You know, it is extremely easy to pick out good parts from an otherwise below average quality show. While Two Car is far from bad, it is a prime example of, “doing it because they have to.”
In Silver Link.’s case, this show is their 10th anniversary project. I am sure that it will be a very valuable lesson for them.
Type: TV Series
Source of adaptation: Original
The time it was aired: Fall 2017, October 8 to December 24
Studio responsible: Silver Link.
Miyata Yuri and Meguro Megumi are two girls who enter the world of competitive motorcycle sidecar racing on Miyake Island. While they are the complete opposites of each other, and often butt heads, they complement each other well during races. The team will fight other motorcycle sidecar teams from all over Japan, each with their own opposing traits, such as honor student and working student, sadist and masochist, and a funny man and straight man.
Story and Plot
My views have not really changed much ever since that time I have written a few posts for this show. The setting is stupidly ambitious and I like it. In Miyakejima TT race, seven teams from different high schools all over from Japan have come to compete. The winner of this event will be able to participate in one of the most prestigious sidecar races on the planet Earth—the Isle of Man TT.
Doesn’t that sound awesome? You can use this setting with any other sports and it would have conjured up the exact same amount of impact. I will even give you a realistic example:
In this March Madness tournament, 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have come to compete. The winning team of this event will become the national championship and players may have a chance to be drafted into the NBA.
Or you know what, this is an anime blog so I’ll just tell you to go watch Kuroko no Basuke.
Although, my positive impression for the show’s story only lasted up until the fourth episode. Well that was quick, wasn’t it?
While I did not immediately turn to hate the show after that point, the story which carries the setting on to the very end is a far cry from the latter’s quality; I’d say remove the ‘ambitious’ part and you will get the story. In case you really cannot figure out, I am saying that Two Car‘s story is stupid.
The setting’s potential was almost killed with two main characters’ goal being “to win their coach’s heart over“, or in a personal lingo—excuse my hood language—“to ride their coach’s dick“. Silly characters are fine (surely you have heard of comedy), but you kind of realize that the story would be somewhere near that stupidity level if the purpose of these characters happen to be questionable.
Oh hey, and that is only for the main story. Just when I thought that I am safe from such poor story-writing, Two Car has multiple stories bundled up to become your arcs of relationship counselling show where nearly all of the racing girls have their girly issues. You really cannot forget about the rest of the cast; there are a lot of characters, after all. That said, the main story does not progress further than the distance a racing kneeler can make with near empty tank, as the show would rather have you attentively look at other girls after every two episodes. I know they have gotten away with Isekai Shokudou in the previous season, but how dare they think they can repeat a miracle?
I was initially forgiving when it came to meeting a ridiculously large number of cast simply because that said show is of a sports genre. Two Car did not hold back in the slightest as it kept on disappointing me, even breaking my virtual, mental tolerance I’d built up from having watched other sports show with the same method of character employment.
Yes, I’ll say it now in case you feel like skipping to the next section: characters are the weakest aspect of Two Car. There you go.
The show would still be very enjoyable if it is just of a bunch of robot racing one another instead, but this show manages to slip big melodrama somewhere in there and I guess we both know what happens when a drama-heavy show features all of its as-plain-as-pasta characters?
Two Car has no definite protagonist and instead opts for a duo main character set-up. Miyata Yuri and Meguro Megumi are excellent meme makers for the anime community, otherwise they serve almost no purpose for the show’s story as neither of them developed at all. Maybe that is the case because of how the show is not character-driven/centric, but it is going to be extremely difficult to create an engaging show when main characters are flat and one-dimensional throughout the show. The only exception where I have seen such set-up work is in shounen sports anime.
But Two Car is not even close to a shounen sports anime. In fact it does not even know who it wants to strip itself naked for, because the remaining (large number) of characters add into this issue. The synopsis delved into the side characters a bit, so I will list out more of them.
There are an honor student and working student, sadist and masochist, a Yuri-bait pair, a funny woman and a straight woman, irresponsible adult women, twins with no distinct identity, and goth lolis.
Oh, and you certainly cannot leave out that one girl who speaks in Kansai dialect. Yeap, now that is all of the boxes ticked.
Just which demographic is this show aiming at? You either come down a hero or a fool, and Two Car probably attempted to hog it all.
Some side characters got their ‘development’ *cough I think I’m dying* in their own two-episode arcs. But even then, there is virtually very little difference between the before and after them.
God damn it, I’d started writing this review having wanted to low down on the trash talk but as I kept on writing, all the crappy stuff came running back into my filthy head. I’m sorry.
Art and Animation
At least the visuals is somewhat a saving grace for this show.
The overall art is of serious quality and that is actually a given, simply because this is Silver Link. I am talking about. Both character and background arts are bright and crisp to a bearable level. Though the character art definitely got the influence from previous cutesy shows the studio has done, because damn, the girls really do look cute I cannot help but admit that Two Car is almost a wasted potential. I am seriously in love with Yuri’s design as she looks as meta as a female anime character can be. I’m sure this is just me but her cute but mature design coupled with the opposite for personality makes her a rather amusing one.
I am sure that I have made the same comment in one of my posts for Motegi Twins as they also qualify for the same praise.
The show does not falter with its animation side either. While I could have sworn that the finale was 90% a recap of the first episode and also having reused the latter’s frames, everywhere else looks fine and that is highly appreciated. The CGI for racing kneelers and racers are actually competent as they hardly look flat and out of place. This really makes me wonder why they’d chose the route of sports anime with a heavy drama twist, because had they wanted to make a show with only incredible full-on CGI racing footage, they easily could.
