Prince of Stride episode 4. Here we go. Side note, I only discuss parts of the episode that I feel is necessary to the story. I cut out things that I think don’t add anything to the story. Don’t worry. I don’t cut out things that are crazy important.
So this was a Ayumu heavy episode. We saw him last week chicken out when it came to jumping over the obstacles in the race, so why not develop his character in the beginning of the season. After learning their opponents are the Mihashi Stride team, Heath demonstrates a technique called vaulting, something that we all must be familiar with by now. After Hozumi goes up and demonstrates a variation of the vault, Ayumu tries and barley makes it.
After practice, Ayumu asks Hozumi if he could stay a while longer and help him with learning to vault. Hozumi agrees to help him out. Try after try after try, we see Ayumu start to get a grasp on the idea of vaulting. Cut to the event. After walking the line of the race, everyone decides to go back to the hotel and enjoy the hot spring for the night. Everyone…except Ayumu who is now where to be seen. Turns out he found a shortcut for later in the race.
Now, the race is starting. Right before the race starts, Riku’s opponent turns to him and asks if he is Tomoe Yagami’s brother. Riku says that he is. When the race starts, Riku takes off, but not for long. Rounding the first corner, he enters a tunnel that is going up hill. By the time they come out of the tunnel, Riku fell to second place. This is pretty much the tone for the rest of the race. Up until we get to Ayumu, we have been in second place. When it is Ayumu’s time to shine, he is starting to doubt himself just like last time. The only difference is that he stops doubting himself. He knows that he has to pull through for his teammates. With the last push, he blasts through the uphill part of the race, and splits off from his opponent.
Now…If this was a conventional anime, He would make the dangerous jump with ease and have a four second advantage on the last relay…But no. This is real. We see him jump off screen and then we see blood splatter and then silence. After a couple minutes of no response, the other team things they have it all but won. Then, we have a response from Ayumu. All he can do is concentrate on making it to Hozumi. Hozumi takes off and sees Ayumu hurt. Putting aside his personal feelings aside for a moment, he realizes he can’t let Ayumu’s injuries be in vain. Hozumi speeds up to catch up to his opponent.
The race is all but over. With Hozumi sprinting like a bat out of hell, Honon Stride Club wins the first round and moves on to the next. Hozumi immidetly turns around and runs back to go check on Ayumu. As Ayumu gets driven away by an ambulance, the team goes home and rests up for the next race. And with that. The episode is over.