‘Stride’ is the ultimate extreme sport, and Honan Academy used to host one of the leading Stride clubs. After a bad accident that happened the year before, the Stride club is left in a pathetic state. That all changes when high school first years Nana Sakurai, Takeru Fujiwara and Riku Yagami join the team with their fresh determination and talent to take on the End of Summer tournament.
Right, let’s get into the review – please be warned that there are spoilers ahead.
Overall, I think that Prince of Stride (PoS) is an underrated series. Stride, which is a fictional sport created purely for this series, sounds awesome to me. A team consists of 5 relayers to race an obstacle course and 1 relationer to monitor the runners and advises when the relay sequences should begin… In this universe, Stride is a big deal that seems leads to big sponsors and weekend tournaments which seems extreme for a high school sport.
The parts that I found ‘lost me’ with PoS was how big a deal Stride was. The tournaments required closures of road and public areas – that seems like it would be something done for a massive fundraiser of big once-off annual events.
I probably would have found the series a lot more interesting if there were a few different elements added – if Stride was more of a taboo sport, where the streets were still full of people and they actually had to do more parkour to get through the people and avoid authorities. I also think it would have been cool if they leaned more into the parkour elements, and implemented a scoring system based on the stunts they could pull…otherwise, jumping over the hurdles when it’s not required or has any benefit seems…. pointless? Like a waste of time?
The artwork is gorgeous, but could we really expect anything less from Madhouse? Absolutely not. The visuals are what drew me into to watching this, and it’s definitely one of my favourite elements of the series. The colour choices are so striking, it think it was a strong point of difference and drew a lot of people in. It was very crisp, and fitting for Summer – I feel it was portrayed and the feel of summer definitely comes across. It’s refreshing.
Also, anime guys with long hair? *blushes* They are my weakness.
I also really appreciated the attention to detail – the compression tights, the sprinting shoes, each character’s distinct style on the uniform. Those kind of things make me happy. I also want one of those RunRuly jackets, they’re baller.
The music selection was perfect. I think the song selections were done extremely well, and did a great job setting the tone and energy for the series.
Overall, I found Prince of Stride quite enjoyable. It was light hearted fun, the drama elements were brief and not really heavy enough to dampen the overall anime. I think this series was great for the artwork, the music, the concept (although it could have been executed better) but if you’re watching for the drama elements or unique storyline, you will find it lacking.