Series Review – Long Riders!

Long Riders! (hereafter referred to without the exclamation point) is a series which follows first year university student Kurata Ami as she becomes interested in cycling and embarks on a number of cycling-related activities with her friends. I wrote up episodic posts for the series which you can find here, so you can see my views on the series in more detail if you were interested.

longriders1008As the typical ‘protagonist who has no hobbies or strong passions prior to the commencement of the series’, Ami sees someone riding a cute folding bike one day and decides to take up cycling. Together with her childhood friend Aoi, and new friends Hinako, Yayoi, and Saki, she transforms from a beginner into an experienced cyclist, participating in different activities and also building friendships. Long Riders is packed with cute cycling and cute food, two things which I find enjoyable. Continue reading

12 Days of Anime: Day 9 – The Beauty of a Bicycle

Long Riders is a show that I will freely admit has problems (most prominently, scheduling problems). The one thing though which has consistently impressed me throughout the show is just how good the bikes look! The creators have modelled the bicycles on existing models and put a great deal of care into all of the details of a bike. A bike is a pretty complicated piece of equipment with a lot of parts and accessories and so I’m truly impressed with their appearance.

One moment where I think the beauty of a road bike really shines is where Ami takes her bike into Alpaca Cycle for a service.

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Look at these lovely gears, don’t you want to just reach out and touch them! Only don’t touch the gears on a bike for no reason, your hands will end up really greasy.

I think anime can really shine in casting light on a hobby or area of interest. The carefully crafted bicycles make bikes look really appealing!

Long Riders 08 – Ride on!

At the start of the episode, we’re introduced to the mysterious new girl in the OP, Saeki. She spotted Ami riding her bike and is curious about it. We don’t really know anything about her except that she is in one of Ami’s classes (what is Ami studying anyway?), and is a little interested in cycling. Hopefully she doesn’t make Ami’s mistake of buying a cheap folding bike as a starter if she’s going to get serious about cycling. Maybe in the future we’ll get to see Saeki make beginners mistakes and Ami can teach her about them? This seems par for the course for this show.
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Seasonal Thoughts Winter 2016/2017

Once again, shows are wrapping up and new shows are coming out. Once again being in the southern hemisphere my seasons are actually the reverse of the majority of the world’s population and it’s summer here, but if I call it the summer season everyone will be confused, so winter it is!

I don’t plan to use this post as a comprehensive list of everything which is coming out. There’s lots of good resources with fairly updated information on all the shows which are being released (I’d suggest Livechart or Anichart or if you’re super keen, you can look at both, they sometimes have slightly different info). I’m not in a place where I can really comment on studios or staff for projects, or know much about the source material, so I’m just going to use this to showcase a few titles which grabbed my eye. Everything is organised alphabetically as this seems like as good a way to sort things as any other.

Gabriel Dropout
gabriel-dropoutThis show is about an angel who is the top of her class but when she comes to earth in pursuit of knowledge turns into a lazy dropout and spends all day lazing around. While lazy people can be really infuriating in real life, they can definitely be funny in comedy if the show is written well. I’m definitely planning to watch this one.

Hand Shakers
hand-shakersI actually feel like the title should be in all caps for even more dramatic impact; HAND SHAKERS. It’s about pairs of people with special powers who are battling towards a supreme goal. It’s an anime original series with action and some sci-fi or supernatural themes. As an anime original, I’ll probably check out at least an episode or two, as I like action and sci-fi. If nothing else, it will let me write HAND SHAKERS on Twitter a few times.

Kobayashi San Chi No Maidragon
maidragonThis show is about a regular office lady who one day helps a dragon in distress and the dragon decides she’s going to become Kobayashi’s maid in order to pay off her debt of gratitude. It seems like it’s going to be the sort of comedy where there’s one totally grounded person reacting to everyone else being absurd and over the top. Judging by the character designs which have been released related to the show there’s going to be some more supernatural beings who end up in the mix. The manga this is based on was written by the same author as ‘I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying’, and I very much enjoyed the anime adaptation of that. It had a great mixture of comedy and heartwarming moments. Hopefully this will be just as fun to watch.

