Part 2 covers the Ichijokan race and looks into the first year trio’s pasts! I didn’t want to post a CG spoiler for the header image so have a screenshot of Fujiwara.
Spoilers and picture heavy under the cut.
Having beat Nagamine the Honan stride club head home excited for the next race. When they get back Nana notices Kuga and Heath hanging out a lot and although she asks they never reveal to her what they talk about.
Nana tells Kuga about their win and how everything’s fun. He asks her to come with him for a bit happy to see her enjoying herself and gives her a bag of croissants as a reward for all her hard work before disappearing as Riko comes along.
The next race is decided and their opponents announced. With it taking part in Hokkaido where Nana had lived she suggests everyone stops by her house afterwards to visit her grandparents. Dan sensei asks Nana to leave it to him to make sure it’s alright. When she returns to the cafe that night Dan sensei is with Sakura-can and Takahara catching up. It turns out Dan sensei knew Sakura-chan before he became a woman and the three of them went to Honan together.
They try not to say too much but end up giving in to Nana. Sakura-chan pulls out an old photo pointing out Dan sensei. Nana had seen the photo before but never realized it was him. In the photo stood Nana’s parents, Sakura-chan, Takahara and Dan sensei at some sort of event. They hesitate to tell her but in the end they feel like she should know, they were all part of the Honan stride club being one of the few teams around in those days and Nana’s mother was their relationer.
No one had thought Nana would ever end up taking part in Stride let alone Honan’s stride club and didn’t want to bring it up to her (later explained).
It’s the day they’re due to fly out to Hokkaido and Nana had promised to make rice balls which they guys are convinced bring them good luck. Opening her bag she notices something’s not quite right, she had accidentally picked up Sakura-chan’s bag instead! The team quickly tell Riku to dash to the cafe to pick up the onigiri but Nana insists on going herself at it was her mistake.
Nana runs home to pick up the onigiri and the others head on to the airport without her. Having picked up the onigiri Nana checks the clock, running late Kuga pulls up on a bike and tells her to get on. Heath had called him up telling him the situation and he had decided to come get Nana since this was all he could do for them right now. When she finally makes it Dan sensei’s waiting. The others had already left and Nana would be taking the next flight while Dan sensei would have to wait for the flight after.
As Nana waits for Dan sensei to sort out boarding for her a young man approaches intrigued by her phone strap. The two get talking for a short while before Dan sensei tells Nana she’s all sorted to board.
On the plane Nana looks for her seat and ends up seated next the to the man she had met earlier. It turns out they’re both going to the same place and after chatting they find out they’re both relationers! The man is Natsunagi Toya and he was also on this flight because he had forgotten something. He was off to join a new team with his friend.
Nana can’t help but notice how cute his phone strap is and Toya gives it to her as a gift. He had actually made it himself and since she’s the first person to ever call it cute he wanted her to have it.
On the other side Toya’s friend and teammate Ida Amatsu is waiting for him eager to leave.
Toya insists they stick around for a bit until someone comes for Nana though. Soon after Riku runs over to get Nana and they leave. Toya says his goodbye and hopes he’ll face Nana some day.
The next day there’s an announcement at the opening ceremony. A new up and coming team with an impressive line up had emerged hailing from Kakyoin High. Nana is surprised to see Toya and Ida as part of the line up. There’s a build up to the last member and out steps Tomoe shocking the whole Honan team. Riku had heard his brother was back in the country but besides that he hadn’t heard a thing.
The final announcement was their coach also know as the king or one of the founding fathers of stride, Sakurai Joe.
Everyone notices he has the same surname as Nana and as they turn to look at her she reveals it’s her father. She knew he was a coach but didn’t know anything about his involvement with Stride.
Honen Vs IchiJokan
Shock aside Honan prepare for their race against Ichijokan. Himemiya eyes Nana up and down and tells her twintails don’t suit her at all suggesting she tries tying her hair up in a ponytail or anything other than twintails.
Overall the team seem very sure of themselves with their relationer Dozono Shiki wishing them a good race.
The race line up is Heath, Riku, Ayumu, Hozumi then Takeru. Straight from the go Ichijokan seem to have the upperhand with Riku distracted by thoughts of his brother. He was also second to Tomoe no matter how fast he ran he was never fast enough. By the time it gets to Ayumu they’re struggling to hold on.
Ayumu goes for a quick spurt and Nana notices something’s not quite right.
