Those words in title are probably not easy to spot in manga genre due the genre usually buried or mixed in sport theme and not really popular compares to soccer, baseball, basket ball, golf or other sports which dominate sports genre in manga world. Nevertheless, there a lot of potential cycling or bicycle manga series that worth to read and followed. Particularly, if the reader is a cyclist then it double value.
The first manga that simple and easy to understand called Ichiro Heian! by Jin Kobayashi who famous for School Rumble series. It tells a fate meeting between a single Japanese guy who want a girlfriend meet a Chinese cyclist who on the way from Tokyo to Kyoto by bicycle.
In summary, the manga much like ‘Lost Translation’ movie where language barrier between the otaku guy and Chinese girl result miss interpretation although they finally get along together continue their cycling journey to Kyoto. Cute ending!
The second manga is Namikibashi Doori: Aoba Jitenshaten by Miyao Gaku. It covers a lot of manga genres but dominant about slice life and school life topics relate to cycling experiences.
One of the chapter is about life experience of Morio Kobayashi that change his high school life after he furious after take easy by a cute high school girl named Nagisa Oiso from near all-girl high school at top of hill where Morio has commute to his school.
His rage and desperation of revenge make he challenges her to cycling day by day with defeat result. Those situation continue until Morio meet Aoba Touge, a daughter of bicycle store owner in the town, who provide hint for Morio to win from Nagisa. Finally, he wins from Nagisa after buy a race bike from Aoba bicycle store.
Meanwhile, not known by Morio, Nagisa is actually a regular customer of Aoba bicycle store and good friend of Aoba. Aoba surely provide an advise for Nagisa about how to beat Morio. Thus, Morio and Nagisa continue their cyling competition at the hill near on their way to school. Morio besides get new hobby also get a plus that he never expect, a rival plus a girl friend. Well, please figure it self after read the series. Nice one…..
The third series is Noririn by Kitoh Mohiro. Its about a story of salary man who useless, coward and dense named Mariko Kazunori aka “Nori” in start of the series accidentally meet a faster high school cyclist named Oda Rin, daughter of local Ramen restaurant in the town.
Nori and Rin meeting bring him to cycling world he hated in beginning series but later he seriously involves due Rin and her family cycling influence. Nori through the series will find friends, mentor, rival and way to break from his eggshells of his dense life.
Nori’s cycling adventure unfortunately start after Rin’s mother provoke a local cycling athlete who often visit the ramen shop state that Nori want to challange the athlete to determine who the faster. They argue each other and agree to settle it by bicycle race in one week. As result, Nori receives a drill about cycling from Rin family for a week.
At the race day, Nori challenges the athlete use all his knowledge he receives from Rin and Rin’s mother about road race competition. Those experiences bring Nori more deep into cyclist world. Completely change his boring and dense life to becomes passionate, bright and openness to other people after cycling affect his life.
Beside serious and shounen style, Noririn is quite informative manga by provides some useful information about bicycle models and cyclist equipment for road race. Its a good series for someone who has hobby as road race cyclist or want to start as road racer.
The fourth series is Over Drive by Yasuda Tsuyoshi. Its a shounen, sports and slice life of manga about cycling experiences Shinozaki Mikoto, a high school student, who bring him to become Japanese athlete who participate in Tour De France and win it for first time later in the future.
The series story started as Mikoto begin join the cycling club at his school to impress his love crush at school who actually younger sister of captain of cycling club. As result, Mikoto make friends, training, compete and find rival cyclist both from inside school and outside school that attract him deeper into world of cycling.
As the story progress, Mikoto efforts and training begin to sprout as he manages to reach first big five cyclist at bicycle race at his town. It unpredictable by anyone from his club or his love crush girl. Those make the Over Drive series roller into long story.
Over Drive is much like Slam Dunk manga by Inou Takehito. Its slow and detail progress, shounen style, usually start by weak or good-for-nothing main character but becomes expert and considerable sportsman in later of the series. Over Drive also get animated version in 2007.
Those manga series above are several titles among of bicycle genre that worth to read or translate into other language. Unfortunately some of titles didn’t continue translate by translator although the series already long run or even complete in Japan. Here list of manga relate to bicycle theme.
Shoujiyo Jitensha Kaihouku –Bicycle Life with Kawaii Girls
Are you wonder, curious or drooling see the hot babe cyclist illustration on top of my post?
Its actually an art image by Tomokazu Nakano, artist behind SNK/Sega game, in ‘Bicycle Life with Kawaii Girls’ art book. The art book covered different type bicycles with manga illustration made famous mangaka in Japan, such as Masaki Hirooka, Kouji Ogata, Tomokazu Nakano, Kitarou Kosaka, and many more manga artists.
The art book is a true tribute of manga industry in Japan to cyling daily life in there. It was first reviewed by yonghow in Halcolm Realms that introduces the book into western reader otherwise nobody knew this kind of book.
The book provide bicycle detail specification and description with manga illustration show how the bike looks like in daily life or sport activities. Actually, it clever marketing strategy due manga or comic drawing illustration provide reader a different imagination than traditional cyclist magazine. The impact of imagination and creativity are more broadly expresses in this kind of book.
The art book surely will appeal to young people or kids who adore manga or Japanese culture. For general reader, it at least can give new experiences than usual bicycle magazine.
Beside bicycle’s description, the art book also shows bike useful and unique, such as, a Brompton folding bike, where it quite popular among Japanese people who are living in flat or apartment where stairs become obstacle for moving bike from one floor to another floor.
The book besides eye catching also provide useful information and recommendation what kind bicycle suitable for reader. Is it for a mountain bike, race bike, folding bike, city bike, etc?
Unfortunately, all words description are in Japanese language that harder to understand for foreigner but at least reader can get the bike’s idea by just look at the illustration on next page of it.
Those images above is the front cover of Bicycle Life with Kawaii Girls art book and sample list of manga artists who involve and contribute their illustrations for it. In the end, I recommended for anyone who like cycling and manga should get the Bicycle Life with Kawaii Girls art book due it provides useful information about cycling trend in Japan and has tons of art image by famous manga and anime artist who you may adore it.
See it wonderful idea to becomes cyclist. Hope you inspire by reading those manga and my blog post.
…I am a cyclist too.
Halcyon Realm 2011, Bicycle Life With Kawaii Girls Art Book Review, retrieved 22 November 2013, <http://cdn.halcyonrealms.com/anime/bicycle-life-with-kawaii-girls-art-book-review/>
Baka-Updates Manga 2013, Bicycle/s genre, retrieved 22 November 2013, <http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?category=Bicycle%2Fs>