When I think of Lance Armstrong, I can’t help but think of the voracious Midousuji from the cycling anime Yowamushi Pedal. Their thirst for victory is beyond savage, except that Armstrong keep his cool. When I watched the documentary Armstrong Lie, I was dumbstruck – how in the world is there no difference between his defiance and confession? When he admitted to doping in 2013, it was sheer right-on-your-face stone-cold admission. No trace of regret on his face.
Whether the movie was a success in depicting the many lies of Armstrong and his team or not, still, many doped their way to victory. Doping has been the new normal and doing it too well is the thin line between winning or death – as Armstrong has proudly lived up to.
Despite everyone possibly doing it, his views were exceptionally crooked. He bent cheating to its ‘supposedly’ malleable forms, hoping to seek that morsel of self-righteousness. His was a quintessential ego on the edge, about to be tipped off.
I don’t have the best formula there is. Coming ‘clean’ in the cycling community is, unfortunately, too far-fetched.
But here’s a little secret from Onoda-kun: singing together uphill might make you stronger. Faster. Happier. In the world of anime, there is no EPO (erythropoietin) or blood transfusions to help you ‘win’; only pure bliss and determination.
Such confidence of anime characters can rub off on you. All the more reason why I want to be a Japanese right now.
It may not be the same in real life. But singing our hearts out to “Hime, Hime!” (Princess, princess!) while enjoying the ride might be enough.
Here’s a clip of Onoda and Tadokoro-san’s sing-along: https://vimeo.com/97702052
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