New year, new sports anime.
But Prince of Stride: Alternative is different than most sports anime because its sport — called “stride” — is entirely fictional. It’s like high-tech parkour, which is why this new show is unofficially known as the “running anime.”
I’m now three episodes in, and I’m already thinking that could possibly be the next Free!, Haikyuu!!, or Kuroko no Basuke.
Here are my initial thoughts, and why I’m hooked. (spoiler free)
This anime is created by Madhouse, which brought us well-known shows such as Death Note, Claymore, Hunter x Hunter, Highschool of the Dead, and more recently, Parasyte, Death Parade, and One-Punch Man. This show is definitely in good hands, and it’ll be interesting to see their take on the sports anime genre.
The animation is definitely gorgeous in its own stylistic way. Colors are bright and energetic, and even the backgrounds are interesting and aesthetically pleasing. Their world seems present-day, but with slightly more refined technologies and attention around stride. It’s fun to watch!
And when there is a match — it’s intense.
Madhouse does a great job bringing the intensity of this completely made-up sport. It’s certain that more we grow attached to the characters, the more intense future matches will become. And it’s not just a mad relay — stunts, jumps, and flips also are interweaved into the race.
Speaking of which, I’m just three episodes in and I really enjoy the characters. They start becoming functioning team, and the humor is well-balanced. The sports anime that appeal to me most are ones that focus mostly on friendship and becoming a team, and POS has that covered.
One criticism, however, is that the character designs aren’t exactly original. But in the end it really doesn’t matter.
But we can agree that Takeru Fujiwara is Haru Nanase. There is no questioning that.
This anime just seems really well-rounded. I’m already seeing the posts and fandom grow on Tumblr, so I think we may have another phenomenon with this show. I even dig the CL song. As a Free! fanatic, having the VAs of Rin, Rei, and Makoto singing again is like a mini Style Five reunion.
In the end, I think most people will agree – once you start this anime, you’ll likely stick with it.
Prince of Stride: Alternative is streaming on Funimation on Tuesdays at 11 AM ET.
Additional Image Credit: FiFS/KADOKAWA
Are you watching Prince of Stride? Do you think this can be the “next big sports anime”? Comment or tweet me!
Hi I’m Mikey Dunn~! I live in New Jersey and work in New York City. Here, you’ll find posts about anime, college advice, tech, and opinions. I also vlog weekly on YouTube about my life.