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Uma Musume Pretty Derby – 09

「スピカの夢」 (Spica no Yume)
“Dreams of Spica”

The direction that the Trainer’s development goes through has been impressive as his character’s trajectory has shifted away from the laid-back demeanor that got Team Spica too enveloped in their comfort zone. It was bound to happen sooner or later since the girls couldn’t just continue coasting off of the casual “anything goes” training regimen with the amount of losses they’ve racked up lately, but it’s a pleasant surprise to see the Trainer take his role far more seriously now that the stakes have been raised with Silence Suzuka’s injury. Since then, he’s dealt with having her injury weigh down on him as a failure to ensure Suzuka had better control of her strength, and needing to rein in Special Week after she lost matches with her head in the clouds and her focus being entirely on Suzuka instead of her opponents. Spe-chan and Suzuka needed to hear the Trainer tell them directly to form a clear-cut rivalry and challenge the girls to face each other in a friendly competition as it helps to condition them to take their own abilities into account when aiming for their self-improvement. Most of Team Spica has been comfortable on the sidelines, but to truly enhance their own efforts and match the caliber of talent that Spica’s most skilled runners, they needed to challenge one another and build a more solid rivalry to push each other to excel at their abilities that made them want to be athletes in the first place.

This episode was also what marked a larger shift in Spe-chan’s attitude as she hadn’t quite gotten the hang of the Trainer’s advice at the end of the last ep until now. While she had food for thought when he told her to rethink why she wanted to be the best runner this whole time, she had still gave an excessive amount of her attention to Suzuka now that she’s well enough to start running again. For a majority of this episode, she was lethargic, distracted, and overly concerned about Suzuka’s well-being despite knowing that she needed to prioritize her own strengths before living underneath her best friend’s shadow. As soon as the Trainer chewed her out for trying to help Suzuka instead of race past her, it set something off in both Spe-chan and Suzuka. For Spe-chan, her greatest enemy has been her compassion and idolization for her friends clouding her trust in her own abilities, and placing others before herself, but the Trainer had brought everything back into perspective, where for Suzuka to get the motivation to be in full shape, Spe-chan needed to race past her and position herself as her rival. That way, rather than setting the both of them back, Spe-chan utilizing her strengths to their fullest would give those around her incentive to feel proud to race against her and act as a sign of respect towards herself and her competitors.

For Suzuka, being told to get back up and push against the fear that holds her back was also something she needed to hear. It was definitely understandable to see why Suzuka had felt the complete opposite of how she did before with the fear of another injury setting her back from wanting to get back to racing. While the Trainer has been supportive and understanding of her concerns and anxieties, he also told her to pick herself back up as a way to encourage her to alleviate the fear that comes with pushing past everybody as quickly as she used to. It is difficult to work against anxiety, but the Trainer’s intuition was correct in that it gave Suzuka a reason to push herself by making Spe-chan redirect her attention towards racing past her.

And with El Condor Pasa’s defeat against Broye at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in a match mimicking the results of the 1999 race, it raised the bar even higher up for Spe-chan or Suzuka to reach the distance that Pasa was able to after her victory in Tennoushou. Spe-chan, in particular, was given further incentive to work hard after getting a heartbroken call from Pasa, who took defeat with stride up until she had to face the fact that she had worked this hard to go international only for her chance to move forward to be taken away at an instant. What it means for Spica’s chances to reach Pasa’s level is still up in the air, but for now, it’ll be interesting to see if they are able to match her, or if Suzuka will be able to go against her real life counterpart’s fate by taking part in more races in the near future.

May 21, 2018 at 12:31 pm
18 comments »
  • May 21, 2018 at 3:43 pmLin

    What it means for Spica’s chances to reach Pasa’s level is still up in the air

    El Condor was good but Suzuka bested her easily. And also when Spe and El Condor raced each other they ended up in a draw. In other words, this isn’t about reaching El Condor’s “level.” They already did so a long time ago, specially Suzuka. But El Condor’s loss in this race will provide determination for both Spe and Suzuka to work harder than ever. That’s what this is about, I think.

