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. read more
You are asking yourself why road bikes are so expensive?
You are asking yourself why cyclist are wearing glasses?
You are asking yourself why cycling is so much fun?
You are asking yourself why cyclist are wearing pants with padding?
Then go ahead and go on a journey with Kurata Ami and her friends.
Kurata Ami is a total newbie in the cycling area who enrolled new into a college and wanted to try something new (which she encountered in the first 75 seconds). On this point her passion for cycling has been triggered and you're going to dive with her in this kind of water [...].
In Long Riders! you're going to see a lot of product placements, girls in thighs who are riding road bikes for fun and if you're a beginner as a cyclist you're encounter many situations, where you got the vibe "Oh, yeah. I know that feeling."
As a "Pro" Cyclist you're going to roll your eyes sometimes, but I think the anime isn't directed to these guys.
Art is poor. The first three episodes were okay so far, but in my opinion the art goes more and more down per episode.
The rides are mostly made with badly CGI and the character design looks like from K-ON ... just poorer.
The characters are in my eyes all medicore (so far). Nothing outstanding.
You got a total newbie (MC), loli tsundere, an athletic best friend, a carefree huge boobs girl and an even more athelic unknown new friend.
But Kurata Ami (MC) is in my eyes totally annoying. She fulfills the part with "newbie" perfectly, which I don't mind, but she describe almost everything as cute ... What the hell?
Sound? Well just some background music, which isn't disturbing. But nothing outstandig, where you're going to hit the searchbar and searching like a maniac for a decent download.
So maybe you're asking yourself now, why is he rating the anime mostly not very high, but enjoyed it so far?
Well because I'm a cyclist too and if you watch the anime after a hard workout or in the evening where you don't want to think hard and have a slight interest in cycling, then the anime might be something for you.
But if you're expecting an anime with thrilling sprints like in Overdrive or a lot of tongue fanservice like in Yowamushi Pedal, then you can go miss this anime.
This anime is intended as a fun intro to Road Biking, along with 5 girls. The main character is Ami Kurata, a college student who is a complete newbie at biking.
First off, I want to make a distinction between what I think the type of anime this is and slice of life. Slice of life in my view are basically open ended short stories with an artistic real world view of the story. The type of anime this is, that I am somewhat interested in, are basically showcasing a particular hobby or lifestyle and the life of someone who may start as a beginner and becomes more and more professional throughout the story. They are based on a real skill, and lean more towards realism. These are typically longer form than a typical slice of life.
Stories such as Hikaru No Go (Go board game), Yowamushi Pedal (Road bike racing), Honey and Clover (art), March comes in like a lion (shogi), and Bakuon!! (motorcycles) are a few examples. If you are not familiar with Hikaru No Go, it is an anime that famously started an exciting revival with kids playing and learning Go.
If you enjoy lifestyle anime like I do, this should be enjoyable also. It's all in the title, endurance road biking, which basically showcases a lot of the experiences you can run into while doing so yourself. A lot of it is about the experience of going places on your bike, and becoming a better rider. The scenery you get to enjoy differently than when in a car, the food that tastes so much better in the middle of a ride, the exhausting hills, the exhilarating descents, the joy of riding with a group and in an event.
However, if you live in a part of the world like I do where car drivers typically aren't used to road bikers, then this is basically an idealistic view which might be realistic for parts of Japan, or maybe the Netherlands. Situations that come up in my area that aren't really discussed in the show are: riding at night, getting caught in weather, collisions and near collisions with cars and people, dangerous roads to bike on because of traffic, turning at intersections, being visible (wear bright reflective clothing), pot holes, loose dirt on the road, grates, other bad road conditions, more weather, angry car drivers who think you don't have a right to the road, getting doored, having your bike get stolen, bike laws, etc. I live in the US and we have a long way to go when it comes to many areas not being bikeable by regular people.
If you have a bike trainer, go ahead and ride while watching -- road biking is probably the only type of lifestyle anime that you can participate in while watching!
This anime is available to watch for free on Daisuki.net, which is a bit of a hassle for me since I watch most of my anime on Crunchyroll. read more