Puraore! Pride of Orange is a slice of life sports anime airing in Fall 2021. Featuring a bright and cheerful art style, it is an enjoyable anime to pass time with, even if the characters aren’t as well-developed as they could be yet. Having watched the first three episodes, we are here to tell you all about this anime.
As with many slice of life anime, the plot is quite simple. Four girls—Manaka Mizusawa, Manaka’s younger sister Ayaka, and their childhood friends Kaoruko Yanagida and Mami Ono—start attending ice hockey practice together after Manaka comes across a poster advertising a free ice hockey trial class hosted by a professional team, Dream Monkeys. Initially they only planned to do it for the experience, but they quickly find their calling for ice hockey and decide to come again!
Puraore! Pride of Orange is a charming slice of life sports anime. Some fans may dub it part of the “cute girls doing cute things” genre, and we definitely agree. With consistent animation, the sports scenes are exciting and easy to follow. Adding to the production quality, the bright color palette combined with the characters’ adorable designs makes watching this anime a feast for the eyes. The backgrounds, including the stadium and the protagonist’s home also look amazing.
While the main theme of the anime is ice hockey, the girls are depicted doing a variety of activities. For example, they are also in an embroidery club. Additionally, the anime pays good attention to the girls’ relationships with each other. One aspect we like is that the girls are not playing ice hockey to be competitive. Instead, they are engaged in the sport to strengthen their friendship and have fun together.
One side character we’d like to highlight is their coach, Youko Matsunaga. She is a stunning, sassy, and slightly self-obsessed character. In the second episode, when a variety show team comes to film Manaka Mizusawa and they end up going to the ice hockey rink, Youko dresses up fancily to steal the attention for herself. She brags about her accomplishments to the team and, while doing exercises with the girls, she is constantly thinking about how good she’s performing on camera. We think she’s one of the most amusing and refreshing characters in the cast!
Oddly enough, the side character we just mentioned is likely one of the most interesting and unique characters in Puraore! As for the four protagonists and the other girls from a different school, Riko Saginuma and Naomi Takagi, they are a little harder to differentiate. Each girl has a unique enough character design, and some of them have revealed a bit of their personality: Ayaka is oftentimes cheeky to her older sister and seems to praise their friend Mami more often and Naomi is particularly shy but, in general, we found it hard to distinguish them from each other as people or connect with any particular character. They are all pretty cheerful and cute without any striking quirks or surprising habits. Still, we hope more of their uniqueness is revealed as more episodes become available, as we think all of these characters have the potential to become memorable.
Additionally, while this may be a positive for some people and a negative for others, we’d like to mention that a significant portion of the runtime is dedicated to things other than ice hockey. There are, for example, long scenes of the characters eating strawberries together. For serious sports anime fans, this might be a turn off, but for fans of slice of life anime and “cute girls doing cute things” anime, this might be a positive thing.
While it is not a perfect anime, we enjoyed watching the first three episodes of Puraore! for its cool animation and great depictions of cute characters hanging out together. We hope as the series goes on, it will dive deeper into making each character unique. We’re sure the sports scenes will get even more exciting once the girls exit training and become formal members of an ice hockey team! Do you plan on watching it? Give us a comment!