Mar 22, 2016
karlstein12 (All reviews)
Prince of Stride: Alternative was one of the first new Winter show to be announced just as the new year arrived. It was also among the first ones to be aired in the season, much to the build-up that was added to it. With one of the masters in the industry working behind it, i.e. Studio Madhouse, Prince of Stride: Alternative was well worth the hype it had accumulated thus far, but as the season progressed, it quickly started to fade away. Why? Let's look into it in detail.

The show brings no creativity at all to begin with. It has been done countless time in sport anime's before. Famous high school club now in ruins and desperate for new members. Atleast try to be a little more creative. The game of Stride does bring a sense of freshness to the show. Basically its a sport where you run all the while competing with the another 'Strider' within your block. It consists of five different members running from start to finish as all the five team members play a part in the whole sequence and give a touch for the next teammate to continue running. One of the problems with the show is that twelve episodes were always not enough to begin with. There are have been countless other similar shows being successful solely based on the fact that they run for a longer time. Time was an important asset to them and they had plenty to utilize it with the execution. This is something Prince of Stride: Alternative lacked big time. On a side note, I cannot understand why there's a 'Alternative' in the title. I've come to light that the source material was a visual game and the show can be taken as a spin-off of that.

The characters on the show do it no good, with all honesty. All of them are like a basic stereotype with nothing to set them apart from any other generic characters. The MC is a light-hearted and silly guy with a dim-wit personality who just likes to run and is aiming to be on as many of the high school clubs as possible. There's the very cold looking teammate who acts as a direct rival for our MC and who doesn't talk much, and of course, does not get together early with our MC. Then there's the only girl in the show who's in fact the very first characters to be showcased and is another main character in focus in every sense who is inspired by the Stride club's achievements in the past and is aiming to be in the team as a manager. She eventually acts as a Relationer in the team who serves as a guide to the running teammates offering guidance with a speaker directly to the Striders. Then there's always a trap in the group along with a nerd who isn't interested being with the club to begin with. Two more senior characters are there in show, one's a cool, handsome looking guy who seems to be a senior worth relying on, and the other, literally having nothing worthy of praising, in my opinion. The manager however, was an interesting characteristic with his regular inspirational proverbs with a traditional discipline to them. Sad that he didn't get called a "King" when someone who only afterwards in the show arrived got to be called one.

The art totally makes the show cool, and the aesthetics are on the positive aspect of this show. The OP/ED sequences with the music, too, do justice for the show but no OST's or background musics or other character songs worthy to be talking about. But all in all they're on the better side of the show. The frequent use of English in the show, as for the club names and the outfits, really make them appealing to the western audience too.

Prince of Stride: Alternative also suffers from the problem of not being able to convey the story properly in my opinion. It could've have become a good show even with the distinguishable flaws it had, if it had put more effort in giving the concept of Stride a little more spotlight. The sport is cool by all means, but for me it fails to properly deliver some important stuff to the viewer. For example, the tournaments the Stride Races take part in are a little difficult to understand. They do time-trials at times but nothing on the opposing team is showcased (And trust me there are some) on how they got so far. This is where as I said the time limit plays a huge part in. Stride races also offers a lot of cool moves and spectacular jumps, if they had put on something like additional points for that, then I think the games would've become a lot more enjoyable.

Prince of Stride: Alternative was never a profound show to begin with, as is the case with most of the sport shows. But what make them great is the reality aspect and the execution for it, that's where Prince of Stride: Alternative won and lost 50-50 for me. With the pacing and time limit the show had been given, I could see the ending being like that from a mile away, still Prince of Stride: Alternative has the little charm that's the beauty of every sport show, even if it was a short anime with just twelve episodes.