Cactus Matt and I are continuing our joint watch of Uma Musume Pretty Derby and bickering about it. I’m having a lot more fun discussing the show than watching it! In case there’s any doubt Matt is in Bold! 

figured I’d put in a cap of Matt’s favourite character

It’s my turn again! Episode 5 was decent but not quite as fun as last week for me. As far as I can tell this show is a mostly harmless, shallow piece of fun with some unfortunate implications. For the most part it’s decent way to kill 20 minutes on a Sunday. 20 minutes? Oh no, don’t tell me you fast forward the opening and closing credits?! *starts humming the op*

I actually watched the ED for he first time – that’s how I now know there’s a sexual harassment joke in there too. I have to admit, I’m starting to get pretty used to it, it doesn’t bother me much anymore. *pushes imaginary glasses to bridge of nose* Episode 5 has a different ED than the usual one. (I don’t actually care I’m just being belligerent)

why u hate?

Since I’m the one who takes the lead on the odd number episode posts, well it’s a mess… Basically I just threw all my random notes on here and hoped that Matt would magically turn them into something coherent and even potentially entertaining. Did he succeed? Does his welfare depend on your answer? Yeah, like my reviews are any more coherent… let’s get this show on the road!

I know that’s not her name, but I wrote down “Golden Shower” in my notes. Anyway, how is the weird one not blind yet??? I quite liked those little irrelevant scenes between Golden something and the new girl. I’m really a cheap laugh. Gold Ship, yeah that was a great series of jokes! Maybe horse girls have stronger eye balls than regular humans?! (Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type…) Ok so it started with a “Sh”, I’m not completely daft here…

Wow, Gropey McGrabsterson strikes again. They are loving that *joke*… Indeed, speaking of “jokes”… but I do enjoy him getting kicked in the face, it’s very cathartic.

well now, that’s just rude….

Yay, Spe is not fat anymore I guess. Her costume fits just fine. That’s some hardcore bulimia she must have put herself through. There’s a super gritty behind the scenes episode to be had here. Why did my mind immediately go to Spe-chan being waterboarded? That’s not going to help losing weight at all, stupid brain! Whoa that is a very odd place to go. I don’t feel so bad for misremembering silver horsey’s name now.

The scene with El Condor Pasa having a slight anxiety attack in the hallway was almost identical to one from Free! (also not a Sports! anime). I’ve rarely had a show so seeped in déjà vue. This is neither good nor bad but it leads me to believe a straight up gender swap Free! with no other changes whatsoever, could be very successful with a different demographic. I’ll start a petition! brb

good plan!

The running costumes really annoy me. I dunno why… There’s a girl dressed as a saloon wench, with boned bustier and all. El has a coat! A long sleeved, tailed coat. Aside from a wedding gown, this has got to be the least practical option ever. Why don’t you just let them run in underwear? Or bikinis. That would make much more sense. I mean the horses run pretty much naked (yes I know saddle), but from experience I realize it’s not a good idea to forego a sports bra (some girls run in strapless outfits – now that’s just ridiculous…) Wow I pay way too much attention to this. It’s funny you mention that, because I started to get slightly annoyed with the costumes in this episode too! Because I was thinking how certain costumes would slow people downaerodynamics and all thatI mean there’s a reason professional runners wear tight outfits and body suits, and they have established wind resistance is a viable tactic in this universe so it’s not like it wouldn’t be a factor! (They still look pretty cute though…) well they should at least practice in something similar…I bet they’d look fine in boyshorts and runner’s tanks – they can still add bows to them….

she will collapse from heatstroke

Anyways so everybody wins, and we are conveniently spared the dilemma of having feelings hurt or relationships tested. Even the girl that didn’t win is still happy for some reason.

I liked the last episode better. This one was fine but felt like there were a lot of missed opportunities and rehatched bits. I thought there were a lot of sweet moments in this episode, like when that girl talked to the main three in the race about luck, “you’re lucky the glass didn’t break”. And the four leaf clover moment, and the “you guys are the carrot at the finish line” this show is unfailingly sweet, which is probably making you gag right now but it makes me happy. Though I wouldn’t be adverse to some more drama. You sir are unfamiliar with my Natsume posts I take it – I adore heartwarming. But there’s something just a little shallow in this sweetness. It’s easy to be nice and friendly when everything always works out, it’s actually sweet to stand by your friends when there’s a challenge to it. As for that particular scene – I’m afraid my mind went straight to Danganronpa so that may have soured the sweetness a bit.The thing with having unfailingly agreeable characters is that there’s not much room for developpement. So far, all the girls are basically the same as they were in episode 1.

