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It is quite prominent throughout the series.

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    Makishima and Toudou 
  • It's been noted that Toudou has more in common with a Stalker with a Crush in regards to Makishima than with the other trope of that corner.
  • Makishima and Toudou have each other's phone numbers and talk pretty much all the time. When a teammate overhears Toudou talking on the phone with him, he asks who "Maki-chan" is and if it's one of his fangirls. He coyly replies with "Something like that."
  • Official art likes to put them together, with Toudou draping himself all over Makishima. And it also likes to have individual shots of them on their phones, implied to be talking to each other.
    • There's official art of what seems to be Toudou and Makishima celebrating Makishima's birthday together. They are seen holding a white icing-covered cake with the words "Maki-chan! Happy Birthday!" as well as a bouquet of white flowers, both of are implied to be given to Makishima by Toudou, presumably as gifts.
    • In this picture, Makishima and Toudou are the only ones sharing a water bottle. Makishima is even shown to be smiling while glancing at Toudou.
    • There's one where Toudou appears to be making a snowman of Makishima and smiling at his handiwork.
    • An illustration in Spare Bike has Toudou overjoyed that Makishima is on the cover, so much that he even goes as far as to buy himself 10 copies of the volume. A post on Tumblr even emphasizes that Toudou reacts in a noticeably much more enthusiastic manner when Makishima is on the cover compared to when he himself is on the cover, which one taking into account Toudou's personality might find slightly strange.
  • Toudou is also the only one aside from Onoda that Makishima calls by his first name. Well, occasionally, at least. Makishima also doesn't seem to mind when Toudou takes to calling him "Maki-chan".
  • Some Tumblr users have noticed that Toudou and Makishima have what appear to be matching gold necklaces. And as of the Mini Drama CD Side Road 2/Track 1, they now also have matching t-shirts.
  • It's mentioned in the Drama CD's that Makishima and Toudou sometimes eat together at restaurants after their races.
  • The Hakone regulars are also shown to be completely used to Toudou's "Maki-chan" related moods, ranging from depression to utter excitement, suggesting that he talks to and about Makishima enough that they've simply become accustomed to it.
  • During the climb up Mt. Hakone, Toudou becomes overly depressed because Makishima is stuck in the back with his team. He likens it to a nightmare and says how it's the first race he wants to be over as fast as possible, going so far as to ignore the crowd of spectators cheering him on. He also says that in order to carry out his team's orders and win the peak, he has no choice but to abandon everything, including all his hopes of Makishima catching up and being able to fulfill their promise to each other. When Makishima does catch up, leaving Onoda with the team, Toudou turns downright ecstatic.
    • It should probably be noted that his teammates say that they've never seen Toudou look this glum during a race (they actually run up to him to ask if he's okay) and he completely ignores his fangirls.
    • At one point, he talks about how he used to hate Makishima and his colorful hair and weird riding style back when they first met. He concludes his monologue with "Now, it's the complete opposite." The opposite of hate is what again? Exactly.
    • When Makishima eventually catches up and they begin their race, Toudou's thoughts center on how much fun he's having and how he wishes that the moment would last forever.
      Toudou: Time is fleeting. Then I'll record this moment in my heart, so I'll never forget.
    • Kakihara Tetsuya, Toudou Jinpachi's seiyuu, says that part of what he was trying to accomplish in Episode 29 was to show Toudou's "heated feelings for Maki-chan."
    • When Toudou goes up onstage to receive his red tag for winning the mountain stage, he snatches the microphone from the announcer and calls Makishima to join him onstage, declaring that the mountain stage was a victory for both of them.
  • The novel Makishima and Toudou - The Two's Promise is filled to the brim with eyebrow-raising moments between the two.
    • The first page has an illustration of a phone call between Toudou and Makishima. Toudou asks Makishima his customary question of "Are you doing well?" and declares that it's the only thing that's been on his mind.
    • Toudou remembers all the dates of their important races together and considers those dates as his Makishima's anniversaries. He even calls Makishima out when he expresses confusion on what the special occasion is supposed to be.
      Toudou: Maki-chan, do you remember when we first met? It's been one year, one month, and twenty-three days since then.
    • Toudou lets a certain... interesting line slip out during a mock-argument with Makishima.
      Toudou: Are you saying you want to compete with someone other than me?! I'm the only one who can satisy you! Fine then, go and enjoy yourself with this snob!
    • It's emphasized a lot of times in the novel how focused Toudou and Makishima are on each other during their races, going so far as to call the other competitors that try to come between them "nuisances" and focusing their efforts on getting past the others to ensure that only the two of them are left competing for the finish line.
      Toudou: Maki-chan, how about we get this guy revved up and bring the ten people in the pack ahead down to half? We’ll make him do the work for us. Then we can be alone together a little quicker.
      • Toudou gets very irritated at the idea that the racers who broke away from the pack at the start of the race would be there when he and Makishima got close to the finish line. He tells Makishima directly that the race is "only supposed to belong to the two of [them]."
        Toudou: A climb that doesn't have the two of us competing together isn't a climb at all.
    • Several times during the story, Musashigawa confronts Makishima and Toudou on their "suspicious" relationship and insists that they're definitely closer than they let on.
      Musashigawa: By the way, I have just one question. Are you and Toudou together? You always seem to be with him in races. note 
      Makishima: .....Huh?
      • When Toudou asks Musashigawa why he seems to hold a grudge against him and Makishima, he reveals that he was the third placer in some of the races the two were involved in. He says he was offended because Makishima and Toudou seemed to only care about each other and never paid any attention to the racers who placed below them.
    • Makishima asks Toudou why it's always him that Toudou wants to compete with. Toudou just says that it's "because [he's] Maki-chan," much to Makishima's confusion. He declares that when it comes to Makishima, he bases it on all on his feelings and instincts, and that neither of them need logic when they're "pursuing pleasure."
      • In turn, Toudou asks Makishima what he feels when they're climbing together. Fun Fact: His response makes Toudou flat-out blush.
        Makishima: I have no idea... why it's you, or why I climb. But I can say this: I've never experienced anything else as fun as this.
    • When it seems like Makishima has fallen behind, Toudou just calmly rebuffs all of Musashigawa's statements that Makishima wouldn't be able to catch up, saying that the idea of him being close to finish line without "Maki-chan" there with him is plain impossible. True enough, Makishima catches up to them, which just makes Toudou shoot Musashigawa a smug "See?"
