My last review of Suzuka ended with the assertion that it was a solid, entertaining anime with a good cast and an entertaining storyline. With the latest 2 volumes, the story has continued, and whilst some elements have improved, others have gotten worse.
What's improved is the pace of the story, and the multitude of plot-threads running through the series. Yamato and Suzuka share an awkward friendship after his rejected confession, and his budding romance with Honoka sets everything off-balance.
Besides the romance, there's action on the track, as Yamato gains a new, speedy rival to pit his skills against, and it's all about manly pride when the action shifts to the sporting arena.
By shifting gears in this way, the series stays fresh and interesting. The cast has fleshed out nicely and there's plenty to like about most of the supporting cast. Both dubs are of an excellent quality, and I must say I prefer the English opening to the Japanese equivilant - think Lisa Lougheed's vocals on The Racoons and you're about there. Lovely.
So the inevitable gripe, and there's really just one. Whilst this is a series aimed at girls, and therefore romantic angst is a must, Yamato is so unbelievebly wet at times you just want to pick him up from the television screen and give him a damn good shake. There's really very little for the girls to get excited about, but then he's been turned down so often by the opposite sex that's kind of the point. Similarly, certain romantic interests seem doomed from the start, and it's unfortunate as I found myself wanting it to hurry and get to the next phase of the story. Those who love the turmoil of young love will adore the series however, and if Rumble Hearts did it for you, you'll love this.
It also bangs another nail into Peach Girl's amply nailed-down coffin...