I meant to have this out earlier but my health, which has been not-so-good this last week took a turn for the worse this weekend and by yesterday morning, I was in a hospital. Hung out there till a couple of hours ago with a needle in arm, no internet and a hell of a lot of frustration.
I’m glad to be back in my cozy little bed.
Now onto the review, new format and all.
On Your Mark – The Beginning Of Destiny
“All club activities are based on deception.”
This has been the one of the most fun and funny first episodes I’ve seen in a while.
Sakurai Nana is a girl who’s startstruck by Honan Academy’s Stride Club. Ever since she saw video of its two members, she’s been enamored of the sport and even goes to Honan to join the club as its manager. But once there, she finds that the club is in shambles and has merged with the shogi club to keep itself alive. The duo she admired are seniors there but both have left the club.
Yagami Riku, who has taken a liking to Nana because of her kindness, only wants to try as many sports as possible. Another first-year student, Fujiwara Takeru, develops an interest in Riku because of his stunning speed, which also makes him a valuable asset to virtually all other sport teams. Like Nana, Takeru has come to Honan for Stride and is determined to revive the club, even going as far as to ‘abduct’ a hesitant Riku for the purpose.
Ladies and Gentlemen and Others; I present you The Stride Club!
The existing members of the club include Kohinata Hozumi, Hasekura Heath and Kadowaki Ayumu, the latter of whom is more interested in shogi. With the addition of the three first-years, they have enough people to participate in Stride matches. Since Riku is less than enthusiastic about the whole deal, Hozumi proposes a match between the existing members and new students. If the members win, the newbies have to join. The match takes place with Takeru-Riku and Heath-Hozumi as a team.
Despite his misgivings, Riku gives it his all and he and Takeru ‘connect’, something the latter had great faith in. The end result is a tie and unsurprisingly, we have a club.
There seems to be a lot going on in this episode. Stride as a sport is going to take a while for me to get. From what I understand so far, it requires 5 Runners and a Relationer. The runners, well, run, while the Relationer provides support? That’s what it seemed like. The race track uses city streets though the mini-match in the show used the school itself. The path is anything but straightforward and the whole thing in general seems like a blend of relay race and parkour. You can’t go wrong with that, right?
Takeru either has a leg fetish…
Takeru was already an established runner in the Under-15 category and seems quite fanatical about the sport. I like how his character designs screams ‘tall, dark and asshole’ but his actual personality is quirky and dorky. Riku is a veritable ball of sunshine but he seems to have some sort of history with Stride. Others seem to recognize his name as well. Nana, so far, is cute in her enthusiasm. The three club members are also various shades of eccentric. All in all, it seems like we have a fun cast.
…or a Riku fetish
A long-haired guy gets a quick scene. It’s likely that he’ll be important later.
I know this anime is adapted from an otome game but so far, what I’m seeing are shounen-ai vibes. That’s rather typical with sports anime though.