    • After getting a flat rear tire, Makishima debates chasing after Toudou and going for the finish line. Memories of their past races enter his mind, which make Makishima admit to himself that the moments when he climbed with Toudou were the moments that mattered the most. His admission steels his resolve to chase after Toudou and race him to the finish line, even if he has to rely on a single tire to do so.
      Makishima: It's because he's there that I climb. It's because I compete with him that I yearn for the top.
      • When Makishima blows out his front tire, the foremost reason that pops into his head on why he doesn't want to quit the race is because he doesn't want to disappoint Toudou.
    • During the Inter High, when Makishima catches up to Toudou after leaving the team to Onoda, Toudou says to himself that if he's dreaming, he doesn't want anyone to wake him up, which he also says in the manga. He even proclaims that his heart "feels like it's soaring."
  • The first recap movie Re:RIDE has Makishima and Onoda visit the Toudou family's inn, as Word of God promised. When Onoda passes out in the bath, they take him back to the room. While they're talking, Toudou brings up their rivalry and how he still wants the two of them to race after the Inter High and graduation. When Makishima doesn't answer, Toudou gets concerned. Makishima tries to tell him that he'll be moving to England after the school year ends, but is interrupted when Onoda wakes up. The way the scene is animated makes it look like an interrupted and very reluctant break up.
  • In Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie, Toudou begins to get hyped after hearing that both Sohoku and Hakone are participating in the Kumamoto Race, where he expects to meet Makishima again. Makishima, however, isn’t able to participate. On the day of the race, Toudou, along with the rest of Hakone, greet Sohoku, only for Toudou to discover that Makishima wasn’t even in Kumamoto to begin with. When he finds out, he shakes Onoda’s shoulders and demands that Onoda tell him where Makishima is. After Onoda explains that Makishima is preparing to leave for England, Toudou walks away looking devastated.
    • When the race finally begins, Toudou is seen riding with his head bowed. His teammates quickly pick up on his sullen mood. Izumida even comments that he "looks kind of down."
    • Near the end of the movie, when Makishima returns and runs into Onoda, he tells him not to let Toudou know about his return because he knows he’ll get too excited.
      Makishima: Oh, right. You don’t have to tell him. note  He’s tough to handle when he gets too excited.
    • When the second day race starts, Toudou complains to Manami about how lucky he is that he has a rival there to compete with him. He laments that he had planned to bring "Maki-chan" with him to eat dumplings, go horse riding, and then go dolphin watching together (which pretty much sounds like he had wanted to take Makishima out on a date). He then becomes so depressed that he sighs, slides out of his bike, and just lies down on the road.
    • Toudou is somehow able to just ''sense'' that Makishima is there before he even sees him. Onoda’s reaction only confirms his suspicions, and he enthusiastically shouts out to greet Makishima, who is at the very back of the pack. Toudou becomes absolutely ecstatic.
      Toudou: I'm in a great mood now!
    • In the ending cards of the movie, Toudou is shown offering his winner’s note  bouquet of flowers to Makishima, which Makishima actually accepts.
    • The short post-credits scene has Makishima at the airport grinning while talking to someone on his phone. It's confirmed in the second episode of the third season that the person Makishima was talking to was Toudou.
  • Post-Interhigh. When Toudou and Manami race for the mountain peak during the third years' send-off ride, Toudou brings up Onoda and states to Manami that it's clear he's already become special to him. Toudou tells him to take good care of him and to make sure he calls him everyday, which just makes Manami sweatdrop until he realizes that Toudou is thinking about Makishima.
    • In that very same scene, Toudou suddenly turns serious when he tells Manami how envious he is of him because Manami can see Onoda anytime he wants. Toudou looks back on the moment when Makishima had called to tell him he was moving to England. The face Toudou makes during his flashback is a mix of immense shock and hurt.
      Toudou: The fact that you're capable of hating and despising your rival... Honestly, I'm really, really envious of you. You have a rival you can meet and race whenever and wherever you want...
      Makishima: [over the phone] Sorry, Toudou... I'm going to England... for a while...
      Toudou: ........?!
  • Word of God says that Makishima called Toudou to tell him that he was moving to England because he didn't want Toudou to be depressed. As of now, Toudou is the only person who is confirmed to have been told directly about Makishima's departure by Makishima himself.
  • Even while Makishima is living in England, Toudou's constant e-mails and messages don't stop.
    • Word of God says that while Makishima only replies to one out of every ten e-mails Toudou sends him, he makes an effort to respond because he "looks up to and is grateful to Toudou, so he makes sure to reply to that much at the very least."
  • Manga Chapters 417 - 421 have Makishima sneaking out and calling Toudou to meet him on the mountain pass road in the middle of the night for a race. In fact, had Onoda not coincidentally run into Toudou as he was leaving, the two would have been alone together that night.
    • Without even looking, Makishima is immediately able to tell that it's Toudou approaching him just from the sound of his bike wheels, despite Toudou not using his usual Ridley bike and after not seeing him for a whole year.
    • After their multi-round race ends with Makishima's victory, Makishima and Toudou pull their bikes up side by side and then wrap their arms around each other's shoulders.
    • In the aftermath of their reunion race, Toudou and Makishima sit together a few meters away from Onoda and talk. Onoda says to himself that approaching the two of them doesn't feel right because of the intensity of their competition and because he feels like he'd just "get in their way," so he decides to go down to the vending machine and get them drinks to give the two a few minutes alone.
      Makishima: Well, it's time for me to head back. I'm making Kinjou and the others wait. See you soon, Toudou.
      Toudou: Alright then... Maki-chan.
  • The Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other! aspect of their relationship from Makishima's side is really driven home in the Animate Grande Road Volume 2 Drama CD "Calling!" when he gets very, very worried when a week passes without any phone calls from Toudou.
    • Toudou once again displays the unusual accuracy of his Makishima-related senses when he decides to call Makishima after he randomly gets a feeling that Makishima had caught a summer cold. Funnily enough, he coincidentally times his phone call for right after Makishima himself discovers that he does, in fact, have a cold.
