“Imaizumi The Ace!”
And now it’s Imaizumi’s turn to prove himself and he does one heck of a job this episode! But danger’s looming just around the corner, so pedal while you can, kids.
To be honest I found this episode a little…harder to believe than usual. I mean we’ve got Imaizumi, who’s now declared himself the ace of the team for strategic reasons, which is completely fine with me, seeing as they now need an ace. Even Makishima agrees with the situation, saying that he’s the only one who can keep Toudou in check and prevent him from riding to the aid of his own ace. HOWEVER. HOW exactly does Imaizumi suddenly get that much power, strength and speed to give Fukutomi a run for his money when Fukutomi is possibly the best cyclist in the country? It just didn’t really make much sense to me, no matter how good Imaizumi is. I mean he and Kinjou raced against Fukutomi, Arakita and Shinkai in the days preceding and Imaizumi didn’t show that much promise as he did this episode, where he was literally outracing Fukutomi by about 50m. I mean everyone kept going on about how much he’s ‘growing’ now that he’s been given the chance and I don’t doubt that he’s a formidable racer. But. I just thought this episode was a tiny bit contrived and I was almost relieved that it ended with the foreshadowing of Midosuji’s arrival. Our favourite creepster is on the hunt and everyone before him is basically a bit of game dangled in front of his face. He’s going to have a major comeback, I think, and it’s possibly going to take the rest of the season, to be honest. He has been the main antagonist, after all.
I never thought I’d say this but I’m actually looking forward to Midosuji’s upcoming arc because he’s the one thing that stands in the way of either Hakone or Sohoku taking the gold, and I’ve grown quite fond of his underhanded techniques and cunning because everyone just falls for it. *sigh*
Don’t get me wrong, I still do like Imaizumi quite a bit, but I just think this episode was pushing it in terms of the technique and skill he possesses. Nevertheless, his arch enemy is on the way and that’s going to be an interesting showdown, you can imagine.