First Look: Prince of Stride Alternative

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Director: Ishizuka Atsuko
Writer: Kishimoto Taku
Music: Fujisawa Yoshiaki
Studio: MADHOUSE
Genre: Sports
Simulcast: Animax UK, AnimeLab, Daisuki, FUNimation

Prince of Stride: Alternative, an anime adaptation of the Prince of Stride Otome game by Kadokawa Games, is brought to you by studio MADHOUSE. With Ishizuka Atsuko, director of Hanayamata, No Game No Life, and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, and Kishimoto Taku, series composer of ERASED from this same season, both seasons of Haikyu!! as well as both seasons of Silver Spoon, the final product is an effective one.

Screenshot 1Stride is a sport, a breath-taking one with spectacles of high speed runs through the complex layouts of the city or town and snappy Relations where runners tag their teammates to take over and continue the race, signalled by the attentive Relationers through wireless devices, all to win the fastest time.

However among Honan High School first year students, experienced Stride runner Takeru Fujiwara and Stride enthusiast Nana Sakurai stumbled upon the Stride/Shogi Club (an arrangement made to prevent the two clubs being abolished) and quickly tried to find Riku Yagami, a happy go lucky person who tries to go for as many sports as he can. With an arrangement of having a run between Stride/Shogi Club members and first years, the stage is set for the revival of the Stride Club. Hozumi Kohinata and Heath Hasekura ran for the Stride Club with Ayumu Kadowaki as Relationer while Riku and Takeru ran under Nana as theirs. Ending in a wholly satisfying tie, the three first years join the Stride Club and move on to officially compete with other schools.

Episode 2 and 3 follow up nice and well to make this solid sports series. Characters are colourful and varied, though Nana herself doesn’t stand out as much as the two seemingly leads of the series Riku and Takeru (as she is the main character of the Otome game source material). However, she is slowly coming along to making improvements of her performance as a Relationer, a crucial position in Stride. Of course, she isn’t the only one and the rest of the club work on their strengths; standard sports anime fare but solidly done nevertheless.

Screenshot 5Episodes 1 to 3 can be legally streamed over at AnimeLab (AU/NZ), FUNimation (US) and at Animax UK, Daisuki in the UK. Come and give it a look see if you want a solid sports series.

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