    • Makishima plays a prank on Toudou over the phone, which leads him to believe that Makishima had changed numbers without telling him. Toudou outright panics and even ends up shouting "Maki-chan" over and over in gradually more hysterical tones. He only quiets down when Makishima answers.
      Toudou: We had a relationship that mastered the very peak, didn't we?! ...That's horrible of you...! Why would you do that...?! What happened to you, Maki-chan?! Maki-chan, Maki-chan, MAKI-CHAN, MAKI-CHAAAAAAN!!!
    • Toudou goes out of his way to research a list of home remedies for colds and reports his findings to Makishima over the phone.
    • Because of his fever and lack of sleep making him irritable, Makishima loses his temper and snaps at Toudou to never call him again. One week later with no phone calls from Toudou at all, Makishima becomes incredibly concerned. While thinking of reasons why Toudou might be unable to call him, he starts overthinking and worries over the possibilities of Toudou possibly catching a cold as well or getting involved in an accident and having to stay at a hospital.
      • When his phone rings, Makishima immediately takes the call without looking at the caller ID and shouts "I'm sorry for yelling at you last time!" only to get disappointed when it turns out that the one on the other end was Onoda.
      • Makishima becomes so worried that he contemplates calling Toudou to say sorry and actually starts rehearsing various apology speeches to give him, one of which he discards because "It sounds too much like I'm a boyfriend apologizing to his girlfriend!" When Toudou doesn't answer after Makishima calls his phone, Makishima, in an anxious tone, mumbles "...Why isn't he picking up...?"
      • He becomes so distracted by the issue that he isn't able to focus on climbing and says that his pedals feel heavier than usual. While on the slope, he reminisces on his experiences with bicycle racing and admits that he respects the fact that Toudou was the only person who could ever keep up with him on the mountains.
        Makishima: I hate to admit it, but he's my best rival. His title as God of the Mountains isn't just for show. That's why I was looking forward to being able to settle the score with Toudou for so long... But we had to get awkward over something this silly...
      • When Toudou finally calls Makishima, he reveals that the reason he wasn't able to call was because he dropped his phone while doing the laundry. To make sure the same situation never happened again, Toudou decided to memorize Makishima's number.
        Toudou: Don't worry! I have your number compleeetely memorized now, Maki-chan! So now, I can call you anytime, even if my phone breaks!
      • After Toudou finishes explaining, Makishima lets out a sigh of relief and then says in an unusually soft and somber voice:
        Makishima: So that's what happened... Goddamn it... [mumbling] Do you have any idea how much I...?
  • The Drama CD The Demanding Hot Springs Inn has Makishima coincidentally stumble upon the Toudou family inn while looking for an onsen in Hakone.
    • After Makishima finishes his bath, Toudou dries his hair for him.
    • Toudou gives Makishima a full-body massage to relieve his stress. Not that he's any good at it, but it's the thought that counts.
    • Toudou cooks Makishima boiled pasta for dinner, and even takes care to include what he knows are Makishima's favorite ingredients. Makishima finishes the whole serving and grudgingly admits that the pasta was delicious. Later, right before Makishima falls asleep, he admits to himself that he needs to thank Toudou for what he's done.
    • In what's later revealed to just be all just a part of Makishima's dream, Toudou challenges Makishima to a table tennis match, which ends with Toudou's victory. He then declares that as punishment for his loss, Makishima will now work for him and will address him as "master." The scene then switches back to reality where Toudou, who has just snuck into Makishima's room in the dead hours of the morning, is shaking him awake while Makishima mumbles "Mas... te... r..." in his sleep.
    • Toudou challenges Makishima to a race at four in the morning. He urges Makishima to hurry up so that when they reach the peak, they'd still have time to watch the sunrise together.
  • Watanabe Wataru, the creator of Yowamushi Pedal himself, also drops a few hints regarding the two, mostly in interviews or during events.
    • A fan asked "If Makishima and Toudou were to meet up with each other outside of races, where would they go?" Watanabe answered that they would probably go to the beach, take a walk by the seashore, and draw pictures in the sand together. It all sounds suspiciously like a date.
    • Watanabe was once asked how he came up with Yowamushi Pedal: School Life's cover. The final version of the cover has Toudou standing beside Makishima, with one hand reaching over next to Makishima's shoulder to hold the longer, dangling strands of his hair, which sensei mentioned was his way of showing affection.
  • There are a LOT of moments between them in the official game High Cadence to Tomorrow.
    • In the scene If It's About Maki-chan That You Want To Know, Toudou gives Onoda a quiz to see how much he knows about Makishima. If Onoda (under the control of the player) does well, Toudou praises him on his knowledge, yet immediately follows it up by saying - in an almost possessive manner - that no one can take his place as the person who knows Makishima best. Furthermore, the more questions the player answers correctly, the higher Toudou's tension rises.
    • There’s a scene where Manami and Toudou have a conversation about Makishima and Toudou’s rivalry. Manami asks Toudou if he’s ever felt hatred towards Makishima as his rival, which Toudou just answers with a cheerful “Nope!” He says that while he could have won many more races if Makishima wasn’t there, he never would have been able to feel the thrill of competing with him, and because of that, he’s extremely grateful that he met him.
      Toudou: [to Manami] The days after I met Maki-chan are incomparably more fulfilling than the days before.
    • In another scene in the game, Toudou refuses to leave his room because of his untamable bedhead. When the members of Hakone and Sohoku see him, most of them burst out laughing and joke about how his hair looks like “a lion’s mane.” With the exception of Makishima.
      Toudou: Don't look at me! All of you, don't look at me!
      Makishima: ......
      Toudou: [panicking] M - Maki-chan! Don’t look at me! Don’t look at me like that!
      Makishima: Toudou, that hairstyle.....
      Makishima: .....actually kind of suits you.
      Toudou: .....Eh?
    • Makishima, while having a conversation with Tadokoro, mentions that he's lucky he was able to buy a gravure magazine and feels like God must have watching over him. Tadokoro, in a teasing voice, asks if he's talking about "a certain Mountain God." Makishima gets flustered and immediately turns defensive, which causes Tadokoro to slyly reply with a "Why, did I say something strange?"
    • When the members of Hakone (minus Toudou, who came in late) mistake Makishima for a girl while they are inside the men's bath, Arakita argues that "Anyone would think that Makishima was a girl if they looked at him from behind." Toudou disagrees:
      Toudou: That's not true! I would immediately know it was Maki-chan even if he was a thousand meters away!
