Light Novel / Prince Of Stride

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Hokkaido schoolgirl Nana Sakurai becomes moved after watching a stride (a fictional version of Le Parkour with relay elements) video on the Internet, so much that she decides to move to Tokyo and enroll as a freshman in the school of the two boys in the video: Honan Academy, and become the Stride Club's manager. Once there, she discovers the Stride Club is not in its best moments after their two aces quit and they had to merge with the Shogi Club to avoid disband. However, after Nana joins along with two of her classmates (the energetic Riku Yagami and the serious Takeru Fujiwara) the Honan Stride Club decides to pursue competitions again, facing their long time rival, Saisei High School, whose Stride Club members double as members of the idol group Galaxy Standard.

Prince of Stride started as a series of light novels released by Kadokawa Shoten in 2012. It received an Play Station Vita Otome Game, Prince of Stride Alternative, by Kadokawa Shoten and Dengeki Girl's Style in July 2015. A loose adaptation of the game started airing on the Winter 2016 Anime season by Madhouse.


Prince of Stride provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Sexuality: Takeru is a bachelor in the original game. In the anime he has no romantic interest in Nana and instead is implied to have a crush on Riku.
  • A Boy and His X: Takeru and his dog. They train together, with his dog running alongside him whenever he goes out jogging. Before he entered Hounan and met Nana, it was his only friend.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Tomoe and Shizuma. Like many examples, they are the source of the younger siblings' inferiority complex, as shown that whenever Tomoe is mentioned, Riku would lose control and will sprinted, not counting the length of his track, and Asuma refers to Shizuma as "onii-sama" . This question, asked by Asuma to Riku exemplifies it .
    Asuma: It's not easy when your big bro is superhuman, but you know that, right ?
  • Alpha Bitch: Yuri is implied to be this in the Dengeki article, with Hachiya and Washimi implied to be his loyal followers and they did refer to him as princess despite being male... Although his looks support the trope. So does his name, which means "Noble Lily Princess" .
  • Always Someone Better: Riku feels terribly overshadowed by his brother Tomoe, who he considers as a genius and thinks no matter how hard he works, he'll never reach his level.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Heath and his sisters are half-British and Yuri from Ichijoukan is half-Russian.
  • Bi the Way: Tetsu Hachiya. Fell in love with Yuri at first sight when he mistook him for a girl, reportedly had zero problem with it when he found out the truth, and has been seen in official artwork attempting to woo Yuri with flowers.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Riku to Nana, in the visual novel. Also, Nana to Reiji.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Naturally, since originally this is an Otome Game. Even the coach is a pretty man. The only women you see are Nana, Riko, Diane and Shauna. As well as Hozumi's younger sisters.
  • Childhood Friends: Reiji, Shizuma and Asuma. They were raised together due to the Mayuzumi family's father being the gardener for the Suwa estate.
    • Riku, Nana and Takeru. They met at one of the annual EOS Pre-Parties while accompanying their parents, ran a race for kids, and won. They promised each other to meet again in highschool to do stride again. Unfortunately, only Takeru remembers the promise, and the other two don't even recognize him because he got a lot thinner. Unsurprisingly he's not pleased about this, and flips out after Ayumu's injury because Nana was considering giving up.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Honan is blue, Saisei is red, Mihashi is green, Nagamine is orange, Ichijoukan is pink, Ichiba is purple, Tsubakimachi is light blue and Kakyoin is black. Alternatively, for each individual in Honan, Nana is pink, Riku is red when Takeru is blue, Heath and Ayumu are green (although with different shades), Hozumi is yellow, and Kuga is black.
  • The Comically Serious: Takeru in the anime. He's more of The Stoic in the visual novel. In the anime, Kuga also has shades of this.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The anime seems to follow Riku's route (although with alterations, skipping all his romantic scenes with Nana), ignoring Takeru's, Hozumi's and Reiji's and only giving Heath and Kyosuke a tiny bit of spotlight.
    • It's kind of a given when you try to shrink down a game that takes 60+ hours to play through into what, 6 hours of animation max?
    • The anime even cut out important characters to Nana's development such as her best friend Riko, uncle Koichi and pseudo-mom Sakura-chan, as well as Diane and Heath's middle sibling Shauna. Compare the anime ending card to the proper one drawn by the official artist.
    • Same goes for the characters who do make it to the anime. A lot of their personalities are distorted, and their backstory issues aren't touched on at all.
  • Cool Bike: Kuga rides a motorbike to school. It makes him look even more like a delinquent.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Surprisingly, with the amount of You Gotta Have Blue Hair and Technicolor Eyes running rampant, only few characters have this, most notably Ayumu and Reiji, foreshadowing their odd one out characteristic. Specifically, Ayumu is the only member of Honan team that you can't romance, and with Reiji it's the opposite. He is the only love interest from other school.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Saisei to Hounan in episode 3. Unsurprisingly, Hounan loses.
