First Impression: Prince of Stride: Alternative

I usually do first impression reviews right off the first episode, but I thought I’d wait until week three to get to know the shows more. First off to air its episode three this week on my to-watch list is Prince of Stride. Now, correct me if I’m wrong (since I can’t seem to find any info about this), but there’s no such thing as a “stride” sport. A lot of people in the forums seem to call it as a relay race mixed with parkour/free running. I thought it was an interesting combination besides the usual track relay race in real life. I didn’t know a single thing about this series before I watched it, it only seemed to be another sports anime focusing on running.

I thought it would be ok to expect something from the show, but everything screams “meh.” It gives me “just there” characters and “just because” plot. The plot is very boring. There wasn’t much substance to it. Why did they want to run? Because they liked it? Well yeah, that’s usually one of the foundation in sports anime but it’s not enough. It just wasn’t engaging.

I don’t like to compare, but this genre is not that huge. The general story components that make sports titles are almost quite universal. I’m not an avid sports anime fan, but I do watched and loved a few. So here are a couple of the general plots of other sports anime that I thought is a good idea to capture your audience.

  • Diamond no Ace
    • Plot – be the ace.
    • Subplot – go to nationals.
  • Haikyuu!!
    • Plot – “Height doesn’t matter, I’ll beat everyone.”
    • Subplot – Battle at the Trash Dump.

Maybe because that the characters were dull as well. I’ve seen those type of characters, but what more can they offer besides looking cute for the camera? It may be too early to judge even at episode three, but that’s what I got from the three episodes. The only exciting thing here were the practice and actual races.

The first thing that I didn’t like too much was the art designs. It looked liked it came off of a typical shoujo manga. Not to mention on episode one’s intro has some really cheesy lines. Riku and Nana’s first meeting doesn’t lessen the shoujo feels from it too. Back to the art, I think the vivid colors were a great choice. If contrast was decreased, it would lessen the appeal as well.

The animation was average on the relay scenes, but what I thought was notable in this production were the sound effects. You could really hear the clarity of the breeze, runs, taps, background noises, and the like—for example, their practice on episode two. I thought it made the viewer feel a part of the practice.

General insight to the VA cast, I still have a problem with it; I just don’t think they sound well in respective to their characters. The opening theme song made it seem they’re off to a life-and-death battle (lol). I thought “that’s more like it” on the ending theme song though—it fit quite well to the series; cool animation too.

At most, it’s an ok show but wouldn’t be the type that I would go out my way to watch had I known. BUT I’ll still keep watching it. It’s not that bad even though it all seems so terrible in my review, but if you don’t take it too seriously and in detail like I did above, it’s a light-hearted sports anime. Besides, it’s only 12 episodes.

Story: 1.25/5
Characters: 1/5
Animation/Art: 1.5/5
Sound/VA cast: 2/5
Enjoyment: 2/5
Overall: 1.55/5

Click any of the thumbnails below to view the gallery.

Edit: Apparently, it was adapted from an otome game, which explains everything. Even that one had better art, but I guess it’s hard to keep it in the anime. Animation is different, after all.

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