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Uma Musume Pretty Derby – 05 »« Uma Musume Pretty Derby – 03

Uma Musume Pretty Derby – 04

「特訓ですっ!」 (Tokkun Desu!)
“Special Training”

This was a relatively optimistic episode for Special Week, whose defeat against Seiun Sky only motivated her to try and take her training more seriously as she aims to lose weight and gain endurance. She was quite diligent with maintaining self-control over her eating habits that caused her to bloat up, but a bulk of her training came from the push that her fellow teammates placed on her as she faced Vodka’s rigorous work-out regimen, Toukai Teiou’s posture training, and Gold Ship’s enjoyment of seeing her free-falling off of a diving board.

Special Week’s big break this week comes from another defeat, although the close margin of her loss is enough to gather attention. Her solo race against Taiki Shuttle was prolific in that she was able to hold her own against Taiki with the techniques she had learned over time to slowly go neck-and-neck with her. It’s a testament to Uma Musume that in the process of showing us this race, it goes into in-depth explanation of the methods that a horse of Special Week’s stature would have to gallop and charge forward to conquer an incline as well as pick up speed. Even though she lost by a small amount, her effort attracted the attention of El Condor Pasa, and encouraged her to see her as a formidable rival.

It was quite a fun episode and luckily didn’t take itself too seriously after Seiun Sky beat Special Week. The training and racing segments were a lot of fun to watch, but it was also cool to see more of the side characters and how they tick. Team Spica’s plan for Special Week was funny with how aggressive Vodka wanted to work her and how Gold Ship kept daring her to jump into the pool. Haru Urara was a great addition to the cast with how cheery she was about her souvenirs, and Hishi Amazon was very funny with how she dropped the ball with waving the flag for the finish line. I’m wondering what foot in the door that Taiki Shuttle’s match and El Condor Pasa’s shoutout will have on the attention Special Week gets, but for now, Uma Musume continues to be a cute and engaging look into horse racing.

April 15, 2018 at 3:32 pm
9 comments »
  • April 15, 2018 at 8:38 pmAnonymous

    To be honest, I still haven’t had a chance to look into this, but seeing how positive you guys talk about this show makes me intrigued. People seem to rip on these strange anime shows, but sometimes, it seems that they can be hidden jems in the season, just like how Tsuki ga Kirei or A Place Farther than the Universe is. Specifically the latter, the premise was kind of unbelievable at first, but it turned out to be very good.

    • April 16, 2018 at 12:15 pmChoya

      The concept itself is strange as a phone game adaptation about idol horse girls and it still has the inner trappings of the girls being horses, but when you spend time with it, it all starts to feel more normal than it looks. Where the show takes itself seriously enough that it it makes the horse girl racing feel less like a gimmick and more like an earnest sports anime.

      It reminds me of a less ridiculous Keijo, where fighting with breasts and butts on floating platforms sounds like an excuse for fanservice, but the show creates a legitimate sport out of it and takes it seriously enough that it has more depth to it than just being fanservice.

      It’s refreshing to see that the premise for Uma Musume is merely a hook, but isn’t the extent of it to the point that it would have no substance but seeing girls running in a circle and singing. Special Week’s road to success along with her classmates and teammates is far more interesting than it would lead you to believe.

  • April 15, 2018 at 10:17 pmLonghaul

    They are really beating around the bush with Silence Suzuka’s future.

    • April 17, 2018 at 7:16 amMagnus Tancred

      More like horsing around. LOL

      I think she prefers being an idol. She doesn’t seem to enjoy racing as much, but knows she needs to win in order to perform on stage.

      • April 17, 2018 at 9:01 pmLonghaul

        To be specific I was referring to Trainer-san telling her what races she has coming up and the melancholy of the scene.
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 15, 2018 at 11:25 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Gold Ship just keeps stealing every scene she’s in, lol.

  • April 16, 2018 at 1:02 amSig

    Rather than Silence Suzuka, more like, Sweet Suzuka. Grass Wonder is also very sweet, and the white marking on her head is cute, although her injury seems to limit her role in the show.

    I’m so happy to learn that despite losing every race, the actual Haru Urara somehow gained popularity, and wasn’t turned into horse sashimi.

    Gold Ship is weird horse, but pretty awesome.

    I don’t care about horse racing or mobile games, but this show is an easy watch.

  • April 16, 2018 at 5:12 pmstarss

    When Special (… do– do we call them all by their full names all the time?? I don’t know how to handle all these race names when applied to human-esque characters) felt that surge of motivation when about to pass Shuttle, I felt a similar odd chill through my spine. I suddenly eased toward the screen more with intent. I realized something I would never thought I would say toward a show like this.

    …. this show, or at least this episode, is GOOD.

    The stakes may be low to the viewer, but to the girls these struggles are basically what their existence is depending on. If they don’t become successful horse girls and idols, what ARE they?? It really makes me wonder what happens to those poor horse girls who AREN’T making it, and it depresses me to just think about them like homeless bums. Special may have lost a second time, but that means the challenge continues, and it will only make her later successes all the sweeter!

  • April 22, 2018 at 1:12 pmWorldwidedepp

    I saw today episode 5 and i think my first impression was wrong. But in the entire episode there was no Idol singing or such. Well lets see