Sunday, October 11, 2015

Discovery: Yowamushi Pedal

While watching the news on NHK World, I came upon a report titled “Pedal Power” talking about the good influence the manga Yowamushi Pedal is having on the otaku generation (I can't embed the video but there's a direct link). The manga tells the touching story of a self-identifying otaku who become by chance a member of his high school cycling club and ends up competing in a national championship. In the same fashion that manga like Yawara!, Yakitate!! Japan, Hikaru no Go, Kami no Shizuku or Initial D have revived the young generation's interest into judo, pastry cooking, the board game go, wine tasting or even race drifting, this manga has inspired many young otaku to take up road cycling. Anything that encourages young couch potatoes to do more exercice is great. So it made me curious about this very popular sports manga.

“For 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 granny 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?!” (Text from Yen Press)

Yowamushi Pedal (弱虫ペダル / lit. “weakling pedal”) is a sports manga by Wataru Watanabe which is currently serialized in Akita Shoten's Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine. Since its beginning in February 2008, it has been compiled in forty-one tankōbon volumes so far. The manga is popular, as its many fan pages and scanlations can attest, so it's no surprise that it has been licensed for North America by Yen Press.

Yowamushi Pedal, vol. 1, by Wataru Watanabe. New York, Yen Press, decembre 2015. Trade Paperback, 400 pg., $24.00 US /$29.00 CAN. ISBN: 9780316309523. Recommended for a young readership (7+). A second volume (ISBN 9780316354684) is announced for april 2016.

The manga was also adapted in a two-season animated TV series (38 episodes for Yowamushi Pedal and 24 episodes for Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road), three animated movies (Yowamushi Pedal Re: Ride and Yowamushi Pedal Re: Road simply compiles the episodes of the TV series, while Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie is a sequel) and one video game for Nintendo 3DS. The second season of the TV series is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Discotek Media has acquired the right for the North American Dvd release (due for december 2015).

If you are a cycling fan, this manga and anime will probably interest you.

For more information you can check the following websites:

[ Traduire ]

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