The socially awkward yet genius engineer, Appare Sorano, and the wise but cowardly samurai, Kosame Isshiki, find themselves aimlessly drifting in the sea between Japan and America. In order to earn enough money to get back home, the duo enters a trans-American race in their own steam-powered car. Rivals, bandits, and other trials await them on this race from Los Angeles to New York.
I don't think that this show was as good as it could have been. It went from being a racing anime to a battle shounen. So I think switching the genres and wasting the potential of the characters kind of hurt the show in my opinion. SPOILERS warning to readers since this review will be covering the details regarding story and characters that felt disappointing. Story- The story deals with the Trans-America Wild Race that the characters eventually enter. Prior to that event, Kosame and Appare were sort of forced into a situation where they have to work together to win the race to get back to Japan. (But that's really more Kosame than Appare to be honest in regards to going home.) I don't mind opposition if it helps a story move forward, but introducing Gil into the story changed the anime from a racing genre to a fighting genre. And a genre shift may not be something anime watchers will want to see. Then there is the part with Gil, the mystery villain and mass murderer gets defeat in battle completely with the ‘if you kill him you’re as bad as him’ line, the 13th episode enters some real hack territory. In the last ten minutes of the show, we see the final moments of the ‘Trans-America Wild Race’ we assumed would be the whole point of the show but maybe lasted a culmulative 10 minutes throughout its 13 episode run. Appare wins in a photo finish moment with absolutely none of the build up that would make it impactful. After, the viewers are treated to some forced melodrama in the form of Appare being sad that actual Samurai Kosame is returning to Japan even though he’s got nothing to do in America, only to find that early 30s Kosame stayed behind to hang out with teen Appare some more. Animation- The animation being one of the better parts of the show, I like how each of the characters had a different designed car. You can sense the effort that was put into the character design as well as the background design. Sound- The sound has some variety to it. It helps that Evan Call made the music to the anime, since he has also made notable OSTs to other anime. https://myanimelist.net/people/32281/Evan_Call Characters- The characters definitely had some potential, but ultimately fell short. And I feel like the director was juggling too much at once when he should have had someone else handling the script instead. There were actual ideas with the characters that could have been something if handled right. Such as Hototo’s indigenous ancestry, the discrimination against Xialian for her gender, and Kosame’s past causing an internal hesitance to act, these just weren't handled well with dignity. These were just details that were thrown in with their characters during the introduction. Gil is just that antagonist that is just there as an obstacle. He is unpredictable and believes that power is everything, but if I had to make a comparison, he's an uncharismatic, boring version of Shishio from Rurouni Kenshin. Appare was okay as a protagonist at first, but when you see how the writer had make the character adapt to the changes in the story, it doesn't feel organic. Overall- The show had potential, but Director Hashimoto bit off more than he could chew. And I think changing the genre did not help. PA Works can definitely have ideas for anime, but how they execute the ideas leaves a lot to be desired. But maybe the disappointment isn't as bad considering that Great Pretender did pretty well as an original anime, and they both came out the same year. If you really want a true racing anime, I would definitely recommend Redline. Or even the Steel Ball Run manga. Appare-Ranman on the other hand is an anime that I can't recommend to others.
Samurai Like Speed TooAppare-Ranman! focuses on a weird engineer Appare Sorano and a clever, yet timid samurai Kosame Isshiki. The two need to compete in the Trans-America Wild Race to win the prize and to return back home to Japan. The duo will face many outlaws and madmen during the race. Will they return back home safe and sound?Appare Ranman is weird looking characters and supercars, many puns and a comedy that is quite unique and funny. Basically, there is an automobile race from Los Angeles to New York, and there are many people from all the parts of the world, willing to take part in the said race. Some want the fame, some are just crazy for speed and cannot live without that daily portion of adrenaline, some, however, are just too poor to return to their homeland and need the prize to return home. But this might be wrong for Sorano Appare, because he is an engineer that does not like to concede. Long story short, the storyline gives all the needed hints: it explains why the two need to participate in the race and it also gives all the needed background of the protagonists. That said, the storyline does its work well, however, my only problem is that it lacks a grain of uniqueness to make it stand out.Animation wise, it is quite catchy. It might be somewhat difficult to come up with the art that will be unique in 2020, but Appare Ranman does manage to do it: every single car has its own unique flair that demonstrates the drivers’ personality, character designs look unique and memorable and, of course, the background looks cool, too, depicting Feudal Japan and the old version of America.Character wise, this is where this series shines quite bright, I must say. Appare is your typical anime genius: he is a genius engineer, he can make a car out of literally nothing, however, he is terrible when it comes to communicating with other people. This is quite what we have seen many times, the difference, however, is that Appare does not care that much about being the best and trying to make other people understand that he is superior to others, all he wants is to live his life as an engineer and he is just fed up with the people, telling him what to do. Next comes the clever, yet timid samurai Kosame Isshiki. He is a low-ranked government official, who lived in the same town as Sorano Appare. The two end up in an absolutely unfamiliar land, with its own customs and people that are quite different from what Appare and Isshiki have ever known and they now need to work together, in order for them to succeed.CriticismWhile I did say that the storyline lacks originality, it still is very enjoyable nevertheless. I have not said anything about the supporting characters, too, which is another problem this series has; they could have received more development. Yet again, this is a story of Kosame Isshiki and Sorano Appare, so while the supporting characters are needed, they do not need to get that much of a screen time, so it is fine.With that being said, Appare Ranman is a pure fun to watch. It is made for your enjoyment and the fans of car racing series will surely appreciate Appare Ranman’s take on it. I do admit that this series has quite a sloooow start, but it becomes much better, if you give it a chance. Of course, not a masterpiece, but it deserves a portion of your free time.
This is going to be fast unlike this shows slow ass "race" show. now a couple disclaimers it'll be spoiler free and pretty quick and that's because I got to epsiode 8 and seriously couldn't finish it. I'll say that if you don't feel motivated to watch it after 3 episodes then drop it, there are certainly better shows to watch this season and a plethora of other non seasonal shows that are better. first animation, it's not bad but incredibly inconsistent which is really all I can say, animation has gotten way better this past year (despite the coof) so when a show like this flops on certain scenes it's hard to not point and take notice. sound is fine, music I don't really remember but it's not bad. But the world feels empty a filled city street and bars sound almost empty and that's bad. the characters are lame, they do nothing to keep me watching band when the story isn't compelling good characters are essential. on top of that I watched it in English and for a show based in the US it's one of the few times in watch dubs. The Japanese (for the first episode) wasn't bad but the English was so stale and phoned in it really staled the watch. And a again some of the characters are just terrible. the story? Uhhh guy wants to get home and kid wants to build and race shit. Well It's not compelling especially since the guy could just work a job the time he was there and gotten home faster and left the boy. There are a bunch of stories for side characters but some of the arcs are written so bad. i try not to dump to hard on shows but I would say it's not worth it. Just go watch redline or any other classic easing anime. Or Ford v Ferrari they are much better
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