He uma musume franchise He already showed that he had active legs in his first season alone, and his second season showed what true ambitions he was capable of realizing. It also became a huge commercial success, so more anime based on these galloping girls was a foregone conclusion. But instead of immediately getting to a third season of the TV series, Cygames instead, he has seen fit to divert us to auxiliary services IN A territory with way to the top here, a four-episode side story available to watch on your Youtube page (complete with English subtitles). It’s fair; the world of horse girls is wide, and even the second season of Uma Musume: nice derby it felt more like a derivative of its predecessor than a complete follow-up.
way to the top it also presents the opportunity for new entrants to make their mark on this inherently silly but strangely compelling concept of a franchise. Instead of season 1 and season 2 of the television anime, produced by public address works and KAI studyrespectively, Cygames saw fit to have this anime under his eponym Photos of Cygames study. In doing so, they introduced the IN Adirector of Cheng Zhi Liaopreviously known for working on a litany of doga kobo Projects A solid line-up of writers and animators joined her for the project, and the result is a horse of a different color that doesn’t just stand apart from previous iterations. uma musumebut it’s regularly impressive on its own terms.
uma musumeThe most distinctive element of ‘s, aside from the extravagantly dressed anthropomorphic designs of the horse girls themselves, is the exuberance of the races for which it puts those characters. Previous seasons of television anime have been devoted to communicating the sheer speed at which the characters moved in their competitions, lending that appreciable anime flourish to what was otherwise fundamentally strong sports storytelling. In the hands of this assembly Photos of Cygames crew, way to the top transforms those races into their most visceral iterations yet. Important elements of the terrain on which the races take place are not only highlighted, but also on display as the girls wade through rain and mud or kick up the grass. Their teeth grind and their eyes strain as they push themselves to those exciting limits of sporting spectacles. Naturally, there are only a handful of breeds in way to the topshort-term, but no two competitions are quite alike, each with a distinctive tone and atmosphere, particularly with regard to its relevance to a given central character.
Even when not moving at full speed, the ship of way to the top It remains its greatest feature. The direction makes skilful use of framing the characters during their spare time. Its placement in a given shot, whether it be a simple argument scene or a dramatic dream sequence, always feels carefully considered. It comes along with ever-changing decisions regarding how far away to render or the color grading of a given scene. It’s a sense of calculated stillness that complements the way the action loosens up during races, but even then, way to the top it never feels like you’re bogging down to save resources. Those simpler interactions are complemented by expressive movements of the ears of the horse girls or the joyous movement of their tails.
It’s a standout presentation effort in the service of a story that seems content to stick to uma musumeThe known strengths of . The second season of the series showed how effectively it could work by ramping up the sports drama. so while way to the top never reaching those levels of intensity (she just doesn’t have the time), she’s happy to continue extending sincerity to the stories of these cartoon girls with horses in cheesy outfits. It is a seriousness that is mandatory in some cases; This alternate-world animated version of the 1999 racing season focuses a third of her energies on Admire Vega, a character whose motivation lies in her tragically deceased twin sister. The likes of TM Opera O help highlight things by occupying the decidedly sillier end of the characterization spectrum, while Narita Top Road falls somewhere in the middle. Each main character has only a couple of extra followers compared to the herds of supporting characters that rolled out proper TV seasons, with the unique setup of the Triple Crown trio allowing the show to explore a wide range of moods and ideas throughout its meager four episodes.
Being able to directly compare these three leading horses allows way to the top delve into an aspect of sports narrative that has always promoted the franchise, acknowledging that while it’s canon that all girl-horses live to race, their personal reasons for doing so differ from horse to horse, of course. Looking specifically at WHO the athletes compete, with Narita Top Road doing so for the sake of her coach’s dreams and the inspiration of all her fans, while Admire Vega turns inward to feel like she is competing in loving memory of her sister. But then he also worries that he might be projecting his ambitions onto his sister’s memory, a self-fulfilling ambition for a win that TM Opera O also openly embraces.
The way the characters express these ambitions doesn’t necessarily intersect with each other, but their interactions make it possible to compare these motivations. It allows viewers to acclimate to enough emotional investment even as the story cheaply recreates actual elements of horse histories and racing records. Writing about the alternate victories that characterized this racing season knows how to focus on the characters in the run-up to their most distinctive derby moments.
All is well in the spirit of uma musume, feeling a little more substantial than the first season of the show, while not quite reaching the emotional intensity of the second. There’s also the point that the small cast and episode count result in the series having neither the space nor the means to interact with most of the franchiseGoofy humor is usually expected. There is still much of the inherent silliness of the uma musume world, no doubt; this is a series that begins with a slow, dramatic pan to an equine version of the Statue of Liberty who, after all, is proudly holding up a carrot instead of a torch. Some characters like Oguri Cap show up to do their contractually obligated part (although oddly there’s no sign of fan-favorite fun colt Gold Ship), and the TM Opera O performances stand alone in the goofiness quotient. But it’s all relatively subdued compared to how gloriously silly the uma musume TV shows could get. It is not necessarily negative way to the topterms of but it is worth noting depending on what material returns to this franchise for.
Nonetheless, way to the top worth a watch. It can almost be sold on its technical elements alone. And it’s backed by a story that works well, especially if you’ve already bought the wacky skins that boost uma musume. For anyone else, this bizarre set up for the series could be just as hard a sell as it was from the start. Though with its sample dish length, plus not being limited to a subscription streaming service, one could argue that the price is right. Compared to its longer and denser predecessors, way to the top could be seen as a horse anyone can bet on with more confidence.
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