Step Into Stride with 'Prince of Stride: Alternative'

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Prince of Stride: Alternative 

Studio: Madhouse
Producer: Media Factory
Genre: Sports
Episodes: 12
Episode Length: 24 minutes per episode

The series is about an extreme form of sport known as "Stride." It involves 6 players on a team that runs relay races in towns. The story takes place at Honan Academy where first year high school students Takeru Fujiwara and Nana Sakurai try to recruit members for their "Stride" club. They request Riku Yagami to join with the help of Takeru and Nana. Their goal is to compete and win the "End of Summer," a top competition hosted in Japan alongside other schools.


  • The art was fantastic. It was my favorite part of the show. With bright colors and more realistic looking characters, you could really see the story in HD. I can't watch animes with odd styles (it distracts me from the story and characters), so this was tailor made for me. I really loved the character design for Riku. On the other hand, Hozumi looked too much like Armin from 'Attack on Titan', and Takeru was practically Haru from 'Free!' If you're trying to prove the likeness to 'Free!', you've got it.
  • Kuga and Heath's story was intriguing. They had a lot of backstory. And I loved it. Their friendship and determination. The connection between the two. If anything, these two were 'connecting emotions', not anybody else. Throw in Hozumi's distrust and there's a hot pot of backstory.
  • I described 'Prince of Stride: Alternative' as parkour on crack. Though, it's more like free running. Free running follows a more artistic approach compared to parkour. Parkour's goal is to get around as fast as you can. That's why they have wall climbs and whatnots. It's easier than walking around the wall. This anime has all the basics of parkour or free running with double the running. It's an obstacle course really. The first episode really caught my attention with the jumps and flips the runners did. It was exhilarating. Live vicariously, you know?


  • Takeru, Nana, and Riku all knew each other. And all have connections to Stride. But act like they don't. When Nana and Riku meet in episode one, they acted like strangers, but they knew each other. I felt like the creators just threw in the promise at the end to make you feel more for the trio, but all it did was annoy me. It was a subplot that no one cared to expand on. The quick shots of fireworks on the beach meant nothing. If you're adding this in, at least give it some depth.
  • The plot revolves around the End of Summer games. If you look closely, there is a lot of time between each round. A few days would be fine, but a week or more is insane. You're giving the revived Honan Stride Club too much credit. If they were that good, they'd have practiced before. Anyways, didn't the show start at the beginning of the school year? They had more than enough time to get ready for the End of Summer games. They didn't need all the between EOS games training. I get the emotional block for Riku, but everyone else was in tip-top shape. Or did we skip the training between the beginning of the school year and EOS?
  • Nana kept saying that Stride is all about 'connecting feelings'. Can I just say that's a bunch of baloney? Stride is about stamina and skill and balance and timing and about everything but connecting feelings. I didn't know why they needed a Relationer anyways. They could have handed off batons or even just high fives each other. Why did they need the Relationer, and by default, Nana? I thought that the creators wanted a female (because all the runners are seemingly male) who didn't run because that would take away the need for Kuga or someone. So the Relationer job was born. Nana was highly useless and didn't even need to be in the anime for the show to go smoothly. If you're trying to add in a girl, do it successfully or not at all.
  • And if we're talking about useless characters, take a good, long look at Ayumu. The cheerleader. He started out as a runner, but he ended up being a cheerleader and Hozumi's bae. (And that's another parallel to Free! Gay characters. Or, at least, fanon gay characters.) He had no use. I was getting tired of seeing him. Just take him out. Geez, is that so hard?

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