Appare-Ranman! An anime about the Trans-America Wild Race
Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor
Yesterday, I caught up on all the anime I had been behind on due to moving in, classes, and life in general. One of the ones that stood out to me, unique in story and characters, was a show called Appare-Ranman! or “Appare in Full Bloom” in English. The show is created by Studio P.A. Works and is licensed by Funimation.
The story follows the eccentric character of Appare Sorano and his blender samurai friend Kosame Isshiki. After running away from home, the two of them end up stranded on the west coast of America during the late 19th century. Appare is an interesting character that could be assumed to have Savant Syndrome (but this is never explicitly said) and has incredible skill in working with cars and mechanics. After a handful of antics between a native American child, a Chinese immigrant woman, and a rich Frenchman; Appare and Kosame end up being involved in the Trans American Wild Race.
The race involves a wide variety of cars, meant to show off the benefits of the gas engine versus steam engine and takes the character all the way from California to New York. Appare enters the race, determined to win with a car of his own creation.
In the seven episodes that have been released so far, the show explores issues of gender and race roles and the clash of cultures. Ignore the fact that every character conveniently all speaks Japanese. The representation of different cultures and races is left pretty stereotypical, but part of anime is eye-catching character designs and aside from appearance, the representations are respectful and more subdued.
The show also begins to explore Kosame’s PTSD from his mother’s murder and Appare branching out and exploring more social and interactive relationships despite his special interest in mechanics and Hototo’s (the Native American child’s) quest for revenge after his family is killed and his people are being abused.
The light-hearted show touched on serious and important parts of life, growth, and American history, leaving the show entertaining and gripping despite only having seven episodes released, and more to come.
The show is released weekly on Fridays and can be watched in the United States through Funimation’s website at https://www.funimation.com/shows/appare-ranman/.