443rd G-View: Uma Musume -Pretty Derby- 2

This surprise 2nd season came out of nowhere. It felt like a last minute bombshell announcement. According to my “dear sister” both the mobile game and a potential 2nd season were in limbo but thankfully both successfully released. However, we are here to talk about the anime sequel and find out if it was worth the wait as we take a look at Uma Musume – Pretty Derby 2.

Check out my review of the 1st season HERE and be sure to look up the Uma Musume: BNW no Chikai OVAs to learn more about certain side-horses who reintroduce themselves in the 2nd half of S2.

Uma Musume S2

Genres: Animal Girls, Comedy, Drama, Racing, Sports, Tournament.

Themes: Horse Girls, Kemonomimi

Number of Episodes: 13

G-Rating: 10/10

Plot Summary: The 2nd season follows Tokai Teio and Mejiro McQueen. Teio grew up as huge fan of Symboli Rudolph and made it her goal to follow a similar career path as her to become as good or better than her idol. Meanwhile McQueen continues her path to bring honor and glory to the Mejiro dynasty of top tier horses.

Teio determinedFor the most part the setup is the same as the first season of Pretty Derby, meaning it is still a serious sports anime about racing horse girls who give their all on the track and go through many ups and downs throughout their journeys to become the best of the best…and once in a while sing on stage because idols are popular in Japan. It also takes parts of the careers of the real horses each girl is based on and combines them with the narrative of the anime. The idol stuff still felt tacked on but ultimately served its purpose of a tertiary thing in this series. The girls have their cute and funny moments for sure, which are great, but at the end of the day it is about the spirit of competition and quest for horse girl supremacy between friends and rivals.

Tokai Teio Speed BoostThe “Muri!” meme lives on.

The presentation is once again quite good, capturing the speed and thrill like a real derby but the camera were following the action close up rather than from a spectators’ seats. The excitement is further enhanced when the girls tap into what I like to refer to as the “Speed Force”. Yup. The same one from The Flash. The returning and new horse girls all have lovely designs ranging from cute, sexy or both. The soundtrack gets the job done fitting the mood.

Twin Turbo ready to substituteOn to the personal main differences. Last time I felt the main horses on Team Spica were all excellent while the side-horses were hit and miss. Most of the main horses from the first season return with some side-horses making small cameos here and there. The first major difference is how much I love the new side-horses this season. Every single one from Team Canopus to Mejiro Palmer were all excellent and each had their own arc. When the spotlight shone on one or more they grabbed the proverbial brass ring and flew to the moon. The new side-horses were that damn awesome! Special mention goes to a certain “heel”. Her arc was my favorite of the season because she was great with a blue cutie coming in 2nd. Even Trainer Guy was cool. I did not dislike him as much as some did last time but now that there were no new Team Spica members he did not make viewers annoyed by “checking” horses’ “leg strength”. There are two guys I did not care much for. I know the stereotype is guys are more analytical discussing sports but replace them with girls who did the same thing and no one would know the difference. Point being they could have had the pony fangirls do the same thing and it would have been the same. Point being those fanboys were kinda pointless.

Teio and McQueen readyContinuing the discussion of characters let us go over the new leads, former side-horses Tokai Teio and Mejiro McQueen. I will get to the point. Overall I thought Special Week and Silence Suzuka were better leads (Special is even a fantastic side-horse in S2). That does not mean Teio and McQueen were bad. Far from it. They were good leads. What got them over was the next big difference this season. There was strong drama in S1, yes. In S2 though…let me put it this way. It felt like life had it in for these two. As mentioned the anime takes parts of the real horses’ careers and blends it with the show’s narrative…but it seriously felt on multiple occasions like the world did not want these two to be happy. It made for a heart pounding journey no doubt but dang was it tough to watch at times, in a good way. Basically solid protagonists, EXCELLENT journey that may have had some similarities to Special’s and Suzuka’s but more than enough to be their own tale. The same can be said for the new side-horses’ journeys as I already mentioned.

Teio tries to save faceWhen it comes to horse girls, Little Viktoria said it best, the two constants in the horse girl universe are, hardships to overcome and yuri. As a Gold McQueen supporter from S1 I was not looking forward to the possibility of McTeio becoming a reality. However, after seeing it to the end, I admit the relationship buildup was well done. So much so I recovered from Gold McQueen’s end. Besides, it was done a heck of a lot better than what happened in Love Live Sunshine S2. As much as I love Aqours’ animated journey that little smudge still irks me. Back to the gay horsies. Besides McTeio there are several other couples on the show besides Special Silence who managed to make a long distance relationship work. In short, plenty of cute soft yuri to be found.

Why did I enjoy Uma Musume 2 so much? An excellent main story, excellent side-stories, everything that made the first season great remained intact, including the yuri, and last but not least, THIS SEASON WAS SO GOOD I WAS EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN A MINI-ARC ABOUT HAIRCUTS! I had a good feeling I would enjoy this season but did not expect to enjoy it so much it would become one of my favorite anime of 2021. I do not know if other fans will enjoy it as much as I did but you all came here to read my thoughts so there you go.

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About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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11 Responses to 443rd G-View: Uma Musume -Pretty Derby- 2

  1. Kotori_Sonoda says:

    I have no idea what it is with this show and haircuts. Aside from our haircut ladies, one of the delinquents bet to shave his josuke hair if Teio wins! There goes his hair haha
    This season was basically Teio and Mcqueen going through the wringer, it made me feel for them, it made me happy for their wins and sad for their losses. Every single race was heart pounding!
    The side characters were all so good too! This is one aspect this season shined over s1, the background cast was more interesting. I’m now firmly a Rice Shower supporter.
    As someone who shipped Mcship, well let’s just say I’m gonna add Mcteio to the list of things I ship! I multiship a lot so it’s no issue. Also those ship names sound like McDonald items… are all her ship names gonna be like this? Hahaha!

