Cactus Matt and I are continuing our joint watch of Uma Musume Pretty Derby and increasingly misnamed reviews. It’s a good thing he’s there cause even with his help I can barely keep on point. As usual Matt is in Bold! 

Pretty Derby Episode 9 anime review
My selection of screencaps turned out a little glum for some reason…

*(This review is on your site yeah? I’ll let you handle the intro stuff)*

Well aren’t you sweet…Alright then. Step right up boys and girls it’s once again time for your favorite super confusing not quite sports cute girls show of the season. I usually start these collabs because I watch the episode then do a first pass at the post while it’s still fresh in my mind. This week however was a little hectic so I didn’t get around to it the next day. By day 2 I had to ask Matt to get the ball rolling cause I couldn’t quite remember the episode anymore. Promising start…

So Irina, episode 9! Can you hardly believe it? Feels like only yesterday trainer-san was feeling up on Spe-chan and now look how far he’s come? He’s almost a two dimensional character! Ah yes, it is episode 9. Ha…I knew that. Wasn’t trainer-san a super sweetheart this episode? I think I’m less annoyed by the character then you are but then again I find this sort of gropey fan service a lot less creepy then I was expecting.

Pretty Derby Episode 9 anime review
see you can do it if you try – good touch

But this episode isn’t just about that. We’ve got the most important thing to talk about since the series begun… did you see the size of those phone receivers? Do hotels have to provide special extra long phones just to cater for the fact that horse girls have their ears on the top of their heads? Oh definitely there were phones and hotels… Ok really, there were phones? I don’t remember it but I can imagine and it sounds funny!

So we get to see a bit of the globe-trotting (pun intended) El Condor Pasa in France and her big race against a French horse girl… or rather horse woman judging by the character’s design. The Frenchie Horse reminded me of Oscar from Rose of Versaille…Do I think all french anime characters are the same? For those of you who may be interested in such things, the spoken French was pretty decent and much better pronounced than in most American shows/movies that make the attempt.

Pretty Derby Episode 9 anime review
sure El’s great…whatever…

On a different note. I’m starting to really like El. The character hasn’t changed or evolved in any way so I guess the show is just lulling me into complacency – I mean charming me….Granted she’s interchangeable with any of the other ones but she has a zorro mask! El’s always been a weird one for me, and I don’t just mean because imagine having to always wear that mask! I started to wonder if the little ~accessories~ the horse girls wear are actually fused to them and not just something they put on every day because you never see them without it. Like Daiwa Scarlett who wears a tiara everywhere, even in the bath! So why has El always been weird for you?? I don’t know if I’m imagining it but a lot of the time when she’s talking it seems like Japanese is her second language? She has a weird inflection on her voice, which is cuteI just don’t know if they ever addressed this. Could she be from Osaka? My Japanese is nowhere near good enough to pick up on Kansai pitch accent variation unless they really ham up the dialect and even then. I just googled it, it says “Originally from America, she tends to mix English into her sentences” Oh wow…ok it seems my English isn’t good enough either. It’s not a surprise but it still stings

Also, did Frenchie run with a full on royal mantle??? Maybe it’s a handicap because she’s such a seasoned horse girl woman, or maybe it’s just because the writers/animators don’t realise clothes actually affect things like movement and aerodynamics.

Pretty Derby Episode 9 anime review
insert water polo joke

I made a half-joking prediction last episode that the reason for the 9-month time skip was so they could have a beach episode again. Can I pick ‘em or what?!You know I thought of that. In fact I just now remembered exactly what I thought. It must be almost impossible to put a one piece on when you have a tail. I’m not sure what the sensitivity is like there but there’s no way that’s comfy…

What did you think about how they handled dealing with Spe-chan’s dependence on Suzuka?I don’t dislike it. As expected it was solved very easily and quickly but I think we don’t see enough of the downsides of coddling, enabling ect… Most relationships in anime tend to be very straight forward. Just one thing at the time. It’s pretty surprising that this show would tackle how two people who genuinely like each other and want to support each other end up bringing each other down instead. This happens a lot in life… I mean trainer san fixed it with a word but you know – I’m the world’s biggest sucker so I awwwwwed at it.

Pretty Derby Episode 9 anime review
wait – you have a personality? when did that happen?

As much as this show (probably?) prides itself on realism to this silly made up sport. I found it odd that they’d practice running so hard and fast on tarmac, especially given how they’ve frequently mentioned and demonstrated how dangerous a slip up can be at high speeds. I had to look up tarmac… I thought it was a trampoline. It’s not… But as it is a road surfacing material made by combining macadam surfaces, tar, and sand, patented by English inventor Edgar Purnell Hooley in 1902 – I’m not sure why it would be any more slippery than grass?  

I’m sort of still stuck on why they’re making them run in high heels. If you’ve ever had to wear those suckers for a day (and I do because otherwise automatic doors won’t open for me) you would know exactly how bad an idea that is. I didn’t expect the history lesson! All I meant was that I was surprised they were running on a road at the speeds they were because falling onto a road-surface would probably cause a worse injury than falling on grass. I probably misused the word tarmac in this context anyway… I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be a pooper. I was excited to learn a new word…

Pretty Derby Episode 9 anime review
not a trampoline

We had the return of the distended tummy joke and only Spe had it, out of all the girls. I know you’re all telling me this is just a throwaway gag. You’re probably right. But they went out of their way to mention it affects running time so I want to believe there’s going to be a plot related payoff here…. I just do… She’ll probably work it off in time for her next race.

So how did you find this episode overall? I thought it was mostly good, though I thought the way they handled the last part of the episode (after the triathlon/watching El race on TV) was particularly good. The race wasn’t as exciting as perhaps previous ones were but it carried a lot of emotional weight, especially with that phone call that El made to Spe-chan after the race. I remember liking it well enough but I wasn’t just playing around. I honestly forgot it almost instantly and I wasn’t even drunk…I don’t think… It kinda seemed like alright filler but there wasn’t enough there to hold my attention. In fact you just now reminded me of that phone call. Yeah it was a nice scene, I admit but it would have been a bit more impactful if I could just remember why exactly Spe and El are friends. They had lunch together 3 times and now she calls her from overseas to drown her sorrows. It just seemed a bit odd… I would have preferred if that scene was with her trainer or the prez.

Pretty Derby Episode 9 anime review
just a cray suggestion but maybe take off the heavy coat for races?

I guess El just wanted to talk to someone who’s well versed at coming second. Maybe. It’s not wrong or anything but I found it difficult to relate to which lessened the emotional punch for me personally. I totally get that, I agree it would have made more sense for her to talk to her trainer but it still serves its purpose. Say, weren’t we supposed to be wrapping this review up?

Excellent point! Review accomplished! Good job everyone – see you next week over on Cactus Matt’s blog for a much better review because I promise to remember the episode!

Pretty Derby Episode 9 anime review
ok – it was a pretty good scene…

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