In times where most of us can’t go to America, the next best thing is entertainment set there.
Appare-Ranman‘s got it all – it has fun, it has adventure and it has a huge race. In fact, it kind of reminds me of the Amazing Race, although the original incarnation of the show (just to clarify, that’s the one which is from America) only ever travelled America in the Family Edition, or at the start and end of races.
Sidebar: As of this writing, Appare-Ranman has made my favourites list out of all the comparisons I can make between the two races and some genuine love for the series, but…who knows? The shine could come off it eventually.
What makes The Amazing Race so fun to watch is seeing (most of the time, supposedly) ordinary people overcome obstacles placed in front of them and while the personalities of the characters are exaggerated and the stereotypes are even more exaggerated, Appare and friends create much the same effect. The fact it’s all tied up with spaghetti Western shootouts and sword fights is just icing on the cake.
Of course, no anime is perfect…if you think about when the anime is set, for instance, you can’t get a straight answer. (…it’s just a steampunk race anime. Roll with it.) Likewise, there are some racial stereotypes and on rare occasions, characters diss other characters’ masculinity but the latter is about as much as, say, Hypnosis Mic – you might expect it in the genre space, but if people notice it’s happening, they don’t kick up too much of a fuss about it and the focus is generally on characterisation or plot instead. On top of that – and this is just a personal quibble – I thought the anime title was for sure a pun on tenshinranman (天真爛漫, meaning “naivete”, “innocence” or “simplicity”), but the anime never did anything much with it (unless I had to read between the lines for that).
…”What’s up with that post title?” you’re asking? (Did you think I would forget that?) Just for your entertainment
(read: because I have almost no concept of American geography), I have put together a quick Google map of the course, correct as of episode 9:
(Well, although I say I have no grasp of American geography, even I can google for a place pronounced “ee-lee” in Nevada, as per the katakana provided in episode 6…Episode 12 also included a place called Stone Hill in Chicago.)
So, folks, did you like Appare-Ranman when it was airing?