Yowamushi Pedal is written and drawn by Wataru Watanabe. It simply revolves around Onoda Sakamichi as he ventures deep into the world of road racing. In this article, we want to showcase the incredible characters of Yowapeda. We will list the top 10 characters who showed great efforts to become what they are today, also considering their overall determination for the sport. Before starting with the article, we would like to put up a spoiler disclaimer, so read at your discretion. We advise that you have at least watched the latest episodes of the current season of Yowapeda so you can fully understand the whole article. With that said, scroll down for the list~
10. Imaizumi Shunsuke
Just like any other competitive club, the Sohoku High Bicycle Club aim to be the champions of their sport. But before training its members to be the fastest team to reach the finish line, the Sohoku Bicycle Club wants to teach their members the core of their team, which is teamwork. Sadly, the word itself didn’t sit quite well with Imaizumi.
Prior to joining the Sohoku Bicycle Club, Imaizumi had always been serious and indifferent to his surroundings. He wants nothing more than to be left alone in silence, even if it means he has to be aggressive about it. This simple reasoning of his has always made him the number one person to reach the finish line during competitions. But an incident with Midousuji caused him to be more mindful of his abilities, resulting in him becoming more focused and hard on himself.
However, this all changed when he experienced first-hand what teamwork could do. Imaizumi was very doubtful at first about relying on his teammates, but he realized that every member of their main line-up has an important responsibility and that he mustn't fight alone. Over time, he has become less concerned with Midousuji and just focused on improving with his teammates in mind. Out of all the members of the Sohoku Bicycle Club, Imaizumi regards teamwork as an important aspect of their team. Some may not notice it, but his determination to change himself for his team brought him to be stronger than his old self. He even becomes more open, gaining friends and fun experiences in the process.
9. Arakita Yasutomo
Arakita is a member of the Hakone Academy Bicycle Club and is known to be an all-rounder like the aforementioned Imaizumi. Even before becoming the well-known “racing demon” of the Hakone Club, Arakita was an excellent baseball pitcher with a promising future. Unfortunately, an injury to his elbow caused him to not participate in the tournament. His elbow did heal, but his pitches weren’t as amazing as before. He eventually left the baseball club, becoming lonely and angry at the things that happened to him. Arakita was so mad that he targeted Fukutomi Juichi, who just wanted to have a little rest. Arakita was then challenged by Fukutomi to a race, using his scooter vs Fukutomi’s road racer bicycle. To his utter shock, he lost and was extremely curious about road racing in general.
As seen in the anime, particularly in Episode 30, Arakita didn’t have a good start when he first handled a road racer. In just a short amount of time, he became adaptable in using the road racer and even achieved great things with it. He mainly assists his teammates and is a great puller, proven when he pulled Onoda and Manami when the three of them were pulled by the “pack” of riders. People may see him as a reckless rider; nonetheless, he proves to be a very strong asset of the Hakone Club. We may not entirely see how hard he tried to become an experienced rider, but his determination to support and pull his teammates to the top is enough to put him on this list.
8. Teshima Junta
Every racer wants to be the number one person to reach the goal and Teshima is no exception to that. Losing race after race, he felt he would never be the first one to reach the finish line, as he believed that only the “elite” people can achieve it. He was very disappointed and frustrated with himself until he met another ordinary person like him: Aoyagi Hajime. With his remarkable strategies matched with Aoyagi’s above-average riding skills, they were proven to be a good combination. With their teamwork, “they” won competitions. Although Aoyagi didn’t like the fact that he was the only one who was taking the credit for their hard work, Teshima was satisfied because he believed that an ordinary person like him could beat the “elites”.
Even though both Teshima and Aoyagi trained hard to become the strong cyclists that they are today, Teshima was the weakest out of the two and therefore must practice twice as much as his partner Aoyagi. Unlike Aoyagi, who seems to be following the footsteps of his senpai, Tadoko Jin, Teshima was still quite weak when it comes to road racing. He knew he was the weakest member of the team, that is why when Koga Kimitaka showed up to take Tashima’s title as the captain of the Sohoku Bicycle Club, he did not hesitate to prove to himself and to others that he deserved the responsibility of looking after the club. For him to acknowledge that he is weak and that he must get stronger for the whole team is very admirable.
Of course, despite claiming to be the weakest member of the team, that is not quite true. Teshima’s incredible tactics and strategies are his forte and can make the team stronger than they could ever imagine. Add in his sassy attitude, and Teshima is no doubt the perfect captain for the Sohoku Bicycle Club.
