Maiharu Hiromi has moved to Kamakura Nagasaki, and rides a bicycle to school everyday. Then she meets Akizuki Tomoe, the leader of the girls cycling club. She therefore joins the club and her life gradually begins to change.
For the past year I already saw three CGDCT/bike themed shows, out of that Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitenshi-bu was the one that I enjoyed the most, yet. While the three were all Slice of Life anime, this show has that SoL charm that I'm looking for. The info segment which discusses the do's and don'ts on bicycles, and the excursions on Kamakura to search for the best place for sightseeing added to the enjoyment value of the show.
The story and characters surely has it's striking resemblance to the other two shows of the past seasons, I had high expectations to it hoping to be
a bit more orginal on this aspect, well much to my dissappointment it failed nevertheless there was still a part of it that I enjoyed and that was the criterium arc of the series which shows the camaraderie, teamwork and strengths of each characters.
When it comes to art, J.C Staff x A.C.G.T did a great job on the visuals and background thus earned the highest point for me, the vibrant colors of Kamakura's refreshing nature stands out as the bicycle club cruised the road from one place to another was very pleasant and relaxing to watch, the 3DCG... I don't see any problems to it since it was used the right way, I also found the character designs unique, it's like those characters in the pre-2010 shows.
Sound was good, the bgm fits to the SoL genre, I was a bit surprised in the ED song performed by Ika-san, at first I thought it was a male-female duo but turns out that it's only a one man... errr woman band.
I gave the show a 9/10 as I truly enjoyed it despite the setbacks on some parts. Whether you're a Slice of Life lover, a bicycle lover or just wants to have a change of pace in anime I recommend this show for you to watch.
Ummm...Long Riders, LA thinks Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu will like to have a word with ya.....
Biking anime has been on the "rise" and this is anime feels like an above average endevour for this biking "sports" anime niche.
Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu is about a group of girls wanting to form a bicycle club in Minami Kamakura High School and through happenstance, challenges and tribulations they ride to form their club and look at the sights of Japan.
In terms of characters, we have our typical archetypes cast for this kind of anime. We have Hiromi Maiharu voiced by Reina Ueda, the main protagonist
and our typical ditz and genki, Tomoe Akizuki voiced by Yuuki Hirose, our smart and stern one that keeps everyone in step, Fuyune Kamikura voiced by Natsumi Takamori the ojou tsundere and Natsumi Higa voiced by Natsumi Fujiwara the athletic one. LA will say the obvious, but the characters chemistry just has something that clicks for LA and this just isn't because of the unified hobby of biking, but that have interaction not just about biking bringing in the character chemistry all the more better and even better once the club's camaraderie through the trials and tribulations comes into play. There is another character that comes into play, that being Sandy McDougal voiced by Emiko Takeuchi that puts a bit more of a dynamic to the group once she enters the club. The supporting characters aren't just expositional fairies and they have a bit of a personality outside of just being exposition (as in they have lives outside of the cast) that being Shiki Mori voiced by Sayumi Watabe, their teacher and advisor and Korone Hououji voiced by Yurika Kubo, the owner of Cycle Flats. The character cast is typical yes, but they have that character chemistry and the supporting cast not just being expositional fairies just lecturing us really making the anime interesting or just passable at worst.
In terms of animation by JC Staff and A.C.G.T, the animation's character designs are ok and decent at best though LA had a strange irritation with their eyes (mainly because their pupils being too big the majority of the time it inadvertently put attention to it). The background designs are decent to gorgeous as well though it feels like the animation's put more emphasis on it's technical bicycles and the characters riding them than the backgrounds at times. No LA isn't saying that the backgrounds are awful by any means but it seems that the animation just tends to focus more on the it's technical bike scenes than the background at times. On speaking of which, the CGI also done by JC Staff and Xanthus is passable a best as the animation tries to keep using it's traditional style and only use the biking scenes only when it needs to (though in latter episodes it starts to become blatant). Overall the animation is decent enough for LA not to be too annoyed by it either way and the CGI isn't annoyingly obvious.
The voice acting is above average for this anime, what with the ever ditzy genki Reina Ueda as Hiromi to some ok standouts like Natsumi Fujiwara and Natsumi Takamori and Yurika Kubo. Some of the more unique voice cast would easily go to Emiko Takeuchi as Sandy McDougal, what with her broken Japanese and occasional sprinkles of Engrish/English here and there just remind LA alot of Nao Touyama or Yukari Tamura from her. On speaking of reminding, Sayumi Watabe reminded LA ALOT of Shizuka Ito's mature non-femme fatale vocals and her vocals CONSTANTLY reminded LA of Shizuka Ito!. Overall decent voice cast but not enough to either rage about or praise the heavens either.
LA should mention that Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu has an extra segment near the end of every episode, pretty much bringing us a live action segment with two voice actors from the show and essentially lecturing and talking about bike safety and biking 101 like a TV special, it was interesting and unique to say the least and this segment kinda brought up the entire reasoning as to why Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu doesn't do the entire lecturing about biking 101 and gets right into it (though yes, Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu still does exposition about biking but more to it's situations and integrates and blends them to mask it's exposition not making it any more blatant).
If what LA first above statement is anything to go by, LA definitely prefers Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu over Long Riders, sure they both have the same elements of girls and biking together and seeing the sights and whatnot, but LA feels that Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu had a bit more in the background and foreground to make the anime a bit more interesting than it's lackadaisical Long Riders. For one, how the anime structures it pacing with the girls pitted as the underdog of sorts and trying to get through their own tough trials and tribulations to get their biking club is a strong point making the sense of urgency of them biking have a cause to it, unlike Long Riders' "let's just do it because delicious food". Secondly is that the characters have a life outside of their hobby in some respect, sure the main cast are hooked on biking and that's just what they do every single episode, but we still learn more about the main cast AS well as the supporting cast members as well making them less expositional fairies and more developed in some respects. Lastly and most obviously is that the anime's animation is at least above average (not perfect or amazing) than Long Riders is.
