The series Prince of Stride: Alternative revolves around the extreme sport “Stride”, a sport where a team of 5 plus a relationer runs relay races in towns. The story takes place at Hōnan Academy where first year high school students Takeru Fujiwara and Nana Sakurai try to re-establish the school’s “Stride” team by recruiting 6 members. Their goal is to join other schools to compete and win Eastern Japan’s top Stride competition, the “End of Summer”. Takeru asked Nana to become a relationer as well as a manager.
Prince of Stride: Alternative was re-released in the Funimation Anime Essentials line. Along with the classics line, these are equivalent of Funimation’s previous S.A.V.E. line of products. The tag line is Collect More, Spend Less. With the essentials line of anime, you can pickup these titles at a reduced price on Blu-ray and Digital. So if you didn’t pick it up before, you should now. You can pickup the complete series of Prince of Stride over at Funimation.com.
Here we are talking about another sports anime. I seem to been on a run of them lately and I am finding myself enjoying them more then I thought I would. Prince Of Stride is based on an otome game developed by Kadokawa Games and Vridge for the PlayStation Vita. The extreme sport of ‘stride’ is similar to the real world sport of Parkour. The team of first and second year students come together to reform the team and win the End Of Summer tournament.
The characters are likable, if not predictable in the sense that you have one of every personalty type in the group: stoic, goof ball, serious, emotional and brainy. The english voice cast line up for the series is a whose who of big names from J. Michael Tatum, Micah Solusod, Josh Grelle and Bryce Papenbrook just to name a few. The racing sequences are great to watch and the animation is well done.
My biggest disappointment was the backstory/motivation for the characters. They lacked anything compelling to push them to do this. The reveal of a fight with other team members back in the day was not enough. The series took way too long to get to the 2 big reveals that proved to be the true motivation for them. One is that Nana’s father was the king of stride, being the founder, and head of the team they would face at EOS. That makes her the princess of stride.
The second reveal was that Nana, Riku and Takeru were childhood friends who made a promise to run stride and win EOS. But apparently Nana and Riku forgot and nobody remembered they even knew each other? It just came off as weird and a bit half baked. It would have played much better earlier in the series.
Overall we would give the series a 3.5/5. The competition parts are fun and keep you on edge. Watching all the parkour they do is different and interesting. Their interactions with other teams and the team building part of the story are well laid out. The backstory and motivation parts came a little late which may have resulted in many people tuning out before the end.