In a world very much like our own, great race horses of the past have a chance to be reborn as "horse girls"—girls with the ears and tails of horses as well as their speed and endurance. The best of these horse girls go to train at Tokyo's Tracen Academy, hopefully moving on to fame and fortune as both racers and idols.
Special Week, a high school horse girl from the countryside, has just transferred to Tracen, and she's determined to fulfill her promise to her mother to become the best horse girl in Japan. On her way to school, she takes a pit stop at the race track and instantly falls in love with Silence Suzuka's style, becoming determined to race on the same team as her.
I see no one has done a review, and I've never actually done one, but I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know what you're getting into if you are looking at the cover art and title and wondering...
Horse Girls: Obviously, from the cover art and title.
Fan Service: Not really. Through 4 episodes this show has taken the high road and chosen to avoid too many opportunities to pander to that demographic. So for those hoping to see Horse Girls in often compromising situations, I feel this show will disappoint you. Episode 1 is your one fleeting glimpse of anything approaching it.
Unfortunately, and it feels tacked on, as an afterthought. Fortunately they don't focus too much on it, but I wish they would have used the time they do devote to it to develop the characters or plot further instead. Without the Idol bit, I feel this show could have pushed into an 8 by seasons end.
Comedy: I am enjoying how they are treating horse girls as a concept. It's made for some mildly humorous events between certain characters and situations. There is more comedy hidden in the antics of certain horse girls, but only those who recognize who they are (see below) will probably get it. They even managed to make the Idol portion of the show somewhat humorous. None of which I think will make you laugh in any audible sense, but you might smile or get a little warm feeling in that part of your brain that tells you something was funny in a cute way.
Drama: Maaaaaybe we might see some later. See below. For now the show seems pretty laid back and campy.
Sports: This seems to be the bread and butter of the show, so if you like sports anime you'll probably find plenty to like in this show. So far the races have been entertaining to me, and realizing their historical significance has increased my enjoyment of them and the plot as a whole. The girls seem to be friendly rivals, but there seems to be more of a competitive rivalry developing where the horse trainers are concerned.
Speaking of historical significance, all the girls in the show are named after real horses. If you don't want to spoil yourself, then don't bother looking them up, but if you're like me (who isn't too bothered by spoilers) and wanted to know if they were real names and more about them, you might wind up getting more enjoyment out of the show by educating yourself about the horses and their racing heritage, and that enjoyment includes some of the antics some of the girls have displayed so far.
So that's it in a nutshell. I've been enjoying the show. The girls are cute (cute character designs in general), the story is interesting to me. The art and sound seems good to me, but in fairness I'm not the kind of guy who runs around critiquing things that closely. So far this has been a pretty good Cute Girls style show that happens to be more of a sports anime...that happens to have Idols. I'm giving it a high 6, so we'll round it up to 7/10.
Uma Musume: Pretty Derby, in a nutshell, is the season's CDGCT Sports-esque focus.
Based on the mobile game from Cygames (that's NOT even out yet), this anime adaptation seems to me like it's more of the overall PV before the game actually releases sometime later this year (probably after the show ends).
So, with the earliest of earliest reviews of Spring 2018, let's get this going.
With Uma Musume, expect cute girls of names (of which there ARE A TON of them, based off famous racehorse names which I'm not gonna divulge here), and with the stylized overview of that, don't expect Monster Musume levels of fanservice. That's
not to say that this show is bad...it's on the unfortunate (but tried-and-true) formula of the girl protagonist who claims the Pokémon proving motto "I want to be the very best, like no one ever was", hangs out with the underdog team and progresses horse-steadily from there, and (by season's end) be the ultimate victor (who knows?), and throws in some (unnecessary) idol celebration as the winning victor of each race. That has always been the gripe of many people coming to expect something more than just the preceding trope traits from game adaptations, and Uma Musume is no exception.
The characters (as stated) are a handful, but if it were myself, I would condense it this way: Team Spica the underdog team vs. Team Rigil the strongest of the strongest (and no, you're not reading it wrong, the characters are categorized this way). With most CDGCT shows, every girl has their unique traits and accomplishments that make them who they are, and it follows on-point here.
The art by P.A. Works is the usual standard fanfare favourite, that's probably the only trait that stuck out for me, because they have consistently beautiful artwork that may not compare to other standouts like KyoAni, but it's worth the watch just for the art and animation alone. Sound-wise (yeah, yeah, I know), it's good for all the directions it took and it does well in its own regard.
In the end, Uma Musume: Pretty Derby is a game in its own right, but I just don't have any feel for it. Yes, it may look good and all, but the enjoyment factor can be best said as: Rely on character development, and that's all you need. For now it's on the watchlist, and see how it proves towards the end.
Uma Musume, a story of a Horse-girl who wants to become the best Horse Girl in Japan. At first glance at Uma Musume, I don't really think it'll appeal that much, I was like "It's all about just competitions right? Will this be another cliche one?", Fortunately I was wrong, the first episode did a great job introducing new characters and it's goal. You might think that this competition anime will just be a cliche but you're quite wrong, Uma Musume is trying it's best to be as unique as it can, If you want racing and girls all around your screen with proper plot,
I recommend Uma Musume.