Prince of Stride: Alternative- Episode 1 [First Impressions]

What do you mean by “It’s not the third season of Free” ?

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The episode starts with a girl watching a race on her smartphone in a flower field. I wonder how she managed to receive an internet connection but okay, okay, I’m not going to start pointing out every inconsistency I swear.

A guy named Yagami is running in a city and slapping the hand of a violet-ponytail guy. The girl is so moved by the race that she starts crying. Apparently she sees trust and “heart connections becoming the wind” in two guys slapping hands. Well at least she’s passionate, that’s a good thing.. I guess. The two relay guys are from the Hônan Academy Stride club so I assume that’s why she decides to go this school.  Obviously she’s late on the first day of school because you know: anime. That would be really funny if the main guy was also late that day and would  show his amazing parkour abilities somehow …

What , you think that’s way too generic too happen ?


DO NOT underestimate the power of the “basic sports anime first episode”

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So that’s actually what happens, the guy name’s Yagami Riku and he is the cheerful guy of the anime. That’s strange, I heard that name before, OHOHOHO I wonder what kind of connection there is between the two Yagami.

Basically, this anime is about guys doing parkour-relay in cities…

OH well, Parkour is always fun


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It’s time for the class introduction where we learn that Riku is a bit dumb, really nice but yeah, he wasn’t the one who invented hot water. There’s also Haru-chan , sorry, Fujirawa Takeru who is as socially awkward and talkative as Haru from Free. The only differences between them is that Takeru as glasses and rather than wanting to have sex with water he has a leg fetish. That’s going to be fun. I wonder if he only runs Freestyle

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Calm down “not Haru-chan” you’re way too tactile

The main girl name is Sakurai Nana and she’s from Hokkaido, she doesn’t know anything about Tokyo and she’s staying with her uncle. But WHO CARES ? AHAHA NOBODY! WE ARE HERE FOR THE BOYS AND THE PARKOUR !!

As Riku mentioned in his introduction he likes all kinds of sports so he tries to enter different sports clubs such as the basket ball club or the volley ball club but each time even if he shows amazing running abilities he fucks up. However they all want him in the club and every time he accepts but only if he can join other clubs. So I guess he really likes moving but doesn’t care about the sports.

During this time main-heroine-Nana is looking for the Stride Club, because eh, that’s the reason why she went to that school in the first place. She learns that the Stride Club no longer exist and has been replaced by the “Shogi Club”. As she enters the “Not the Stride Club anymore” room with Takeru they meet with two guys who were playing Shogi and with Armin Arlet, Kohinata Hozumi who was behind them the whole time hiding behind a panda rice ball ? I don’t really know what that is …

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Eh Armin did you bring Levi with you? Please tell me you brought him

Takeru and Nana present themselves, saying that they are here for the Stride Club. Kadowaki Ayumu, the guy with glasses and current leader of the Shogi club recognizes Takeru cuz he’s actually pretty famous in the under 15 Stride category. There’s even his picture in magazines on the floor… As for Nana she wants to be the manager of the club and that’s why she came to this school. Wait a second. That’s a bit strange that Nana did not know about Takeru if she’s that passionate about Stride Stuff. Even Megane-kun, the shogi club leader knows him. Come on Nana, you better do more researches in the future if you want to be a good manager.

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The current leader of the Stride Club is named Sasekura Heath and is really cool. I love him already. He explains them that whichever club they’ll decide to join they’ll be automatically in both clubs because they don’t have enough members so they can’t even join competitions. Indeed, the two guys that Nana saw in the video, which has been deleted by the way, are now seniors and have left the Stride Club. However, the current members have been practicing the whole time cuz the all love PARKOUR. Well, expect Ayumu, he thought he was practicing to be the fastest shogi player… yeah, he’s not really smart either…

If they want to participate in competitions they need two more members so Nana refuses to give up and promises that she will bring the missing members with Takeru’s help.

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Obviously they choose Yagami Riku  as a new member and Takeru almost kidnaps him and forces him to join the Club. The name “Yagami” is known by all the Stride Club members. So I assume that the Yagami guy from the beginning was in the Stride Club before.

