Thoughts & Feelings Column: Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club – Episode Five

This week’s episode establishes that no one told the girls what is involved in making a club, and that clubs have to provide their own funds for any activities they wish to participate in. At least, this seems to be the case with the cycling club.

However, before we learn about the lack of club funding in this school for clubs, we first have to get that mysterious bike store referenced in episode two open! Do you remember that store? The one next to the bakery where Shiki’s sister works? Did you ever expect to see it again? Of course you do and did because that was a very easy and obvious set up. However, did you expect a four foot tall cat girl to be the store manager? Yeah.

two

I know that this show is a manga, and that this character existed before the anime. I understand that entirely. My beef, however, is with the fact that there is a cat girl at all. It’s very strange, out of place, and even if the ears are those fake tech nekomimi things- it’s an overplayed trope that doesn’t belong in a show or manga about riding bikes. Especially a tiny adult with cat ears who is super adorable. I’m all for fan service, but this is just annoying.

oneMoving along, the girls end up meeting with the principal to learn that they cannot be a club any longer if they don’t produce some sort of result. This “result” is ambiguous and the principal gives nothing to the girls in terms of an idea or even outline of what she would want. Apparently, the results produced by the club can be of the their own choosing. I do expect that these results are graded, and that you can’t simply give a vague goal that was completed and count that as producing results. For example, cleaning the club room cannot be a result from the cycling club to keep the cycling club going.

I find it frustrating that the girls are given no ideas about what kinds of results would keep their club going, but since they need bikes the girls aren’t too concerned with the specifics of the requirement. That’s very mature of them, honestly. They are very willing to make their own goals for the club which shows growth that you don’t quite see in high school.

When the cat girl finally opens her shop, we are given an overview of the standard types and body makes of bicycles available. Since there are no all-purpose bikes, cat girl suggests the girls get road racers because they offer the most mobility and they can demonstrate results for their club with distance and endurance easily by training on this bikes.

Now. Here’s where the real kicker comes in. The girls have to purchase the bikes themselves. If you’ve ever thought about purchasing a bike, or even had one as a kid, you’ll know that bicycles are not cheap. Especially good ones at bike shops. These girls are going to have to shell out between $500-$1000 for a bike for this club. I understand that since these bicycles will not be communal, but the shopkeeper doesn’t even offer a school discount for the kids. It’s actually kind of messed up to make a kid buy such an expensive piece of equipment. Even instruments have rental and payment plan options.

fourI’ve never had an intimate moment with a piece of equipment before, so I don’t understand why these girls have to try so many different bikes to pick the one they one. Personally, I’d pick the cheapest option, but this show is focused on giving bicycles an individuality as well as a philosophy. Hiromi cannot find the best bike for her until she rides one that is about $1,000 that suits her perfectly.

Hiromi is the only girl left without a bike at the end of the episode, and I’m really curious if she will find one that she loves before this night bike ride around Kamakura their advisor informed them of.

I know that the girls will succeed in providing the results needed to keep their club afloat, so there isn’t any suspense here. I’m more worried about Hiromi’s inability to adapt and pick out a bike so she can actually ride at this point since the whole point of the show is her riding one.

Read about episode six!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s