I am really starting to get into sports anime. Though the themes are often the same, they all seem to have an element of excitement and doubt, as the outcomes are not always guaranteed. Yowamushi Pedal is no exception. I just finished the first two seasons.

Sakamichi Onoda is a first year high school student who had trouble making friends in middle school. Short, thin, and wearing glasses, he is not exactly an imposing figure. Sakamichi decides to reopen his new schoolís anime and manga club, so he can make friends with those who share his love for anime and manga. But instead he gets roped into joining the Bicycle Racing Club, and in doing so discovers several things about himself. Sakamichi discovers that he loves the speed, loves the competition, and he loves pushing himself to his limits and beyond. He also discovers he has a talent for the sport. Despite no prior racing experience, knowledge of the fundamentals, or an effective technique, as team captain Shingo Kinjou points out, Sakamichi has the ability to do the unexpected.

There are many steps forward, and many steps back. Sakamichi must deal with these setbacks, but not alone. He learns the value of team work, and that in bicycle racing no one wins apart from his team.

There are several other characters of interest, including a villain who you would really just like to punch in the face. He is that obnoxious. Some of these characters seem quite one-dimensional when we first meet them. But then we learn their backstories, understand what motivates them, and see the baggage that some carry with them. Particularly, there are fellow first years Shunsuke Imaizumi and Shoukichi Naruko, who have their own rivalry going, and Sangaku Manami, a first year from a rival school who befriends Sakamichi.

The only character I donít care for is Sakamichiís mom, an empty headed housewife who is there for extra, unneeded comic relief. It would have been interesting to see more of Sakamichiís home life, but not with an empty headed mother who canít understand what her son is telling her. She seems to belong to an entirely different era.

I liked the artwork and animation, both top notch for a series. They really do bring you into the race. Of course, artistic license is taken as far as execution of the sport, but that is to be expected.

The really good news is that there are more seasons of Yowamushi Pedal that follow. There is also a movie from the series. I donít know any details of those. But if they are anything like the first two seasons, they are well worth watching.