Now, this being an anime show—I cannot forget about the hand-drawn animated frames, right?
And again, I do not see why you should suddenly start doubting Silver Link.
They have been fine, they are fine right now and hopefully they will always be fine in maintaining their visual talents. To my surprise, the characters rarely move which makes it a lot easier for their budget, I guess.
But for the parts that characters do move, they are adequately animated just to make sure that I am not mistaking this show for imitating Initial D.
Audio is most definitely the strongest aspect of this show, whether you like it or not. Just when you have nowhere else to lean on, you can always count on the audio of this show to at least entertain you one way or another.
The Opening Theme
Who would have thought that having an idol unit inserting electropop into the opening theme of a racing sport anime could result in a positive outcome?
The theme Heart to Heart by Sphere does well enough to complement the racy feel of the show, but I still think that the song holds massive quality on its own. It is sang by a seiyuu unit after all.
The Ending Theme
A surprise wind-down finisher which works as it should. Who would not want to calm the hell down after all of the silly melodrama?
The song is sang by the main duo. They may be annoying but their voices… not so much.
One of a few things Two Car has done extremely well is to team up with Void_Chords, mainly with the master of sound Takahashi Ryo. His talent is much appreciated by the anime industry as many of his works have all been praised. And while this show hasn’t got much of it from me, this is the one aspect where I can do a plus one.
The BGM in Two Car is seriously an underdog. Remember what I’ve said about picking out the good parts from an otherwise bad show?
There are just the right tracks to really well complement the racing atmosphere. Ryo-san clearly has not forgot about how this show has that dry comedy and silly melodrama sides; he has arranged some melodious piano tracks for those moments too. And then there is this track which can be heard from the episode I disliked the most.
If Initial D has Eurobeat, Two Car has this:
It sound very close to metal, but in this kind of show?
This is sex to my ears yo!
The cast is huge so clearly I will not be talking about literally all of the seiyuu involved. I will however just pick ones that caught my fan-attention.
Let me start with the main duo Yuri and Megumi:
I have commented on how Yuri’s design is cute. Well as it turns out her voice is in the same boat! A little look-up led to an unsurprising discovery as Koga Aoi has mainly voiced females in idol-type and magical girl anime shows.
Megumi’s case is the opposite; her seiyuu is probably best known for her role of UMR from… you guessed it… Umaru-chan series. You could say this is one of those instances where you get to hear her voice being much closer to the normal range and not full-on retarded mode.
Same kind of surprise happens with my favorite commentator as well. Tokui Sora lends her meme’d vocal power to Makita Ai for when she needs to go announcer-mode. Just like the deal with Megumi’s seiyuu and Umaru, thank goodness I did not have to deal with twelve episodes of this.
At least they tried…
I am aware that I have not really talked about how Two Car fares to real world sidecar racing, and that is probably because it could not achieve the sports element to a satisfactory level. Sidecar racing is an underrated sport which still needs to be known by more people but Silver Link. took the chance to enlighten—to open eyes of anime fans while at the same time taking a risk in lack of exposure for their presentation. Some of the things displayed by the show can be heavily related to real-life incidents where it would have costed lives of the participants; I guess nobody wants to see that so here you have it—all in fiction as claimed by the show.
Under normal criteria, Two Car may have come off as average show at best but I personally enjoyed every bit where I could. I would be lying to you if I tell you that the show has not made me giggle at least once throughout its twelve episodes run.
Favorite Episode — 12: “Ladies, Start Your Engines!”
Two Car is a flawed show in which its finale acts as an excuse for anyone to remain seated because it is actually well done in comparison to the rest of the episodes in the series. It has what I’d wanted to see in the first place — actual racing with no heavy flashbacks and decent animation to complement, the sound of those engines revving mad and a proper closure even if it is in the form of an open-ending.
Favorite Character — Makita Ai
Absolutely no character have gone through proper developments, most of them have however grown up. Ai’s arc with Nene was definitely the best thing in this show, story wise. From her own view, I got to see her unwavering determination as she may not be able to physically participate in sidecar racing, but she is equally active in her own, unique play style.
Favorite Soundtrack — CD 1 Track 13: “Red Flag”
I’m usually one for sad and slow music but this one always managed to gripe my heart whenever I hear it. Being a racing sport show to a certain level, there is no denying that Void_Chords have done a splendid job in capturing the feel of incoming trouble as melodious as this.
Favorite Moment At Any Given Time — I present you: One of the best anime fight of 2017.
People fight with purposes; some fight for others, some fight for themselves. These girls however fight for what in the actual hell?
I would still have to admit that visual wise, it stands to be very climatic for a drama bitch fight in anime, with lightning and thunderous slaps at that. This one gives me a huge OreImo vibe, to be honest.
Two Car to me is a show with too many goals which has not reached any of them by the end of its run.
Okay, that is my mistake; Miyakejima girls did make their goals.
And like I have said at the very start of this post — it is extremely easy to pick out good parts from a below-average show. But because Two Car is only average at best, it proves a little more difficult to do just that. I believe this show will sit right in your alley if you happen to look for something to kill time with, otherwise for the curious heads — just dive in mindlessly and you may perhaps come out with a few laughs just as I did.
Thank you for reading my review and I will see you all soon! /^_^\