Overtake! Episode 12 Review

Overtake! Episode 12 Review

The Final Race

It’s time for the final race of the season in Overtake! Episode 12. Actually, I don’t know if the series ever said this was the final race. Maybe I just assumed that was the case because it’s the final race of the (anime) season.

Either way, it’s the final race. And, that means it’s the final chance for Haruka to achieve his goal of making it onto the podium. But, I’d like to remind you that his exact goal is still kind of up for debate. Does he want a podium or a victory?

Obviously, a victory is a podium and if he could get a victory, he’d take it. But, as far as I remember, he and Kouya have always mentioned him getting a podium. And, that’s a lot more manageable than getting a victory. After all, there are three podium spots.

Haruka, Toshiki, and Satsuki before the race from the anime series Overtake! Episode 12
Haruka, Toshiki, and Satsuki before the race

The main problem for Haruka is that both Toshiki and Satsuki are taking part in this race. He’ll have to get passed both Belsorriso cars if he wants to win. And even if he’s not going for the win, it means two of the three podium spots are pretty much locked up.

But, even if Toshiki and Satsuki are going to be in Haruka’s way, I like how their rivalry has developed. At the start of the season, it wasn’t a healthy rivalry. Though, that was because of Toshiki, not Haruka or Satsuki.

However, even though Toshiki was the original problem, all three characters have grown. Haruka learned to rely on others more. Toshiki learned that the team is more important than the driver. And, Satsuki learned that what’s important is how hard you work, not how lucky you get. In the end, I’m glad we got this three-way rivalry.

Path to the Podium

This week, we didn’t get to see any of the qualifying. But, it looks like Haruka started back a bit, as he had to overtake quite a few other cars. And, this is something I have mixed feelings about.

Well, not Haruka starting outside the top two rows on the grid. The thing I have mixed feelings about is how easily he’s able to pass the other cars. These are teams with more money than Komaki Motors. They should have more resources and, therefore, better cars.

However, this is also F4, which is a spec series. All the cars are the same regardless of team. So, you could argue that Haruka’s just a much better driver than most of the others on the grid. But, as we already saw earlier in the season, there’s only so much a driver can do with a worse car.

Haruka passing another driver on track from the anime series Overtake! Episode 12
Haruka passing another driver on track

Alright. So, is it unrealistic for Haruka to be able to pass all those other cars? No. Not at all. What I’m complaining about is the ease with which he does it.

There are diminishing returns in F4 when it comes to money. So, the amount Komaki Motors got from the shopping district may put them in contention. And, as we know, Haruka is a very good driver. But, considering where he qualified, it shouldn’t be that easy for him to climb the positions.

Now, enough of my complaining. The fact is that Haruka does catch up to Toshiki and Satsuki. And when he does, Toshiki gets in a minor crash with a backmarker he’s lapping. This damages his wing, which effectively knocks him out of contention for the win.

But, instead of pulling into the pits immediately, Toshiki decides to help Satsuki by giving him a tow.

Haruka on the Top Step

I wasn’t actually expecting Haruka to win the race. I know he’s the protagonist and all that. But, that doesn’t mean he needs to win a race in the end. Again, his goal may have simply been to make it onto the podium.

Also, there’s precedent for similar series ending without the protagonist winning. Love Live has quite a few examples of this. Love Live is similar to Overtake!? Yes. Both series are about underdogs competing for glory. Even if one’s about idols and the other is about motorsports, they’re similar.

I don’t think Haruka had to win in order for his character arc to be fulfilling. Even without a victory, his story would have been complete here. And, it may have actually worked out better that way for Satsuki’s story.

Kouya's photograph of Haruka on the top step of the podium from the anime series Overtake! Episode 12
Kouya’s photograph of Haruka on the top step of the podium

So, Haruka’s story didn’t require him to win. And, Toshiki’s story was complete once he gave Satsuki the tow, showing he’s a team player. But, what about Satsuki’s story? His story was all about him realizing he should be more like Lauda than Hunt. Did Haruka beating him add to this in any way?

I’m going to argue that it didn’t. Though, that’s only because this is the final episode of the season — and probably the series. That means we won’t get to see Satsuki continue to work towards being the number 1 driver again. In that regard, we’re not seeing him be like Lauda.

This episode was our last chance to see Satsuki reclaim his standing after his accident. A major part of Lauda’s story was how soon he returned to racing. Overtake! got that with Satuski. But, what it missed out on is how Lauda reclaimed his world champion title the following year.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of the final episode of Overtake!? Did you like how Haruka, Toshiki, and Satsuki ended the season with a three-way rivalry? Would you have liked it if some of the other teams played a role in the series? And, do you think Haruka needed to win the race for the series to have a good ending?

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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