- Titles: Prince of Stride: Alternative
- Genre: Sports!, comedy, school
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: MADHOUSE
Riku is going to have so much fun in high school. Since he’s always been good at studying, grades shouldn’t be an issue, so he can just enjoy himself. Talk to some pretty girls. Pretty girls like Nana for instance. He can try out for one of the sports teams, or for all of them, in fact, he’ll happily join any club that will have him. Any club that is, except for stride. Riku used to love it but not anymore. He can leave that stuff to his older brother, the stride prodigy. He’ll just hang back and relax. Besides, his new high school doesn’t even have a big enough stride club to enter competitions. No worries. Except that Takeru, the really intense guy in his class seems to really want him to join. And now, so does Nana! How can he say no to that?
Prince of Stride is an otome, i.e. a visual novel dating sim aimed at girls. More specifically, it’s an otome that I desperately wanted to play but never managed to find. A Sports! otome! Now that’s more like it. When I saw an anime adaptation had been made, well I didn’t expect much. Otome adaptations tend to be really bad, let’s be honest. But it was still my shiny silver medal, so you bet I was going to watch it!
Pretty much for the first second, I was hit by how good Prince of Stride looks. Like really, I thought this was a great-looking show and I have the unreasonable number of screencaps to prove it. A lot of it has to do with the admittedly fetching character designs. You might not agree, there is an issue of taste here. But those fetching character designs also stay consistent regardless of angles or animation speed. The colours are the best. The backgrounds are just so shiny and bright that it makes the entire scene look more fun. And the cast is clearly having a good time.
Prince of Stride: Alternative is a really well-made show except for one thing. The running animation is sometimes odd in a very hilarious way. And they do run a lot in this anime so I was cracking up left and right. I wouldn’t say it ruined my enjoyment, if anything it heightened it and surprisingly, the acrobatics look great. It was just a little thing I noticed and thought, how odd.
Story & Characters
Pk. so I’m going to assume that the adaptation is called Prince of Stride: Alternative because it’s an alternate storyline to what’s in the game. This may explain why it works so well as an anime. There was absolutely no romance in the series. Riku thinks Nana is cute but in a generally noncommittal way and it never goes beyond that. So already, whatever romance plotlines are in the game, they didn’t make it to the show.
Instead, this is a pretty standard Sports! anime. A club past its prime, trying to climb back up but operating in the shadow of its former glory. A couple of new prodigies that bring renewed life and motivation to everyone else. Along the way, we unearth some skeletons, meet a whole bunch of eccentric rival teams that turn out to be nice guys, and learn that the true victory all along was friendship. I had fun typing that!
Yeah, Prince of Stride is sort of a normal Sports! anime. But you know what, by now I have seen more than my share of normal, forgettable Sports! anime and I liked Prince of Stride. Like more than the average. And I think this comes down to a few things. First I really liked the art and the general production. I just find it looks great. second, it was a lot more lighthearted comedy and slice of Sports! than drama, that wins points with me. And third, it had a very good sense of fun.
Stride is a sport that doesn’t exist. It seems to be a mix of sprinting, relay racing and parkour. And I have to admit it was just really fun to watch. I realize that the logistics of actually creating a competitive stride team in real life make it almost impossible. Not to mention the risk of injury. But I would watch the heck out of it even in non-animated version and I don’t know that I can say that about any other sport.
I don’t know if Nana is originally the player character in the game, if so that’s impressive. Nana actually has an important role to play in the team. And she occasionally has a personality. Both things that are depressingly rare in otome player characters. Grated most of her personality is being really nice and cute but she has some interests. It doesn’t feel like a tacked-on character.
I thought I would be reviewing this like I review my idol shows. In a fevered frenzy of glee, thriving in the sweet ecstasy of camp. But no. I just enjoyed Prince of Stride exactly for what it was. An average but fun little Sports! anime with some pretty boys in it. And honestly, what more can you ask for?
You might like this anime if:
You like your pretty boy shows without singing, romance or crying!
My favourite character:
Shizuma Mayuzumi. He was really nice!
- Every time Ayumu wants to play shoji – take a sip
- Every time Riku is out of breath – take a sip
- Every time Hozumi is treated as girly – take a sip
- Every time we see Heath’s sister – raise your glass
- Every time anyone brings up someone’s brother – take a sip
- Every time Ayumu explains stride – take notes
- Every time Takeru does a muscle inspection – take a sip
- Every time anyone connects – take a sip
- Every time anyone mentions KGB – take a sip
- Every time Takeru goes running – take a sip
- Every time Hounan wins a raise – cheer
- Every time the advisor busts out an old saying – take a sip
- Every time Kuga talks about the wind – whistle
- Every time a rival relationer turns out to be a bit of a troll – take a sip
- Every time a family member returns – dum dum DUM
- Every time Galaxy Standrad performs – scream
- Every time anyone steals words” – you’ll know it when you see it and you’ll take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.