comedy wasn't there as much and also the CGI isn't the greatest either here probably my only real complaints with the anime.
Overall: im giving this a 7 ( i probably would have giving this a 8 if the comedy here was there and was really good) but again comedy is decent at best also if your into cycling or not you'll still enjoy this anime as did i its a anime that is worth the watch for sure.
*I'm by no means a bicyclist and haven't even touched a bike in years so don't expect any in-depth details or knowledge from me, I'm only in for CGDCT*
Long Riders, a 12 episodes anime airing in the Fall 2016 season that should have been done in December like everything else with the same amount of episodes but went through a production hell with episodes being delayed and struggling to even make the animation decent. Seems to be a recurring thing with Studio Actas from what I've seen from them with Regalia being the last I saw from them, halting the production too. But now
it's done so I can talk about it.
When it comes to plot in a bicycle comfy SoL show there really isn't much to say that doesn't combine it with the characters as it's all about the characters and their motivations or well...mostly just our protagonist motivations. We follow the newbie Ami who always had an interest in cycling but never really dared to get into it until it kinda randomly happens in the first episode with her already experienced bicycler friend, Aoi deciding to help her out with Ami's decision to get into bicycling. And then on from there it's kinda just all about Ami learning new things and what to buy, meet more bicyclers that then teach her even more new stuff to improve etc.
The thing is that this is a comfy SoL so there really is not any competitiveness since Ami is new to all this and is learning throughout all the season as a hobby atleast at the start, so which is why there really is not much to say about the plot in this, there is basically none. It's mostly just info dump after info dump and hell even I learned about a lot just watching this actually. On that front it's great and you see Ami definitely develops into a great character by the end of it, loved how it all came back together at the end with everything she learned.
Even though I like Ami and her learning and me myself as a viewer on that, here is what's really worst about this show. The supporting cast, they are basically just pure info dumps characters with no development whatsoever throughout this show. They all have their cliché trope personality like the short abrasive blonde and her mature busty "ara ara" friend and then later on another black-haired character that looks way too much like Aoi so I mistook her several times.... they are all just sorta there giving info and there was no "breather" episode where they didn't bicycle and just talked and get to know each other much on a personal level, I found it kinda baffling how they would just help each other out so much given how little they really knew about each other. It was obvious though they wanted Ami to get all the focus and develop her the most since she was the most inexperienced. But they most likely would have given the supporting cast more personality and background if they got more episodes than 12, assumingly.
Animation & Sound:
Well like I mentioned at the start of the review this sure had a lot of struggles, this could only look decent at best but those best times didn't happen much even after those two delays around the start and the middle parts. The funny thing is that they put out a recap episode of SoL show with no plot like that would ever be needed. Anyways the eyes could look real derpy sometimes so they sorta looked cross-eyed or that the lip-syncing was not all there and looked weird etc. And the 3DCG elements which they used from time to time when they were bicycling looked real choppy like 10-15 fps which still not many can make smooth these days. So lots of awkward scenes like that but I will give them this, the last two delayed episodes did look great, I didn't spot any awkward animation even with the 3DCG moments so good on them really using that time to make it look good.
To round it off I consider the last two episodes to be the best out of the whole show both animation wise and how it ended, too bad the quality wasn't like that throughout and it probably won't get a second season, oh well I did enjoy it for what it was even though it lacked on several levels. Solid SoL and CGDCT.