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Prince of Stride: Alternative Essentials Anime Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

4 min read
Something new, something that did not get enough attention.

Something new, something that did not get enough attention.

What They Say:
From MADHOUSE, the studio behind Death Note and One-Punch Man, comes a fast-paced sports anime about Stride—competitive city-wide relay races. Nana and her classmate, Takeru, are desperate to resurrect their school’s Stride Club, but will they be able to get the prickly Riku, who insists he hates Stride, to join the team?

The Review:
The sound is clear and consistent throughout the entire two discs. The songs were catchy and enjoyable.

The colors are so crisp and bright in this animation. The bold colors come through so nicely in this Blu-ray version. The action sequences are well animated and there is little sense of blurry motions during these scenes. It was a pleasure visually to watch this series.

The packaging is basic with the blue transparent case. The front of the case features three of the main characters, the back has a summary with a summary and stills from the anime, and the back side of the printed insert has a nice image with many of the prominent characters from it. There are two discs and a code for a digital copy.

The menu features a still photo of the same three main protagonists that are featured on the case. There are only three options on the menu: play all, episodes (9 episodes on the first disc and the remainder plus extras on the second disc) and set up. The set up consists of only two language options.

The extras included in this edition are textless opening and closing song and trailers. This is a Blu-ray review, but a digital copy is included with a code to use.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Riku Yagami, Takeru Fujiwara, and Nana Sakurai are first years, but only Takeru and Nana are interested in stride. Riku, who is naturally athletic catches Takeru’s eye as a potential stride participate, but Takeru’s intense interest in his leg muscles scares of Riku. Nana who is very invested in making the stride club continuing and vows to find two more participants. With this Riku and Takeru get off to a very rocky strart, making their eventual work in the stride club difficult to get off the right foot, but time, patience and practice evolve into a working relationship on a competitive level.

This storyline is pretty typical with any sports or slice of life anime. It has all the elements of a club without enough members, that has a decorated past, but no longer is doing well for one reason or another. It has the standard characters in said anime. One nice bit is the main girl in the show isn’t there just for show. She also develops into a character that contributes directly to the team. The other schools, while rivals, have generally a good relationship with Honen, the main school.

However, unlike the usually sports anime out there, they keep the view intrigued how will a sport like parkour being translated into a competitive sport. This brings a whole new way to storyboard an animation. It truly lends to fun and exciting story to watch unfold.

In Summary:
I watched this series when it aired on Crunchyroll over three years ago. With the Crunchyroll and Funimation’s partnership dissolved, this anime only has a home with Funimation. I’m glad it was not forgotten about during this time, as it’s a gem of a show amongst many other sports-themed anime. It had everything to pull in a viewer, including gorgeous art and character designs, fast past competitions and a handful of gags and rivalry. It’s a pity this series did not catch on with a larger group of people. My guess is that most fans were still on the Haikyuu bandwagon, myself included, and perhaps gave their time to such a popular title instead. I believe a similar thing has happened more recently with the anime, Run with the Wind.

Though this series is aimed at a very specific demographic, it’s enjoyable for all. It also gives a great perspective on how Japan views parkour. Turning what is usually a non-competitive activity into race was a unique twist I didn’t expect and keeps the momentum going. Add a dash of friendship and past trauma and there’s the making for a very satisfying series.

Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 language, English subtitles, textless opening and closing song, and trailers.

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: C
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: C

Released By: Funimation
Release Date: February 19th, 2019
MSRP: $29.98
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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