Not only is it a sports anime, it’s a driving anime and it is estrogen-heavy! What were they thinking? Well, you know me, I’ll look at almost anything, so I took in the oddness of “Two Car” (“Tsūkaa”).
We find ourselves on Miyakejima, a small and sparsely populated island that lies south of Tokyo. On this island lives (left to right) Yuri Miyata and Megumi Meguro, our heroines. They are really good at what they do and that is sidecar racing. In fact, the entire island is set up to be able to engage in this activity. Yuri is the girlish, cool-headed driver who works the accelerator and brake. Her family also runs a guesthouse for those who come to watch the time trials and the races.
Megumi is the boyish and impulsive passenger who uses her acrobatic skills and body weight to handle the corner work. Her family runs an inn. Both are students at the Tokyo Metropolitan Miyake Girls High School. While they are the complete opposites of each other, and usually butt heads, they complement each other well during races.
The island is going to host a competition with six other girl motorcycle sidecar teams from all over Japan, with the winner going to a big competition. The girls want to win, as their coach, the almost unseen Tanahashi, will be competing there. You see, he used to train them and they both fell in love with him, each believing their love for him was better than the other’s. They now have an opportunity to make their confession real when they see him.
The one thing this show does well is introduce us to this odd sport. It is more than mere racing as to who is the fastest. You have to understand when to shift your body weight, how best to shift your body weight, how quickly you can get set up for the next curve or hill or straightaway. This is something the other teams will be doing as well, as they have to be given a chance to examine the course and best prepare person and machine for the rigors that lie ahead. However…….
Maybe it is the nature of the sport itself, but the other competitors are a bit off-kilter. One team is really into the Master-Slave relationship. We have a pair of twins that are obsessed with the other one. A third team isn’t much better than a comedy duo. But all that nonsense goes away when the flag drops and the accelerator is gunned. Or does it?
Having worked for a comedy group, I understand all the background tasks that need to be done. There is a lot or arguments as you try to get your point across while another wants to get THEIR point across. I also understand the need to drop the differences and work together for the common goal. It’s just that I felt a lot of the ‘conflicts’ were given to us to show that you can be unharmonious in the pits, but a force to be reckoned with during the race. But if you have been joined at the hip, so to speak, you know when something is off or not working.
I also felt the reason our team wanted to win kind of undermined their talents and abilities. You want to win so you can profess your love to someone older than you who HAS to turn you down? And everyone comes off as so catty and petty. Yes, you want it if the other team has bad chemistry, as you are working to do your best, but all the ladies are catty and petty. And mean and cruel and vicious. And since they have to be here potentially for a week before the actual race (you want to see how the course is laid out; how well the machine is operating; how best to promote your assets and reduce your liabilities), a lot of these problems are thrust to the forefront in obvious fashion.
Seriously, I wondered how many of these teams would remain intact after this little venture, considering what cans of worms were opened for all to see. And the Main Purpose for wanting to win gets knocked into a cocked hat when a plot device rears its ugly head.
My problem was I did not know if this was to be a drama of ladies, on the verge of womanhood, trying to understand what life is all about, or some kind of arch comedy, where we have people in pursuit of something that is, ultimately, of little to no value once you attain it. That’s a problem when you try to achieve too much at once: you may end up with nothing at all. But if you just want to dig the sports action of it and try to understand a bit more of this odd sport, you’ll have a grand time of it.
I am of the opinion that all sports anime should be binged. Much like how a game is played, there is little time for time outs or pit stops, as you plow ahead to ultimate victory. It also helps with the involved, complex and multi-layered relationships that all of these women have with themselves, their partners, their machines and their rivals. Play it as it lays.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Great environment, standard characters)
Plot 7 (Underwhelming)
Pacing 8 (Good using of timing)
Effectiveness 7 (Too scattershot to be more useful)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 1 (A similar show would be “Ouran High School”)
Bingeability 10 (Continue play)
Overall 7 (Unable to fully connect with things)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. We are going to win!