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Uma Musume Pretty Derby – 02 »

Uma Musume Pretty Derby – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「Make Debut」 by The Main Cast of Uma Musume

「夢のゲートっ!」 (Yume no Geto!)
“Gate of Dreams!”
 
All bets are off if Uma Musume will turn out to be the sports anime to watch this season, but it will surely be one of the most unique. The level of ambition the series has for its concept is riding high as they dedicate a bulk of the first episode to having us understand the logistics behind the horse girls with names inspired by history’s best racehorses, the Twinkle Series, and its rules. For it to be just racing with horse girls is one thing, but the series is also wants us to understand that they need to be idols as well in order to gain the acclaim, glory, and prestige they seek out. The complete package, if you must.
 
But what’s impressive is that the series wants to painstakingly tell us the ins-and-outs of the concept its constructed with leagues, classes, and skillsets dividing many of the horse girl groups. The series is reminiscent of Keijo!!!!!!!! in how it manages to take an idea for a sport that otherwise sounds like a joke to pander to a specific demographic, and then transforms it into a legitimate sport to be treated with the upmost respect as a technical feat unparalleled to anything like it. The concept, in relation to its phone game origins, seem like a joke, but the anime seeks to let viewers know that it’s more than a punchline or mishmash of popular ideas, as the girls of Uma Musume see the Twinkle Series as a way of life, a discipline worth mastery, and lifetime commitment to showing the audience who will go down in history in the upper echelons of horse idol racing.
 
The first episode, however, is only getting started. Special Week (Waki Azumi) is an admirable lead as she aims to be the best horse idol in history all the while dealing with her origins as a country horse, the new classmates she has in the big city, and her creepy new coach, who bogs down a good chunk of his screentime with his desire to feel up poor Special Week’s legs. It can be a little daunting to see how many characters are being introduced all at once, especially since we are starting out so soon, but it shows the level of ambition the series is working with to be able to showcase a large amount of the cast within the first episode. My personal favorite at the moment is the American horse El Condor Pasa, who ordains herself as Special Week’s masked rival. It might not be the best of the new arrivals this season, and doesn’t do as much to push the envelope as far as stories about aspiring champions following/worshipping their role models goes, but it is an ambitious series with a quirky concept and a fun cast of horse girls. It’ll be fun to see how far this anime makes it as it heads towards the finish line.
 

April 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm
38 comments »
  • April 1, 2018 at 4:41 pmqwert

    I’ve watched a lot of weird anime in my time but this show pushes all sorts of buttons I can’t even entirely express.

    The names, how the whole racing thing leans WAAAAY more on the horse angle than on the track angle I was expecting, the idol thing…

    It’s not trying to be weird but when you add everything together it just feels so… weird.

    • April 1, 2018 at 7:09 pmLyfe

      That would be because the anime is based off a game for the Android & iOS that’s releasing this year in Japan. I would assume the anime is just a means to raise awareness for Cygames.

  • April 1, 2018 at 5:17 pmstarss

    I NEED TO WATCH THIS.

    It seems like PA Works is finally jumping the shark with these horse girls, but they done a lot of great anime I really enjoyed.

  • April 1, 2018 at 5:44 pmMcFate

    I think, idol and school-life parts aside, this is an introduction to real horse racing. Standard sports anime often discuss real strategy in play in the sport they focus on; this one does exactly that for horse racing.

    For example, it’s critical to handle pacing of the race properly — a topic touched on in episode 1. It’s quite common for a horse to set a blistering early pace, have the lead for much of the race, but get passed by most of the pack by the finish line as they run out of gas. I’ve been privy to discussions between trainers and jockeys about how to handle the pace, whether to try to lead early (some horses don’t like being back in the pack because having dirt kicked in their face bothers them overly much, for example).

    As far as horse racing part goes, they don’t create a sport out of thin air so much as copy one. Another example: some real horse races are graded in roughly the same way as shown.

  • April 1, 2018 at 6:10 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    2 legged horse-girls??? BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • April 1, 2018 at 8:01 pmAoihoshikage

      I, too, was expecting Monster Musume, but we got Kemono Friends instead :P

    • April 1, 2018 at 8:31 pmOne Pinch Man

      Well, what do you expect? Two-legged REAL horse?

