Prince of Stride: Alternative – 05-11

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Time to put those yaoi goggles on.

This term has been pretty demanding (at least one week was dedicated to worrying about a presentation I had to give in Japanese in front of a ton of Hokkaido international students OTL), but at least I have sports anime. It’s so focused on bromance that I’m pretty sure it’s forgotten that it’s based on an otome game, but Prince of Stride is still pretty cool.

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The KGB incident (which has a rather unfortunate name) was brought up, and it’s really unfortunate how awful the senpai were. It seems like it was almost too easy for Kyosuke to rejoin the Stride club after all of the drama surrounding his initial departure, but I guess there wasn’t really any time for the club to have to go through an episode of fighting to get him in after spending an episode fighting to convince him to rejoin already. Though in that episode, a lot of other things happened like showing some bonding between Kohinata and Ayumu’s characters. It was nice to see some development between team mates, and ever since then, these two seem like they’re super close (though actually, every guy in the club seems to have his ‘partner’ in the team firmly established now).

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So Ayumu has kind of fallen back into cheerleader status, but I guess he still has the potential to run again if anything happens to any of the other characters. …Though the likelihood of that seems pretty slim now since there’s only one episode left and to defeat Kakyoin, Honan seems to need their very best players on the field. But it’s nice that Kyosuke keeps validating Ayumu’s presence there, so it’s not like he’s totally forgotten. Overall, Kyosuke is a great addition to the team, despite the incident he was blamed for. He’s a good runner, and is pretty friendly with everyone.  Though that description also applies to the whole team. 

So now Honan has faced off against a bunch of schools, and they seem to have learned something from every encounter. It was interesting seeing Ichijokan right after the issues with Kyosuke were revealed, since that amount of dissonance in that team (or more like the Relationer was an asshat) was like what set Honan off track in the first place. But it also showed how well the new Honan team could work together. …Even though Kyosuke joined last minute and hadn’t practiced with anybody, but still. They put aside their differences and everything worked out for the best.

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The cutest relationship between schools has to be with Saisei, since everyone just gets along so well. Plus everyone seems to have learned so much from that joint training montage that happened. That being said, you can kind of see the results from that. Everyone did really well in the semifinals against Saisei, and even Nana seems to have learned something since she was giving instructions instead of just worrying about whatever the runners were doing in silence like she normally does. But she has also come a long way in terms of figuring what she wants to do, since she rejected her father’s offer. This is nice to see considering that she probably counts as more of a background character at this point.

It was kind of strange having Kakyoin step in out of nowhere as the ultimate rival after they built up Saisei as being the best at everything, and Honan’s friendly but strong rivals, but this development is still good. Everyone has a pretty strong rival to overcome in Kakyoin (even Nana, with her father there). Plus now that Honan has defeated Saisei, it proves how much stronger they’ve become as a team. Now they just need to win the final race, which is probably going to happen now that the characters seem to have solved their emotional issues.

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Despite Tomoe having the emo hair, he’s surprisingly not the angsty one

Riku went through a pretty rough patch for a while, but luckily bromance Takeru saved the day. I’m not entirely sure if Riku had a change of heart because Takeru specifically wanted to run with him (instead of just giving up and kind of ignoring him like Tomoe did) or if it was because Takeru said he believed in him, but in either case, it’s good that Riku got over his angst. Tomoe was also interesting in that he wasn’t even mean to Riku or anything, but there was just a difference in work ethics that caused a rift. Tomoe seemed to want to run with Riku (though maybe not as much as Takeru does), but Riku just felt too inadequate to do so compared to his brother. Hopefully the next race is something both of them enjoy. It’s just too bad that they probably won’t be running together.

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As a side note, the childhood friendship and promise was pretty cute. It’s nice to see that Takeru held it dear to him, even if the other characters seem to have totally forgotten about it until the end. The revelation kind of felt abrupt because of how everyone else had forgotten about it, but with Takeru’s flashbacks over a few episodes, it didn’t feel completely like they pulled it out of thin air for the sake of drama. Though it still would have been nice to have seen some mention from Nana or Riku before the actual promise was revealed. Oh well, running is probably more important anyways.

Wow lots of sports drama in the past few episodes. But on the other hand, it seems like they’ve cleared up everything and are ready to run now. I still kind of wish this was more otome, since even UtaPri had more romance than this, but this anime was still good without it. Though perhaps compared to other sports anime out there, or just the anime that were based on sports manga as opposed to an otome game that was using sports as a background for the romance/cute moment, this isn’t really as engaging or exciting. Maybe because the characters haven’t really been developed. But I guess the characters are pretty shippable at least?


University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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2 Responses to “Prince of Stride: Alternative – 05-11”

  1. zztop says:

    Maybe because the characters haven’t really been developed. 

    The characters are mostly developed in the other spinoff media.

    In Japan, Stride’s part of a multi-media franchise made up of the game, audio drama CDs, light novels etc.A fan says the anime’s basically an ad for selling the merchandise:“…the production of all the “Prince of Stride” media is top-notch and each media helps build into the Stride canon…I could see how a Japanese teenager could really get into “Prince of Stride.” However without having access to the other Stride media, the characters presented in the anime seem flat.”
    The boys’ personalities and Nana’s romance with them is fleshed out in the side materials. The anime’s mostly ignored the source game’s otome elements and cut out the backstories and conflicts of most of the male cast to focus solely on the sport aspect.

    For example :
    -The childhood flashback was taken from Takeru’s romance route in the game. Takeru once knew Nana and Riku in their childhood; they all raced in a kid’s Stride held during the very 1st End of Summer. He’s the only one who remembers Nana and their promise to go to Honan together. Takeru was also a lot chubbier then. He also has a soft spot for his pet golden retriever, Yamato.

    -Hozumi’s estranged from his wealthy businessman father, and prefers to stay with his stepfamily instead. He’s very close to his stepsiblings.

    -Heath’s foot injury is more prominent and serious in his route.

    -Reiji comes from a prominent family of Kabuki actors, who want him to quit Stride and idoling after graduation to take up the family profession. Shizuma (pink hair)’s family are gardeners for Reiji’s family; an injury he suffered killed his Stride career.

  2. Overcooled says:

    Yeahhhhh Stride! Good to see you back in action, Kara.

    Since I haven’t played the game, I’m okay with this show being devoid of romance. Actually, I prefer it. Nana is still an important character and a big part of the team, and she does so without having to be romantically involved with any of the guys. Well, unless the final episode throws us a massive curveball and she suddenly gets thirsty.

    I feel like Kakyoin is too good for them to beat right now, so I don’t know exactly how the finale is going to go. I really enjoyed the Saisei matches though, and all the bromance that happened in between.

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