Minami Kamakura Kokou Joshi Jitensha-bu
minami-jitensha-buMore cute girls riding more cute bikes? Sign me up. I don’t know if it’s going to be my pick for blogging episodically this season, but you can bet I’m along for the ride.

Nyanko Days
nyanko-daysIt’s a comedy series about a girl and her anthropomorphic cats. I’m not big on real cats, but I loved Bananya so anime cats are a bit different. It’s not a top priority with all the other cute slice-of-life shows which are coming out this season but I’ll maybe check it out.

Piace Watashi No Italian
piaceA high school girl starts working part time at an Italian restaurant and learns more about cuisine and herself. It has the magical pair of tags; comedy and slice of life which pretty much guarantee that I’ll at least give the show a look. The show has Italian food in it so I feel it is my duty to see if the pasta is up to scratch.

Reikenzan
Reikenzan.jpgI was weirdly disappointed as more news has gradually shown up about this show and it turns out that it is a second season and that the first season was not picked up by any official English sources. Comedy, fantasy, and action are all genres I like, and the fact that it’s based on a Chinese webnovel meant that I was curious to see how the storytelling differed from the usual anime tropes. The lack of first season availability gives me low hope for the second season becoming available.

Urara Meirochou
urara-no-meirochouIt’s a comedy series about a group of girls who are learning to be fortune tellers. It looks like it has the usual things of each girl having a different personality and them spending time together doing fun things. I’m hoping to watch this show.

Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation
yowapedalIt does have cycling in it, and I like cycling, but I actually haven’t watched the first series of Yowamushi Pedal. I think I’m going to have to edge myself into boys in sports anime by watching some more cute girls in sports anime first.

Continuing
These are shows which are ongoing and I’ve been watching from last season. You’ll probably already know about if you’re interested in them or not.

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Monster Hunter Stories – Ride On!monster-hunter-stories

Ninja Girl and Samurai Masternobunaga

I’ll chat a bit about my thoughts on these series so far in my season wrap-up, which will be coming up in a couple of weeks.

Of course, this is all totally subject to change and I may decide to not watch things I’ve mentioned at all, or end up watching some totally different shows. It also depends on what ends up being available in Australia. I haven’t got a clear pick for my episodic posts, so I think that will depend on how I feel about the first episodes of what I watch. I’m still planning to blog about one ongoing series next season. I feel like I wouldn’t mind watching something which isn’t just the magical pair of tags ‘comedy’ and ‘slice-of-life’, but these are invariably the things that grab my attention, and the shows which I consistently like watching. Hopefully by seeing some other people’s opinions, I may be able to find some other shows I’ll like as the new season progresses.

Long Riders 07 – Care and Curry

After briefly showing Ami ordering new jerseys, the episode starts out with Ami giving her bike a clean. Things don’t exactly go as planned with Ami getting a drenching (it’s pretty much like when I wash the car, some of us probably shouldn’t be given hose responsibilities).


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Long Riders 06 – Oh Four Tuna

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.
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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! Continue reading

Long Riders 05 – Taking Flight

We’re back on track (hopefully) for Long Riders! There’s been some changes to the visuals of the OP this week, replacing scenes with Ami’s folding bike with her new road bike.longriders0501We also get to see a bit more of Saki, despite her not being properly introduced as of the start of this episode. It’s nice to see the changes in the opening to reflect the changes in Ami’s lifestyle, I wonder if there will be any other changes later on in the series? Continue reading

Long Riders 04 – Where has the bike gone?

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Hinako is earnest for once

This episode starts out with Ami talking about being interested in a road bike and getting a pretty good run-down on the different kinds of bikes from Hinako. You do want a different kind of bike to suit your needs, and it may have taken four episodes (or what seems to be around 4 months based on the fact that the first episode would have been in April and I’ve seen an August date on a calendar in the previous episode) for Ami to figure it out, but her folding bike while great for a short commute, is not so good for the distance cycling she’s interested in doing with her friends. Continue reading

Long Riders 03 – Road bike!

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This episode starts out with a short recount of Ami buying some more cycling gear; this time some bike pants and a skirt to go over them. I’ve actually never seen serious lady cyclists wearing a skirt before but I think it’s a great idea. I normally prefer a short skirt and leggings when I ride but I am not serious by any means, and I prefer wearing skirts over pants in general.

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