7. Naruko Shoukichi
Being the fastest and the flashiest person is the main motto of Naruko. Even before joining the Sohoku Bicycle Club, Naruko had already made a name for himself in his hometown, Osaka, as “Naniwa’s Speed Man”. During his younger years, Naruko was often mocked by people, saying that he was tiny and small. He was fed up with the constant insults, so he tried to prove them wrong by taking up road racing after he saw road racers on the way home. Naruko wanted to be flashy like the riders he saw before, but ultimately failed and was therefore teased by others again. Still, Naruko was persistent and after 5 years of continuous practice, he finally won his first race.
Being an experienced rider at an early age, Naruko is incredibly good at road racing. With that said, he still seeks to be stronger than before, proven when he decides to become an all-rounder for the team in the third season of the anime. His determination to win is also unmatched! Like his teammates, he is willing to do everything to win the race, but during the inter-high completion, he took this to a whole new level. During the race, it was up to the three rookie first years to bring the Sohoku jersey across the finish line. Naruko took the initiative to pull Imaizumi and Onoda up the mountain using the Armstrong Climb even though he was initially a sprinter. He continued to pull his friends until he finally collapsed because of lack of oxygen. Naruko did not personally cross the finish line but the effort that he gave to Sohoku paved the way for them to win the competition.
6. Manami Sangaku
“Wonder Boy” Manami is another exceptional climber in the Hakone Bicycle Club besides his senpai, Toudou Jinpachi. Manami was known to have a weak constitution during his earlier years. He mostly stayed at home and envied the other kids that would play outside. His childhood friend, Miyahara, who thought that Manami should move more, introduced him to cycling. Manami immediately fell in love with the sport, saying that the pain he felt from climbing uphill courses made him feel alive. From then on, his health improved and he would enjoy climbing hills and slopes to no end.
If Sokoku has an unpredictable rider like Onoda, Hakone also has theirs, Manami. You must be wondering why Manami, who is usually late to club practices, is here on the list. To answer that question, it is simply because he set aside his well-being just so he could do cycling. It may have helped him improve his health, nonetheless, he was brave enough to take that risk. Not only that, Manami learned to accept his failures and just be himself again, making him more capable than before. After the Inter-high competition, he constantly blamed himself for making Hakone lose after their consecutive wins. He would always practice, forgetting the fact that he is more amazing when he rides freely. Manami’s passion for cycling is unrivaled, demonstrated when he once again left a water bottle for Onoda to face him again in the upcoming Inter-high competition.
5. Shinkai Hayato
We have another member of Hakone Academy for our next list. Shinkai Hayato is a reliable sprinter who is known as the “Straight Line Demon” for he would go straight ahead to the finish line looking like a total demon. But, one year prior to Manami’s entry to Hakone Academy, he did not join the Inter-high because of an awful accident. During one of his races in his second year, he needed to pass by the left side of his opponent in order to win the race, but in doing so, he accidentally ran over a mother rabbit that was passing by the road. This incident greatly traumatized him, deciding not to pass a rider’s left side from then on as he remembers the horrible incident.
Because of the promise that he had with Fukutomi, Shinkai was given the chance to skip competitions. But now that they are in their third year and are about to enter the Inter-high competition, Shinkai has to fulfill his promise to Fukutomi to join the main line-up. With the help of his teammates, he tried to overcome his fear, but still, the incident from that time was too vivid for him to forget. Astonishingly, during the race with Midousuji, Shinkai overcame his fears when he remembered how his teammates supported him and realized that they believe in him. He did lose to Midousuji, but he was nevertheless congratulated for his efforts. It may not seem like it, but overcoming a fear takes a lot of effort, both emotionally and physically.
4. Izumida Touichirou
Izumida is another sprinter from Hakone Academy and the apprentice of Shinkai Hayato. Izumida is just like Teshima and Aoyagi who started off as ordinary men. But unlike Teshima and Aoyagi, Izumida pushed himself harder than the two and learned that he has something hidden inside him: Andy and Frank! But joking aside, he learned that he too was capable of competing against the stronger riders. He practiced a lot as a first year, but it seemed he was always falling behind. Until he was put in a corner when Fukutomi commented that he didn’t need to ride anymore. It made him upset but thankfully, Shinkai saw something in him. It took him a while to get where he is right now, but he prevailed thanks to his senpai, Shinkai, and his persistent determination to become strong.
Now, as a third year and as the new captain of the Hakone Bicycle Club, Izumida has truly become stronger than before. As shown in Episode 7 of Yowapeda’s third season, when he finally got the chance to beat the senpai he admires the most. Not only that, but because of his continuous effort, another muscle which he named Fabian, will surely be another hard hurdle to pass for the Sohoku team. But if you think that Izumida is oddly obsessed with making himself stronger, wait till you see our 2nd runner up on the list.
