That would be the best description I can give out to Two Car right now.
Silver Link. takes their original anime idea for a dive into a pool of mud; whichever way they are looking–they are looking at trouble.
But that is easily the most respectable action in my opinion. The trending culture of an anime studio taking the risk to tackle anything that has not been thoroughly explored via the medium always has me gushing out posts like this as a form of appreciation.
Although, I may have praised the studio for braving the unknown, I am not here to only sing praises to their product–Two Car.
I have already pointed out the show’s very first demerit is having to actually understand real world sidecar racing in order fully enjoy it. And here I am, ready to point out a few more…
Now, let us clear the obstacle course together while trying to hold up a smile. 😀
I am automatically a masochist for screenshotting this…
First Obstacle — The Setting
It ‘almost’ went over my mad head until I spent a little more time watching sidecar racing videos, but the setting of Two Car is without a doubt the very first sign for anyone who has watched the first episode to worry. I do not think that there actually exists a sidecar racing club in high school. We can already take this as Silver Link.’s first move, twisting a sport most familiar to and competed by adult men into a story about high school girls practicing and seriously performing the thrills. World-building in this show is overly convenient, so to speak. Do you get the vibes of being able to suddenly ride your combination out at anytime, anywhere?
Note that a combination is the motorcycle and sidecar as a complete unit.
Now that I have simplified the show’s setting, the concept surrounding Two Car is by no means new. We have all seen this cliche of cute girls doing not so cute things before!
Two Car is most definitely neither a National Geographic video or a full time TT Race live coverage. It is an anime show that will absolutely follow the guidelines of… well… anime. That means the girls will wear safety leather gear so tight you can practically see their sexy curves above and below.
Classed as a sports show, it will have protagonists and people they look up to. It will also have main rivals, lesser rivals, real supporting characters (as opposed to the ‘side character’ term) and of course, the sport action which is sidecar racing.
On top of all the necessary cliches in sports anime, Two Car proposes quite an ambitious ‘goal’, and by that I mean coach Tanahashi. His goal to not let himself be caught up by the protagonists–his disciples–holds more strength in the story than whatever Yuri and Megumi have in their minds. Now that I have finished watching Haikyuu!!‘s first episode, here I am finding absolutely no difference in the concept between the two shows. Both shows have protagonists as rivals, doubling the edginess. Both shows have the duo aiming to become the best, albeit Two Car is a little more subjective as Isle of Man TT is the best in the protagonists’ minds.
Let us clear and jump over to the next one in line!
Second Obstacle — Sidecar Racing, specifically on the first episode
Both Haikyuu!! and Two Car even used a heavy amount of flashbacks in their first episode. Without those flashbacks, the first episode felt a lot more like an actual race (with pretty much everything official about sidecar racing down to details) seen on TV; it was simply overwhelming for a debut episode.
Nevertheless, unlike Haikyuu!!, the constant flashbacks in the first episode actually degraded the quality of the race–of the show boasting sports genre.
Unlike many other competitive sports, racing in any category involves undivided attention (by that I mean literally no snoozing). You can zone out for a few seconds in popular team sports such as football, basketball and volleyball (hinting Haikyuu!!‘s obvious advantage here) but when it comes down to single player or very small team sports, I dare you try and do just that.
Tell me which one is more fun to watch: first episode of Two Car or this four-minute real racing video footage?
Take a page out of Initial D‘s book, damn it.
To make matters worse, Sidecar Racing as a sport is practically a pin in the haystack; it is only known to a very small fraction of Earth’s population.
But let me tell you this: anime is now legitimately one of the best referrers for any fans to discover new things in real life, a true give and take type of recommendations. There’s a hundred percent chance that any popular basketball videos will have mentions of Kuroko no Basuke among the comments, likewise Haikyuu!! would appear in volleyball game videos (trust me, I have seen at least ten of them in Rio Olympics match between USA and Dominican Republic).
As for less popular sports, All Out!! would have made someone start watching rugby games now, too. And believe me or not, Two Car will have someone start paying mad attention to Sidecar Racing. This is some of the things anime does very well, folks.
It seems that the obstacle has been partly overcame by second episode. Next!
Third Obstacle — The Amplitude of Character Introduction
Yet the show achieved very little in this department. Wow.
A bunch of characters are being put at work right from the very start; it got messy real quick! For the sake of the race to feel like one, the characters had to feel like they were humans. Someone of the script department in Silver Link. has probably decided to resort to tropes in order to save them the time to fit something else meaningful into the 24 minute slot. This apparently also means saving us viewers the time to get invested into the characters as majority of the side characters are flat out one dimensional!
What Silver Link. probably hasn’t figured out is that we anime fans sometimes don’t want to overthink. We really don’t want to do the full time analysis job because a good show is not all about stacking complexity; a show that performs deconstruction is not necessarily great either!
But Two Car took a shortcut. Slapping well-known characteristics/personalities into nearly everyone that aren’t protagonists instantly pulls the character department away from perfection to passable or fine, if not great or in a worse case average. It is pretty much up to the show to make sure this part of it either stays fine or shifts the position to good or bad.
Just from the first episode alone, I was able to tell that Misaki would be up for some story closure before anyone else simply due to the lack of any vivid personality. Everyone else showed a thing or two about themselves, even Misaki’s driver being labelled an ‘ojousama’.
Hopefully most of them will get some personality adjustments as I am really not for a show filled with many one dimensional characters, especially when it is not harem.
It seemed that the obstacle has been slightly overcame by the third episode. Let us move on!
Final Obstacle — The Story
Or shall I say… stories? Because this is apparently the show’s intention. In real life we only get to see athletes compete in sports while not much else is forced onto our brain. I mean if you really wish to stalk Roger Federer and endlessly peek into his private life then I will not stop you. Two Car aims to bring balance between the sport and the competitors, giving us their stories–something we don’t see often unless it’s scandalous.
This will without a doubt, put Two Car into drama genre as the show goes on. While fortunately it will not end up being a harem anime, it will unfortunately not end up being of Yuri genre either.
Frankly I am to say that the story obstacle was easily overcame by the third episode, a clear deal breaker for me to keep watching this show. If it has done the same for you then high five~
Well, that became too much fun all of the sudden. I guess I will go to sleep now and wake up to write a few last things about this show unless the fourth episode can surprise me a little more.
Thanks for reading and see you then!