Ichijokan’s relationer seemed late setting his runner. Nana continues going their own pace and as it gets to the switch over Ichijokan finally react. They set late causing Hozumi to hesiste and stop as his path is blocked by Ichijokan’s runner.
Ayumu ends up getting knocked down by Ichijokan’s runner but it’s declared Honan’s foul as Hozumi had stopped running towards the switch over.
Ayumu’s down and Ichijokan get an easy win. After the race Dianne and Riko escort Ayumu to the hospital. Ichijokan joke about how hard Ayumu had ran for the sake of his team and to think how easy he was to knock over. Hozumi loses it ready to swing at them but Heath holds him back. Shiki says they’ll do anything to win even if it’s a little on the rough side but they didn’t do anything wrong, it was Honan’s foul after all.
With Ayumu down the rest of them head back to Nana’s house defeated. Hozumi blames himself for dragging Ayumu into the sport. Ayumu was originally in the shogi club but Hozumi had dragged him into stride knowing he wasn’t overly keen on it. Heath slaps Hozumi asking him if that’s what he really believes. Ayumu wasn’t forced to do anything and the reason he ran so hard was because he too really wanted to win, to win with the team.
The mood is pretty sour when Nana’s phone goes off, it’s Riko. When she picks up Ayumu’s on the other side perfectly fine. He tells her to tell the others he’s fine, they won’t let him use his phone though so he borrowed Riko’s quickly. Nana’s relieved and she lets the others know lightening the mood. Even though Ayumu’s fine he might not fully recover in time for the next race. The group try not to worry too much as they finally dig in to dinner.
After dinner Nana’s grandparents talk about what Nana was like when she was younger. Riku says she was probably really cute and Nana’s grandparents offer to show them pictures. Nana absolutely won’t let them but Heath recalls how they all got to look through photos of him when he was younger during the photoshoot leaving Nana with no choice but to give in.
Nana’s grandparents do one better bringing out an old video tape from 7 years ago. There Nana is at what appears to be a party of some sort, it’s the EOS after party. Nana can’t quite believe it having no recollection of this. Her father was in town for the event and brought Nana along.
Riku reveals that he was there too surprised he didn’t recogonize Nana. Then as the tape continues to play it all comes back to them. That day Riku and Nana had met another boy and the three of them had a mini race with Nana doing relation. The other boy didn’t have much confidence but Nana and Riku would cheer him on. After the race they all made a promise to enter Honan when they grew up and race together as part of the stride club. Riku can’t quite remember the third kid’s name only remembering it began take-something.
Going through half a dozen names Takeru speaks up saying his name (as Riku had always called him by his last name he had never noticed). That’s when it clicks. Even Heath could tell it was Takeru looking at the other kid on the screen.
After all this time Takeru had remembered the promise the three of them made and that’s why he entered Honan. Back when Riku first joined the club Takeru had commented that he had come to the club straight away and Riku was late joining but Riku never knew what he meant. Riku and Nana feel bad for forgetting their promise apologizing to Takeru. While the others find it amazing that after all this time they still somehow all ended up at Honan.
Getting back to video they watch as Nana gets upset as her father has to leave again. Nana had always lived with her grandparents since her father was always working and her mother had passed away. Being seperated from her father once again after only just being reunited again made her hate stride and as a child she tried to forget all about it to hide her feelings of loneliness.
That night Nana can’t sleep with so many thoughts racing through her head. Dan sensei knocks on her door wishing to tell her something. He speaks through the door not wanting to intrude telling her all about her parents.
They had all met at the Honan stride club and Nana’s parents were great at what they did. In the case of her mother she was an amazing relationer and her father a great runner. Eventually they ended up having Nana and although they were always busy Nana was always on their mind. Dan sensei believed that they truly love her and want the best for her. Having said all he wanted to Nana thanks him for trying to cheer her up.
Her phone suddenly rings, it’s her father. He heard she was attending Honan but had never imagined she would’ve joined the stride club. He asks if she loves stride and she really does. In that case he offers her a position at Kakyoin High, the school he’s coaching for. He wants the best for her and if she wants to do stride she should come with him but Nana declines the offer. She loves Honan and wants to win with them. Her father understands glad she’s happy more than anything.
The next day Nana comes across a clip of a stride race from the earlier days of the sport. Her father is running with her mother on relation. As he crosses the finish line he high fives a baby, it’s Nana in the arms of her mother.
Nana starts to cry over come with emotion. The Honan guys all run up to her as she had disappeared early that morning without a word. The team all together comforting Nana, more determined than ever ready for the next step in their journey.