An Introduction to the ‘To Love-Ru’ Anime QandA Review Series

An Introduction and Review Schedule for the ‘To Love-Ru’ Anime QandA Special Series of Reviews

As previously announced in my New Blogging Schedule post, I will be undertaking the not small duty of reviewing every episode of ‘To Love-Ru’ as well its sequel seasons and OVAs. But I won’t be doing it alone! While I will be posting single episode reviews by myself in my trademark QandA style every Saturday, I will in addition be posting collaborative reviews with Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime! For a full posting schedule and explanation, see below:

8th June 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1 Review
15th June 2019 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1
22nd June 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 2 Review
29th June 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 3 Review
6th July 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 4 Review
13th July 2019 –  Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episodes 2-4
20th July 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5 Review
27th July 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6 Review
3rd August 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 7 Review
10th August 2019 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5-7
17th August 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 8 Review
24th August 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 9 Review
31st August 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 10 Review
7th September 2019 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 8-10
14th September 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 11 Review
21st September 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 12 Review
28th September 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 13 Review
5th October 2019 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 11-13
12th October 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 14 Review
17th October 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 15 Review
25th October 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 16 Review
2nd November 2019 –  Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 14-16
9th November 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 17 Review
16th November 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 18 Review
23rd November 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 19 Review
30th November 2019 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 17-19
7th December 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 20 Review
14th December 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 21 Review
21st December 2019 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 22 Review
28th December 2019 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 20-22
4th January 2020 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 23 Review
11th January 2020 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 24 Review
18th January 2020 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 23-24
25th January 2020 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 25 Review
1st February 2020 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 25
8th February 2020 – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 26 Review (Finale)
15th February 2020 – Irina and Matt review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 26 (Finale)

As you can see Irina and I will be covering  3 episodes at a time and doing so once a month (except for episodes that’ll arguably have more to talk about like Episode 1, 25 and 26–hence why they are slated as single episode collaborations). As for the rest of the franchise (i.e Motto To Love-Ru, To Love-Ru Darkness and To Love-Ru Darkness 2nd) I will continue solo reviews of those after the 15th of February 2020; whether Irina decides to continue the collaboration will be dependent on whether she enjoyed the first series enough to continue watching as she’s never watched the series before and could very well hate it! So look forward to my single episode Anime QandA style reviews starting Saturday 8th of June and then Irina and I’s collaborative reviews the week after and then monthly thereafter.

Now, if your question is why so much ‘To Love-Ru’ content? Well that’s simple really, its my favourite anime series of all time and I just wanted to talk about it at length and document my thoughts during the rewatch in a writing style I enjoy. And as for why the collaboration with Irina? Surely I can’t be the only one who forces persuades a friend to watch something they really enjoy with them? Right?!

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 12 – Anime QandA Review (With Irina)

An Anime QandA review of Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 12 (With Irina)

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 12 Collaboration featuring Irina (in bold) from I Drink And Watch Anime.


So this episode started out with a bookend with Spe’s mom echoing Spe’s own big city experience, I wanna say you thought that was adorable? Absolutely! How could I not?!

We check in with seemingly every horse girl that’s ever been on the show before the big race. All have words of encouragement for Spe on her big day. I like that so many of them are jealous of her getting to race against Broye, really shows that they’re a part of this world too–even if it’s in a cursory way. They’re passionate about the sport too–they’re just not as good as Spe-chan and Suzuka.

A challenger approaches!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anime makeup look right. Broye would be so much cuter without that lipstick. I didn’t notice to be honest, maybe the Japanese think French women wear a lot more make-up? But speaking of Broye, I get why the anime showed Broye exercising in her room before the big race (to show that she’s a tough and intimidating opponent), but doing thumb hand-stands seems a bit ludicrous–even for this show!

Don’t challenge Broye to a thumb wrestle.

I did think upper body strength doesn’t seem quite THAT important but what do I know… I think it may have been to hype up her terminator type over poweredness. She turned out kinda average looking in the race though. I know Spe is supposed to be uber but since Spe barely wins all her races, it makes it look as if Broye is not that much more impressive than any of the other girls we’ve seen so far. This is a common complaint I have about Sports animes in general mind you. I agree it could have been a much closer race and that would have added to the believability of the scene, but I guess that’s the power of friendship… or something like that…

El Condor is obviously not telling her the right translation – why would it be a secret otherwise? El Condor is a master troll apparently. Hilarity always ensues when there’s a language barrier!