      • After this, Toudou invites the Hakone regulars and Makishima to the sodium carbonate bath. Makishima tries to refuse at first, but Toudou tells him that he wants him to relax and to be in his best condition. This piece of dialogue follows:
        Makishima: Toudou, when I’m racing with you, I’m always in my best condition. That, I promise you.
        Toudou: [stuttering] Ma – Maki-chan… me too!
        Narrator: Toudou’s excitement has risen.
      • In the scene above, if the player chooses to have all of Hakone (sans Toudou) confront the "girl" instead of letting Fukutomi go alone, Toudou arrives and greets "her," who, in the same fashion as before, is revealed to be Makishima. While the other Hakone regulars recover from the shock, Toudou just talks about how excited he is to see him and dramatically asks who whe should thank for their coincidental meeting.
    • There is a scene in the game where Onoda starts having insecurities about Sohoku's future and his own abilities as a climber. He then runs into Toudou, whom Onoda decides to ask for advice. Toudou concludes his words with "If you're fastest at your own style, then there's nothing cooler than that." which are exactly the same words Makishima said to Onoda when they were training. Onoda himself lampshades this after Toudou asks him why his expression suddenly turned strange by telling Toudou that Makishima once told him the exact same thing.
    • This in-game CG appears near the end of the game, in the scene The Truth, Respectively: Makishima and Toudou. It's revealed that Sohoku and Hakone coincidentally ending up in the same training camp wasn't a coincidence at all, and was actually deliberately planned by both Toudou and Makishima unbeknownst to their teammates, so that they could meet one another again and have another race.
      • Makishima thanks Toudou for his participation in their plan, despite its suddenness. It's revealed that Makishima had called Toudou prior to the events of the game to let him know about the details. Toudou had agreed and had been the one to make the inn arrangements and had also called Kinjou to let him know about the training camp menu. Toudou replies that if Makishima had called him, he knows it had to have been important.
        Toudou: Of course. I'd do anything Maki-chan wanted, without asking questions!
      • Note that a misanga is a bracelet or cord that a person makes a wish on. It's said that the moment the person's wish comes true, the misanga falls off. Toudou and Makishima have this conversation (still set in the same scene as above):
        Toudou: My phone strap must've fallen off because I met you.
        Makishima: ...It's not a misanga...
      • After their talk, Toudou and Makishima decide to stay and watch the fireworks together.
      • Toudou comments that Makishima is in an unusually sentimental mood, which makes him defensively ask what Toudou even knows about him. Toudou proceeds to enumerate everything.
        Toudou: Your birthday, your hobbies and interests. Your best subjects, your blood type, and... Your favorite clothing brands, your favorite shampoo, and also -
  • Yomecolle is a dating sim that lets the player collect cards to unlock events for specific characters. The Yowamushi Pedal characters are also included and have voiced lines by their respective seiyuus. Despite being a dating sim involving the player romancing the characters, it still somehow manages to sneak in a surprising number of moments between Toudou and Makishima.
    • Several players have noticed that the way Toudou and Makishima interact with the player's in-game character (their love interest) is unusually similar to how they act towards each other in canon.
    • There are a few scenes where Toudou seems to get annoyed at his love interest (the player) because of their attitude and concludes his scoldings by saying that the player ought to act more like Makishima.
    • Both Makishima and Toudou have moments wherein the player's character looks at them weirdly because of how often they text and call each other.
      Toudou: [on the phone with Makishima] Good morning, Maki-chan! Rise and shine! [to player] …Hm? Oh, this is my morning call to my beloved rival. ...Hmm, what’s wrong? You have a weird look on your face.
      Makishima: Geh, my call history got slammed again… [to player] I–It’s not from a girl! There’s this guy named Toudou from Hakone, he’s the one who keeps calling me – Oi, don’t think of any weird stuff!
    • If you combine Makishima and Toudou's Hot Spring sound files, you get to hear the full conversation they have while Makishima is relaxing with Toudou in Toudou-An's onsen.
      Toudou: You're welcome here anytime, Maki-chan! If you wanted, you could even become a part of my family!
      • Makishima, in turn, also invites Toudou to spend time in Chiba.
    • There's a scene where Makishima tells the player that they're allowed to call him anything they want. However, he warns the player not to call him "Maki-chan" because "if someone else does, there's this annoying guy who would never stop complaining about it." Jealous much, Toudou?
      • Toudou actually does get jealous over Makishima at one point. And it's against the player, who's supposed to be his own love interest to boot. When the player says that they want to meet Makishima, Toudou gets ticked.
        Toudou: [to player] ...You want to meet Maki-chan...? I can't have that! With the exception of his fashion sense, Makishima Yuusuke is someone whom I respect and fully acknowledge! I can't have him being noticed by other people!
    • In the ''Hot Springs Theatre'' conversation between Onoda, Imaizumi and Manami, Onoda brings up Love Hime's protagonist Kotori, who Manami mistakenly assumes is Onoda's girlfriend. While he's on the topic of girlfriends, he also decides to ask Onoda about Toudou's "Maki-chan."
      Manami: Now that I think of it, Toudou-san mentioned that his "beloved Maki-chan" also goes to Sohoku. Is this "Maki-chan" girl cute? note 
    • In a conversation between Shinkai, Naruko, and Toudou, Shinkai tells Naruko that Sohoku's Makishima is Toudou's unmei no aite. note  While the phrase can also mean fated opponent, it is commonly used in a romantic context and can mean destined partner or fated one. Shinkai's low whistle doesn't help with the implications, either. Naruko is understandably shocked.
      Naruko: Eh? “Maki-chan”… is Makishima-san?! What do you mean Makishima-san is hairband guy’s destined partner?!
    • The app has a Tanabata event with the Yowamushi Pedal characters. Tanabata also falls on the same day as Makishima's birthday. The player's interactions with the other characters are all about their wishes and mostly focus on the relationship between them and the player. Toudou, on the other hand, raves to the player about how it's Makishima's birthday and that they have to celebrate the day extravagantly. He also asks the player to wish for something that would make Makishima happy.
