Can I get a heck yes!? Appare-Ranman Episode 5 has, by far, been the best episode of the series yet. While technically that’s not a huge accomplishment for a show that’s five episodes deep, after a particularly lackluster episode 4 I was beginning to think the excitement I had when the show was first announced was entirely unfounded. After all, several episodes in this show that’s supposed to be an early 20th-century wacky race across America and we’ve seen barely any car action yet! Previously, the show had been coasting on its visual design, admittedly very inspired, and the promise that something big was coming. However, this episode saw Appare-Ranman let loose and indulge in its own best qualities making for a very enjoyable 22 minutes of animation.
The one area this anime has been delivering even during its lulls has been in its creative fashion and character designs. Each new racer and supporting character added to the cast only further’s the show’s penchant for penning up a cast that is distinct from the oceans of generic anime character templates so common in ou modern era. Brights colors, extravagance, and flamboyance, the era of ‘overdesigned’ characters is so far past that I welcome any taste of it we get. Appare-Ranman Episode 5 introduces Gil, a supposedly tough racer with a ton of street credit, and he strolls right up into the fine dining establishment looking like this. One of the thousand three, meaning he’s one of three racers strong enough to take on one thousand baddies, he’s got the clout to just go for it!
Appare-Ranman Episode 5 largely takes place the night before the Trans American race begins and to celebrate a giant reception is held the night before. It’s here where, for the first time, we get to see this anime really shine. When ‘Crazy TJ’ decides that a raffle isn’t a sufficient way to pick the starting order, all hell breaks loose in said fine dining establishment and it’s a hoot and a holler! TJ and one of the other big racers start playfully shooting at each other as they tear up the place, and there’s a real sense of joy and movement in the animation here. Kosame and Lyon above get into a contest over who can slice up a cucumber fastest and Xialin kicks the teeth out of some dude. Going from 0 to 100, we promise it’s a good time.
As if treating us to the liveliest scene the anime has had to offer yet wasn’t enough, Appare-Ranman Episode 5 actually finishes off by starting the damn race! Yes, the thing we’ve been clamoring for since Episode 1 is finally off to a start. We only get a small taste, and some additional foreshadowing that something’s afoot, but I haven’t been pumped for next week’s episode of Appare-Ranman until now. I do hope the series is able to keep up some of this episode’s humor and its general visual creativity now that the race has begun.
You can watch Appare-Ranman Episode 5 on Funimation.