I generally don’t review kids shows on here, but hey whatever.

Haneru may look like the kind of character that got lost on his way to the latest Card Game Advertisement For Young Boys anime, but he has an entirely different hobby. He loves, lives and breathes street-dance, idolizes the famous dancer Jey El and practices in the same place every day. Unbeknownest to him, the mirror he likes to practice in front of is actually a window, and he seems to have a fan – a pink-haired girl named Kanon who likes to watch him whenever he practices. She also has a secret identity as ‘Rhythm’ – the dancer whose self-uploaded videos are currently taking the internet by storm. The two eventually meet face to face and decide that they should form a team.

And here I though those 1 point stickers that came on drinks never even did anything…apparently if you collect enough of them you can win stuff.

Like I said, I tend to steer clear of reviewing anime aimed at a preteen audience because they’re usually thinly veiled toy commercials and there’s only so much you can say about those (plus I would feel like some kind of evil Grinch for having to constantly point this out, like I am sucking all the joy out of something obviously aimed at children) but Tribe Cool Crew made me vaguely interested for two reasons. One, it’s Sunrise, and I do at least try to look at most things they do, and two, it’s actually a moderately unique concept for a kid’s anime. I can’t even count the amount of anime that exist that focus on idol-style dancing (aimed at both kids and adults alike), but this one is entirely about street dancing. It seems to be something growing in popularity among Japanese youth lately, but hey, if there’s going to be an anime to advertise something it’s probably better if it’s a fun hobby that doubles as exercise than toys, right?

The art style is a vaguely surreal blend of typical ‘kodomo’ anime and a hip-hop-esque aesthetic that’s bound to be polarizing. When I first started the episode I honestly thought the character designs were terrible, although they admittedly grew on me a little seeing them in the context of the show. However, I can’t help but think that TCC would have worked a lot better as a video game. Granted that it’s aimed at the 7am-on-sundays crowd (literally, according to the next episode announcement) a game version is likely to also exist if it does well enough, but there really isn’t much to this show besides people dancing. And the dancing is, of course, motion-captured CGI which always feels really uncanny-valley in anime – and with the weird character designs and blank faces they have when dancing in this one it’s even more so.

I can’t exactly recommend it, but I’m definitely not the target audience. It does seem to have made an effort to make the dancing look cool and fun to kids, which is the entire point, so I wouldn’t call it bad. I’m actually a little interested in how it performs against the usual card-game advertisement shows, though.

I suppose it might be fun for kids but man did the dances look awkward to me.

Out of 5, melonmelon

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