Minami Kamakura continues to deprive us of character growth with its last breaths before the season end. We don’t get development like we should after putting the characters in a trying situation, instead we only get smiles and praise. I want to see someone sad or mad- just those basic emotions would really help this show out in a big way. The more I reflect on this episode’s events, the most I get creeped out by the Stepford Wives-ness of it all.
Anyway, let’s get into it!
Last episode we learned that Sandy rides far too fast when she is leading a train, and we saw through the Night Criterium and subsequent stamp collection game that Sandy is furiously competitive. Couple both those flaws with a group of bikers who passes the Cycling Club and you get an episode of Minami Kamakura that doesn’t live up to what I was hoping for.
When Sandy is passed by this cycling team, something in her hive brain activates and she invites Hiromi to chase after the passersby leaving the rest of the MK Cycling Club behind. Hiromi is caught up in the moment, so it’s forgivable that she follows suit, but I feel bad for the rest of the team since they were left in the dust without a way to keep up with Sandy and Hiromi.
It turns out that these racers ahead of the girls are friendly. They end up teaching Sandy and Hiromi how to ride quickly and conserve energy. My only issue with this point in the episode is that we are given a diagram of a foot much like what you would see in a “how-to” video. Typically that blatant sort of teaching is saved for the end of the episode where the girls and that one guy tell us about bikes in real life, and in the show itself we are given lessons on bikes during the application of techniques which makes watching bearable. While this diagram scene is short, I do find it unneeded and I would have preferred more still frames in its place if that was my other option.
Meanwhile, the other girls get lost and have to take the local Ferry to get back on track and catch up with Sandy, Hiromi, and company. Surprisingly, no one is upset with Sandy or Hiromi for taking off from the group and causing a major issue for the rest of the group. I was sure that Fuyune would be mad with Sandy, but she wasn’t.
It was actually just a little eerie how okay with the whole situation everyone was. Hiromi apologized for what was a legitimate mistake on their part, but the rest of the Cycling Club didn’t seem to care much- if at all. A fight would have helped characterization and endearment to a few characters, and I’m actually peeved it didn’t happen at all. What hurts this show the most is a lack of any real conflict.
Next, Hiromi almost faints because she failed to eat anything but a yogurt in the morning before riding for what is possibly 20+ miles. The Cycling Club decides to eat a ton of bread and fried food before setting out on the last leg of their journey, and I wonder how they can do it being bogged down by so many carbs. Croquets and then exercise? This is apparently not an issue because the girls never stop to throw up like I would.
The final problem on this Tour de Peninsula is Fuyune’s flat tire. The only girl who has a fix is Higa. She brought a spare tube- a tool they all should have brought in the first place. Of course, theoretically, Higa only brought the extra tire because of what Shiki’s sister mentioned in their first appearance where Higa was chastised for not having a fix for tires while on a ride. This can lend some excuse to the rest of the club not being prepared for such an eventuality, but I do wonder why the club advisor didn’t mention something herself considering she seems to be a genius biker. I can see that maybe Shiki was attempting a teaching moment by not helping the girls pack, or maybe she simply forgot to mention that they should have a way to fix a flat on long trips.
I have a general inquiry. If you are on a bicycle, do you have to pay a toll?
I’m actually terribly proud of the Cycling Club finally making it to their destination after being turned around a few more times before getting on the right path again. They really seemed to enjoy themselves, and I do hope the girls have a great go out this next episode- which I assume is the last. I haven’t hated this series as much as I thought I would, but I’m also not sad that I will finally be able to stop watching it.