    Onoda and Manami 
  • Onoda tends to blush a lot when Manami is around. In fact, it's pretty much safe to say that most of Onoda's blushes in the whole series are caused by Manami.
  • There's also quite a bit of official art that has them together, usually in close proximity to the other.
  • Onoda and Manami's first meeting plays out like something taken right out of a shoujo manga. When Onoda collapses on the side of the road due to dehydration, Manami spots him and stops to give him his water bottle. In the anime, you can even hear sparkles in the background. The color also shifts to a softer, brighter shade the moment they first lock eyes.
    • After Manami stands up, the scene, which is from Onoda's perspective, plays in slow motion and has Manami shining while walking in a light cloud of bishie sparkles. When the camera pans back to Onoda, he's seen looking at Manami with a dazed expression coupled with a luminescent blush.
    • In the manga, right before Manami rides off, Onoda tells him that he also loves slopes, which makes Manami turn around and flash him a wink.
  • Toudou sends Manami to scout out Sohoku's training camp and tells him that Sohoku has an "interesting climber" that Manami might want to see. Although Toudou was talking about Makishima, Manami instead runs into Onoda and thinks that he is the "interesting climber."
    • When Manami asks Onoda if he's going to the Inter High, Onoda can't answer him. Manami then goes on to say that he wants the two of them to ride together.
      Manami: I like slopes, too. So, you know... I thought it'd be fun if we rode in the Inter High together.
    • Manami is quick to call Onoda by his first name. He even comments on how he thinks "Sakamichi" is a great name.
      Manami: I'm Manami Sangaku, and you're Onoda Sakamichi! We make a great pair!
    • When Toudou calls Manami later, Manami mentions meeting the "interesting climber" Toudou was talking about. Manami describes him (Onoda) as someone with short hair and a cute smile. He also adds that Onoda looked like he was having fun while climbing the hill and that his glasses suited him, much to Toudou's immense confusion.
  • Episode 17 of the anime has Manami sitting alone near a mountain road at night, staring off into the distance. With a smile on his face, he declares to himself how he's looking forward to the Inter High while thinking of Onoda.
    Manami: You'll come, won't you, Sakamichi-kun?
  • One of Onoda's main motivations for going to the Inter High is so he can meet Manami again, fulfill their promise, and give him back his water bottle. In fact, when Onoda starts having doubts about being able to qualify for Sohoku's Inter High team, the first thing he does is internally apologize to Manami.
  • One of the first things Onoda does upon arriving at the Inter High venue is look for Manami. When Manami shows up onstage along with the rest of Hakone, Onoda spots him and raises Manami's water bottle in greeting. Manami beams down at him and impulsively grabs the microphone from the host to shout out his greeting, much to the amusement of the spectators.
    Manami: [using the microphone] You're here, Sakamichi-kun!
  • During the third day of the Inter High, just before the pack catches up to Sohoku and Hakone, Onoda notices Manami's tense expression. When Onoda asks him what's wrong, Manami's eyes turn half-lidded as he murmurs Onoda's name. He bikes up next to Onoda and wraps his arm around Onoda's waist. He then leans in very close and, in a low whisper, asks Onoda if he "can also feel it", leaving Onoda a flustered, stuttering mess.
    Onoda: Eh?! [thinking] He's so close...!
    • Near the end of the race, when Onoda finally catches up to Manami in their race for the finish line, both of them smile. From that point, they decide to finally go all-out and have the serious race that they promised each other.
  • In the movie, when Onoda and Manami greet each other, Onoda once again gets a very noticeable flush to his cheeks and smiles. Manami says to him that he'll enjoy their race.
  • After the Inter High, Manami, still in a bad mood after losing to Onoda, says that it might have been better had he never given him his water bottle on the day that they met. But when Toudou asks if he could really bring himself to leave Onoda behind in the mountains when he needed Manami's help, Manami is unable to say yes.
    • While racing for the peak during Hakone's third year send-off ride, Toudou tells Manami that it's clear that Onoda's existence has become special to him.
  • Manami calls Onoda during practice and tells him that he's in Akiba with his teammates. Onoda tells him that he'll meet him there (despite Akiba being nearly two hours away) although Manami tries to stop him by saying that they'd be leaving in ten minutes. When Onoda finally arrives, he has just missed Manami, but then he looks down at the ground and sees Manami's water bottle, which he left for Onoda to find. On the bus with his teammates, Manami says to himself that this time around, he'll receive his bottle from Onoda with a smile.
    • The beginning of this scene plays out differently in the manga. Onoda is thinking about the upcoming 1000 km training camp and then remembers that it was at that time last year that he met Manami. As he's reminiscing, he says that the only reason he had been able to ride that well the previous year was because of Manami's presence. And then, speak of the devil, Manami suddenly calls.
      Onoda: I think the only reason I was able to ride like that back then was because of you. We'll ride together this year too... right, Manami-kun?
  • The first day of the second Inter High has Onoda falling back during the parade run to meet Manami. When he finally spots him, a huge smile appears on his face. He stutters when he tries to initiate a conversation, and then he flat-out blushes when Manami responds.
    • When Yuuto questions Manami and Onoda's promise to race, Manami just chuckles and tells him that it doesn't matter when or where; he just wants to fulfill their promise and have their race. He also adds that he knows Onoda can definitely make it happen.
  • The way the scene where Toudou calls Manami and Onoda out to a mountain road on a snowy day and has them race is framed almost makes it seem like Toudou is playing matchmaker for the two. It almost plays out like the hilarious typical situation of the matchmaker inviting two people out to what they think is a group outing, only for him to make up an excuse to leave the two alone.
    Manami: ...Just the two of us? What about you, Toudou-san?
    Manami and Onoda: Eeeeh?
    • When Onoda and Manami return:
      Toudou: Oh, right. Manami, give Glasses your number. Have him call you the day of the race.
      Onoda: Y - Your number? Okay.
  • In the official game High Cadence to Tomorrow, Onoda has a dream where he's riding with Manami on a hill while singing the Love Hime theme song. He's disappointed when he wakes up and realizes that it was just a dream.
    Onoda: Being able to sing with Manami-kun while climbing is like a dream... Dream? [wakes up] ...Ah, so it was just a dream. But it was a fun dream.
    • At the end of the game, after the fireworks, Onoda and Manami sit closely next to each other and, while exchanging conversation, promise to race each other again in the future.
