The pain I've been searching for!❞
Manami Sangaku is a second-year student at Hakone Academy and a member of the Hakone Academy Bicycle Club, serving as its captain during the storyline's third year. During his first-year, he earned a place on Hakone Academy's Inter High team, a feat which had never been accomplished by a first-year before.
In colored pictures by the mangaka, Manami has yellow highlights in his dark blue hair. However, his hair in the anime is solid blue, and the yellow streaks are said to merely be light reflected from the sun. He has an ahoge that can be seen sticking out of his helmet at times. Manami is mostly shown wearing his school uniform or biking outfit.
When biking in his school uniform, he folds up the right pant leg to just under the knee to avoid ruining the hem on his front gear, and wears his biking gloves.
Manami is most distinctively characterised by two things: his love for slopes, and his desire to feel alive. This stems from his childhood as sickly and bedridden, in which he played video games to pass time but disliked them, yearning to feel the pain he sustained in-game as proof he was alive. When his childhood friend Miyahara introduced him to cycling, despite his initial struggle to keep up, he fell in love with the sport as the pain he experienced from the uphill struggle made him feel truly alive.
As he grew older, his deepening passion for cycling resulted in his current easygoing personality; he is often late to or napping in class because he feels dull and confined indoors. He relies on cycling and climbing slopes (when he exerts more energy to combat the incline) to feel alive. His eagerness to ride makes him highly attuned to nature and the direction of the wind, a skill which he utilises to surpass his competitors in races.
Manami is easily distracted by mountains due to his love for climbing, and thus has a habit of being late, even to his debut Inter High. Since the Hakone Academy bus left him behind, he had to bike to the location, and ended up going on stage while wearing regular shorts. He doesn't seem to be bothered by being late, and sometimes avoids schoolwork to cycle, exemplifying his laid-back nature.
Although Manami generally appears to retain his calm and easygoing nature during races, when he rides seriously, a different side to his personality surfaces. This is due to the fact that he is most fired up when closest to death, an experience of excruciating pain that he can never feel when playing computer games. Unlike Onoda, he smiles while climbing because he loves the feeling of being alive from the depths of his heart, favouring close battles and risky situations where the outcome is unpredictable.
Skills and Techniques
Manami is known for taking advantage of the wind to surpass his competitors, predicting when a gust will come and using it to let him know the opportune moment to pass other racers. He describes it as "listening" to nature instead of battling against it. This technique misleads others into thinking that Manami is falling behind because he seemingly does not try to reach the racers ahead of him, when really he is just waiting patiently for his time to come. It is especially important in winding hill climbs because wind directions frequently changes. His "wings", as his fellow racers call his sudden spurts, appear when he is using this skill, where he would take his gloves off and shifts to a higher gear before deploying his 'wings'.
When riding freely, Manami shifts up to heavier gears without thinking as he climbs, instead of shifting down as Onoda does, reaching as high as his tenth gear and accelerating rapidly. While this is painful and strenuous on his legs, Manami excels in sprinting up climbs while under such extreme conditions.
Known Personal Achievements
- The great outdoors
- Mountain climbing
- Favourite foods
- Kheema curry
- Rice balls
- Iced Oolong Tea
- Pocari Sweat brand water (contents of the bottle that he gave to Onoda)
- Video games
- He was born in Odawara, at the base of Hakone.
- According to Miyahara, within the first month of high school, Manami was late to class 18 times, something one of their teachers said was unprecedented.
- He uses pencil tosses to 'guess' multiple-choice answers, with each facet numbered from one to six, which he claimed to be 80% accurate. Arakita calls it idiotic, but immediately ends up copying it.
- The anime jokes that Manami's ahoge is alive or has magical powers, and is able to detect changes in wind direction; or help Onoda collect rare, unseen, collectible items.
- Manami is the only person in Onoda's peer group to regularly call him by his given name (Makishima did so once during the Inter High).
- Rides a LOOK 595 in the anime.
- Rides a LOOK 695 in the manga.
- Manami is not considered a superstitious person. When he was given the no. 13 jersey, he could flip one of the two labels upside down to lessen the effect of how unlucky the number 13 is, so Manami chose not to do so.
- One of the reasons he is often late is because he can sleep soundly through the alarm clocks, even if they were all around his futon.