Genre(s): Sports, Slice-of-Life, Idol
Aired: Apr 2018 – June 2018
Also known as: ウマ娘 プリティーダービー
Summary: In a world where high school horse girls compete against one another in races and then perform in idol concerts, the protagonist, Special Week, hails from the countryside and is determined to become the number one horse girl in Japan.
Review: Uma Musume has received a lot of undeserved flak during its run. But at its core, the series is a straightforward show about friendship, rivalries, and screaming athletes. So you know, just another sport show except it just happens to revolve around horse racing and the horses have been deliberately reborn as cute anime girls.
Horse racing has cultivated a negative image for quite some time by now since its associated betting location is popular among middle-aged bums and deadbeats. Yet Uma Musume manages to turn horse racing into something exciting and emotional to watch. Cute anime girls tend to have that sort of effect for some viewers.
Now there are people who claim that the series isn’t anything deep and I would tentatively agree. However, Uma Musume isn’t just about horse girls racing and singing. The series actually follows the real-life races rather faithfully with the exception of one particular horse girl not dying as a result of a tragic injury. This is where the series somewhat dips into alternative history, but I have no qualms with a girl surviving instead of dying. Anime is better, or at least lighter, than real life in that regard.
Uma Musume also pays homage to the relationships between different horses as well as showcasing attention to detail. The real-life Special Week and Silence Suzuka, for example, had different coloured hooves so that’s why they wear different coloured shoes during races. And then there’s the carrots as meals, the horseshoes as support for their shoes, the old-fashioned telephones to accommodate the placement of their ears, and so on.
I have also heard individuals complain about how the series has too many genres with horse girls running races as athletes as wellas singing songs as idols.
Now you listen here and you listen good. That’s about the flimsy excuse I’ve heard for someone to bow out of watching a series. Deciding everything through genres is silly. There are tons of entertaining shows with an excess of genre labels slapped on. People who hate CGDCT shows might find one that actually clicks with them, too. What I’m trying to say is you shouldn’t get so hung up on genre and shouldn’t make excuses. It’s fine if you don’t want to watch this show. I personally think you’ll be missing out but I’m overly attached to this polished, shiny sports show. But don’t hide behind weak pretenses, please.
That’s right, I really got into this show! There are several episodes that made me tear up! Be that as it may, I recognize that Uma Musume is not the best show. The fact that Trainer doesn’t really do any sort of coaching and comes across as a creep is very off-putting and probably the biggest reason why I hesitate to recommend this series. But I sure did had a lot of fun watching Uma Musume. Personally, Gold Ship is my favourite girl by far. If you watched this series, then I’d love to hear your personal favourite characters!
I’m in love with the OP, “Make Debut” and I have listened to it for hours on end. The ED is also quite catchy. Ah, and the song that originally played in the 2017 trailer reappears during…well, I’m not going to spoil things for you! Just watch Uma Musume!
We only get subtext when it comes to yuri, but sometimes that’s all we need. Anyone who tells you the presence of a named male character ruins the show is a yuri purist and those sort of opinions are hilariously close-minded. Don’t listen to them. These girls are definitely into each other and Trainer isn’t romantically interested in any of these high school horse girls.
All in all, Uma Musume is an average sports anime that is both pretty and fun. I’m not as sold when it comes to the gacha game, but watching the series helped kept me happy during these trying months. Hopefully the series brings you joy, too.