“Yowamushi Pedal” is an anime series on competitions and dramas of high school students who devote their lives to road bicycle racing. Soon after its first airing in October 2013, it became a fan-favorite, and now the third season is in production.
“Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie Special Event EXTRA RIDE” was held at MAIHAMA Amphitheater in Chiba. Both day session and night session put together, more than 4,300 enthusiastic fans attended the event.
Eight voice actors playing the members of Sohoku High School took the stage on the day of the event: Daiki Yamashita (voicing Sakamichi Onoda), Kousuke Toriumi (voicing Shunsuke Imaizumi), Jun Fukushima (voicing Shoukichi Naruko), Hiroki Yasumoto (voicing Shingo Kinjou), Shoutarou Morikubo (voicing Yuusuke Makishima), Kentarou Itou (voicing Jin Tadokoro), Daisuke Kishio (voicing Junta Teshima) and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (voicing Hajime Aoyagi). It was their first time for Daisuke Kishio and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka to attend the event of Yowamushi Pedal.
All the casts entertained the fans with funny talks, reading drama, and games on the stage
The event show was set in the club room of Sohoku High School bicycle racing club where everyone gathered to have a wrap-up party after “Kumamoto Hinokuni Yamanami Race/熊本火の国やまなみレース,” a road race the club members participated in the movie.
Soon after the event started, excited fans welcomed the voice actors with loud claps and cheers, as the stage rotated and came forward, slowly revealing the cast on the stage. With snacks and drinks in front of them, each member of the cast posed as their character, in exactly the same way as the visual which was specially drawn for the event.
First, there was a talk session named “Sohoku Tea Time” after Junta Teshima’s famous line “tea time.” They read out some messages from fans and looked back at some of the most memorable scenes from the movie, with some behind-the-scene stories of dubbing. Also, a surprise birthday cake was brought out in front of one of the cast Kousuke Toriumi, whose birthday was on May 16th and his character Imaizumi’s birthday was on May 18th as well. All actors and fans chorused birthday song singing “Happy Birthday Toriizumi-kun”, combining the names of Toriumi and his character Imaizumi together.
Then the voice actors performed the reading of the drama “The Night After Kumamoto Race”, which was set on the night of the Kumamoto road race when club members of Sohoku High School had a wrap-up at the hotel. Other various performances entertained the fans including the sugoroku game played on the huge game board set on the stage that featured Kumamoto Hinokuni Yamanami Race.
Towards the end of the event, they announced new information on the Yowamushi Pedal anime series that fans have been waiting for. A trailer was projected on the screen, and the airing of the third season was announced to start from January 2017. What excited the fans even more was the announcement of the production of a spin-off story, “Yowamushi Pedal: SPARE BIKE” which will be in theaters in September 2016 as a limited two-week show. “Yowamushi Pedal: SPARE BIKE” is a manga series currently serialized in a magazine called Bessatsu Shonen Champion/別冊少年チャンピオン featuring the story of high school senior students in the past. The fans were thrilled to hear the surprising announcement and broke into the loudest cheers of the day.
At last, Hiroki Yasumoto who plays the captain Kinjou let out the call “Let’s go Sohoku!” When everyone at the event shouted back “Yeah!”, crackers popped off and gold and silver colored tapes were released all over the venue, marking the end of the exciting event.
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