In the world of competitive sports, an athlete should consider himself/herself lucky to have someone he/she deems worthy to be called a rival. A rival, in my opinion, is someone who is competing for the same goal and considered to be an equal in terms of skills or talent. This is why I think it’s lucky if athletes could find someone with equal ability to compete with in races in order to truly unleash their fullest potential in any sports.
Yowamushi Pedal presents many forms of rivalry, some one-sided while some of good-natured. But none stands out more than Toudou Jinpachi and Makishima Yuusuke‘s rivalry. In their case, they considered each other as rivals and compete with the thought that they’re both equally capable of winning the race.
On the first day of Inter High, Toudou challenged Makishima to race to goal of Climber’s Checkpoint in their final race together, which is also their own tie-breaker race. The former was eager to have a showdown with someone he affectionately calls a rival and also because they have a score to settle.
Background on Makishima and Toudou
Their history goes back as far as to when they were second year students. Makishima surprised Toudou by going on head to head with him, far ahead of other racers in a race called Okuchichibu Hill Climb. Over the years, both of them have competed in many races together and each always just ahead or behind each other.
If you ask me, I think they’re an odd pairing. I mean, Makishima strikes me as a laid back and cool person who prefers to observe the worst of others and acts as though he doesn’t care much about his teammates. When everyone else is cheering on Onoda Sakamichi, Makishima always prefer to state the obvious expectations from a newbie. However, he ended up becoming Onoda’s biggest cheerleader and also as a mentor. If anything, he serves his role as an upperclassman well, giving as much guidance and advices as possible to his juniors.
Toudou, on the other hand, is extremely boastful of his non-existent beauty and fans. He comes off as vain and is an attention-seeker. As a matter fact, during their first meeting, Toudou commented on Makishima’s lack of aura and weird hair style. They didn’t have a good start, but ended up pretty close after that with Toudou often calling up Makishima to check on latter’s well being.
In terms of their competitive nature, one can see coexistence with respect to rivalry. While racing hard to reach the peaks, they often laugh together, cheering and challenging one another. Toudou was even upset when Makishima had to retire from a race due to flat tires.
So it doesn’t matter if they’re different. Their sole focus and determination to reach the peak first brought them together. As it cheesy as it sounds, it’s a beautiful friendship.
Thoughts on Rivals
I always enjoy watching people compete with good and open hearts. Personally, I think having positive and constructive rivalry can never be a bad thing. This has been well illustrated in the rivalry between Makishima and Toudou. I believe finding someone to share the same passion and goal in life is not easy. And to finally found that person and build an encouraging relationship him or her is another difficult task to achieve. This makes having rivals all the more interesting.
Having someone to call a rival not only encourages one to work harder, hone their skills, improve themselves in order to win, but also to share the physical and emotional challenges, pain and difficulties only a rival would understand. In a way, rivals are each other’s best support system, very much like the two road racers in Yowamushi Pedal. They’ll shout at each other to keep moving forward in races and support each other on other non-race days even though they’re representing different schools.
I’m no athlete. Heck, I’m don’t remember what’s my last race. Generally, I’m not a competitive person or am I particularly good in something that needs competing against. So watching anime series that highlights on this aspect is really fascinating. At least, it is to me.