While other shows are starting to wrap up, we’re about half-way through Long Riders now. I wonder what will happen when the Winter season starts? I hope that the end of the series can air as planned.
A little time has passed since the last episode, and Ami has had a chance to do more training and get more experienced, so she decides that she’d like to attempt riding Yabitsu Pass again with her friends. I think that it’s really good to see Ami applying her experience and attempting something again which she failed at previously. This time she makes it to the top!
At the top of Yabitsu, Ami sees a group of cyclists wearing team jerseys and becomes really interested in having some matching jerseys for her and her group of friends. I’m surprised that she hasn’t got a jersey or cycling top prior to this instead of just wearing polo shirts because they’re lighter, tend to be designed with breathable fabric, and are also more aerodynamic. Of course, having a matching set with friends would be something special.
Ami does some research at home on custom jerseys to get an idea of price and style. The mentioned minimum order of five seems really small, especially as I’d assume that they’d be in different sizes? I don’t think that petite Hinako would wear the same size in tops as Saki or Yayoi. I’d imagine that there’d be a substantial mark-up on these to make the order size of five financially viable, or the company is doing some other cost cutting measures to make this work. Fortunately for Ami though, there’s exactly five people in her group of cycling friends. I guess this is a plot convenience thing.
Everyone is receptive to the idea of matching jerseys and Ami also mentions wanting to ride in a flèche but it turns out that you need to be 20 to participate in this event. In Japan, you become an adult at 20, so I’d expect that this may be some kind of legal or red tape thing. As a first year university student, Ami is probably 18 or just 19, so it will be a while before she gets a chance to give this a try. Time has been passing at a reasonable rate in this anime though, so we may get to see the flèche prior to the end of the series.
It seems like Ami is really good (or at least really enthusiastic) at design work. It hasn’t been mentioned what her area of study is at university, and it may be something related to art or design, but for someone who said that she had no real prior hobbies or interests, she certainly seems to be quite skillful at coming up with jersey designs. I understand that ‘no prior hobbies or interests’ is a way of conveying that a character has their attention really grabbed by a particular thing, but it just strikes me as implausible, especially for university aged characters. I know that I’ll find myself becoming interested in new hobbies and perhaps spending less time on older ones to make way for newer ones, but there’s always interesting things out there, and I think that most people as young adults will have found a few things to ignite their passion.
Despite the giant pile of jersey designs, Ami hadn’t given any though to a team name, so it’s decided to brainstorm one as a group. After a few rejected ideas, it’s settled on to name the team Fortuna since she’s the Roman goddess who was in charge of the wheel of time and good luck, and both wheels and luck seem apposite for the girls.
I felt like this week’s episode had a good mixture of cycling and slice-of-life elements and was also quite solid visually. There seemed to be less rushed and off-model designs than previous weeks. I realise this is totally a niche interest show, but I’ve been quite happy with the mixture of the relaxing slice-of-life feel and the accurate cycling details.