シャカリキ！Shakariki! is a popular comic manga in Japan featuring high school kids who compete against each other on hilly roads in the mountains of rural Japan. These kids suffer, they have bad hair, they sweat and snot runs from their noses as they push with all their might to be the fastest kid to climb the mountain. They have no friends — only rivals who sabotage them, coaches who berate them for their failures, families who don’t understand their passion for bicycling. They somehow manage to ride with second hand jerseys, bikes and headbands from the 80s.
シャカリキ！Shakariki! the movie is in production now. The movie features the “D-Boys,” a pretty boy acting troupe of young men with corporate sponsorship, great hair, great teeth, no sweat, and no snot who limply wave their wrists in the air as supportive and attractive friends all cry “Ganbate!” while dramatic music crescendos and they all win some sort of prize.
シャカリキ！ will be released in Tokyo in Fall 2008. From Sankei Sports. See also The official Shakriki movie site and the official Shakariki movie blog. Props to my Japanese cycling buddy in the Bay Area, Naoto-san, to whom I apologize for the artistic license I’ve taken in translating this important cycling news.