Here we are with Wacky Races the anime, though it looks like we won’t get into the races quite yet. Now, I always kind of go into P.A. Works originals with a little caution because they have a pretty shaky track record. While they bless us with gems like Shirobako and Irozuku (at least I thought so), they give us garbage like Glasslip and their very recent Fairy Gone where I could barely watch three episodes of. They’re a very strange studio to say the least, but the second I read Appare-Ranman’s synopsis and looked at the character designs, I couldn’t help but be excited for it. And this episode only added to the excitement.
Here we meet our two main protagonists, Appare and Kosame. Kosame, a sort of cowardly and honest samurai, is ordered to be Appare’s overseer as he’s been causing a lot of trouble where he lives and it’s really irritating people. Appare is a really interesting character and very unique. He looks absolutely nothing like his family, he has big hair, wears overalls, and is constantly in his own world. Basically, he’s pretty eccentric compared to his very traditional Japanese family and neighbors. He also stands out because he’s a genius inventor and he’s always tinkering with his gadgets and experiments, with no one around him really understanding it. They all think it’s a complete waste of time, and unfortunately Appare is alone in all this. He has a very aloof disposition and some of his responses give me a laugh. The prison escape…if you can even call it that, was probably the funniest part. It was following like a typical jail scene where the inmates were about to beat up the tiny new guy, but Appare just whips out his screwdriver, picks the lock, leaves the others in there, then just casually walks out. It’s so absurd but so funny it cracks me up. That alone made me start to like Appare’s character.
And honestly, I kind of feel bad for him. It looks like this takes place during the late 1800’s, and while America is in the boom of the Industrial Revolution, Japan is not just yet. It’s takes awhile for Japan to really hit the same levels of America when it comes to technology during this time period (which is ironic considering modern times). Japan has always been a very isolationist country, so they fall behind on the times. For Appare, getting his hands on foreign materials is heaven for him but I suspect it’s not that easy. And because of this, no one else has the same appreciation for these things like he does. Where he lives, it’s still extremely traditionally Japanese and not exactly what he wants. No one sees these gadgets and experiments as anything other than junk, which is sad considering the fact that Appare can make these things LIKE A FREAKING STEAMSHIP on his own is nothing short of amazing.
Yes, he builds his very own working steamship and he sets off on a journey, and Kosame tags along while also screwing things up. Appare doesn’t have a good relationship with his family, but it’s interesting that he has one positive one with his older sister. We don’t see much of her, but she doesn’t seem to look down on him for the way he is. Instead she worries about him as he sets off to leave but bids him a farewell with a smile. She also wasn’t even phased by his underground secret hideout, so I’m guessing she always knew these secrets about him and always supported him at least. It’d be nice if we were to see that again, or if Appare mentioned his sister since that was the only normal and nice conversation he had with family.
Appare is a real dreamer as he wishes to travel the ends of the earth. Seeing foreign ships since he was small made him really realize that there’s so much to the world, and that the sea connects them all. What he wants to do is explore all of it, which is what he set out to do…unfortunately Kosame hit a lever and they spun out of control and were stranded at sea for a couple days until an American ferry found them. Next thing they know, they land at the port of Los Angeles. The smile on Appare’s face says it all as he marvels at all the technology around him. This is basically his paradise.
My main concern with this series is how many episodes this is going to have. We’re going to get the race later on, but right now it looks like the story is going to show us how Appare and Kosame are going to enter the race, and how they even meet the other characters since the opening scene makes it look like they’re acquainted with all of them. If we only get one cour, I feel like it’d be too short and everything would be too rushed. If it’s two cour, it might take awhile for the race to get started, which is something I think most people are excited to see, especially when the first episode opened up with it. And how are they going to stretch the race out that long and still make it interesting? But if I had to choose, I’d hope for it to be 24 episodes instead so let’s hope.
I really liked this premiere a lot. Appare is really cool, and he and Kosame make for a funny pair. The comedy is pretty good, the OP is fun and catchy, and I’m just really looking forward to what they’re going to do with this one. This has a lot of potential with its wacky characters, wacky car designs, and wacky everything. So let’s hope P.A. Works doesn’t screw this one up.
Possibility of watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of blogging: High