*whispering sounds*

Ok I need to get this off my chest – Spe did NOT say “Don’t get too cocky” she said literally “Victory is mine”. Why would they change that? I take it you speak a bit of French then? I’ve seen so many examples of the subtitles being different between what they’re saying in Japanese and what the English subtitles across pretty much every anime (it’s always small things though) I figure there’s a point to it. If I had to guess why in this instance they changed it I’d say while a Japanese person–and specifically a cute Japanese girl saying “Victory is mine” would seem embarrassingly boastful to a Japanese audience, it probably doesn’t have the same impact in English so they changed it to something that’d sound more unexpectedly boastful–hence the ‘surprised’ reactions from the other Western horse girls. Hey guys, you all get to be here when Matt learns that French is in fact my mother tongue and what I speak everyday. English is my third language which explains a few things… Oh wow! Mind blown!

Whatever she actually said it made the foreign horse girl’s take notice!

Have you noticed how often dead mothers don’t have faces? A lot of sun-glare on that photo… I wonder if that’s a respect thing in the Japanese culture? Either that or they didn’t want to make the audience think about a cute horse girl/woman being dead. Kind of a turn-off you know? I hadn’t thought of it that way, I sort of find the faceless thing more ominous/sad.

Heck of a lot of glare in here, huh?

I had forgotten this was also an Idol show! I actually don’t know your stand on idol shows in general. I’ve only seen a couple and eh~ they’re okay, I’m not a fan but I don’t dislike them either.

So you don’t wish the show had more of this aspect? God no. I came here for cute horse girls running and that’s what I got!

So this is the season (and most likely series) ender. What did you think? Didn’t you see the post credits scene? It’s not over yet! There’s still an episode next week! I know you’ve got a busy life but you really need to sit through the credits, Irina!


I did see the end credit scene. I thought that the notion that all the girls were finally going to race together was the perfect natural endpoint…. But yeah, I looked it up now and it’s a 13 not 12 episode show. Oopsies… It’s okay, I forgive you.

It’s ok, I can bounce back from this… Um, with only one episode left to go, how do you figure they’re going to wrap things up? Sudden murder suicide? That would be… different. But no, I think it’s probably going to be a very light-hearted episode, kind of like a celebration to all the fans of this show. By which I mean just wall-to-wall horse girls and shenanigans and silliness, so it will no doubt be my most favourite episode and your least favourite episode. Either that or Silence and Spe-chan finally elope and settle down somewhere in the countryside and make horse girls together… Don’t ask me how, they’ll make it work damnit! “Life, uh, finds a way.”

The power of friendship!

I don’t know about that. My favorite episode has probably been the festival one so I would love to see some more silliness like that. Maybe the trainers will get together, they’ve been hinting at it for a while… I almost forgot about that episode, damn, that was a great one wasn’t it? But either way I’m sure whatever they give us it won’t disappoint! Next week we’ll be on Irina’s site for the season finale, thanks for reading!

Previous Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Reviews:

Episode 1 & 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
Episode 8 Review
Episode 9 Review
Episode 10 Review
Episode 11 Review

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 10 – Anime QandA Review (With Irina)

An Anime QandA review of Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 10 (With Irina)

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 10 Collaboration featuring Irina (in bold) from I Drink And Watch Anime.

I learned my lesson last time! I just finished watching this week’s episode of Pretty Derby and I’m ready to ask some pertinent pertinent questions… Yup these are gonna be awesome interesting questions…yeah… Calling it now! Worst review ever! (I think I’ve made that joke beforewe’re off to a good start!)

In all honesty I quite liked the opening tag. Training montages are my thing but some people consider them cheap, where do you fall Matt? Well this episode had three montages in all! Which I’d say is overkill, but I mean it is a sports anime so it comes with the territory. Though the pre-credit stuff was all top quality, it succinctly got us up to speed with Spe-chan, showing how hard she trained only to end up coming 7th!

Train hard, pull big tyre.

I really liked how big a fail Spe’s first race was. Sports anime are basically just a series of defeats that lead up to one big win (or one small one). But, I do think the impact was lessened by the title of the episode. Maybe, but by the time the last race of the episode came up there was no doubt in my mind she was going to come first. I feel like it was a well-earned one too.

