Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club – Preview
Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club:
Original Air Dates: January 6th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Maiharu Hiromi moved from Nagasaki to Kamakura and is now entering high school for her first year. This means a new school, new friends, and all of these exciting new encounters happen when she’s on her bicycle! Hiromi comes to find girls who’ve devoted their youth to cycling, and finds that same drive within herself.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Minami Kamakura boasts impressive backgrounds that are both colorful and detailed. It’s a real pleasure to look at and makes a great feast for the eyes in what is otherwise a rather bland and boring series.
Linny: Whereas the background imagery in the show was often breathtaking or noteworthy, the premise of the show isn’t. It’s yet another show about a group of young girls learning about and bonding through cycling which feels a little lacklustre, especially since we had a show with almost the exact same premise, Long Riders!, last season. There are certain differences of course, like how this features high school girls compared to Long Riders’ college girls. However, so far Minami Kamakura struggles to really pop, feeling like an anime with jokes and scenes you might have seen several times already in other shows.
Tom: The big problem is Minami Kamakura moves at a painful crawl, spending a lot of time introducing us to the atmosphere of this coastal region, perhaps coming across as too laid back and relaxed. It’s all setting and set up, only introducing the meat of the story, cycling as a sport, at the very tail end of the episode. There’s something to be said for a more atmospheric approach, but Minami takes it too far.
Linny: If you watched Long Riders and thought it felt like ‘Cycling for Dummies” the show, just wait till you see this first episode. There’s a scene that I giffed below that will make you wonder if this show should have been titled ‘Cycling for those who found Long Riders to be more complex than Advanced Calculus.’ Yes, I just made a bad joke for the sake of trying to explain how bad and basic this show gets in a scene.
Tom: Hiromi, our bumbling lead who can’t figure out why riding a bike is so difficult when she could do it as a kid, makes Long Riders! lead look like an absolute genius by comparison, although the button on the end of the first episode helps to explain this away a little bit. But despite how much time we spend with Hiromi, her new friend, and their homeroom teacher, I come away feeling like I have no greater understanding of any of these girls. I know the teacher enjoys biking, and Hiromi’s friend seems nice but… we really don’t learn much else. It makes it difficult to become invested.
Linny: Hiromi has some very interesting reactions to things and an amusing expression here and there but for now, the cast feels very generic and vague. Beyond Hiromi and her rather special IQ levels, everyone else feels bland and easily forgettable. My most favourite moment of the episode though is the VERY depressing speech that the principal gives at the entrance ceremony so I would suggest you keep an eye out for that if you have a twisted sense of humour.
Tom: It also boasts little live action informative sequences at the end of each episode, offering up cycling knowledge for anyone interested in getting into the sport. Overall Minami Kamakura is inoffensive and bland. It’s not awful, nor is it great. If you find the laid back atmosphere appealing, and the show slogging along at a snail’s pace, there’s enjoyment to be had. But if you’d prefer something interested in getting to its point faster? Minami is a pass.
Linny: Part of me is tempted to recommend just the background visuals of Minami Kamakura because some of them are so well done that they almost look like elegant paintings. However, everything else about the show is either bland or too try hard. The dumbing down of a protagonist so as to help the viewers learn with them seems to have been taken to an extreme yet again. The show is harmless and might be good for when you’re just unwinding but it’s definitely not going to make the must watch list of the season just yet.
Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com