This is my first impression on “Prince of Stride Alternative”, the new anime picked up by Madhouse. With the winter 2016 Season of Anime starting, I decided to give the new anime a shot and see which one’s I would like to pick up. Usually I only pursue a couple with Parasyte and One Punch Man being the most recent ones for me.
PRINCE OF STRIDE: ALTERNATIVE
This is the first anime I have started for the year and I have mixed feelings about it. This is most likely due to having just completed the first season of One Punch Man which is why this didn’t impress as much despite being created by the same animation studio; Madhouse. Then again, the first episode of One Punch Man wasn’t all that spectacular to me.
The anime is about relay racing and despite it not being something I have hugely fond of; I do think the concept is quite interesting. I haven’t watched many sports anime so I wouldn’t mind this considering I am currently working on improving my fitness.
I don’t quite understand the name with the whole ‘alternative’ thing added to the end. I’d rather stick to Prince of Stride but whatever.
I really liked the way the bond of trust in racing was romanticized from a school-girls point of view. It did feel like she was idolising over it at first but the tears in her eyes made it a lot more meaningful. If the characters are passionate about it, the audience automatically follows suit.
The introduction of the first two characters which included the girl (Sakurai) from earlier was very cheesy as the young boy (Yagami) was running late and managed to make into school just in time, showing off his impressive speed and parkour skills. However, despite it all, I found it cute and I think that was based on the animation as well.
The introduction in class scene was pretty well done as the characters were introduced by names and we got a feel for the three main characters as the creepy guy (Fujiwara) was also introduced.
I fell in love with the opening theme immediately as it had a feel good factor to it and I know how this anime will make me feel. The music used in the show was pleasant and helped the anime flow well. It provided that edgy sports feel to it and I felt myself getting pumped up to join in with the racing. The build-up portion of the episode was very well done and the music played a huge part of that.
ART & ANIMATION: 7/10
The art style for the characters is quite pleasant. It was not hugely distinct or unique but the art is nice to look at and the character designs are great. The art of the surroundings and animation that went along with very good and visually, Prince of Stride ticks all the boxes. The anime is based on a visual novel so that much was a given I guess.
I loved the cute animation that’s used through-out the show. It does give that child-like feeling to the anime but with it being a school-setting, it works out quite well. I feel that Madhouse could do more with the animation when it comes to the racing scenes but they may build up on that. At the moment, I feel they’re lacking in some places but I’m hoping it will thrill be like One Punch Man and Parasyte did.
The plot is one that will appeal to those that like a build up as it is all about the revival of a dead old club that nobody considers important anymore. With the arrival of 3 new students combining with 3 of the previous lot, we’ve got enough members to complete the club which can now compete.
It would be interesting to see how the plot develops as the Stride Club rebuilds its reputation as being one of the best and the reaction of the two seniors who have left the club.
So far, I like the characters and nobody is highly annoying. Fujiwara and Yagami might have their moments but so far I’m not too fussed.
The characters do feel a little immature at times but it is a high-school setting so that makes sense. I think it’s a good mixture of characters with each and every single one of them having a moment that stuck with me. They’re all memorable in their own unique ways and they’ll make that cool family/nakama type group that we are all very familiar with.
This anime has a lot of appeal to it taking all of the above factors into consideration. It has both the sports and the slice-of-life feel to it and I can see it developing quite well should they incorporate a mixture of themes into it. At the moment it is heavily based on comedy that is not really working out as well as it should.
The sports side, especially one that introduces aspects of parkour, will definitely appeal to both the young and old. The characters will also appeal to both the male and female and I believe the anime has a lot of potential if executed correctly. Although I will dislike all the Yaoi shipping that it will involve with all the young girls and I think that takes something away from the appeal for me unfortunately.
Overall, it’s definitely worth giving it a shot as I believe it has a lot of potential to develop further.