The little slice of life opening following the random girls around was really boring to me. Did you enjoy it? Lol, of course I did, it was like some wonderful drug.

New horse girls everywhere!

To me, the show hasn’t really given me any reason to care about the supporting characters. (Sure Gold Ship is really fun but she’s more of a running gag than a character and when she’s not doing something super weird and silly, she’s not that interesting). But you get attached to cute anime girls much more quickly than me, is Gold still your favorite? It doesn’t take much for me to get attached to a character in a cute girl show, but at the same time it takes a long time for me to warm to a character I wasn’t particularly fond of from the start. Yes, Gold Ship is still my favourite and likewise Suzuka is probably my least favourite. But I do agree they’ve kind of short-changed every other character’s development in favour of Spe-chan, but I guess that’s what happens when they’ve got so many side-characters, like they introduced at least 5 more horse-girls in this episode and they had all of one-line each! Why couldn’t that time be spent developing existing side-characters! (I have a soft spot for Suzu – probably cause she’s the one I relate to the most…)

To be fair, that’s a good way of getting Spe-chan to do anything. Food incentives!

Did you enjoy the homecoming? It was fine, if a little oddly paced. The fact it’s just her and her mother made it feel a lot slower than the rest of the episode, especially since there were so many montages elsewhere. I guess that’s what they were going for with the relaxed vibe, but otherwise I didn’t have any issues with it, nor did I think it was particularly ‘great’ either.


I didn’t really like the horseshoe scene either. Usually I’m all about these sappy moments but when the show really insists on the “horse” elements it makes me feel like I’m watching a thinly veiled fetish show that simply doesn’t speak to any of my particular kinks, you know? The only thing that scene made me wonder was whether actual horses exist in this universe and then whether horse girls were made by having a woman and a horse and I’ll stop now because I’m pretty sure that’s not what you asked! Or maybe it was? I swear I’m not into horses! Only anime girls!

Up for a game of “horseshoes”?

On the other hand I did really enjoy the wrap up. It was a fun race, I got some feels at it. Was it too sappy for you? I didn’t get any significant feels but it was very well put together, having Spe and Suzuka “race” each other, despite not being on the same track was very well animated, it kinda felt a bit more ‘cinematic’ than previous episodes, though I’m not exactly sure what I mean by that.

They’ll always be together, even if they’re apart.

A new record is pretty impressive, do you think she’ll be able to maintain the momentum? It was indeed impressive, I’m not really sure, I’m terrible at predicting things in sports anime. What do you think?

One thing I did notice is that while Spe is still thinking of Suzu and even changed up her big dream to include Suzuha in it, Suzu’s own dream will eventually separate the two. This is starting to look like a romance anime, your favorite genre right? You joke but I do like yuri anime and female x female romance, but I don’t see anything coming from it. This series is too chaste for that kind of thing.

“I want to be inside you” That’s NOT the actual next-line, but can you imagine?!

See I thought you had mentioned romance not being a genre you were interested in and now I look stupid. I guess it’s back to just me in the romantically challenged camp. You were half right, I just don’t like heterosexual romances in anime because I find them so ~mainstream~.

So Trainer is pretty neat, isn’t he. Have you forgiven him yet? Eh, he’s fine. More importantly, have you forgiven him?

I sort of forgave him episode 2. I kinda like the character and I find it weird that he gets quite so much hate. I know there’s this whole thing about never including male charas in CGDCT shows but it really doesn’t bother me. I like the diversity. Oh I don’t have a problem with men in CGDCT shows, just not a great look when the first man in this show is grabbing at an underage stranger. But yeah, I’m over it now, he has a proper purpose in this show and I don’t hold the harassment against him.

All those lollies are going to rot your teeth.

I mean Gold Ship has done her share of harassment as well so… Yeah but that’s different, they’re teammates, teammates always raz on each other, yeah? You’re the sports expert after all!

Yeah – not that much random unwelcome groping usually… or at all. Unless you count doujin… Now you got me thinking about the Uma Musume doujin I saw the other day… Ahem…

My face when seeing the Uma Musume doujin…

Overall rating for this episode? What we’re rating individual episodes now? If you want me to rate it against other episodes, it’s better than an average episode but not as good as the best. What about you, sounds like you had more issues with this episode than the last couple? It’s a sum zero I guess. Half of it was pretty boring and it didn’t seem to add much, I guess filler. The other half was cute and balanced enough to keep me interested. Although, if we are to be honest, if I didn’t write these, I would probably forget about the episodes pretty instantly. I have to really dig to find anything to say about them at all….

