Genre: Comedy, Sports, Drama, Shounen
Sakamichi Onoda is an otaku who has just entered high school. In middle school, Onoda did not have any friends with whom he could talk about his interests, and hopes to change that by joining his new school’s anime club. However, he is crushed when he discovers the anime club has been disbanded due to lack of interest, and in order to reestablish the club, four new members must join.
Since he was a little boy, Onoda has ridden his city bicycle (referred to as a “Mommy Bike” in the anime) – a simple and bulky bicycle designed for short rides – for transportation and fun. A fellow freshman, and much more serious cyclist, named Shunsuke Imaizumi notices Onoda riding his mamachari and mocks him inwardly until he sees Onoda riding up a steep hill with little effort. Another student named Naruko visits Akihabara to get some plastic Gundam models for his younger brothers and meets Onoda, who catches his attention because of his cycling skill on the mamachari. Later on, both Naruko and Imaizumi try to convince him to join the bicycle racing club at their high school, Sohoku.
Onoda is the main protagonist of the series, a first-year high school student, and a proud member of the Sohoku High Bicycle Club. His personality is initially characterized as being a shy otaku with a difficulty in speaking up for himself. However, after joining the bicycle club, his confidence receives a dramatic boost, and the love and admiration he has for his fellow teammates becomes apparent. Since the very beginning of the series, Onoda shows steady stamina and high cadence abilities when riding uphill, and thus, the captain of the team, Kinjou, makes Onoda one of the team’s climbers. To nurture Onoda’s ability to climb for long periods of time, Kinjou assigns Makishima, a fellow climber and third-year, to tutor him. Onoda’s best cycling ability, the team finds out, is that he performs best when chasing someone in the lead. When Onoda enters the Inter-High, he performs amazing feats for his team such as passing more than 100 cyclists after a crash and drafting Tadokoro, who was recovering from stomach pain, for almost 70km from the back of the race to the front where the rest of the team is.
Imaizumi is a popular first-year high school student and a member of the Sohoku High Bicycle Club. Imaizumi is a logical thinker with a generally dry personality, although, when entangled in certain situations, he can become quite frenzied and passionate. Because he dreams of one day becoming the fastest cyclist in the world, his cycling style is defined as an all-rounder. Because of Imaizumi’s customarily coarse personality, his relationship with his teammates varies from person to person. For example, he has an intense rivalry with fellow teammate Naruko because of his sprinting abilities and overall attitude, likewise, he sees the captain, Kinjou, as his biggest obstacle. On the other hand, Imaizumi is seen being fairly gentle and kind towards Onoda.
Naruko is a first-year high school student from Osaka, and a member of the Sohoku High Bicycle Club. Naruko’s personality is sharp, spunky, and highly competitive, however, he takes cycling very seriously, and often gets very upset if he is defeated in a race, even if it is by another teammate. He is a high-energy sprinter, and his vitality often gets fueled by his mentor, Tadokoro, a fellow sprinter and third-year, who he affectionately refers to as “old man.” He maintains a friendly rivalry with Imaizumi, and is always supportive and caring towards Onoda.