Let’s admit it, the second TJ took off his goggles a lot of people went “Oooooh”. It was a little predictable, but it was still pretty hype. To be honest, I guess you can say that most of the episode was kind of predictable but there was still fun to be had.
The gang arrive to the church and find Seth and Chase hurt, and Sofia missing. We learn from Gil that Sofia was taken on a train full of explosives all the way to Chicago in hopes of blowing the train station up, killing everyone in it. To prove…violence rules? Typical bad guy wanting to do bad things type of plan, I suppose. The group enact the plan that they thought up before to take down Gil the best way they can and while it was a good plan, Gil is just too strong. At first I thought his snake eye was a supernatural eye that granted him some sort of ability since it kept shining when they zoomed in on it, but…I think the dude was just really OP. Gil and TJ step in and take on Gil themselves, while Appare and the others head into their cars and hurry over to the train to save Sofia and prevent more unnecessary deaths.
The whole sequence was fun as it went back and forth from Appare and the train, to the fight with Gil. We got lots of great action with the fight and Appare using his car to stop the train. The whole episode was pretty exciting from start to finish, and I don’t really have too many complaints. They save Sofia and we get a tiny time skip where the racers properly get to finish the race with Team Appare winning the whole thing. I’m not going to lie, I was hoping that we would get a tease of a second season so we could properly get the rest of the race so my heart sunk a bit when the announcer lady said they were in New York. Dammit…
With the race done, everyone is separating and taking their own paths. Xialian is heading back to Los Angeles since she’s allowed to be an actual racer (rip the ship), Al and Sofia head back home, etc. I did find it pretty cute that Appare said that he’d miss him, and it really goes to show how much Appare has changed and really cares about his friends.
That whole scene in the end at the dock was hilariously adorable! Appare has seriously come a long way. I knew from the start that he wasn’t ever going back to Japan because that really wasn’t the life for him. All the things he ever wanted is finally at his disposable in the United States so why on earth would he head back to the home where he was so restricted and unhappy? I think it’s so cool that Appare now wants to focus on making his own airplane, and I’m not even surprised that he wants to aim for the skies. He was able to cross the ocean (sort of) on his own, drive across the United States in his own car, so next thing would be the skies. Then? SPACE! Maybe not what with their limited technology, but Appare can seriously make things happen so who knows. I did think it was nice that Kosame stayed behind, and the fact that he kept shut and listened to Appare’s pleas and cries was so cute and so funny. Their friendship has come such a long way from being distant and awkward so the ending made me smile. It’s also great that they sent letters to their families, and I wonder why they didn’t do that sooner.
And thus we finally come to a close with Appare-Ranman!
This show was so much fun. Unfortunately this was another Covid-affected show so it didn’t get as much attention what with the whole postponement thing. Still, my enjoyment didn’t change as it was one of my favorites from the Spring season and I was thrilled when it returned. It definitely made the Summer season way better with how empty this season was.
Appare-Ranman is cool, fun, eccentric, and has lots of personality. We have a great cast of characters, the cast not being too big or too small and I feel that all of them had enough presence to make us care about them. I feel like they each had their own character arc and it was satisfying enough. There’s lots of characters here that I’m going to remember, that’s how much I loved them. As well as their character designs, which are a little…uhh, racially stereotypical? If I had to be honest…but they really stood out and became pretty memorable to me. And it’s these character designs that only added to the weird zaniness the show was, so I felt it just worked. And it’s not just the characters themselves, but also the designs of their cars.
This show was just fun, and it didn’t totally take itself too seriously all the time until the Gil stuff happened. Speaking of…
The Gil stuff I think would have been fine if only they integrated the subplot a little better, or maybe not at all? Basically if this were a two cour, I think it would have been fine. But seeing as how this is a one cour, it might have been best to integrate the subplot sooner or just not at all and just to focus on the race. Then again, it took almost halfway into the show to get into the race. I think the biggest complaint was the fact that we were promised a racing anime, but we actually didn’t have much racing happen. While we did have some racing, the show mostly focused on the drama with the characters and their own personal character arcs. In that aspect, I think the show was pretty successful. Each character grew and became a newer person by the end and they were all able to forge friendships with one another and I think they were pretty satisfying. As a racing anime, not quite.
If P.A. Works’ intention was to make this more of a drama with a western setting, then I think they did a great job. But since they advertised it as a racing anime, I have to scrutinize it a bit to be fair. Again, I was REALLY hoping that this would be a two cour based on its pacing and I think it would have been more successful that way but in the end this is what we got. Am I a little disappointed? Yeah. Is the show bad because of it? No way, this show is still fun and entertaining. Like I said, when it comes to us getting to know the characters and watching them grow, they did real well. As well as throwing in Industrial Revolution U.S. (more or less, this isn’t historically accurate), a tiny bit of racing, and some cool western fights and tropes and you’re going to have a good time.
And I think that’s the most important part, having fun. If you ever need an anime to just have fun watching, then this is it. It’s hilarious, strange, but still just so damn cool. It has so much uniqueness to it that kept me glued to the series. Appare, Kosame, Xialian, Al, and the others are such great characters that you’ll grow to love and it’s great to see their journey unfold. While it has its problems and some wasted potential, I’m still going to miss this show quite a bit. For what we got, I was still really happy with it.