No comment.

We are in the homestretch – anything left you absolutely want to see before they wrap things up? Jell-O wrestling? But seriously, I’m happy for the show to just keep doing what it’s doing is there anything you’re particularly wanting from this show? Yeah – I want the one not super nice character to come back. I miss her. I’m not sure she had a name…

Thank you for joining us in our continued collaboration! We’ll see you on Irina’s blog for Episode 11 next week!

Previous Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Reviews:

Episode 1 & 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
Episode 8 Review
Episode 9 Review

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 8 – Anime QandA Review (With Irina)

An Anime QandA review of Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 8 (With Irina)

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 8 Collaboration featuring Irina (in bold) from I Drink And Watch Anime.

We’re back in the saddle! I’m sorry guys, this is going to be a rough one…
It’s okay I’m a rough rider (I don’t even know what that means… calling it now, worst review ever!)

This week, we saw Suzu work her way back into racing form, but it’s Spe who really struggled as she lost sight of her goals and herself! Is that a good synopsis? To be fair, it’s better than anything I could have come up with!

This week we had quite a bit of development from late comer Grass Wonder, so important question, what do you think of that name? Like all the name’s in this show, ridiculous and I love it. #420blazeit. Good, I’m not the only one who sees it.

Notice me sempai!

Giving a bit of limelight to Grass Wonder means less time for the other girls, are you OK with the show…switching horses late in the race (I warned you!)? I didn’t think there could be a horse girl with a more monotone cadence to her voice than Silence Suzuka, but Grass Wonder has her pipped at the post! (See I can do it too!)

I like monotones, don’t you? It’s situational, like obviously Kanna (from Kobayashi) is amazing but these ones are kind of boring… although I guess we can’t have all the characters be high-energy all the time, that would be get annoying too.

I quite liked the way Suzu and Spe’s relationship is being handled, what do you think? I do, actually. It’s not something I’m used to but it is something I can totally relate to. Being so obsessed with something or someone that you lose sight of yourself and your own identity in pursuit it. Good stuff!

♪ “but I won’t do that”♪

Would you change anything? At first I thought Suzuka might snap at Spe-chan for doting on her too much, but I think Suzuka is far too kind and meek for that. I guess if they’re going for that kind of storyline I would have liked Suzuka to be more active (either for or against this influx of attention) rather than do nothing, but I guess there’s still time for it to eventuate one way or another. I must say, Suzu’s enabling tendencies are part of what makes this particular dynamic more unusual to me, and more interesting.

Spe-Chan is just so effin’ hot for Suzuka.

It’s sort of common to lose yourself in a new crush, how do you think it will play out? Do I think they’ll have some sort of epic falling out, go their separate ways, sulk about it for a bit only to realise how much they need each other just before one of them’s about to go on to a big race? Yes, I think exactly that will happen. Maybe. I don’t know, this show’s kind of hard to predict!

Once again, the episode was centered around character development and classic Sports tropes, even showing some less impressive sides of Spe’s personality. I quite liked it so I’m assuming you didn’t. Was there still parts you liked? Wow! Harsh. I actually think this was my favourite episode of the series so far, and not because of parts that reminded me of sports anime (remember I’ve only seen like two whole sports anime, I’m hardly well versed in their tropes), but just how low-key and real some moments were, like after losing the race just the static shots of empty places round the school and Spe-chan walking alone at night. Contemplating who she really is and what she really wants.


Also if we’re talking about parts we liked, I always love the narrative implications of a time skip. And a 9+ month one in this episode, albeit it’s only used to accelerate Suzuka’s healing process, but kudos for showing the real-life implications of such injuries on a character and the people around them. I wouldn’t say it’s used ONLY to speed up the recovery. At the same time, as Spe is pouring herself into Suzu’s recovery, she’s slowly getting closer to Grass Wonder. We understand that they’ve essentially been having lunch and spending free time together for months now and that’s why the (pseudo love triangle) rivalry works. Grass isn’t just throwing a fit, her fairly close friend, who she’s been talking to and supporting daily for the better part of a year, doesn’t even take her into consideration.

Not that she was counting… (she was totally counting).

