Greetings! I´m ShadowHaken, and welcome to another article where I’ll be talking about the latest anime/manga that I´m reading or watching.
Disclaimer: English is not my native language, so I apologize in advance for anything that is badly written or completely incomprehensible.
You can check the past entry Here.
Chapter 11: Blue Flag
The chapter starts exactly where the past one left; Our girls are hearing that the Coach Tanahashi is engaged with the elder of the Berchuall (before translated as “Birtuall”) Sisters, the (extremely attractive) Betty. Still both Yuri and Megumi, without knowing what to do they just give soulless congratulations to the happy couple.
Later, the girls are very spaced out about what just happened, their Teacher and the Mechanic girl, Mutsuki, are seeing them and Mutsuki says that maybe they are a bit spaced out because the Coach is here and… She gets her speech interrupted because she saw the killing eyes of both Yuri and Megumi.
Later, all the girls are enjoying a BBQ and there it is something weird in the air and everyone can note what that is… Yuri and Megumi are friendly with each other, for that the Gothic Girls Arisu and Kurosu goes to ask them about what is happening, they ask why they are being friends, thing that both Yuri and Megumi says that they have always been friends! They know each other since forever and are like Sisters so… yeah. Still, their words doesn´t convince any of the girls. Then Arisu starts showing the documentary that has made it to youtube and both girls try to put it away, after that everyone starts joking and saying that it is admirable that they are so very much in love…Even though that´s a romantic triangle and those tend to be quite painful. In any case after that everything goes normal.
Later, both Yuri and Megumi are walking and find both Berchuall sister, Tanahashi´s fiancée says that this town it´s nice, the hometown of her beloved one.
Our Heroines say hi to the champions and the Island of Man TT winners greets them and says that Tanahashi talks a lot about his young pupils; everything was going politely until Yuri asks the same thing that she and Megumi are wondering…How it is that they meet Tanahashi?
Betty Starts explaining and says that one day her Sister was injured and couldn´t compete, so she was alone, suddenly Tanahashi came and offered himself to be a substitute to her, obviously she say no to this random weirdo that just came in and decided to not to participate.
Anyway, at a later date, she decides to go on her bike and finds the weird Japanese dude walking, she ask him what is he doing? If he was sad or something? Tanahashi says that no, he isn´t he still doesn´t have a partner; but he is still racing on this very moment, he is traveling the track on foot in order to get it to know better since there are things one can detect when one walks on them.
After that the relationship and friendship between them increased, she was able to see that Tanahashi was good either as a driver or passenger, regardless of the place he is located he understand his partner and what it´s planning.
One day, while talking, She decided to make her move and says that while He can´t be her partner on the race, He is allowed to be her partner…On life. Knowing that, Tanahashi quickly decides to propose to her using some pieces as engagement rings, made of titanium, so it won´t hurt her skin or anything, she was a little surprised since her plan was to start dating as boyfriends and later if they are truly in love with each other and are compatible, marry…The normal dance on this stuff. Still she accepted his proposal, and for that she is very happy since she knows she can count on him since he is kind and hears everyone, he truly understands her…
Yuri stops the speech and starts trashing Coach Tanahashi, thing that Megumi soon joins, both girls says that she truly misunderstood the Coach´s intentions since he is a bike Otaku that doesn´t know anything about relationships, girls or love, he is just a nutjob that has his mind set on the bikes and yeah, he is nice to everybody… So they are sure that she got a wrong impression; they implied that he has no love for her, it was just his usual kindness… Angry, Betty she challenges them on a race, she says that Tanahashi has a good eye and is very proud of his disciples, so she wants to test them, in order to see if Tanahashi can understand the human heart or is, like Yuri and Megumi said, just a bike nutjob!
A short race is about to begin! The Berchuall Sisters against Miyata and Yuri!
The race starts and our girls are able to put themselves ahead! Still they aren´t able to left the Isle of Man TT champions behind! No matter what they do they are still so damn near! What they didn´t knew it was that the Berchuall Sisters could read the Miyakejima girls like a book! By knowing Megumi´s movements they are able to know how to turn, by looking the color of the brakes they know when to slow down! Clearly they have this race in the bag and the Isle of Man Champions wins and show them who is the boss!
After that, Tanahashi´s fiancée says (with a smug face) that she appreciates the warning about Tanahashi, still she is with him, so… good bye and good luck tomorrow.
The day of the preliminaries has started! The course will be little so the racers could show some amazing times now! The race starts and our Girls aren´t doing so hot, they have managed to get in 4th place on her first time, still…There is time to fix that!
Both Yuri and Megumi are resting while Mutsuki is improving the machine… On the meantime, their time has left to the 5 place now! Still… Our girls are discouraged, they now wonder why they want to do all of this? Their objective was to win and go to England and confess to the Coach; but now, he is here…and he has been taken now…So… What is the point now? All of this racing thing had an objective and it was to reach him; but now… What´s the point?
They see that Tanahashi is talking with his soon to be Wife and are having a good time, still the Coach is able to see that his young disciples are having a bad time and decide to give a little motivational speech.
He tells them that if they have something to worry, they must left it behind, if it has something to do with the race, think it over, if not…Forgett it. Focus on the race.
Then Yuri and Megumi burst put and says that while this thing, this pain they have has nothing to do with the race, they just can´t forget it! Just can´t! Suddenly Mutsuki says that the reparations have been completed, also that a curve is a little more slippery due to some oil left in there, so be careful. Both girls ride the bike and goes.
The race continues and they join…Suddenly they reach the before mentioned curve and… Megumi is thrown out flying off the bike while Yuri´s bike is going out of the track!
End of the Chapter.
An amazing chapter that has showed us what it could have been while at the same time show us some complexity on our main characters.
First, back in the first chapter, while the show had some pacing problems by jumping from the past to the present, it show enough promise that it will show us some good racing action while at the same time we get to know a little more about the characters and some drama about the relationships they have, so yeah everything looked to be more like a classic Sports story, thing that we didn´t got; instead what we got was more like a Cute girls doing cute things series with a racing kneeler gimmick, and while some chapters where enjoyable or had some funny moments, the series wasn´t near of what I would have liked it to be on the final product.
Still, on this chapter we got some more classic Sport anime story, this means that the racing got a more central part in both the situation, the story and the way in how the characters solve their conflicts, ergo front and center; this being a welcome change of pace for me! It was truly good to be eager to see a racing and man the results where good! The racing against the Birtuall/Berchuall Sisters was amazing and showed us a very good progression in how the things go!
Now the chapter also showed us some complexity in the characters of Yuri and Megumi regarding that we saw how their relationship is now that they are Sisters in arms against a common enemy, and how they started treating such person (plus the Coach) due to their broken heart, heck the whole time I was seeing how they were talking bad about the coach I was thinking “These Witches are getting out of line” ergo I truly wanted them to see them loose, since that´s no way in talking about their teacher and trying (in a way) to mess on his relationship and personal life just because a broken heart. Still, at the same I could feel sorry for them when they were about to open themselves with the Coach, that they feel lost, that they doesn´t know what to do, they don´t have any objective now that their whole plan has been uttered smashed! And I can understand that they must truly feel sad, desperate and lost, without a guiding light to their way.
Finally, the chapter ended on a cliffhanger, and I can see that Megumi might end injured since her whole body went flying out of the bike! Heck I could see that Yuri will have to have a similar decision as the Elder Birchuall Sister, whose Sister was injured and couldn´t race that time, maybe even will have to choose between stick with Megumi or go and race with either other girl or the Coach himself…In any case I am eager to know what will happen next!
Anyway, my two cents. See ya next time!