The anime film based on Wataru Watanabe's Yowamushi Pedal manga has earned more than 250 million yen (about US$2.1 million) since premiering in Japan on August 28. The film ranked seventh in the Japanese box office for the September 5-6 weekend, up from its 12th place rank in the previous weekend.
The film's official website also began streaming a promotional video for the film titled "Riding" on Tuesday. The video features road racing scenes from the film, as well as the film's theme song "Link" by Lastgasp.
Watanabe wrote the new story for the film:
[Highlight white text to read spoilers for the earlier manga and television anime] After winning the fierce Inter High race, Sakamichi and the other Sōhoku team members receive an invitation to compete in the Kumamoto Hi Province Mountain Range Race toward the end of summer. The top-tier teams from around the country compete in this race, including Sōhoku's rivals Hakone Academy (which yearns to take down Sōhoku), Kyoto Fushimi, and Hiroshima Kureminami — as well as Kumamoto Daiichi High School's team led by Shin Yoshimoto.
On the stage of Kumamoto Prefecture's Mount Aso, the curtain rises for the "final race" of Sōhoku team led by Kinjō.
The returning cast from the two TV anime series includes:
Daiki Yamashita as Sakamichi Onoda Kousuke Toriumi as Shunsuke Imaizumi Jun Fukushima as Shōkichi Naruko Hiroki Yasumoto as Shingo Kinjō Showtaro Morikubo as Yūsuke Makishima Kentarou Itou as Jin Tadokoro Tsubasa Yonaga as Sangaku Manami Tomoaki Maeno as Juichi Fukutomi Hiroyuki Yoshino as Yasutomo Arakita Tetsuya Kakihara as Jinpachi Tōdō Satoshi Hino as Hayato Shinkai Atsushi Abe as Tōichirō Izumida Koji Yusa as Akira Midōsuji Hirofumi Nojima as Kōtarō Ishigaki Chihiro Suzuki as Nobuyuki Mizuta Tomokazu Seki as Eikichi Machiyama Yoshiyuki Shimozuma as Ryō Ibitani Hiroaki Tajiri as Yoshiaki Taura
Mamoru Miyano (Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club, Tokyo Ghoul) joined the cast as the new character Shin Yoshimoto, the ace of Kumamoto Daiichi High School. He is a third-year Kumamoto Daiichi High School student who possesses a cheerful yet aggressive personality. He was not able to participate in the Inter High due to an injury, but he still has first-class legs honed on Mount Aso.
The television anime's director Osamu Nabeshima served as chief director of the film, with Norihiro Naganuma (assistant director and script contributor on Hōzuki no Reitetsu) as the film's hands-on director. After performing the second television season's opening theme song, the rock band Lastgasp returned to contribute the movie's theme song "Link." The other staff members include:
Script: Reiko Yoshida Character Design: Yukiko Ban, Yuko Iwasa Design Works: Yoshio Mizumura Art Setting: Tomoyuki Aoki, Yukie Inose 2D Works: Chie Nishitani Art Director: Shunichiro Yoshihara Color Key: Fusako Nakao CG Director: Takeshi Sanada Director of Photography: Takeshi Katsurayama, Daichi Nogami Editor: Kumiko Sakamoto Sound Director: Takeshi Takadera Music: Kan Sawada Animation Production: TMS Entertainment Distributor: TOHO
Film attendees will get one of 18 keychain holders featuring a character from Sōhoku, Hakone Academy, Kyoto Fushimi, Hiroshima Kureminami, or Kumamoto Daiichi High School. The presents will be random and will change weekly.
The original manga follows Sakamichi Onoda, an otaku at Sōhoku High School. He loves anime and games so much, that he would ride his commuter bicycle to and from Tokyo's Akihabara shopping district in a 90-kilometer (about 60-mile) round trip over steep slopes after school. Onoda's life changes when he encounters his school's cycling team, and he ends up joining the competitive sport of bicycle racing.
The television anime premiered in October 2013, and Crunchyroll streamed the anime outside of Japan as it aired. The first compilation film, Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE, played in a limited two-week engagement from September 19 to October 2 in 10 Japanese theaters last year. It compiled the first half of the Inter High arc from the first television anime season with some cuts of new footage added.
The second season of the anime picked up where the first left off in the Inter High arc in October. A second compilation film titled Yowamushi Pedal Re: ROAD compiles the episodes from the second season, with new cuts of animation. The film opened in select Japanese theaters on June 12 for two weeks only. Yowamushi Pedal Re: ROAD featured the theme song "Believer" by Lastgasp.
Sources: Anime! Anime!, Eiga.com