TWOCAR – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Today’s the opening day for the high school division of the racing kneeler exhibition! Ladies gather from across the nation, determined to win in the “kneeler race.” Today’s race is to introduce this season’s contestants. No one will be pushing themselves to the limit just yet, but you can expect that at the competition. So begins the female racers’ fight for first place! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Even if TwoCar’s very obvious racing theme does not grab your attention, you may still want to check it out if you like the sound of a show that takes a semi serious look at Side Car Racing and focuses on all female contestants. There’s no gratuitous breast and butt ogling, save for one particular shot that comes off more awkward than silly. The main focus seems to be on making the girls look like ‘cool,’ if pigeon-holed into particular ‘themes’ (like gothic racers, or sadistic girls) and exploring the past of our two main girls, Megumi and Yuri.
Tom: TWOCAR lays on the characters hard. We open with a full on exhibition level sidecar racing match. The show quickly parades its wealth of characters before us and while initially it works, once the driving helmets go on you’ll find yourself quickly forgetting much of who was who. Thankfully, the series shifts to a flashback and pares our attention down to just two girls, Megumi and Yuri. They’re both hot heads and quite stubborn, although the show is aware of how similar they are. It’s a story sticking point. The flashbacks weave between the race, attempting to foster understanding for Megumi and Yuri’s frenemy like rivalry.
Linny: What I found a little disappointing about Megumi and Yuri was discovering that their true passion for side car racing, and even their rivalry, arise from their mutual crush on their ex-coach. It’s not a huge issue by any means because the truth of the matter is we all do a lot of dumb things because of crushes but it might be a bit frustrating for female audiences and others who’d have preferred that the girls be motivated for their own personal reasons and not because of their attraction to a man. Speaking of their coach, the episode makes a very devoted decision to keep his face hidden leading to hilarity as it employs all sorts of angles and objects to always keep his face out of the shot no matter the situation.
Tom: Personally I found the most exciting parts were when we turned attention back to the race, particularly once we had an understanding of our two leads. It gets tense and interesting as sidecar racing isn’t a heavily explored sport, and makes for a solid introduction to the type of content TWOCAR seeks to offer.
Linny: This is more nitpicking than a serious complaint but the show loses its more realistic, down to earth vibe when it tries to convince the audience that our cast live in this town that apparently lets sidecar racers race down the roads freely anytime, seemingly even on roads that might be used by other, normal commuters. It’s a small point, one that’s easily dismissed but does make for a slight raised eyebrow as to how this town avoids having accidents occur daily.
Tom: TWOCAR isn’t perfect, and at times can feel a little dry. As if perhaps it’s lacking stronger characterization, comedy, drama, or whatever. Maybe it just requires a stronger interest in sidecar racing itself. But what’s here is definitely serviceable, and if they can keep the actual competitions frequent, and even turn up the drama and rivalry between our two leads, I think it’s a solid watch for the season.
Linny: TWOCAR doesn’t feel mind blowing by any measure…maybe it might if you’re a fan of racing but at the same time, it definitely feels salvageable and likely to be entertaining so long as it can make its characters more interesting and the drama and comedy more riveting. Their rivalry is one of the potential sources of comedy while the racing sport itself could make for some thrilling action. If you’re willing to try a show that boasts of solid animation, centred around racing and an all female cast that’s more developed than acting just as eye candy, TWOCAR might just be worth your time.
TWOCAR is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.