      • April 2, 2018 at 1:57 ammidgard2024

        That my friend is a chocobo :)

      • April 2, 2018 at 5:56 amWorldwidedepp

        Well in Real Life what come near an Chocobo is an ostrich. even if the color do not match an such

      • April 2, 2018 at 5:56 amWorldwidedepp

        Because the Dodos are extinguished an long time ago

    • April 2, 2018 at 8:07 amac

      Another Furry anime after Strike Witches

  • April 1, 2018 at 6:34 pmWanderer

    This is surprisingly more fun than I expected. The races have good energy to them, and Special Week is a likeable protagonist. And while there are too many other girls to really keep track of, clearly someone has gone to some effort in matching up each horsegirl with the history of their namesake (for those who haven’t realized it, all of these girls are named for genuine racehorses).

    Take Haru Urara (the friendly pink-haired girl) for instance. She came in dead last in that trial race, yet wasn’t discouraged by it at all and seemed eager to try again in the future. That is basically what her namesake is known for: the real world Haru Urara has never won a single race, with a record of 113 losses and 0 wins. For a while she became something of a household name in Japan, representing the determination to never give up even in the face of defeat.

    • April 1, 2018 at 6:37 pmWanderer

      PS: I love the smash cut straight to Special Week’s debut race at the end of the episode. That was hilariously perfect.

    • April 2, 2018 at 7:20 amLonghaul

      For anyone who didn’t notice, the horse girls who race in shorts are based on male horses and the girls who race in bloomers are based on female horses.

      • April 2, 2018 at 8:10 amWorldwidedepp

        So then there is no “Adonis” (Look at him, he is so handsome and hot!) male “Racer” in this entire anime? As i said, feels strange

      • April 2, 2018 at 8:11 amWorldwidedepp

        even “Nier: Automata” has males in this dominate female world… Oh well

  • April 1, 2018 at 7:17 pmArin

    One of the few shows I can remember in recent times that left me with the feeling “What the hell did I just watch?”

  • April 1, 2018 at 7:55 pmstarss

    So um Crunchyroll for some reason has the first TWO episodes up.

  • April 1, 2018 at 7:59 pmAoihoshikage

    Somehow I got Kantai Collection (derby horses instead of battleships) vibes crossed with Keijo! competitiveness, and a sprinkling of Kemono Friends/Idolmaster/Love Live goodness. These types of mash ups aren’t necessarily a bad thing as I found the first two episodes quite entertaining and will likely keep up with the series. Hopefully with P.A. Works, Uma Musume will differentiate itself a bit more, but even if it doesn’t the quality and the competitiveness definitely seems like it will be a fun little series.

    Btw, anyone else know why the second episode is out already? I thought it was an April fools joke (so I expected to be trolled), but the second episode was actually legit.

    • April 2, 2018 at 6:42 amSeeStriker

      If anything, Pretty Derby does what KanColle utterly failed to do: make the viewers understand the setting without having to resort to inmerse yourself in the game, and make the MC lovable enough to cheer for her (something that Fubuki didn’t even tried to do, TBH)

      Maybe the only missed mark in PD is about El Condor Pasa. Named after a well known Peruvian song and she’s from the US? Shame on you, PA Works! Why not just made the UM version of the legandary Santorin?

      • April 2, 2018 at 9:32 amMagnus Tancred

        Maybe the only missed mark in PD is about El Condor Pasa. Named after a well known Peruvian song and she’s from the US?

        She’s named after an American-bred (Kentucky), Japanese-trained racehorse. I think all the girls here are named after real-world racehorses.

  • April 1, 2018 at 8:06 pmVan

    I have been eagerly anticipating Umamusume ever since learning that it was getting an anime. Never even played the mobile game, but have listened to a good chunk of the music from it already. My favorite song is “Umapyoi Densetsu”, which is performed by all the teams and can be quite the ear worm.

    I was surprised when El Condor Pasa was revealed to be of American origin. (Being from Eagleland myself, I now have this sudden urge to root for her over the female lead, like I did for Lynne Daves in Marchen Madchen.)

  • April 1, 2018 at 8:40 pmOne Pinch Man

    Idol and sport are a bit weird combination. But look at dem horses. They’re so pretty!

  • April 1, 2018 at 9:28 pmsouma

    http://randomc.net/image/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2030.jpg

    Lol i am imagining the horse-breeding and Lol’ed, mostly because as far as i know on breeding the race-horses sometimes the female need to be “teased” with a male but then the female mated to another male(the fast one),and with human body i can’t erase the feeling of this is considered as NTR hahaha

  • April 2, 2018 at 1:40 amArche

    Didn’t really like the first episode. Character interactions weren’t clicking and I would’ve said it felt like it was trying to put too many things together.