Ohoho the mystery about the Yagami dude is thickening…

If Riku joins the club all they will need is a relayer. So they choose Nana because they don’t really have any other options available. She gladly accepts but the problem is that Riku still doesn’t want to join. COME ON YOU SAID THAT YOU LIKED EVERY SPORTS!

There’s only one way of settle this, the generic sports anime way: Let’s have a match. If the old members win, Riku will have to join the Stride Club.

I don’t really know why but the whole school help them organizing their race, strange thing because obviously nobody cared about the club before and suddenly: “Let’s help them and even make a newspaper article about them”. OH well, I guess, it can make sense  if the club was really popular before.

So Nana and Megane-kun are chosen to be the “operators” and to give informations to their runners, of course Nana is paired with Riku and Takeru. The race begins and even if Takeru will gain more by slacking off so that Riku will be forced to join the club, he really wants to win this and takes the lead. However Armin  Hozumi is not far behind and he’s really great as jumping on the walls and doing cool stuff, almost like he had a tridimensional equipment with him, yeah you see where I’m getting at. So they jump and run around the school for a certain time and when the relay point arrives Takeru decides to speed up, knowing that Riku will be able to catch up with him. I guess he knew that because he touched Riku’s legs before… Maybe …

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The race ends in a tie but it’s obvious that Riku is going to join the club anyway. I don’t care what happened between him and his Yagami brother or relative, he just seemed to enjoy himself way too much during the race not to join the club now. Also, Heath seemed really happy to be able to run again because since he’s a Senior student it’s his last time running with the school’s club. So he must be really relieved that the club is on again. I also expect one of the Senior that left the club, not Yagami but the other guy with the violet ponytail, to join the club to. We saw him in the school and a second time in the preview for the next episode; so I guess they’ll try to make him reintegrate the Stride club.

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Gosh get a room already

Charibo’s first impressions :

Madhouse is exploiting the “Generic High school Sports Anime” recipe and it works petty well. This first episode isn’t ” Wahou this is awesome” but it was pleasant to make me stay until the end. Also, they didn’t spend 6 episodes trying to start the club again and that’s nice. Yeah, I’m looking at you Free! not much swimming eh… However, I don’t see this show as a Free! wannabe. Based on what we saw in the opening there’s rivals team that are waiting to be challenged so I hope there will be lot of running. But if there’s also shirtless boys I don’t mind at all.

The Art style is pretty neat and the characters are moving nicely, as expected from Madhouse. However, sometimes the colors are a bit too bright for me… And oh well, even if the animation is legit, Madhouse has done better in the past. For me, the race in the school was for me the best part of the episode. I love how they move so freely around the school doing amazing jumps and other Assassin’s creed stuff. I wish I could do that.

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Oh nice “nicer version of Kageyama” whatcha doin ?

So far the OST is nice too, I enjoyed the opening that had a little ” Attack on titan” thing to it. Maybe because they jump off roofs and do do backflips like it’s nothing. The song at the end of this episode, during the race was also catchy and had me pumped for the entire time they were running.

As for the characters, I guess it’s okay. It’s funny to know that this anime is actually based on an Otome game because none of the guys seems like “date material” to me. Maybe the Senior Heath … even if he looks like the illegitimate child of Kanji Tastumi and Yosuke Hanamura both from Persona 4. But at least they are pretty funny. I don’t really care about the main protagonist but I like Haru-chan’s Doppelgänger, he’s quite funny with his leg fetish. Also Armin/Hozumi and Ayumu-megane-kun are both nice, crazy, but still nice.

So I’ll watch this so for sure but I’m not quite sure if I’ll be able to review it. With the second semester of school starting next week I don’t know if I will have the time to review all the shows that I want. So if there is not any other show better than this one I’ll gladly review it. Also if one of my fellow blogger comrades if way more interested in the show than I am, I’ll leave it to her. Because yes, there’s a high chance that it’s going to be a girl reviewing this show.

Watching probability: High

Blogging probability: Moderate, if I have the time.