    PS, I wasn’t around when you handled Sunshine but I will say, the way they went about it with was wrong in hindsight. I’m still a fan of that ship tho, I love crack and it felt like a crack ship to me! No issues if you dislike it tho that’s understandable considering how it went.

    So back to gay horses! Overall rating, well, I gave S1 a 10 on MAL, so hell, I’m gonna throw a 10 on this one too! One of the shows I was looking forward to week by week, consistently put out great episodes, it’s just something I enjoyed immensely. I crave more Uma Musume but my phone can’t handle the mobile game! Sad life haha

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Their journey was so emotionally draining. Loved it.

      The hair girls are dating now. Fantastic.

      The Josuke guy betting his hair was amusing. Probably an unintended homage to “Luchas de Apuesta”.

      I don’t multi-ship myself.

      Long story short my issue with the sudden YohaRiko thing in S2 for the sake of fanboy pandering because they’re in Guilty Kiss with Mari, especially after the awesomeness that was ChiRiYou in S1. At least they seemed to hint ChiRiYou was back on track in the movie. That’s all I’ll say on this topic. I already talked about it a lot during that time period.

      Two excellent seasons, yes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. chikorita157 says:

    Overall, the season second is definitely better in terms of story. Cygames really knows how to pull those heart strings, but it’s not too surprising since they want the races pretty close to what happen in real life with a few changes. But still, the drama is pretty good and got me emotionally invested. Sure, Suzuka hardly got any screentime since her story is pretty much over, but it’s good to see her come back in the end.

    Also nice to see the other horse girls receive some character development. Sure, it may be a bummer that Gold McQueen didn’t became a reality. Still, it’s good to see other pairings that I would never think of become possible. Yes, I am talking about Diamond and Kitasan along with Mihono and Rice Shower. No matter how many hate her, Rice Shower is a precious cinnamon bun. Still, it makes me wonder what Cygames will do for a theoretical third season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      It’s a cliche tagline but Uma Musume 2 was an undeniable roller coaster of emotions and I loved it!

      While Gold McQueen’s end was sad I give the writers props for how they handled McTeio. I freakin’ love Rice Shower plus Bourbon is a gorgeous girlfriend for her. Despite the lack of Suzuka it’s great to know Special and her made their long distance relationship work. Let’s not forget Diamond and Black. So precious.

      Were we to get a 3rd season best case scenario would be Diamond and Black as the protagonists.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. yurimylove says:

    that finale is super intense! love all the beautiful racing costumes, aerodynamics be damned 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. K says:

    This season was fantastic! Watching Teio and McQueen’s triumphs and trials was so good yet so very gut-wrenching. The bond forged between those two through all this is one that can’t be broken.

    They really put the “grand” in the grand finale! That final race had me at the edge of my seat and when Teio pulled off that miracle win, it almost brought me to tears. The idol performance afterwards was phenomenal. To top it all off, I liked the ED theme. It felt like the end of a movie to me.

    The side horses this season were indeed great. At first, Team Canopus was a joke but they really grew on me as the season progressed, Nice Nature and Twin Turbo especially. Dia and Kita were cute admirers for our main horse girls and by the end, they get to race alongside them (possibly). My favourite was Rice Shower and I loved her mini-arc. She really needs a lot of hugs.

    One last thing, I liked the flow of time over the course of this season. What I really mean by that though is, as time went on, the horse girl(s) of the period changed as well. Seems pretty obvious but it was a nice touch.

    P.S.: The Barbershop Arc was the funniest love story ever told 😉

    P.S.S.: There wasn’t a lot of eye pokes this season, maybe because Gold Ship was the main victim of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Almost everything about this season was excellent, yes.

      This season was so good it made a little love story about hair one of the most engaging things all Winter.

      Gold McQueen will be missed but McTeio’s good too so my sadness was brief.

      Like

  5. Somebody says:

    A fantastic second season worthy of the 10/10. It has intense races, emotionally gripping stories, and yuri love that makes the horse girls stronger. Not sure what more you can ask for from a season. This really has been a season of incredible sequels.

    Also as for the trainer guy he’s never really bothered me. He’s genuinely a good guy that cares about the horse girls. And he already has an adult love interest anyway he’s not interested in the horse girls that way.

    Like

  6. I’m late, but oh boy was it worth the wait! This was an amazing S2 for this show, and I might even say I enjoyed it more than the 1st, and I seriously enjoyed that too. I think what made the difference was the deeper story that really got me invested in Teio and McQueen. I didn’t think much of them in S1, but I’m really glad they got their own focus in this season, and what a journey they had! It was great seeing them overcoming their devastating dilemmas and finding their dreams in each other. I will miss Gold Ship too, but as you said, they certainly developed McTeio so well, I can’t be disappointed in the slightest. It’s so believable and they honestly deserve it. I’m really glad we got to see confirmation that Special and Suzuka are still going strong despite the distance. The other couples were wonderful as well. Rice Shower definitely had one of the best arcs, but my personal favorite girls of this season were Palmer and Teio. I don’t know if we’ll be lucky enough to get a S3, but if we are, I’d be happy to have it. I wonder who’d they’d focus on next? This was definitely a highlight of this Winter season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Twas a fantastic 2nd season, yes indeed.

      Precisely. McTeio was done so well I was able to recover from the loss of Gold McQueen.

      The side-horses were all so good this season any of them would make great picks for one of the best horses. Teio and McQueen’s journey was very emotional one and very well done.

      Special and Suzuka proved long distance relationships can work if your love for each other is strong enough.

      Liked by 1 person

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