Those parting words of – I was able to run my best because I was running against you… are a particularly brutal jab when you take it in that context. Otherwise they would seem out of place and shallow. Yeah, I was all like “damn, gurl!” when she said it to Spe-Chan!


It also showed us the Spe has a tendency for self defeating behavior. She overeats when she’s sad or stressed which makes her slower. She ignores her training to help Suzu which makes it less likely that she’ll have a chance to run with her…so on. It’s a nice, relatable, meaty character flaw and I appreciate that it was shown to be recurrent rather than a fluke. Almost like this show is deeper than you first gave it credit for *nudge nudge*. Yes, everyone who thought this was going to be a deep psychological series was right!

Serious emotions.

What would you like to see next? Another beach episode? They did say summer is coming up again—maybe that’s the true reason for the time skip! I can’t say I go into a lot of CGDCT anime with a lot of ‘expectations’ of what I’d like to see next week beyond ~closer relationships~ between the characters.

I’d like to know what you’d like to see next week, Irina? I would actually like to see some development in the rest of the team. I don’t know anything at all about the other girls. Maybe a super goofy filler ep of a day in the life of Gold Ship and New Girl. I would also like to know what happen to one evil girl. Did they drown her? Probably, only nice horse girls allowed! Send the others to the glue lube factory!

Gold Ship is best (horse) girl.

Previous Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Reviews:

Episode 1 & 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 4 – Anime QandA Review (With Irina)

An Anime QandA review of Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 4 featuring Irina.

Episode 4 Collaboration Review with Irina (in bold).

So who’s the one asking the questions this time? I mean as much as I enjoyed our free-flowing conversation on episode 3 that was posted on your blog, this one is on my blog and this is Anime QandA… Fine I’ll ask questions. Man, Matt is cracking that whip.

But first I want to know what did you think of this episode, Irina? A lot more ‘SPORTS!’ than the previous three eps, in fact there was barely a mention of idol concerts or extra-curricular activities to distract from the pure thrill of horse girl racing not to mention the rigorous training! Yes much more sport-ish and unsurprisingly my favorite episode so far! More running and race theory, less everything else plz!

*insert dirty joke about larges boxes*

So tell me, what did YOU think of this more *sporty* approach? It’s more of what I was expecting when I heard about the show, true I didn’t have any expectations of the show going in, but this is at least what I thought it would be like more often. I’m happy with this!

“I’ll take a quiet life…”

Not missing the idol shows yet? Not even a little bit!

Oh c’mon – karaoke fun times??? What about dancing lessons? Well dancing lessons can help with racing, probably? If nothing else, they can help with attitude!

It’s harder than it looks!

Speaking of which, Spe bounced back pretty quick, would you have liked a bit more character development there? Well she still hasn’t won a race after being beaten last week so I don’t think she’s completely bounced back, but I agree it was pretty quick, I think it would have been fine if they’d waited another episode before she got back racing, but I was very happy with that mock 1 on 1 race she did, it had a good sense of energy and I liked that she learnt about slipstreaming without having to be taught it. It was honestly quite fun to watch (even though horseshoes on shoes annoys me). I hope we get more of those.

Gotta go fast!

Oh do you think tiara horsey will keep her tiara in races? (I bought a pretty convincing costume tiara a while back and I am just living for the day I find the courage to wear it to work. No comment – no explanation, just showing up in a tiara…) Who knows! It might lead to a promotion! Or being committed… The question was about the horse Matt, ONE of us has to stay focused!

Mind you, going a more traditionally sports rout will leave a lot less time for the cute bonding moments. Most sports anime deal with team sports so the bonding and competing happen at the same time but with racing, well all the other girls are stuck on the sidelines. I was under the impression that this was the aspect you were really enjoying most here? I’m not fussy, I’m just happy to be watching cute girls do cute things, I’m a man of simple pleasures…

She just don’t give a fuck!

They are really pushing grabby trainer into that mentor role, how do you feel about that? It’d be preferable if he was at least learning not to be ‘grabby’ as it went on, rather than just getting smacked and yelled at but continuing to do it but I get the feeling the writers of the show just use it for cheap comedic effect without realising how actually problematic it is for a person in a position of power to be groping on an underage athlete.

We met yet another super friendly and nice opponent! Not a question…just saying. Yeah yeah… I get it.


