There are certain specific features that make a Sports Anime great…but so long as a series has pretty boys with homoerotic tendencies, those other features can jump out the window! Just ask every single fan of every single modern day Sports Anime. Obviously I’m kidding, but there is something to be said about the Yaoi-driven fanbase of most contemporary Sports titles, and you’ll find that the closer characters are in these shows, the more popular they are with the fanbase because, regardless of whether or not they’re “together“, the Anime-loving community enjoys a little thing we call “Shipping“, and it alone can make or break the popularity level of an Anime…like you absolutely wouldn’t believe.
Now, I’m totally cool with that because, at the end of the day, you’ve got to do what makes you happy, and if it’s imagining two characters romantically embracing (amongst other things) than, by all means, enjoy it! For me…it’s not really at the top of my “likes” list, and I often steer clear from fanbases that are driven by this simply because, most of the time, they’re a pretty good indication that this is not really a show for me. With Prince Of Stride Alternative, however…I went in mostly blind, and I think it has only worked out for the greater good of my enjoyment.
Prince Of Stride Alternative is your fairly standard Sports series in the way that it features a setup of characters reminiscent of all that have come before it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because, if you’ve ever watched a Sports Anime, you’d know that the dynamic between the characters is, more often than not, pretty damn good. Also fairly standard is that of it’s story which, as I’ve already said about another feature of this show; it reminds me a lot of older series.
Standard stuff: There’s a sports club at a once-prestigious school that is but a step from being disbanded, some new students transfer to the school with a penchant for said sport, they join the club once again igniting the flame of passion in the hearts of those already in the club, and they become great friends while doing their best to beat the competition. The only difference when it comes to Prince Of Stride Alternative is that it doesn’t involve a standard sport. Prince Of Stride Alternative is an Anime about relay parkour, or as it is referred to in the series…Stride.
Now, the most outstanding part of this Anime, for me, was it’s visuals, who have been lovingly provided by one of the industry’s greatest modern studios; Madhouse. Prince Of Stride Alternative gives off an incredibly fresh, Summer-like vibe that reinvigorates audiences as it compels them to continue watching. It’s hard to pass up a series with crisp, clean animation paired up with an amazingly vibrant colour palette, and considering this is a show that will lean heavily on it’s visuals, I can honestly say Madhouse’s involvement will be one that the show-runners will surely never regret.
As far as character designs go; once again, I found them to be redolent of most other sports Anime, but much like their personalities, this wasn’t such a bad thing. The visuals were backed up by not only a fantastic, genre-spanning soundtrack but wonderful placement of tracks from said soundtrack. I have a soft spot for Anime with great auditory placement and Prince Of Stride Alternative was absolutely one of them.
I found myself enjoying ever single minute of Prince Of Stride Alternate, which is odd for me because, even though I’ve watched a few in the past, I’m not actually a fan of the way a Sports Anime is laid out. It simply never grabbed me in much the same way an Action or a Psychological series has, but something felt different about Prince Of Stride Alternative. It could be the way the series portrays the free-flowing, open-world nature of true Parkour with these characters showing true-to-life philosophical features of true traceur.
It also happens to, somewhat, remind me of one of my personal favorite series’ Air Gear, in regards to the fast-paced, frantic style of these Stride matches. My hopes for the future of this Anime is that it continues along the same high-quality path as the first episode. We all know the initial episode of a series is to hook people in, and there are times wherein which a lot of the effort from a production team is put only into the first episode and not so much into those that succeed it for the sake of this reason alone, but I truly hope this isn’t the case for Prince Of Stride Alternative.
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