    Watched the second episode hours later with expectations in check and now I’m on board!

  • April 2, 2018 at 3:28 amWorldwidedepp

    Girls threaten like Race Horses? I have wired feelings.. and they are nasty

    • April 2, 2018 at 3:32 amWorldwidedepp

      oh and they need also to be Idols? Whats next? They also need to be the best Company CEO?

      This Soup is not my taste.. the ingredients are not my taste

      But, i wish them luck to find their corner inside their “Horse” fans

    • April 2, 2018 at 6:48 amWorldwidedepp

      I try to explain why

      I bet there are some race bets on them. So they also run for Money, i do not think that they just run for te fun… okay competition is also an good reason or tournement. But mostly for race bets..

      Also imagine Idolmaster where they need also to be top track & field stars.. for my gusto they mixed the wrong sport

      If they want to have Idol dancing ans singing, then they are more “Horses” for show, and dressage or obstacle curs will better fit in.. But racing? Imagine Strong legs as an Idol or other way around, thin legs for very fast runner…

      This is really more an anime to push (or hope) the manga sales.. or to sink money to save taxes…

      • April 2, 2018 at 6:51 amWorldwidedepp

        Dressage has the “elegance” vibes
        Obstacles is an mix of both
        Running is for thick strong legs

      • April 2, 2018 at 6:57 amWorldwidedepp

        Also Dressage is like Horse “dancing to the music”.. Well it is the rider, but lets overlook it here.. So really (and in my eyes) Dressage Horse would be the best combo with Idol “day of life”

        Perhaps in this School, there are different classes and some of them befriend the MC or vise versa

        i really can not mix Idol with running Horses.. because as i wrote.. Bets on the races reeks of money, and where there is money and Girls mixed.. Well.. Girls you can buy with money is not far away…

        Okay, enough of my thoughts

        this is really for “monster musume” fans an tiny fetish corner.. so i wish this anime really all Luck they could get

  • April 2, 2018 at 6:51 amonion warrior

    http://randomc.net/image/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2022.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2024.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2033.jpg
    Should i watch this? These girls here looked pretty serious with that ridiculous ‘uma’ thinggy; pretty character designs but i just cannot brain the horse concept XD I know its from P.A Works and im a consistent fan of them, but then again…WHY?

    side note: will there be some uma-boya? aint fair its just the girls get to be a horse lol

  • April 2, 2018 at 7:19 amqwert

    The girl in the middle of the last picture breaks one of the cardinal unspoken rules of kemonomimi for me, you DO NOT bring any more attention to the ear situation than necessary. You cover that shit up with enough hair that everyone thinks the animal ears are cute, no one thinks twice and everyone happily moves on.

    I took one look at those suction cups she has stuck to the sides of her head and my immediate thought was “Well that’s stupid how does she hea… OH GOD IT’S JUST SMOOTH SKIN UNDER THERE!”

  • April 2, 2018 at 8:25 amLonghaul

    When you realize the opening narration implies this series can have the isekai tag.

  • April 2, 2018 at 11:22 amKarry

    This is dumber than Keijo. Also there are all kinds of technical issues that pop up…do they use feedbags…do they need horseshoes…why are their knees pointing the wrong way…how deep are their vaginas…do they sleep standing up…how loudly do they fart…and of course, how much do they spend on dental care ???????

  • April 2, 2018 at 11:28 amMatroid

    The existence of this anime is yet another undeniable proof that Japanese are crazy!

  • April 2, 2018 at 6:49 pmPuffles

    Seems like another chewing gum series. Have to wait and see if the flavour holds out, or if it just gets all stringy and tasteless.

  • April 3, 2018 at 12:46 amCharkan

    Weak, another moe anime that will survive only on girls and not on history.

  • April 3, 2018 at 2:44 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    This should not have worked…this really should not have worked…yet for what we got…it does…only in Japan, I guess, lol.

    http://randomc.net/image/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby/Uma%20Musume%20Pretty%20Derby%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2005.jpg

    Aside from other anime mentioned, I also got a flashback to Kaleido Star with this “introduction” (though the perv vibes were far less prevalent in said anime).

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