Stay tuned, more bloggers will soon add their impressions to the post 

Berry’s Impression

*rolls into the review* PARKOUR

You have to admit, that race was really cool. It was crazy!! They’re running super fast and jumping out of windows and doing flips and….AAAAAH.

Okay, let’s talk about the actual episode. It was a nice introduction, though I wish they had explained a few things about the sport Stride. It looks like track and field, you know with the relays and obstacles, but with parkour? So I know this isn’t a real sport because I’ve never seen it or heard of it. You don’t see people at the Olympics doing flips and stuff. Though that would be really cool. So I guess this Stride is a fictional sport, just a twist on track and field. Which I think is very entertaining, so I suppose they didn’t really explain the sport that much because it’s just a relay race, nothing too complicated. I just didn’t know what a Relationer is, and judging from what Nana did, it’s a person that tells a runner when to take off. Or something. Even if the fictional sport closely resembles a real sport, at least give us some details. Other sports anime do. They probably didn’t do this with the first episode because they don’t want to bore us and give us the cool race, so I hope they explain things later.

I’m interested to know who the other Yagami guy is, of course he’s probably the older brother of Riku, which is why Riku probably didn’t want to join the Stride Club because it’d be awkward. I just want to know why the third years just quit the club all of a sudden when it looked like they were pretty amazing. So we’ll have some drama there, along with some rival schools, so we’ll have some things to be excited about.

Character wise, I like them so far. Nana is a cutie, Megane Haru is…just like Haru but with glasses, Riku is fun, Hozuma is the typical cute guy, the other glasses guy who just wants to play Shogi is dumb but funny, and Heath (weird name for a Japanese guy) is hot. They all seem pretty likeable, though Hozuma’s character is a character-type I don’t really care for, and I can’t really describe Takeru. He looks like the emotionless character, he looks kind of mean, but he’s kind of funny with his weird leg fetish, and then that smile in the end. Who are you, Takeru? WHO ARE YOU?

And color me surprised when I learned this is an adaptation of an otome game because I sensed NO romance from this. One girl being the manager of a sports team isn’t anything new in sports anime because for some reason girls are always the manager for male sports teams (Momoi and Riko in Kuroko no Basket, Gou in Free!, Kiyoko and Yachi in Haikyuu!!, etc.) This is nothing new, except that we had a bigger focus on Nana than the other girls I pointed out. It doesn’t look like she’ll be invisible in this show. The only reason why we’re in Honan school is because Nana wanted to come there. So I hope we’ll learn more about her and why specifically Stride interested in her (so go into more detail of the “how can people trust each other so much” thing). Nana is what stood out to me, marking one way this anime is different from other sports anime. And that confuses me, is this supposed to be a sports anime, or a romance, or they going to mix both? Because if I had to choose, I’d say just leave out the romance because it’ll take away from the sport. I want to see more parkour races!!! Just because we have one girl surrounded by boys doesn’t mean we need a romance. Haven’t you guys ever heard of friendship?

Animation was pretty great, and I personally loved the colors. They’re different from typical anime, and they weren’t too bright. I love the OP too. So, so far I’m really liking this show. It had great animation, fun characters, and a really cool sport and I want more of it. So far so good.

Possibility of watching: High

Possibility of blogging: I’m up for it!


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4 Responses

  1. zztop says:

    Otome game reviewers said Stride’s game story reads more like a sports anime, and the romantic elements felt more secondary. Reception was mixed – some liked this different approach, while some hated it because it wasn’t romantic enough. Regardless, the anime will be better since you can actually see the sport in action – the game just narrated everything in text.

    The Stride sport appears to be a fictional take on an track and field relay race with parkour elements – but there’s no baton passing and races are done on a large urban marathon scale.

  2. michiri says:

    I actually enjoy this episode and its vibrant color :D It’s funny, the movements are smooth, and even though it’s generic, it didn’t make me want to groan out of boredom and frustration. It’s Madhouse after all, so even if this is not their best, this will surely be an enjoyable ride (pardon me for I’m a hardcore Madhouse fangirl until proven otherwise).