    Imaizumi and Naruko 
  • Naruko and Imaizumi's relationship as rivals and friends has some of their situations make a certain kind of fan happy. It's taken up further when on the third day of the Inter High, Naruko collapses after allowing Makishima, Onoda and Imaizumi to catch up to Hakone. Imaizumi is so touched by the effort that he swears he'll win the race. But not for himself, or for the team, but for Naruko.
  • Imaizumi and Naruko sometimes end up saying the same things at the same time because of their similar thoughts and mindsets. Sometimes unintentionally, they also complete each other's sentences.
  • When Imaizumi falls off his bike due to exhaustion in the middle of the 1,000km training camp, Naruko stops his bike to grab Imaizumi's water bottle and offer it to him.
  • Set before the second Inter High. Despite his commitment to being a sprinter, Naruko considers Imaizumi's suggestion of improving his climbing skills and becoming an all-rounder seriously, even though he kept acting as if he was completely against the idea.
  • At school, the rest of the student body consider them a "duo," due to their habits of saying the same thing, are always seen together, and in general are thought to be very good friends; to which both of them deny, but only reinforces their classmates beliefs.
  • When Naruko suggests the idea of he, Imaizumi, and Onoda crossing the finish line together during their first Interhigh, Imaizumi is surprised that Naruko included him in it. Naruko's response is to blush and say "he didn't want to see Imaizumi cry for being left out," which Imaizumi teases him about.
  • The two of them both find Kaburagi's arrogance annoying and find a way of bonding through teasing him together.
  • In their second Interhigh, the two are selected to be the ace and assistant, the two work well together and Imaizumi even respect the fact that it's possible that Naruko is the true ace of the team and he's willing to be his assistant to help him flourish.
  • In general, whenever the two feel defeated, it's usually the other is the only one able to fire them back up.
  • When confronting Midousuji for the first time since his defeat, Imaizumi sits back and unexpectedly takes all of the ridicule Midousuji is throwing at him, Naruko is the one who defends him and his talent.
  • In a flashback, Imaizumi once sat at the bottom of Minegayama in secret and just watched Naruko practice his climbing instead of cycling like he planned, questioning to himself why he's hiding, but was more concerned with making sure Naruko is alright instead.
  • In the second opening of New Generation, Naruko loses his balance while cycling and Imaizumi can be seen calling out to him, and is also the only one showing concern for him.
    Onoda and Imaizumi 
  • This very, very, VERY questionable official art of Onoda and Imaizumi may raise a few eyebrows.
  • In the beginning of the anime, Onoda catches Imaizumi's attention because Imaizumi saw how he could climb Sohoku's rear slope on his mamachari bike. It nags at Imaizumi so much that he goes out of his way to observe Onoda's riding and to look for his bicycle by the bike rack.
    • While they ride down the rear slope, Onoda loses his balance and falls off his bike. Despite previously acting annoyed, Imaizumi stops to help him.
    • Deciding to see Onoda's potential for himself, Imaizumi challenges Onoda to a bike race up Sohoku's rear slope.
  • After Onoda loses to Imaizumi, Imaizumi tries to recruit him for the Bicycle Racing Club. When Onoda refuses his offer, Imaizumi willingly backs down because he doesn't want to force him. Before leaving, Imaizumi tells Onoda that he talked to some of his old middle school classmates to see if they were interested in joining the anime club so that Onoda could find a total of five members, which leaves Onoda shocked, but later makes him giddy.
    • As Imaizumi leaves, Onoda's eyes sparkle and he has a noticeable flush on his cheeks.
    • Some of Onoda's classmates express their surprise when they see Imaizumi actually making conversation with him, saying that he normally doesn't talk much. They tell Onoda that he's amazing for getting Imaizumi to say that many words to him.
    • When his classmates say that Imaizumi is "scary", Onoda smiles and replies while getting visibly giddy:
      Onoda: Imaizumi-kun is a nice, friendly, and really good person!
    • When Onoda looks back on his race with Imaizumi, he comments that climbing up the hill with him was "so much fun", and he doesn't even know why.
    • During the omake, Onoda thinks of a way to thank Imaizumi. When Imaizumi enters his classroom, he finds a gift bag on his seat with a tag that says "To Imaizumi-kun." While he looks inside the bag, Onoda watches from outside his classroom for his reaction. Not surprisingly, it's filled with Love Hime DVD's.
  • During the race against second years Teshima and Aoyagi, Onoda falls behind, prompting Naruko to go back and help him, but he is stopped by Imaizumi. Naruko becomes angry, accusing him of leaving Onoda behind, but then it's revealed to be the opposite. Imaizumi fully believes in Onoda's abilities and that he will be able to catch up with his own strength, even without their help.
    Imaizumi: [about Onoda] Once he catches you, he never lets you go.
  • Episode 26's omake features Onoda and Imaizumi watching a ''Love Hime'' movie together.
  • During the Inter High, when Naruko can't hold Onoda upright anymore, Imaizumi catches him before he can fall and encourages him. Imaizumi holds on to him while riding until he regains his strength.
  • During the last day of the Inter High, Imaizumi takes Kinjou's place as the ace, with Onoda backing him up. When Midousuji tries to speed past him, Imaizumi decides to accelerate, telling Onoda that he believes he can keep up with him. Midousuji mocks him, saying that Onoda couldn't catch up. When Onoda appears behind them, Imaizumi just smiles.
    Imaizumi: I knew you'd be able to catch up.
    • After Onoda catches up, Imaizumi tells him how impressed he is, patting him on the back and smiling. This is also when Imaizumi first begins to refer to Onoda as "Sakamichi."
      Imaizumi: I'm impressed you made it here, Onoda. ...No. Sakamichi.
  • Because of Imaizumi's broken frame, he is unable to pursue Manami and sprint for the finish line. Instead, he tells Onoda that he's the only one who can take Sohoku's jersey to the finish line and encourages him before pushing his back forward.
  • After Onoda beats Manami and wins the Inter High for Sohoku, Imaizumi rushes up to him and affectionately pats his cheeks with a fist, which makes Onoda crack out one of his biggest smiles in the whole series. Then, much to the surprise of Onoda, he picks him up and lifts him into the air. While he's doing this, he and Onoda just lock gazes.
