Studio P.A Works have brought us yet another incredible anime this season, and its name is Appare-Ranman! At first glance, this anime looks incredibly appealing with its unique animation and character design. It also gives off that western vibe, not unlike Cowboy Bebop did with its otherworldly nature and environmental designs. While it doesn’t completely share the charm Cowboy Bebop has, it’s still an anime that has a lot going for it.
The first thing most viewers will notice when Watching Appare-Ranman is its unique blend of western influences, specifically the 12th-century cowboy-themed Los Angeles and its standard Japanese settings. And while it succeeds in blending the two’s aesthetic surprisingly well, Appare-Ranman goes a step further with its unique steampunk additions as well.
Appare-Ranman follows the journey of Appare, a young but brilliant and astute inventor and his reluctant overseer Kosame, as they accidentally end up off the coast of Japan to 12th century America and their wacky mechanical adventures along the way.
What’s particularly interesting about the pair is how different they are and their individual characteristics. Appare is your typical anime smart protagonist who seems to only care about his own goals never minding or caring about others and their own intentions. Everything he does is to progress his personal goals so much, so he comes off a bit one track. It’s a good thing he’s brilliance shines through the series as someone who’s both passionate and capable.
Kosame, however, is almost the polar opposite of Appare. He’s the typical good guy who follows the rules and instructions and only seems to want to have a peaceful life even being satisfied with a fiancée he’s yet to meet. The dynamic between these two keeps the anime interesting. And when not focusing on the two, it shows us multiple glimpses of the vibrant world; it’s steampunk aesthetic and wacky character designs.
Though there are things that are quite frankly hard to ignore. For example, upon the duo arriving Los Angeles, there seems to be no language barrier between the pair and citizens whatsoever, it’s not clear if everyone else understands Japanese or they know some English themselves. Even on the boat, they arrived on communication was never a problem for them, which doesn’t make any sense.
And it’s something that is never addressed, which just becomes a detail that one can’t help but notice throughout. Another thing that isn’t explained is how these two landed on American soil and weren’t met with any opposition. As I’m pretty sure travel control was a thing back then. Nevertheless, this is a lesser concern that won’t stick around for the rest of the two episodes.
While episode one follows the pair as they familiarize themselves with their newfound surroundings, and their intention to win the iconic race that in turn will further their own goals, episode 2 shows their steps towards that goal while also introducing new characters.
Surprisingly In Depth
When Appare sneaks into the track to study the race cars at night followed closely by a reluctant Kosame, the pair meets a female racer named Jing Xialian, who dreams of being a properly-recognized racer in a world that otherwise won’t let her.
What’s important about their meeting is the conversation between Appare and Jing. Once Appare recognizes that she has the talent and being a woman shouldn’t stop her from becoming a racer, Kosame steps in and notes that not everyone can follow their passions aimlessly, without caring about repercussions.
That kind of character depth is always good to see in an anime, especially in one not focused on it. The episode also briefly shows us Kosame’s past as well as finishing off with the introduction of a mysterious gunslinger character. It’s too bad the rest of the anime recently got delayed due to that darn COVID-19, as it has a lot of potential. Nevertheless, Appare-Ranman is one you should keep an eye out for whenever it returns to us.
You can stream Appare-Ranman! on Funimation right now.
Have you seen Appare-Ranman? If so, what do you think about it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.