*ahem*...Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu is a slightly above average anime about biking, sure it still has the same pitfalls of girls with biking anime LA has ventured into what with our reward effectively being the beautiful backgrounds and what we need to get it are characters talking with each other on bikes here and there, but even with this, Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu is still a decent anime about biking and a welcome step forward for biking animes, though they do kinda need to step it up even more than this though...
God damn it, Hane Sakura's anime about biking outdid Rin Suzunoki's anime about biking.
Firstly, let me say that I feel this anime would have done much better had it preceded Yowapeda, as I imagine a lot of people will be interested in this anime after already having seen the aforementioned and wanting more glorious bicycle action. Also, this is my first review and it's more than likely to contain a few accidental spoilers.
Now that that's out of the way, onto the review. I went into this anime with fairly low expectations but I was pleasantly surprised. Minami Kamakura focuses on the fun side of cycling, touring around, sightseeing, and just enjoying yourself with your friends or by yourself.
It's a nice change from the other sports anime that I've seen which have been very competitive focused.
As this is the case however, it's going to lose a lot of it's audience for the same reason. It's difficult not to compare this work to Yowapeda despite them being wildly different anime, and because of that it kinda... loses a bit of its majesty.
Many people like their anime to be competitive focused, but this one is more about the slice of life aspect, which I personally think is a good direction for it.
Yes, the anime is a little dreary at times. There were a few parts where I got a little annoyed at the anime, majority of the time during the race. Should you watch this? Honestly, the anime is fairly average. I quite enjoyed it for the most part, but I think the rating is fairly accurate. There's nothing that's exceptional about the anime, but I do think it's a very good entry level cycling anime.
- Very definitely marketed towards women and non-cyclers
- All the brands were correct (tfw Cannondate)
- The club supervisor actually has an active role in the club
- It's a very good instructional guide on how to cycle, and how to get into cycling
- It shows off cycling as fun, rather than just for the competitive sporty aspect
- Cute girls
- Sandy's voice actor had an excellent accent which really fit the character, which is a change from other VA's voicing an "American" character
- The background animation and the way the bikes are animated are really nice
- The terminology used is easy to understand for those who aren't into cycling
- Very definitely marketed towards women
- The race was really lackluster
- The odd obsession with mummy bikes
- The mummy bikes being equal in speed to the road bikes???
- The animation for the mostpart seems quite lazy, especially during the race
- The way the faces look just... isn't good
- Nothing really stands out about this anime
- Sandy's reason for being in Japan
If you haven't seen Yowapeda I think this anime is a really good entrypoint into the world of cycling. If you have, try not to compare the two or you might just drop it when the race comes along. I've given this anime a 7 because I feel like a 6 isn't doing it justice, and it's definitely a decent anime.
Story: so the story starts out with Hiromi who starts riding a bike to school but on the way there meets a girl by the name of Tomoe and she kinda tells her how to ride a bike and such later down the line they have to look for a club (cause the school demands that you do) so they do meet 2 other girls and they decide to make a cycling club but the thing is they have to make certain requirements to make the club stay alive or risk getting it shut down so Hiromi and the girls do certain stuff like touring
and racing in order for the club to stay alive (also i will admit that the story is kinda typical that Hiromi at first didn't really care for cycling that much than after meeting some people and what not she starts to like it) but again the story is decent for me.
Art: now a lot of people who reviewed this said the CGI was like bad but honestly i didn't think it was THAT bad but you could tell it didn't look that great honestly otherwise the other art in the anime was actually fairly good.
Sound: the OP and ED i though were eh at first but i started to like them more and more as the anime went on also the voice actress were all really good.
Characters: Hiromi is one of the four female leads and well she starts to like cycling form Tomoe and well from all the girls in general she also is kinda of a klutz and what not a pretty go happy character that i liked. Tomoe is another female lead of the anime and is the club president (for the record she doesn't get named the president like way later down in the anime so just saying) she honestly almost the same as Hiromi but unlike her shes not really a Klutz like her but again a pretty chill and happy character. Natsumi is another female lead and well she is almost like all the other characters in the anime she is a pretty happy go person honestly all the characters all in this are like this but she joined later on in the anime as well (maybe like 3 or 4) . Fuyune she was in the club until like i said about Natsumi but she does kinda seem like a rich girl but again she is like a go happy girl like the rest of the girls. Shiki is a supporting character and a teacher of the cycling club and for a shocker as a actual role in the club instead of actually getting foreshadowed but again she is a nice and going person in the anime.
Enjoyment: Things that i liked: me personally i really enjoyed this anime a lot i mean A LOT i was kinda surprised by that also that the characters again i personally like them all in this anime also the fact that at the end of every episode you'd learn stuff about bikes like what kinda of frame to buy what happens when you get a flat and stuff like that. Things that i didn't like: honestly comedy wasn't there like at all but honestly i kinda expected that also the CGI is kinda eh but honestly don't really care how a anime looks honestly just a nit pick.
Overall: im giving this a 7 honestly this anime is a good start if you like cycling or sports anime in general (actually my second sport anime ive seen) honestly this anime was really enjoyable for me like i was surprised by this anime (honestly thought id give this a 6 or a 6.5) but no i really did enjoy this anime a lot and i would recommend this anime if it is your thing or you like cycling in general.
Nothing gets the blood pumping like a high-intensity race, be it in a car, bike, or even mecha suit. Youthful passion and energy fuel these shows about drivers, pilots and athletes all striving for that #1 spot. As Ricky Bobby once famously said, "If you ain't first, you're last".