So how do you see the rivalry set up between Spe and El? It could’ve been set up better, like she’s super competitive which is at least better than the sleepy girl but hopefully it leads to some heated competition and maybe some dirty tactics on El’s side!… but I doubt it!

I’m actually seeing some decent growth potential here. For the first time Spe’s going to have to face the fact that they are all rivals and that cutsey country bumpkin persona is going to get challenged. Could be interesting, don’t you think? That’s true, hopefully we do get to see some of that because that’d be a nice change.

Are we just going to completely gloss over why this rando 5am jogger had a carrot in his pocket?!

You know, pretty boy shows (i.e. cute boys doing cute things) are for the most part (Free being a glaring exception) stupid comedies. They are written basically as B movie type parodies and the audience knows they are supposed to be laughing at the kitshiness of it all. It’s trying to purposefully recreate *intentionally* hilarious. It doesn’t always work but generally that’s what it is. Should I be approaching moe shows this way? Because they seem to take themselves much more seriously. Yes the subject matter and the way it’s presented is very light-hearted and comedic, but and I can’t speak for cute boy shows, but in my experience a lot of the characters in these cute girl show’s take what they’re doing incredibly seriously and believe in it with all their heart, even if the show itself by all outward appearances is silly and light. I feel like cute girls doing cute things anime are like ‘Sports!’ anime to you, these are girls giving it there all and having fun while doing it, whether they’re running a cafe ‘Is The Order A Rabbit?’, making a video game ‘New Game’ or any number of other hobby or club centric cute girl anime. The way you approach the show is almost as important as the show itself, but having said that I don’t think there is a best way to approach the show is, because while I take these shows as seriously as the characters in the show take it and score them accordingly, the irl waifu just sees them as fun, disposable light entertainment and if they have things like character development and emotional weight then it’s a bonus.

And if you don’t push yourself you could get bored.

New Game PTSD… Gonna go curl up in a fetal position under my desk now…. I guess I see what you mean. That’s unfortunate, I enjoy Derby a lot more when I think it’s being ridiculous on purpose. Then maybe that’s how you should take it, nobody can truly speak for the writer’s intentions maybe there intent was to make something ridiculous! Either way, I’m still really enjoying the show and hope it can keep it up and maybe, just maybe grow a little too!

And I’m still rooting for a very special Derby episode where we find out Spe’s gaining weight because of an unplanned pregnancy that could derail her racing career…Mama did say to watch out for them city boys…

We’ve all been there Spe-Chan…

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby! Episode 1 & 2 – Anime QandA Review (Collab with Irina!)

An Anime QandA collaboration with review with Irina from ‘I Drink And Watch Anime’ about Uma Masume: Pretty Derby! Episode 1 and 2.

(Guest Question Asker: Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime)

Matt, what even is this show? Wait I know what show it is I watched the first 2 eps too for the purposes of this collab, but you know, drinking…! Hi Irina! Welcome to Anime QandA! We’re talking about Uma Musume: Pretty Derby, which I kinda forced you to watch…

Haha, you say “forced”, I say blackmailed…. We’re all friends here. So this is what having friends that aren’t a construct of my own mind feels like? I like it!

So on first glance, some people may think this is just a loli, ponyplay, idol hell mashup but how would You describe the show? Well I know you’re just asking for the benefit of the readers and also because it’s kind of a staple of my reviews, but it’s about a starry eyed country girl ‘Special Week’ whose moved to Tokyo to attend a school for horse girls and live out her and her mother(s) dream of being the best horse girl in Japan!

‘I wanna be the very best…’

And when you say horse girl we’re not talking centaur’s now are we? No, not as such, these are just otherwise normal girls’ who also have horse ears and a horse’s tail. Oh and they run really fast too!

Certainly helps if you’re going to be a race horse girl!

***cough ponyplay cough*** Listen, I’m much too innocent to even know what that is…

Now tell me honestly, what made you want to watch the show in the first place? Cute girls! It’s why I do most things, also if they’ve got a monster girl edge then bonus!

I’m really into their hair, or is it their manes?

And did the first two episodes live up to those expectations? Well, if we’re talking about expectations of plot and character the only thing I had to go off for this series was the MAL synopsis which even now still just reads “based on the mobile game” so my expectations were pretty much zero. But it met and exceeded my expectations for being a show about cute horse girls!

My money is on the protagonist!

