Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 4 – Anime QandA Review (With Irina)

Episode 4 Collaboration Review with Irina (in bold).

So who’s the one asking the questions this time? I mean as much as I enjoyed our free-flowing conversation on episode 3 that was posted on your blog, this one is on my blog and this is Anime QandA… Fine I’ll ask questions. Man, Matt is cracking that whip.

But first I want to know what did you think of this episode, Irina? A lot more ‘SPORTS!’ than the previous three eps, in fact there was barely a mention of idol concerts or extra-curricular activities to distract from the pure thrill of horse girl racing not to mention the rigorous training! Yes much more sport-ish and unsurprisingly my favorite episode so far! More running and race theory, less everything else plz!

*insert dirty joke about larges boxes*

So tell me, what did YOU think of this more *sporty* approach? It’s more of what I was expecting when I heard about the show, true I didn’t have any expectations of the show going in, but this is at least what I thought it would be like more often. I’m happy with this!

“I’ll take a quiet life…”

Not missing the idol shows yet? Not even a little bit!

Oh c’mon – karaoke fun times??? What about dancing lessons? Well dancing lessons can help with racing, probably? If nothing else, they can help with attitude!

It’s harder than it looks!

Speaking of which, Spe bounced back pretty quick, would you have liked a bit more character development there? Well she still hasn’t won a race after being beaten last week so I don’t think she’s completely bounced back, but I agree it was pretty quick, I think it would have been fine if they’d waited another episode before she got back racing, but I was very happy with that mock 1 on 1 race she did, it had a good sense of energy and I liked that she learnt about slipstreaming without having to be taught it. It was honestly quite fun to watch (even though horseshoes on shoes annoys me). I hope we get more of those.

Gotta go fast!

Oh do you think tiara horsey will keep her tiara in races? (I bought a pretty convincing costume tiara a while back and I am just living for the day I find the courage to wear it to work. No comment – no explanation, just showing up in a tiara…) Who knows! It might lead to a promotion! Or being committed… The question was about the horse Matt, ONE of us has to stay focused!

Mind you, going a more traditionally sports rout will leave a lot less time for the cute bonding moments. Most sports anime deal with team sports so the bonding and competing happen at the same time but with racing, well all the other girls are stuck on the sidelines. I was under the impression that this was the aspect you were really enjoying most here? I’m not fussy, I’m just happy to be watching cute girls do cute things, I’m a man of simple pleasures…

She just don’t give a fuck!

They are really pushing grabby trainer into that mentor role, how do you feel about that? It’d be preferable if he was at least learning not to be ‘grabby’ as it went on, rather than just getting smacked and yelled at but continuing to do it but I get the feeling the writers of the show just use it for cheap comedic effect without realising how actually problematic it is for a person in a position of power to be groping on an underage athlete.

We met yet another super friendly and nice opponent! Not a question…just saying. Yeah yeah… I get it.

Accurate.

So how do you see the rivalry set up between Spe and El? It could’ve been set up better, like she’s super competitive which is at least better than the sleepy girl but hopefully it leads to some heated competition and maybe some dirty tactics on El’s side!… but I doubt it!

I’m actually seeing some decent growth potential here. For the first time Spe’s going to have to face the fact that they are all rivals and that cutsey country bumpkin persona is going to get challenged. Could be interesting, don’t you think? That’s true, hopefully we do get to see some of that because that’d be a nice change.

Are we just going to completely gloss over why this rando 5am jogger had a carrot in his pocket?!

You know, pretty boy shows (i.e. cute boys doing cute things) are for the most part (Free being a glaring exception) stupid comedies. They are written basically as B movie type parodies and the audience knows they are supposed to be laughing at the kitshiness of it all. It’s trying to purposefully recreate *intentionally* hilarious. It doesn’t always work but generally that’s what it is. Should I be approaching moe shows this way? Because they seem to take themselves much more seriously. Yes the subject matter and the way it’s presented is very light-hearted and comedic, but and I can’t speak for cute boy shows, but in my experience a lot of the characters in these cute girl show’s take what they’re doing incredibly seriously and believe in it with all their heart, even if the show itself by all outward appearances is silly and light. I feel like cute girls doing cute things anime are like ‘Sports!’ anime to you, these are girls giving it there all and having fun while doing it, whether they’re running a cafe ‘Is The Order A Rabbit?’, making a video game ‘New Game’ or any number of other hobby or club centric cute girl anime. The way you approach the show is almost as important as the show itself, but having said that I don’t think there is a best way to approach the show is, because while I take these shows as seriously as the characters in the show take it and score them accordingly, the irl waifu just sees them as fun, disposable light entertainment and if they have things like character development and emotional weight then it’s a bonus.

And if you don’t push yourself you could get bored.

New Game PTSD… Gonna go curl up in a fetal position under my desk now…. I guess I see what you mean. That’s unfortunate, I enjoy Derby a lot more when I think it’s being ridiculous on purpose. Then maybe that’s how you should take it, nobody can truly speak for the writer’s intentions maybe there intent was to make something ridiculous! Either way, I’m still really enjoying the show and hope it can keep it up and maybe, just maybe grow a little too!

And I’m still rooting for a very special Derby episode where we find out Spe’s gaining weight because of an unplanned pregnancy that could derail her racing career…Mama did say to watch out for them city boys…

We’ve all been there Spe-Chan…
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4 comments

  1. I think that you can watch a show like Pretty Derby with both ideas: That it’s a completely ridiculous premise and that they take it completely seriously in their world. To my mind, that’s actually what makes a show like Pretty Derby better, that it’s not making fun of itself or being ironic, it’s just funny being itself. Probably the best show in this vein is Keijo!!!!!!!! which leaned in so hard to the utterly ridiculous premise that it was totally great. It didn’t need to be ironic at all, it sold that this great sport was women trying to bump each other into a pool with their butts, and made you, at least while you’re watching it, think “This is a great sport!”

    I like that Pretty Derby glosses over and minimizes the “SPORTS!!!” aspect of it, because I personally find sports anime to be generally atrociously dull. I like that they’re mostly friends, and that El Condor Pasa is shooting for Special Week, and allowing Seiun Sky (who actually won the first race of the Triple Crown) to fight them both. I would like to have a little bit more about Suzuka’s worries, tho.

    Liked by 1 person

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