    Onoda: ...I did it.
    Imaizumi: ...Yeah. I believed you would.
  • The third season has a scene where Onoda refuses Miki's suggestion of getting a picture in front of the congratulatory banner. When Imaizumi speaks up, Onoda turns around. Upon seeing him, Onoda relaxes and smiles, with a slight flush to his cheeks. When Imaizumi makes the same suggestion, Onoda actually agrees.
  • A Yowamushi Pedal rice ball ad has Onoda offering to feed Imaizumi a rice ball. Imaizumi intially refuses, but because he can't resist Onoda's hopeful eyes, he gives in and takes a bite from the rice ball in Onoda's hands.
    Tadokoro and Makishima 
  • Socially awkward Makishima is more comfortable around Tadokoro than pretty much anyone else, and they have an easy relationship; if you see one outside of club activities you probably see the other as well. "Tadokorocchi" is also the only person Makishima's nicknamed, and based on his internal thoughts in one omake he finds Tadokoro's "bear" qualities cute.
  • During the scene where the first years visit Makishima's house, Tadokoro immediately seems to be at home, casually disregarding all of Makishima's threats of "execution" and heading straight for the fridge. Even their bickering (which hints that Tadokoro has spent a lot of time in Makishima's house) feels a bit Like an Old Married Couple.
  • Makishima is notably physically affectionate with Tadokoro, such as his casually grabbing his arm and leaning over him in the van while they cheer during the first year race or clapping Tadokoro on the back when he wins the green zekkan. This has a somewhat sad callback when Tadokoro asks Makishima to "lend his shoulder" when he's too weak to walk on his own to the medical tent after he falls ill.
  • Makishima is clearly very worried for Tadokoro when he falls ill on the first day, being the only person who Tadokoro tells. On the second day he aims an uncharacteristically warm smile at Tadokoro when he isn't looking because he's being his usual boastful self and seems to have recovered completely. In turn, he's absolutely devastated when it looks like Tadokoro's fallen behind and the team will have to leave him.
    • The fact that Makishima is the only one Tadokoro tells about being ill in the first place (Tadokoro specifically asks him not to tell anyone else, "not even Kinjou") shows how much the two trust each other.
  • Despite Makishima's cold and ruthless words it's clear that leaving Tadokoro behind is crushing him and he notes that he says a lot of "embarrassing stuff" when he finally orders Onoda to "bring Tadokorocchi back." Subsequently, he cracks his biggest smile of the series at that point when Onoda finally reappears with Tadokoro.
    • When Tadokoro finally catches up to the team on Day 2 he shouts for Team Sohoku, and then "Makishima!!"
  • In the manga, when Tadokoro and Makishima reunite at the airport, they greet each other by throwing their arms around each other's shoulders while laughing.
    Teshima and Aoyagi 
  • Aoyagi and Teshima have an almost psychic connection and spend pretty much all of their time together.
  • Teshima can seemingly read Aoyagi's mind, being able to accurately respond to him even when Aoyagi doesn't say a thing, much to the first years' astonishment. This "telepathy" even extends to text messaging.
  • Even Teshima himself is aware that he and Aoyagi are unnaturally close and are even too dependent on each other at times, which is why he arranged for his and Aoyagi's training camp handicaps to put them in a position where they were forced to rely on their own strengths, so that they could improve their own abilities.
  • Teshima says that there was a time when he dreamed of finishing in first during a bike race. After meeting Aoyagi and forming their Team of Two, he becomes satisfied with watching Aoyagi take first place with his help, and says that as long as he can help Aoyagi win, he doesn't mind not being the one in the spotlight.
  • Before Teshima's race with Koga, he asks Aoyagi to cheer for him. When it comes down to Teshima and Koga's sprint for the finish line, Teshima is confident that he can beat Koga because he knows Aoyagi believes in him.
    Teshima: Can I do something I've never done before now? ...I can. Because there's one man standing there who believes in me. [camera pans to Aoyagi]
  • When the Inter High's parade run begins, Teshima temporarily switches to calling Aoyagi "Hajime" and reminisces with him about how they finally made it to the Inter High after three years of effort. Afterwards, while wearing their respective "Certain Victory" gloves, they hold each other's hands.
    Teshima: This is our first and last Inter High. I'm counting on you, Hajime.
    Aoyagi: Yeah, Junta.
    • Right after that, Teshima winks at Aoyagi and tells him that he's trembling. Aoyagi tells him "Don't worry. I'll stop it for you." which Teshima replies to with "I'm relieved to hear that."
  • During Teshima's race against Manami on the first day of the second Inter High, he tells him that because he met Aoyagi, he believes in miracles and that he realized placing first wasn't everything.
    • When Teshima passes Manami and it looks like he's going to finish in first, the first thing that pops into his mind is:
      Teshima: Here I go, Aoyagi!
    Midousuji and Ishigaki 
  • Although it isn't until midway through the series, Ishigaki becomes one of very, very few people who gets away with referring to Midousuji without using any honorifics, even when Midousuji himself is present.
    • As the series progresses, they both gradually learn to tolerate each other. Later, they become noticeably closer. Although Midousuji's antics and exclamations of "Gross!" are still ever present, their relationship becomes a far cry from how it was when Midousuji made his first appearance.
  • Ishigaki, despite initially not liking the way Midousuji handled things with the club, admires his abilities and recognizes that he could very well make Kyoto Fushimi's faraway dream of winning Inter High a reality.
  • Ishigaki gives his utmost effort into pulling Midousuji to the finish line on the third day of Inter High. While riding, he tells Midousuji that he changed him. He goes on to declare that he admires his dedication to moving forward, no matter what.
    • Ishigaki then says that Midousuji's desire is sometimes too pure, and that it may eat away at him. Midousuji accuses him of trying to give him advice and just dismisses him, but later, right before he collapses, it's Ishigaki's words that run through Midousuji's head.
      Ishigaki: [flashback] If you ever need them, remember these words! You have a future. It'll pay off someday!
      Midousuji: [softly] Gross. Gross, Ishigaki-kun... You really are... just too awful.
      [Midousuji collapses.]
  • Even though their dynamic doesn't change much, it's shown that they get closer after the Inter High. Ishigaki becomes comfortable enough with Midousuji to talk to him casually, and Midousuji actually lets him. By Season 3, they've grown close enough to take the train home together.
