Matching icons for you and your watermelon loving zakus
Okay so, continuation of this.
Onoda brought the team together, like he promised, but due to the effort he put into achieving this, he’s tired and feels like he can’t go on. He’s about to fall and drop the race. Naruko, who was by his side, is caught off guard and can’t reach him.
Out of nowhere, Imaizumi appears (seriously, I barely saw him in the earlier panels man) and holds Onoda, claiming he won’t allow such thing, referring to Onoda dropping of course. The little climber seems surprised and Imaizumi goes on about how seeing him from behind inspired him and etc. He concludes by saying that if Onoda can’t go further, then he will take him to the goal himself.
We’re talking about the same Imaizumi who, moments ago and without Onoda there of course, was thinking about dropping the race and forgetting about cycling.
The same Imaizumi who didn’t care about anything but being all alone in the front and winning. The same one who only cared about his OWN success. The same one who’s main goal was to win against Midousuji.
Now, he’s willing to toss that aside for the sake of the team, for the sake of Onoda, the little guy who inspired him to keep cycling. He’s willing to sacrifice his speed and power for the little hero to make it to the goal.
Onoda saved him once (although he isn’t really aware of it) and now it’s Imaizumi’s turn to do so. He recovered that determination of his because of the climber. And he’s determined to protect the reason of it.
Tadokoro seems proud, Naruko exclaims that Imaizumi is back to his old self (thanks to who, huh?) and Kinjou is smirking…again. Good going guys.
Let’s talk about this.
Imaizumi is completely and utterly destroyed. Despite all the training, the sweat and the effort he made to reach, to win against Midousuji, KyouFushi left without him being able to do anything. On top of that, he learns that he was never (or Souhoku for that matter) considered an opponent for Midousuji, unlike Hakogaku.
He says that now that he realized he’s a cyclist of a lower class than Midousuji, he has no reason to ride at all. He also declares that when he said that he was going to ride for the team on the second day, it was just a front. Meaning, he was just riding for himself, to prove himself. To prove his own power and to defeat Midousuji, because of his pride. His ego had been hurt when Midousuji defeated him, back in middle school and then, when he surpassed him on the first day of the Interhigh. The second day was his chance for ‘revenge’ but he failed and now he feels like it was all a waste of time.
Now, you guys already knew all this so let’s get to the point.
Until now, Imaizumi is only thinking of himself and his own success (or failure). He has given up now and refuses to stand up and continue. Until…
Until Kinjou brings up something important, the team. The goddamn jersey is only complete when the six of them are riding. He says that the Interhigh can be conquered when the six are together, not when you’re alone.
Let’s go back in time for a bit. Earlier, Imaizumi was blaming himself for not being able to stop KyoFushi. But the truth is, KyoFushi had all their members gathered together while Souhoku had only two at that moment. Of course Imaizumi wouldn’t had been able to stop 6 members at once. But he ignored the fact because he was only thinking of himself, to that extent.
Back to what we were saying. Kinjou is trying to convince Imaizumi to get back on his feet by mentioning the team and their combined strength. Imaizumi is silent, not fully convinced but starting to understand.
Kinjou, as the smart guy he is, mentions the person crucial to Imaizumi’s development. Onoda fucking Sakamichi. He casually comments that Onoda would be very disappointed if he joined back and found out there was someone missing (note: by then, Kinjou is smirking).
When Onoda is brought into the conversation, Imaizumi doesn’t hesitate anymore, doesn’t doubt, doesn’t break. With a tear rolling down his face, he picks his helmet and thinks Onoda’s name, as if he had forgotten the most important thing of the race, and starts pedalling again.
Coincidentally, Kinjou talking about Onoda and, by consequence, Imaizumi’s reaction, were cut from the anime. I’m not trying to imply anything but eh.
Okay so for once in my life I decide to stop complaining about the lack of Imasaka and wrote some yeah. I’m trash so it’s fluff kid, 1,4k words. It’s also here btw
“Onoda.” Imaizumi interrupted him.
The small one stopped speculating about the next episode of Love Hime and turned towards his friend. “Yes, Imaizumi-kun? Do you have any theories as well? Ah! Maybe you think that Arimaru-“
Before the enthusiastic boy started babbling about the series again, he interrupted him again. “It’s not that.” He said, glancing to the side, pursing his lips lightly. Onoda tilted his head, confused. The tall teenager took a deep breath and stared at him in the eyes.
“Do you want to have lunch on the roof?” He asked, almost resigned.