You downloaded the game, didn’t you? I would have if I had a Japanese iTunes account or could read Japanese…

This sort of freaked me out but what did you think of the fact that the girls seem to only have been given racing names? I think it’s cute! They’re all named after famous Japanese racehorses such as: ‘Silence Suzuka’, ‘Symboli Rudolph’, ‘El Condor Pasa’, ‘Air Groove’ and ‘Vodka’. I don’t know I just get a kick out of otherwise normal looking girls having weird names. Is that a new fetish? Uh-oh…

Irina likes Vodka, the drink not the horse.

Speaking of Uh-oh – I had a coach like that…. Yeah, I’m not sold on the coach character, I mean he at least seems less creepy in episode 2, but I mean way to get me off base right away with a character by having him rub ‘Special Week’s’ calves without her permission—twice!

Bad touch!

So why do they run in high heels? Maybe it’s like a handicap to make the sport more difficult? Though I think if the show never explains it it’s probably just someone likes girls in heels. Yeah I can see why that might seem like a bit of an unnecessary addition.

Yeah, that does sound like something their coach would suggest. I’m surprised they’re not running in mini skirts…yet… Oh it’s probably going to happen, unless the opening credits is just for illustrative purposes I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up running in their idol costumes at bigger events.

Elite athletes.

Do you have a favorite character so far? If the wikipedia page is anything to go by there is going to be a lot of characters in this show. So given the only two who’ve received considerable screen time so far are ‘Special Week’ and ‘Silence Suzuka’ it has to be ‘Special Week’! Ha – I knew it!

She’s just so ‘special’, she makes me ‘week’ at the knees…

Man, horsegirls sure are nice and optimistic! Well I don’t think that they’re all just nice and optimistic, we get that one girl in the second episode who tries to take down ‘Special Week’ in her debut race. And I think the supporting characters all have pretty distinctive personalities, but I mean yeah… it’s not like we’re going for deeply flawed and complex characters here.

You can tell she’s the antagonist because of the eye patch!

Yes the one clear antagonist is not nice. So what does “Eclipse first, the rest nowhere” mean? That the Japanese are bad at English? No, I mean I get it’s their school motto and it’s something of an inspirational quote but I think all it means is, be better than the best and leave the rest in the dust? Though it’s kind of a harsh motto if they’re trying to promote camaraderie and teamwork too. Oh that makes much more sense, I thought it was some type of deep astrophysics theory…

Google translate only gets you so far.

What’s with all the idol shows? Ah yes, probably the most unnecessary part of the show. After each race the top 3 horse girl’s perform a ‘winner’s concert’ which is basically just an idol show. I know ‘idols’ exist in various sports in Japan, like ‘Shogi Idol’s’ are a thing, but I don’t think they go as far as singing and dancing on stage. I guess this show just wanted to have both sport and idol related things in the show. Plus if it’s the voice actors singing the songs then more money from selling CD singles!

I mean of course every horse girl race turns into an idol concert.

That would be funny since we know the characters lip syncAre you buying the soundtrack? Wait did you already buy the soundtrack? I don’t generally buy Anime soundtrack’s, at least not new, just wait a couple of years and you can get them so much cheaper from second-hand sites!

What are you hoping to see in the rest of the season? I don’t know, I’m honestly not looking that far ahead. I’m just happy to take it episode by episode just like I was with Laid Back Camp–oops! I probably shouldn’t mention that show around you! Never heard of it…

It’s a sport anime, see?

Since a ‘career ending injury’ is a super common sports anime trope, do you think a girl will twist her ankle (running in high heels ‘n all) and will they have to… dispose of her like they do with race horses? Off to the glue factory with you horse girl! Or do horse girl’s get turned into something different, like lube maybe?–Oh that’s dark and perverse even for me… I take everything back – this show is pure brilliance!

Good advice. Wait, why are you looking at me?!

I take it you recommend the show? You could pretty much just look at the poster or any of the screenshots to know whether this is the show for you, it’s cute horse girls and I love their character designs and personalities, this is just totally my kind of anime. It’s not perfect and I do wonder how far they can take this show’s concept but I’m along for the ride! Ride – I get it! I smurt!

Now if you want to know whether I recommend the show over unnecessary explorative dental surgery without anaesthesia, you can find out in our exciting review of episode 3! Coming soon!

I wonder who these girls could be? Such flawless disguises!