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Life ain't fun if it ain't flashy!
— Naruko Shoukichi


Naruko Shoukichi is a first-year student at Sohoku High School and a member of the Sohoku High Bicycle Club. He is a sprinter cyclist from Osaka, known as "Naniwa's Speed Man" or "Speedster of Naniwa".

Appearance

Naruko has distinctly bright red short hair that protrudes in thick spikes. He has large, sharp, red eyes and his mouth is stylized with noticable canines, usually one seen at any given time, especially the top one on his left. Naruko is also considered short for his age. He is seen wearing his personal biking outfit (a red, black, and white jacket with black tights) for cycling as well as Sohoku's jersey. Naruko's casual clothing usually consists of a T-shirt with a tiger on it, as a tiger is his image animal.

Personality

Naruko speaks with a thick Kansai accent because he is from Osaka. As a sprinter, he has a vastly competitive nature, and easily gets upset or disappointed when he is beaten in a race. He gets particularly riled up when he thinks that people he considers rivals best him. Naruko was very small in elementary school like Onoda is now and gets angered whenever his height is insulted, and tends to throw insults right back at others. He also has a tendency to give people nicknames.

He is something of a brother figure to Onoda and enthusiastically supports and encourages him. Naruko is known for being "flashy"; he likes to stand out and to entertain, and thinks those who don't stand out are dull. This is why he enjoys the color red. This flashiness encompasses his appearance as well as his cycling style. It's why he takes pride in being a sprinter: he thinks that to be the fastest is to be the coolest.

After Naruko lost to Midousuji, and must heed Imaizumi's advice to become an all-rounder, he has become more serious and determined in practices, especially learning to pull Onoda on hills.

Naruko has a tendency to nickname others, both on and off his team, regardless of how well he knows the other person. Some of his nicknames include Captain Shades (Kinjou), Old Man (Tadokoro), Hotshot (Imaizumi), Manager (Miki), Perm Senpai (Teshima), Quiet Senpai (Aoyagi), Glasses Senpai (Koga), Eyelashes (Izumida), and Gorilla (Taura). Notably, Onoda is one of the only people he refers to not only by name, but with a "proper" honorific (Onoda-kun).

Skills and Techniques

Like his mentor Tadokoro, Naruko is a speed-based sprinter who excels at cycling on flat land at a high speed. During the training camp, Kinjou replaced Naruko's handles with the standard horizontal bar to limit his sprinting. He was able to overcome that specific obstacle later on as the training camp progressed. Despite this, as he owned four bikes at one stage (two MTB's, one with a hardtail, a Pinarello road bike and a Gifted Kuromori, another road bike), he does have some mountain climbing ability, as shown on the latter stages of the First Year Welcome Race, in which he revealed to had trained in Mt. Rokko, where he learned the "Sprint Climb technique", but admitted to Onoda that he is not as good on super-slopes, so he insisted Onoda carry on to challenge Imaizumi during the climb and leave him behind. He did, however, taught Onoda his family secret move: To shift up two gears quickly before copying Imaizumi's Pendulum Dance.

One of his old techniques is known as the "Sprint Climb", which is when he shifts to a heavier gear and uses his lower handlebars to climb a hill like a sprinter, a technique he unleashed on the final climb up Route 150, which he has already gained a lot of speed and experience using the move, to everybody's shock and amazement. In order to decrease his air resistance during the sprinter battle on the first day of the Inter High, Naruko tucks his hair into his helmet, uses his racing pants to constrict his jacket, and disposes of water bottles that add extra weight to his bike; this style is known as the "Rocket Sprint Style," and is similar to that of a T.T. style, he would even throw away the saddle altogether if the situation calls for it (albeit illegal in official races). Naruko also developed another method for sprinting on a slope by shifting his body weight forwards, sitting on the front edge of his saddle, and using the lower handlebars in a new technique he calls the "Armstrong Climb."

After the Inter High, his Pinarello road bike was given new carbon deep wheels. On the flats, a wheel's aerodynamics are important. These new wheels reduce the amount of wind resistance generated, allowing for higher speeds. They are the ultimate wheels for a sprinter. However, both him and Aoyagi lost to Tadokoro Jin in Bay Shoreline Criterion, the final race of the road race season.

Trivia

Likes
Bread, or rather, he likes milk. Since he wants to grow bigger, he eats a lot of calcium. He even had to drink coffee with milk, faking that he likes black coffee in Omake 24[1]
Fireworks (owns his own yukata)
Collects
Red things
Flashy things
Talents
Setting up barbecue the right way
Best subjects
Likes geography
Brotherly love
Takes good care of his younger brothers
His younger brothers look up to him
He always carries candies around to give to them
Misc

References

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