Cat Girls are a thing of the past with the release of Uma Musume Pretty Derby! What we got from this are Horse Girl Idols who race each other like real horses would! Now of course, the real question, is it entertaining to watch these horse girls race?
Let’s Talk about that…
Special Week is a young horse girl with the dream to become the best horse girl in Japan. To achieve this dream, she is sent off to attend a horse girl academy where she trains to become the best of the best. While making progress towards achieving her dream, she meets other horse girls, some rivals, and some friends as well.
So overall, it’s a pretty basic story. A young girl has a big dream she wants to meet, basic stuff. To my surprise and hopefully yours as well, there’s a lot more to it! All the horse girls are based on real-life horses. So Special Week is a real horse, Silence Suzuka is a real horse, and so on and so on. I decided to look this up midway watching the series, and I read up on the horses’ stories and histories and they matched up almost perfectly with the anime. So definitely props there to Cygames (producers of Uma Musume Pretty Derby) for making the anime unique and interesting in that way. A heads up though, I don’t recommend looking into the horse’s history unless you want spoilers. There is only one real major event that takes place that is spoiled by looking at the horses bio’s, but I still wouldn’t recommend reading too into them.
Last thing I’d like to mention is that Cygames is going to be releasing a game of Uma Musume Pretty Derby later this year. Release date is 2018… I didn’t look into the game much since I’m not that interested. Though I do know that the “Trainer” of Team Spica in the anime is suppose to represent the player of the game (thus why he has no real name). When the game finally releases, I may try it out… we’ll just have to see though.
There’s a lot of different characters in the anime, so I’m just going to focus on the main few. To make up for not going in-depth on every character, I do want to mention that EVERY horse girl is unique looking and has their own special look. No horse girls look the same or act the same, everyone is unique which is very well done.
“She was a simple country girl that lived in Hokkaido with her adoptive mother. But then moved to Tokyo alone and matriculated to Tracen Academy. Although her clumsiness is an obstacle to her confidence, she received an instant liking from the audiences after winning two races in a row. Under Trainer’s guidance and training, she is taking steps closer to her goal to become Japan’s best horse girl.” http://umamusume.wikia.com/wiki/Special_Week
“Formerly a member of Team Rigil, she enrolled to Team Spica for a better surrounding that understands her way of running. She is a talented horse girl that hopes to give inspiration to fellow horse girls. Famous for her speed, she is one of the crowd’s favorites.” http://umamusume.wikia.com/wiki/Silence_Suzuka
“Although he is an anime-only character, he plays an important role in the training of Team Spica. He is supposed to represent the player in the mobile game.” http://umamusume.wikia.com/wiki/Trainer
Art, Animation, and Sound
The art and animation of Uma Musume Pretty Derby aren’t very special nor does it stand out in anyway. They do an excellent job on character design which does deserve props, but other than that, it’s what you’d expect from your average anime. It’s definitely good looking, just doesn’t do anything in particular to stand out.
The overall sound is well done. Nothing is out of place and the background music mixes well with the rest of the show. The voice acting is also overall good, and yet again each horse does have a distinct voice that’s fitting to their character.
The opening and closing theme song aren’t particularly memorable. They aren’t bad, but they just aren’t anything special. I’ll link the opening theme in case you wanna give it a listen, but it’s definitely not good enough to make me wanna sit through the entire OP.
Did I enjoy Uma Musume Pretty Derby? Yes, yes I did. It was most definitely entertaining. The races were done well which is rather surprising. There was good emotion behind each race, especially the race in episode twelve. The plot was rather generic which Special Week just wanting to be the best in Japan, but it was entertaining enough and did the job to keep me interested.
Now there were faults in the anime, it was far from perfect. For instance, the CG at times was poorly done and made intense moments more comical. Besides that, everything was just so average… OH! A huge factor that I disliked about this anime is the lack of the horse girls being idols. They brought up them being idols and used it for one episode then dropped it for the rest of the series. I wanted to see more horse girl idol concerts! If they were more focused on the idol aspect and the horse girls desire to strive to become better horse girl idols, then it would have been extremely impactful! The main characters could have had performances that truly would catch your feels and make you love them even more… but I digress.
So overall, Uma Musume Pretty Derby is a good watch. If you want a more casual watch with cute horse girls, then Uma Musume Pretty Derby is for you. It’s a welcome addition to this season which if I do say so myself has been wrapping up to be extremely good.
Uma Musume Pretty Derby
Cute horse girl idols racing to be the best of the best… very generic concept and story. Just average.