Overtake! Episode 2 Review

Overtake! Episode 2 Review

Enthusiasm and Spirit

Overtake! Episode 2, unfortunately, doesn’t include a race. I assumed it would considering this is the first episode on the same day as an F1 race. But, I guess they didn’t plan out the release schedule with that in mind.

They could have, though. Overtake! is an original anime. So, it’s not like there was already a manga they had to follow when planning out the episodes. But, I understand that it takes a while to make an anime. It’s possible that they didn’t know what TV slot they’d get or what dates the races would be scheduled for.

Enough about the missed opportunity. At the end of Episode 1, Kouya announced that he wanted to sponsor Komaki Motors. And, when he did that, I was wondering how exactly he’d be sponsoring them. Even at that point, it was clear he wasn’t making a lot of money.

Kouya and Haruka in Komaki Motors' F4 garage from the anime series Overtake! Episode 2
Kouya and Haruka in Komaki Motors’ F4 garage

Well, it turns out that Kouya didn’t understand how expensive motorsports are. According to Haruka, a small F4 team like Komaki Motors needs to spend about 11 million yen per year. That’s a little under $74,000 when converted. Obviously, Kouya doesn’t have that kind of money lying around.

Money isn’t the only thing Kouya doesn’t understand when it comes to motorsports. As we know from the first episode, he’s a complete newbie. He doesn’t know the first thing about racing. And, this is something Haruka points out. How is he supposed to help the team with no knowledge or experience?

But, again, Kouya’s lack of knowledge is an excuse for the series to teach viewers about racing. In this case, it was the skid block. A skid block is a wood composite board on the bottom of the chassis used to measure height compliance.

Haruka’s Tragic Backstory

Like any good anime hero, Haruka Asahina has a tragic backstory. He lost both of his parents when he was young. First, his mother died. And then, his father, who was also a racing driver, died in an accident.

Futoshi Komaki, owner of Komaki Motors, used to be on the same racing team as Haruka’s father. But, after Haruka’s father died, Futoshi left the team and racing behind. He only got back into the sport when a young Haruka showed up at his shop one day.

Haruka left the home of his relatives, where he was staying, and walked for two days to Komaki’s garage. Once there, he begged Futoshi to let him drive for the team, not realizing that Komaki had already left. But, since Komaki couldn’t say no to Haruka, he decided to create a new team.

An old photograph of the MotorMan racing team from the anime series Overtake! Episode 2
An old photograph of the MotorMan racing team

Normally, I’d make some comment complaining about an unnecessarily tragic backstory. It’s a pretty overused trope at this point. But, in this case, I’ll give it a pass. It’s actually more common in the world of motorsports than you might expect. And, the part about Haruka’s father dying in an accident is realistic.

If you look at F1, you’ll see many current and former drivers who are the sons of other drivers. Racing is an inherited sport, in many ways. And, Haruka wanting to be a driver even after the death of his father isn’t unheard of.

For example, Gilles Villeneuve died in an F1 crash in 1982. Then, his son, Jacques Villeneuve, went on to become the F1 world champion in 1997. So, I see nothing wrong with the depiction of Haruka’s backstory. It’s tragic, sure. But, it’s not unbelievable. Too many other series throw in tragic backstories for no reason.

The High-Cost World of Motorsports

Haruka mentioned that while Komaki Motors has a budget of 11 million yen, that’s on the lower side. A team like Belsorriso can spend up to 18 million yen in F4. Though, as Kyou learned when he toured Belsorriso’s garage, that’s actually the limit.

Belsorriso has more money to spend than just 18 million yen. But, to keep the sport competitive, there’s a budget cap in place. Well, sort of. There probably is a budget cap. However, Ena explains it a different way by saying that he can only upgrade the cars so much.

There are limits on power output, downforce, etc. So, at a certain point, there’s nothing left to upgrade on the cars. Once you hit the limits laid out by the rules, there’s no need to spend any more money. At least, not on the cars.

One of Belsorriso's Super GT-500 cars from the anime series Overtake! Episode 2
One of Belsorriso’s Super GT-500 cars

In Formula 4, like in all motorsports that I’m aware of, there’s no budget cap on driver salaries. You can spend as much money as you want on drivers and driver schools. So, part of the reason why Belsorriso is the best team is that they can afford the best drivers.

With that in mind, what does Komaki Motors need to become a better team? Money. And how do racing teams get money? Sponsorships. Businesses pay to have their branding plastered on racecars and drivers’ racing suits. The only problem is that not many businesses want to advertise with losing teams.

I thought it was a pretty good idea for Kouya to take Haruka around to local businesses. Considering Komaki Motors is a local business, it’s known in the area. Locals are more likely to support them even if they’re not good. But, in the end, that didn’t work as the businesses can’t afford it.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of Overtake! Episode 2? Were you also wondering how Kouya was planning to sponsor Komaki Motors? Are you fine with Haruka’s backstory, or do you think it’s too needlessly tragic? And, what do you think is going to be Komaki Motors’ first sponsor? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

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 Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of Episode 3 is available now.

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