As for my issues with “nice” girls, it’s not the cheesiness of the situations that bother me, it’s the slightly uncomfortable feeling that girls can’t have off days. Like they can’t just be cranky one day cause they didn’t sleep well… But it has very little to do with this particular show. I’m not expecting complex layered characters. It’s horse girls running in show girl outfits… Hard to disagree with that assessment!

actually, female sports announcers are still pretty rare – how progressive!

On a tangent, I really liked Scorching Ping Pong Girls. A lot. I’m trying to figure out what’s the difference between the two. Scorching Ping Pong Girls is realistic (and I’m using that term loosely) whereas as much as Uma Musume wants you to take this ‘sport’ seriously and it’s not at all. Yes the girls are motivated and enthusiastic in the same way, but the sense of progression is different, Spe-Chan started near the top and is kind of almost already there. The Ping Pong Girls, like most ‘realistic’ sports anime are working the way up from the bottom (well, the best in their school but the bottom nationally). It’s easier to root for someone who’s worked hard at something and still is far away from their goal, then someone who’s worked hard for a couple of weeks and is only a few races away from being the best in Japan. That might be it. Oddly I think I preferred the fanservice in tht show. The ridiculous and exaggerated nature made it feel silly and honest(?) It wasn’t pretending to be something it’s not and that made me enjoy it more. Also, some of the character designs reminded me of the girls from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. Which is always a good thing *winky face* This time I’m the one who can’t disagree. Not that Derby is not pretty! Ha!

Considering how quickly Spe is making her way up the ranks, I’m wondering what they have in store for the remainder of the season. Hopefully hot springs and beach episodes, wait did I say that out loud? You want to see them wringing their tails out don’t you. Or blow drying them…

I have to say these reviews are way easier to do when you have someone else to bounce ideas off of. I’m not sure if it’s at all useful to any of you guys. At this point it’s closer to episodic random ramblings than reviews. I like to think of it as a podcast in text form! This has been enjoyable as always, see you all next episode!


8 thoughts

  1. Its true this isn’t REALLY a sports anime. Its a moe show with running and emo. And seikohara. I like it though. I am enjoying watching this show.

  2. I liked this episode, that they found a way for everyone (except Seiun Sky, who didn’t even get 3rd, nor King Halo) to win and still make it exciting, but not too too long or sportsy. I had the same kind of thought about aerodynamic outfits, but sometimes you just go with what you want to wear, not what’s best to wear (and maybe snowboarders would perform better if they weren’t all in big baggy coats, but tough, they wear big baggy coats).

    But I’m not bothered by Special Week and El Condor Pasa being at the top of their game right away. It’s based on horse racing, and you only have one year you can compete in the 3-year old races (or year three, if we’re just going with the show’s nomenclature). And some people just have more talent for certain things than others, that’s why Vodka isn’t in any of these races even though they said she’s the same year, and why Suzuka didn’t win the Derby, even though Special Week looks up to her so much.

    1. In this case they wear what their trainer makes them wear…Again – I vote bikinis just for the breeziness.
      I love sportsy so I would of liked a bit more conflict like having one loose and seeing them workout that conflict, adjust their training, figure out how to win precious seconds next time. But I get this isn’t that type of show.

      1. Well, didn’t they do that last time? Special Week lost the Satsukishou, and then had to change her training and learn techniques from racing Taiki Shuttle, and used that to come out with a win with El Condor Pasa. It would be kind of pulling the rug out from the viewer to have her keep losing, I think. It also sets up a better rivalry, because El Condor Pasa is a neater character, and is pulling up Special Week, rather than Seiun Sky, who won more because Special Week faltered in her training.

  3. I have no idea whether I like the ping pong girls or the horse girls better; neither’s among my favourites (I choose Keijo!!!!!!!!) The comparison is interesting, though. I do think the ping poing girls have a more genuine show, in the sense that the centre of the show is enjoying to play (and all the fanservice actually ties into it, because they’re going for a enjoying ping pong = orgasm metaphor). It sort of works out into a very fun show (and though I got tired of mune-mune sempai jokes, they’re not quite as annoying as gropey trainer jokes).

    Also, blow drying tails… now I have that image of a really fluffy tail and lots of embarrassment about it. I’m not sure I want that. (And now I have this idea about shark girls who compete about who can eat the most swimmers. Every episode is a beach episode. Yay!)

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