The fourth episode of Overtake! “The Past and Regrets” puts driving in the backseat and allows understanding to steer the narrative. This episode answered a lot of questions about both Haruka and Kouya that have been steadily building over the last few weeks. We also get a peek into their dynamics with the rest of the cast off the track for a change which makes the revelations in this episode that much more genuine.
With Overtake! focusing on formula driving so far, it’s easy to forget that Haruka is still a teenager. However, “The Past and Regrets” show the childish side of him that we haven’t quite seen in prior episodes. When talking to Satsuki of Belsorrio Motors Haruka is able to come off as somewhat confident and proud of himself for starring in a commercial; but he quickly changes to self concious and upset once Satsuki discusses the theme of his own upcoming commercial. This causes Haruka to lash out at Kouya and block his number — which is bratty, and also reminds us that he’s still young and at a sensitive time in his life. Up until now, we’ve seen him as a young driver who takes racing seriously despite his age. So seeing him act his age is a subtle and important addition to his character.
Additionally, Kouya displays the kind of person he is when pushed to the edge. While not as significant as what we see from Haruka, Kouya standing his ground when pushed shows that he isn’t happily uplifting all the time. This scene is barely moments, but it shows the importance of consent as well as knowing when to stop pushing. It’s an important scene in the show that gives depth to what Kouya is feeling and has been dealing with on his own.
On top of all this, Kouya’s backstory and his reason for no longer taking photos of people are finally revealed. Haruka witnessed Kouya’s outburst at the photoshoot which unearths the reasons why. Through Saeko, Haruka and the audience learn that Kouya survived an earthquake over a decade ago and published a photo he took during the natural disaster. This led a lot of people to pile onto him and his drive to photograph live subjects plummeted as a result.
The way Haruka and Kouya’s dynamic changes is the driving force behind the episode. From the beginning when Haruka blocks Kouya’s number, to the end where we see the two of them cleaning his family grave together, they have come to more of an understanding of one another. It still has a long way to go and while it’s possible that Kouya might take on somewhat of a father figure for Haruka, that doesn’t mean their relationship might stumble over more obstacles in the future — especially when it comes to the Komaki Motors sponsor. We’ve seen them overstep boundaries and push on certain topics, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they end up doing something similar in the upcoming episodes.
Haruka discussing this relationship with his father brings a moment of much needed clarity to the series as a whole. The guilt he feels and the memories of standing on the podium with his dad are important motivators for why he decided to pursue formula racing. Not only does he want to fulfill a childhood wish but he wants to prove to his father, a former racer, that he can make him proud despite no longer being there. It’s a sobering moment, but one that doesn’t bring the episode down.
The underrated highlight of the episode is the look into the dynamics with the other characters. Though we already knew that Haruka, Koutaru, and Arisu have been friends since childhood, it’s revealed that all three of them attend the same school and walk together on their commute. It’s also revealed that Saeko and Kouya care a lot deeper about one another than one might assume considering their divorce. These dynamics are the building blocks for both Haruka and Kouya to have support systems and I for one am excited to see how they grow throughout the season.
“The Past and Regrets” is an emotional episode that dives into both of its protagonists’ pasts to give us the backstory we have only seen glimpses of prior. Seeing both Kouya and Haruka come to an understanding is the cherry on top of the build-up since episode one. It’s a heart-warming episode that sets up the next few episodes nicely.
Overtake! “The Past and Regrets” is available now on Crunchyroll
Featured image ©KADOKAWA・TROYCA/Overtake！Production committee
'Overtake!' - "The Past and Regrets" - 8/10