3. Makishima Yusuke
Makishima is a climber for the Sokoku Bicycle club and the senpai of our protagonist, Onoda. No one can deny that Makishima is the senpai that anyone would like to have. He may come off as strange and creepy at first, but nevertheless, he is a person that anyone can appreciate and admire once given a chance to know him. Before being famously known as the “Peak Spider”, Makishima thought joining the bicycle club would make him ride with his friends. However, due to his unique way of dancing, a lot were creeped out by him, including his senpais. His senpais even tried to correct his way of riding. Sick of being insulted, Makishima gave up the idea of riding with others and focused on improving himself.
But like any other person, Makishima did not know where to start. He consulted his fellow member, Kinjou Shingo, on how to train effectively and efficiently. Kinjou suggested Makishima should record his training so he can see the results. Makishima did what Kinjou suggested, but instead of putting in on paper, he wrote his progress in the club room’s wall, covered by a poster. Makishima then began to improve and in time showed everyone what he was capable off when he showed them his technique, the Spider Climb. He was then given the respect that he deserved, but he found out that a scary senpai of his learned about his vandalism of the club room. Makishima then carved out a hole in the wall to erase his progress. Makishima’s efforts to be recognized with his own riding style is not a joke. That may have been the reason why Makishima was so determined to teach Onoda to accept and improve his own style of riding instead of following what is known as the norm in the sport.
2. Midousuji Akira
Remember when we said that there is someone who is more oddly obsessive of becoming stronger? Yup, it’s none other than Midousuji. In fact, he is on this list and even placed higher because this monster will do anything, literally anything to win any race. Manipulation? Betrayal? Extreme body modification? Yeah, Midousuji can absolutely, without question, will do all those things if it means winning the competition. But before becoming the villain we all know today, Midousuji came from humble beginnings like the others on this list.
Midousuji’s mother was very sickly during his younger days and would often use his bike to go to the hospital. He was mostly bullied in school and was viewed as someone gross and weak. His only comfort was his mother. Midousuji loved his mother immensely and would always take the things that his mother told him to heart. Like having beautiful teeth or becoming a pro at road racing. Because of this, he decided to become a road racer and aimed to be the fastest of all his opponents. Midousuji won a race but his mother’s health was declining at a fast rate. He invited his mother to watch him ride, but unfortunately, his mother died on the day of the competition. Since then, he decided that he will only win in competitions and that failure is not acceptable, as that is what his mother told him to do: to keep moving forward.
Midousuji may have uncanny ways to win the race, but his extreme determination is the reason why we have a scary and compelling villain that we can enjoy watching. Especially so in the third season of Yowapeda, as he evolves more to become a formidable opponent for the Hakone and Sohoku teams.
1. Onoda Sakamichi
Our top of the list is none other than our protagonist, Onoda! Onoda is an otaku who wanted nothing more than to befriend someone with the same interests as him. He decided that once he enters Sohoku High, he would join the anime club. Much to his dismay, the anime club was dissolved but, nevertheless, Onoda found a place in the Bicycle Club. Thanks to his love for anime, traveling from Chiba to Akibahara, he unknowingly harnessed his talent for cycling.
Unlike most of the characters on this list, Onoda is more determined to ride with his friends than winning the competition. Although he is a beginner in the world of road racing, Onoda has proven himself a daunting opponent, and that alone is the reason why he is on the top of our list. Onoda is quite an unexpected character, just like Manami from Hakone Academy. Like his rival, Onoda becomes an imposing opponent when he is having fun. He may not be the overall best rider in the series, lacking in both technique and skills when he rides, but just imagine the hidden capabilities of his that have not yet awakened. Onoda does have talent when it comes to road racing, but he never stops exerting an effort to develop himself for his team.
The world of road racing is no joke, as there are a lot of factors to consider in order to win. You may have a well thought-out plan, but that can change in the blink of an eye when something unexpected happens. That is why Yowapeda is an amazing watch, because even though there are a lot of stronger characters in the series, there are certain characters, who we do not expect to win, that can reach the final goal. We see that the characters didn’t just start as strong as they are. We see that effort alone is not enough to win the race, but one must also have the drive to come up to the top.
Before we conclude this article, we would like to give a special mention to Sugimoto Terufumi. Just look at the amazing results he showed during the 1st year race in the third season. He deserves a thunder of claps for improving that much. So, besides the mentioned characters here, do you know other characters that deserve to be on this list? Tell us why as you write it down in the comments section below. Remember to stay tuned to Honey’s Anime, and as always I’ll now be signing off~