    I was so shocked when you said that this is from an otome game. I mean, I don’t get the ‘vibe’ of an otome at all when I was watching this episode. Sure, Yagami Riku might have a slight crush on Nana, but really, that’s all the romance we get. ‘Romance’ is not what comes to my mind when I was watching this. But if ‘romance’ means sometimes the boys are batting for the other team, well…

    Do you realize at the end of the opening, when they show a still scene where the members of Honan Stride Club are jumping into the sky, the ‘couples’ are pretty much set? Seriously, I’m not into shipping, but man, it’s so obvious the director has some preference in certain ‘couples’. I mean, at least to me, that scene looks like they’re grouping the boys into three ‘couples’ and left out the main female character! I laughed at that scene, and I laughed harder when you said this is from an otome. Way off the hook, I’d say, but not bad, not at all. I like romance, but this is a nice approach for an otome adaptation.

    Btw, don’t you think the dude named Yagami at the first race (the black-haired dude) has the same face with the dude from Kakyoin, one of the rival schools? Or are my eyes tricking me (again)?

    PS: The moment when you realize Fujiwara’s VA is also the VA for Noya-san…

    • Charibo says:

      OOOOOH ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
      Indeed you’re right !! The Yagami fellow looks like the dude from Kakyoin. I pretty sure they’re the same person è_é I also think he’s Riku’s brother since they share the same name and eye color ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ

      Ahaha I’ve never looked at the last image from the Opening this way but now that you mention it it’s true. There are all touching each other everywhere and the poor heroine is alone. That’s not a Reverse Harem anime anymore of they don’t care about her ʅʕ•ᴥ•ʔʃ
      Well it’s quite obvious in the anime that Fujiwara and Riku are meant to be shipped together. As for Megane-kun/ the guy who looks like the dude from Love Hina and Armin, I see them more as the comic duo rather than as an actual couple. Then for Heath ( that I’m going to call Heat because he’s quite hot) and the Violet ponytail guy,I have no opinion. I’m not a shipper so … Yeah I don’t care XD
      The Fun thing is that they need 6 players in every team, so that no one is left alone, everybody can be happy couple yeah ʕつ ͡◔ ᴥ ͡◔ʔつ They can also do 3 and 3 or 4 and 2 if they want. So many possibilities è_é

      Same reaction for the Otome game origin, I couldn’t believe it so I did some researches on the original game ( also to see if it was possible to somehow play it
      ʕ ◔ᴥ◔ ʔ).
      Like zztop said (in the comment above) the game was more focused on the sports rather than on the romance. That can also explain why they choose to adapt this Otome game and not another :/ But also because it’s PARKOUR !!
      And I think it’s also possible to “romance” the guy with short purple hair from Saisei in the game. Honestly, he’s the one I’m rooting for ୧ʕ•̀ᴥ•́ʔ୨

      Fujiwara’s VA also did Karma and Sin Ah :3 and Riku’s VA is Bokuto …. So many husbandos… almost too many :/

      • michiri says:

        I know, right? I wonder what happened here, for that black-haired Yagami dude to change school from Honan to Kakyoin. I can sense drama in the air already. Is this related to that violet ponytail dude? Is this related to why both of them are not members of stride club anymore? Is this related to why Riku wants to try every sport but refuses to join stride club? Is this related to that teacher who looks a lot like Sohei Saikawa from Perfect Insider? Curious, curious…

        Yes, I also think the same with you about the three ‘couples’. Seriously, that scene… Why don’t the animators just draw them jumping in the air randomly, or (since this is from an otome) make the heroine the center of their attention while they’re doing parkour? Why deliberately arrange them like that? Poor heroine has to look like she’s in the middle of a triple-date parkour where no one noticing her at all… Then again, this anime is a new approach for an otome game adaptation, so let’s see what Madhouse will do there :3

        Oh boy, VAs are scary. Amazing, but still, scary. How could you juggle from wild-and-loud-mouthed, to stoic-and-cool-but-kind, to a psychopath? Riku’s VA I can still understand because both Riku and Bokuto are vibrant, cheerful, and pure. But Fujiwara, Shin-ah, Karma, and Noya-san? I’m not sure I want to imagine them being in the same room together *shudder*

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