I am just going to come out and say that Two Car is pretty straight forward. Though it played it a little safe, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that when it is done well.
Episode 1 serves as the introduction to our two protagonist and the people they will be competing against over the course of the season. The use of a exhibition race to not only introduce the characters but also give us a taste of their personality and racing styles is brilliant. Out of all the teams that aren’t our main characters, I think I favor the “Bullet of Naniwa” that consists of Kanae kawamata and Tamae Kuribayashi. I have a soft spot for characters that speak in an accent. (Don’t judge me… >_>) Another team that has my interest is team Alsvid. I’m interested to see if we will get to see some character development between Izumi Murata and Nagisa Suzuki these two because of their contrasting personalities.
That brings us to our main characters, Yuri Miyata and Megumi Meguro who on the surface when they are introduced appear to be the crew dialed in and focus. They are announced as the favorites to win the race as the local team and though I kinda expected it, I wish they hadn’t done that. In my opinion it would have great to leave that part out and let the suspense of the race carry the episode. But that’s just me. However as here their crew speak about them, you are told that something is up with the way they are acting despite the fact that everything seems normal.
Through the use of flashbacks, we learn that Yuri and Megumi bump heads in that weird but adorable way. They bicker to get under each other skin and you would think by now I would get tired of this trope, but all I can do is smile because I am like that with my friends. Our protagonists are so much alike that they don’t gel well despite the fact of having a lot in common. From here, we are introduced to their coach Tanahashi who seems to be a generic headless character only here to give our characters motivation. I hate it when anime does this. How am I suppose to understand the characters feelings when all I see if chest and legs? Chest and Legs! He has a voice! Just show his face! Everybody else got a face. People that are just fill-ins have faces. It is through him that we see a hint of what our characters need to be successful racers as Tanahashi compensates for what other either doesn’t do or simply lack at the time.
The flashback was short lived and we jump right into the racing. Much appreciation goes out to the enthusiasm that comes from Ai Makita. I was pumped up as Lovely Purgatory Slash took the turn on the inside and her commentary was like icing on the cake. It is here when I realize I was going to like the series so let me take a moment to highlight the animation because I think it is awesome when it wants to be. You feel the speed when something is happening. The grass whizzing by as Kurosu Itou leans out. The blur effect to simulate the speed. The engine that gets the its own time to shine during close ups. I feel like I am watching a race here much like I felt like I was watching a basketball game in Kuroko no Basket.
Right after is where we get another flashback to Yuri and Megumi as they finish their ride and receive their team name Ashitabamaru from Tanahashi with a little background on their name. I’m serious, I wanted to care about their name. I did! I like the name. But why the is he headless? Somebody… please give a reason. I can’t think of one. He even sounds cool! Why did they do this!? It is distracting!
It is here where we get a series of quick cuts between the race with Ashitabamaru kicking into gear while simultaneously explaining what may have been the wedge that drove the two into bickering and disliking each other. Our two girls write letters to their coach after being told that Tanahashi was leaving to pursue another cup over seas. The meeting was probably to confess their feelings for him but because they both end up doing at the same time, it created a rift that wasn’t really present before.
While I appreciate the explanation, I can’t really get behind what happens. One, coach Tanahashi is headless! So them getting all frisky over a headless man isn’t really appealing. He could be ugly! Horrifying even! We will never know! (I really don’t like this.) Two, while other teams got to showcase a special move in their arsenal, Ashitabamaru kinda just plot armored their way to pass opponents without showcasing anything but raw speed. It would have better to at least have the commentary mention something about their driving when they kicked it into gear. The technique used when they passed one of their competitors. Remember when I said they hinted at their victory in the beginning of the episode? And that scares me because I really want to see some interesting races.
We end out episode to Ashitabamaru taking first and going into a stand off before knocking each other out. They were all cool while racing but I’m willing to accept their relationship for now. Its not like I really have a choice.
I loved the racing but I’m a bit iffy on the our two leads. It isn’t worth dropping however because I feel like they can turn it around and make me forget about the headless man. The animation while racing is solid and if they dive into some of the supporting cast and teams, it can really be a decent show. Perhaps the reason wasn’t really headless guy but some underlying thing between them two. I might be reaching but I like the show!
If you watched Two Car, let me know what you think.
Side Note: I found myself humming the opening theme on my way home so… yeah. I like it.
Thanks for reading!
Have you seen this man? If so, please dial 911. We have found this head.