Aaaaand we’re back! Finally! Appare-Ranman seems to be falling under people’s radar, or people may not care about it anymore, but I’m super happy that this show is back. This was definitely one of the shows I had looked forward to watching in the Spring season, but of course we all know why this and many other shows had to be delayed and pushed back. But it’s back and now we can finally move on with the story and get even closer to the race, though I have my fears for it, those fears I’ll address at the end.
Everyone is still preparing for the Trans-America race, and Appare is working especially hard on their car. I did find it funny how excited Kosame was to just sell the car Al gave them, which I imagine would have been plenty for them to return to Japan. I don’t know why I didn’t even think of that myself, but I got a laugh when Kosame left dejected after seeing that Appare had disassembled it. It’s great to see them again, they’re always so entertaining to me. But this episode wasn’t really about them this time, but instead it focused on Xialian.
I can’t say I buy the ending, but the actual buildup to her race against the sexist and chauvinistic David was fine. It was really frustrating seeing how everyone was against her, even when David obviously started getting physical and IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BOSS, AND SHE WAS RIGHTFULLY DEFENDING HERSELF. And yet Boss still says that she should apologize to David? The fuck? And I’m so glad that she didn’t, deciding instead to just ask to get fired than apologize and be around a douchebag like him. If David is the type of racer Boss is looking for, then she has no need to be there because she won’t stoop herself so low. Xialian is so cool, I like that she’s still able to stand up for herself to all these men around her and won’t let go of her pride, but it’s still frustrating with all the sexist insults thrown her way. Even so, she challenges David to a race and Boss allows it, even though she’ll still be fired. And what’s even more frustrating is that they willingly gave her the crappiest car they had, already giving her an unfair disadvantage. Especially since none of the guys there would help her tune up the car for free, and after her stunt they don’t really like her either.
Thankfully she knows Appare and the others and seeks out their help. But instead of doing it himself, Appare takes Xialian to Al and lets his crew work on the car instead. Which is still pretty amazing because now she has some great connections. It was nice that Al (and Sofia) came along to see her race and cheered her on fairly.
The race itself wasn’t as flashy and insane as the one from episode 3, but it was still fun to watch. I like how the characters commented on techniques and details during the race, like Xialian being more strategic when it came to her weight, fuel efficiency, low air pressure, David screwing up by wasting his tires and whatnot. I like that, even though this anime can get wacky and ridiculous, there’s still some sense of realism when it comes to the make of the cars and how racing actually works and the techniques racers can use. Xialian knew that her engine was worse than David’s and asked Appare for help, who told her that engine alone isn’t the only thing to focus on. If you can’t beat him with the engine, beat him with something else. Some really sound advice, and I love the scene of them imagining themselves driving, particularly with Appare as we got a peek into what goes on in his mind since he’s always a bit of an enigma.
The race ends with David being an asshole and ramming into her car, causing her to lose control and lose the race. Again, I love how Xialian doesn’t take any shit and she was ready to punch him until Boss did that for her. Even though she lost the race, she still won the battle and she’s going to take part in the Trans-America race as the first female racer. I’m glad and I can’t wait to see how she’ll do.
The one thing about the ending was how…cheesy it was. The other men and mechanics were totally on David’s side the whole time and kept saying things like “show her what men are about” and whatnot. None of them liked her after her outburst, and then all of a sudden after Boss’ speech they’re all nice and they want to help her out? I just don’t buy it, it’s too jarring of a shift from how they treated her before. I guess I don’t care too much since we probably won’t even see them again anyway, but it still stands. Anyway, good for you Xialian!
The episode ends with some corporate talk, and I love how the big three auto companies, BNW, Iron, and GM make up B.I.G. Boss. Looks like there’s some personal drama among them all and we got some crazy characters that’ll be joining the fray, and from the looks of the preview it’ll be very soon. Looks exciting!
Like I said, I’m glad the show is back but there’s one thing I’m afraid of. It looks like Appare-Ranman! is only going to be a one cour with 13 episodes, and the second I found that out I got really worried. With the pace that they’re going, I could easily see this show having 24/25 episodes. It doesn’t even look like we’ll start the race next episode, so that means we’ll get even less time for the Trans-America race, and I’m nervous because I feel like that’s not enough time. I don’t know if the show was forcefully split up like Re:zero is, or if it really is just one season. I…don’t know, and I’m sad that I’m going to have to lower my expectations when I’ve been enjoying this show a lot, and happy that it’s finally back. :/