  • Ishigaki says that he's not worried about Kyoto Fushimi's future even after he leaves the club, because he genuinely believes Midousuji will continue to improve and build a team that can win Inter High.
  • In a Season 3 omake, Ishigaki has a dream where he catches a grasshopper. Suddenly, the grasshopper sheds its skin and out pops Midousuji. A NAKED Midousuji.
  • It's shown in one of the Yowamushi Pedal seiyuu events that one of Ishigaki's greatest desires is to have Midousuji acknowledge and praise him. He even has a dream where their roles are reversed and Midousuji decides to pull him towards the finish line instead of the other way around. After the race ends with Ishigaki's victory, Midousuji praises him, which makes Ishigaki flustered yet ecstatic. Too bad it was All Just a Dream.
    Arakita and Fukutomi 
  • Arakita's backstory narration actually illustrates him meeting Fukutomi by talking about how lonely, lost and angry at life he was, finishing it with something along the lines of "until I met him," in a bit of a brooding guy meeting a Manic Pixie Dream Girl kind of way. After losing to Fukutomi, Arakita becomes pretty obsessed with learning how to cycle in order to catch up to him, comes to respect him greater than anyone else (which, coming from Arakita, means something, to say the least).
    • Shinkai also comments that Fukutomi "probably likes guys like Arakita", whatever that means.
  • On the last day of the Inter High, when Arakita gets tired and falls behind after pulling the team, he says in his Internal Monologue that the only praise he wants to hear is from "Fuku-chan."
    • Fukutomi says that no one could have ridden better than Arakita and even temporarily switches to referring to him by his first name, "Yasutomo", which he doesn't do with anyone else, not even Shinkai, who is his childhood friend, to boot.
  • An omake in the anime goes as far as to make a sleepy Arakita jokingly ask Fukutomi to take him to bed. In the same omake, Arakita is also able (though he doesn’t get to see it) to steal a very, very rare smile from Fukutomi by making a comical imitation of him.
  • During the Hakone third years' send-off race, Shinkai and Toudou compliment Arakita, but he doesn't start blushing until after Fukutomi also joins in.
  • Arakita is also much more obedient to Fukutomi than to anyone else on the team. He's usually heard saying "Well, if Fuku-chan says I have to do it, then I guess I will." or "Well, Fuku-chan says so, then I have to do it."
  • There's also official art of what seems to be Shinkai finding a photo of Fukutomi tucked between the pages of Arakita's textbook.
  • Shinkai was one of the only people who willingly approached Arakita when he first entered the cycling club and didn't try to shun him out or become frightened of him. A few minutes after they first start talking, Shinkai already feels comfortable enough with him to call him "Yasutomo."
    • When Shinkai lets his teammates know about his fear of passing on the left, Arakita offers to help him with his training and becomes annoyed when the others decide to tag along.
    • After Shinkai's loss against Midousuji during the second day of the Inter High, it's Arakita who pulls for him when he becomes exhausted. He's also the one to (aggressively) comfort and encourage Shinkai, enabling him to snap out of his depressed state.
    • When Arakita's legs slowly start to give out on the last day of the Inter High, Shinkai notices before anybody else. He immediately breaks formation and rushes forward to help him stabilize himself, but his reaction is a second too late, and before anybody else can react, Arakita has already fallen behind, which makes Shinkai shout "YASUTOMO!!!"
      • Shinkai, in his head, says to Arakita that he's the reason Shinkai is still able to keep riding.
      Shinkai: I'm riding here now because of you, Yasutomo.
  • There's also some between team captains Fukutomi and Kinjou.
    • After unintentionally getting Kinjou hurt during the Inter High of their second year, Fukutomi goes all the way to Chiba from Hakone in order to apologize, even bringing with him a box of Hakone's specialty meat buns as a gift.
    • Kinjou forgives Fukutomi and accepts his request of racing him again during the next Inter High. In their appearances before the Inter High begins, they're shown to be looking forward to facing each other again in a fair fight.
    • During the Inter High, the two are shown to have moved on from what happened during their second year, and are seen to have grown friendlier with each other.
    • Kinjou wholeheartedly accepts Fukutomi's victory during the second day of Inter High, even patting him on the shoulder while congratulating him.
  • Izumida's behavior towards Shinkai makes it look like he has a crush on him. He admires Shinkai deeply and sees him as a role model, looks very disturbed once Shinkai gets disheartened over his loss to Midousuji, and even describes Shinkai as "beautiful" and "strong".
  • The anime omakes also take Ibitani's admiration of Machimiya Up to Eleven, to the point of having him gushing "Miyaaaaaa!" over everything Machimiya does and even peeking and crying when Machimiya breaks up with his girlfriend.
  • The manga has recently developed the relationship between Midousuji and Naruko. It's catching on so much that in canon, Midousuji imagines Naruko attending Kyoto Fushimi and them being best friends, he is also one of the few people he genuinely respects.
  • In Chapter 238 of the manga, Teshima declines an invitation for karaoke outing with his middle-school friends and a girl he was interested in, the reason being "[his] heart has already been stolen." He then adds that when he closes his eyes, the only thing that comes to his mind is Onoda. Moreover, the flashback image accompanying this scene is of Teshima hugging Onoda after the Inter-High race.
  • Sugimoto's greatest dream is becoming Imaizumi's ace assistant and sending him towards the goal by pushing his back.
  • Even the girls get a bit of this! Aya is initially distrustful of Onoda, not only because of the bad reputation Otaku generally have but because she believes he might be lying about his cycling abilities to impress Miki. It comes off a bit as if she's jealous, which isn't helped by the fact that she describes Miki as "helplessly cute."
    • The anime seems to be rolling with this, giving the two an Image Song CD together and a few extra scenes together in Season 2, most notably a scene where Aya clings to Miki tightly during the climax of the race.
    • Aya is also described as "Miki's bodyguard" in the anime guidebook.
    • In the manga, Miki often speaks with hearts while teasing Aya.
  • Kishigami Komari loves muscles and often gets right up in other characters' personal space to touch them, including slipping his hand up into someone's shorts during a race. This, along with his manically excited face looks very suggestive. Several characters have had their muscles assessed (groped) by him.

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