    • May 22, 2018 at 5:58 pmChoya

      I meant more along the lines of Spe-chan and an injured Silence Suzuka reaching the international circuit. The two are definitely within the same talents as Pasa, but finding that window of opportunity to win their next chance to break out into international races is still a mystery for now. And then there’s getting the remainder of Spica on their level as well where Meijiro, Vodka, and Gold Ship still need their chances to compete in more prolific races.

  • May 21, 2018 at 4:42 pmstarss

    Woah. Someone broke El Condor! The ever-cheerful and upbeat El Condor couldn’t hold back her tears! Somehow not seeing her face on the cel phone made it hurt even more. :( Excellent performance from her seiyu!

  • May 21, 2018 at 5:17 pmVoyager

    I didn’t think I would like to watch this show. I just gave it a chance out of curiosity, with zero hopes of finding any redeeming quality beyond cute nekomimi girls … aaaand I was wrong. It’s good.

    To anyone wandering if this is worth following, yes it is, I mean, don’t expect anime of the season, but when even the Trainer is a well written character with actual developing, well, at least it deserves a try.

    Have a nice time with your favorite shows, see you around :)

  • May 21, 2018 at 8:13 pmWorldwidedepp

    I knew it, these Big Galaxy Mobil’s are made for the Horse Girls

  • May 21, 2018 at 8:50 pmVaans

    When I see Suzuka finally smiling and laughing, I can’t help but smile.

    She’s so precious.

  • May 22, 2018 at 1:53 amMagnus Tancred

    I like that PA Works chooses to forego cheap fanservice. No bloomers, pantyshots, cleavage shots, risque swimwear, etc.

    Masterfully done episode. Good mix of humor, drama, and motivation(!)

    • May 22, 2018 at 6:10 pmChoya

      PA Works did a great job with having restraint with Uma Musume. There have been several opportunities for them to go for a cheap fanservicey approach, but aside from the Trainer’s leg-grabbing tendencies, it’s been pleasant to see how their approach is far more subtle and we’re able to get beach scenes without them being fanservice-heavy or give the show too much of an ecchi edge to it

      • May 22, 2018 at 9:01 pmstarss

        Yeah they knew what to include from the 2-year-old trailer and what not to. … I mean… remember that these girls are also supposed to train and perform as idol singers? When was the last time the show brought THAT up again?? Episode 2? It’s even funnier that they are kind of aware it’s a tad unnecessary as Coach even forgot to train Spe-chan for that!

  • May 22, 2018 at 3:44 amZoneflare

    How in the world are they gonna beat that horse girl? After all that running she wasn’t even fazed or out of breath. To her running that race took as much effort as it would be to walk from one room to another.

    • May 22, 2018 at 9:35 amLin

      If she’s supposed to be the horsegirl representation of Montjeu, the horse that beat El Condor in that race in real life, then she’s not that big a deal.

    • May 22, 2018 at 7:42 pmMagnus Tancred

      When in doubt, send Silence Suzuka. :D

  • May 22, 2018 at 10:14 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:49 amWorldwidedepp

      Now she can ride an “Ninja” Motorbike with this Helm :) and become even faster

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:51 amWorldwidedepp

      Ah yes. i forgot the main reason for my reply…

      - the cheap version of this Horse Phones are what we use in our Mobil’s.. these earplugs, but of course made of Horse girls. Normal Human Phone have an extra plug for Horse girls earplugs. Its the cheaper Home version

  • May 22, 2018 at 8:59 pmewok40k

  • May 27, 2018 at 11:31 amWorldwidedepp

    Ep 10:

    - an good one again.

    But the anime should be careful, these Girls are Race Girls not “Trucks”. I mean Trucks have many horsepower and are build to move weights and are not famed for speed

    i hope you get the Gist. An Bodybuilder is not automatically an fast racer, so what make an racer go fast? Sure, Stamina to run all the way and beyond, but what else?

    I think a part of the answer was covered in this Episode