  • Dragged into Drag: Hozuki is forced to wear a dress when the team is modeling for Heath's sister brand.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In the original Japanese dub, Nana addresses Riku and Takeru by their last names. In the eleventh episode of the anime, after remembering that she was Childhood Friends with Riku and Takeru, she calls them by their first name for the first time. The emotional impact of this scene is lost in the English dub, where Nana is shown to be addressing the two of them by their first names from the very beginning.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Yuri Himemiya from Ichijoukan. And he's an Alpha Bitch.
    • Sakura-chan, real name Madoka Sakurakouji. He pulls it off despite being 35 years old.
    • Hozumi with the right clothes and makeup.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Tomoe, although when running he is as fabulous as Kuga.
  • Fanservice: Mostly in the anime. Takeru's groping in the anime will be very pleasing to fans of Ho Yay, the boys looks extremely pretty (with their sweat looking more like sparkly drops than anything), in episode 2 Riku and Heath model using tuxedos and in episode 4 the boys are shown naked in an open bath. It doesn't stop there, in episode 7 at the end of joint training camp with Saisei, after they play with fireworks on the beach Riku suddenly removes his shirt, gets into the sea, and almost all the boys (save Shizuma) follows after. A dozen of half-naked (with exception of Ayumu who got into the sea without removing his shirt) young boys, all of them pretty, playing in the sea? Wonderful. We're not done yet, the fanservice is back in Episode 9, whose second half is a Pool Episode.
    • The leg groping quirk is completely absent in the visual novel. Takeru is a lot more conscientious of other people's personal space, and keeps more to himself in a better demonstration of The Stoic.
  • Five-Man Band: Stride teams need five runners and a relationer to support them to avoid obstacles. The Honan Stride team works in such way:
    • The Leader: Riku, being the most energetic out of all of them.
    • The Lancer: Takeru, considered The Ace, the one most driven into stride and whose efforts help the team the most.
    • The Big Guy: Heath, who despite being the captain is the tallest out of all the team and the one who started it. His parts in the track usually is the longest, or the steepest slope, that needs extra stamina to maintain the lead.
    • The Chick: Nana, the only girl and the only one to have a position other than runner.
    • The Trickster: Hozumi, who loves jokes and pranks and acts as The Lancer when associated with Heath.
    • Sixth Ranger: Ayumu, the odd one out, being the only not to be specially interested in stride (he's actually the sole member of the Shogi club) and being dragged into the team to complete the five runner number. In the game, he's also the only teammate that can't be romanced. After getting injured in the race against Mihashi, he's replaced by Kuga.
  • Freudian Trio: The current Honan first years trio, as well Honan Golden Trio in the past.
    • Honan current first years trio:
      • Superego: Takeru, that is calm and only think on how to improve for the sport.
      • Id : Riku, hot-blooded and cheerful, and is very prone to mental game.
      • Ego: Nana, connects both and when she is very nice, she is also pretty tactical by herself. There is a reason why she's the relationer, you know.
    • Honan Golden Trio:
      • Superego: Tomoe. Albeit is more prone to feels upset than Kuga, his actions is more based on logic with less consideration on moral, for example Pushing Riku to his limits and belittling him to develop his talent.
      • Id: Heath. The most ambitious and emotional of the three.
      • Ego: Kuga. Although initially it's pretty hard to see who is the superego and ego between him and Tomoe because both are very calm, collected and stoic, he is the ego, because he connects both Heath and Tomoe. By the time he's out form the club, Heath and Tomoe lost contact with each other, but both still contacts him sometimes.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: In episode 4, Ayumu injures himself during the race against Mihashi when he jumps into a tree. He's unable to join in any stride races since then. A similar incident happens during Hounan's race against Ichijyokan in the visual novel.
    • Shizuma also had a similar one in middle school, which basically crippled him. It's the reason he became a relationer.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Shizuma to Reiji, after Saisei loses to Honan in the semi-finals. It's important enough in Reiji's route to guarantee a CG.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Nana and Ichijoukan's Yuri.
  • Graceful Loser: Yuri, in contrast to Dozono's Villainous Breakdown . He casually admit his loss.
  • Hair Decoration: Hozumi uses hairclips to keep his bangs out of the way when doing stride and Heath uses a headband most of the time, only taking it off when modeling or taking a bath. And Nana remplaces her plain hairties with pink ribbons for stride races.
  • The Heart: Nana.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shizuma for Reiji during middle school. We aren't told exactly what this incident is, but it crippled him and left him wheelchair-bound for quite a number of years. He got better with physiotherapy, though, and regained his ability to walk. This is the reason he became a relationer instead of a runner.
  • Hidden Depths: Everyone has this in the visual novel. In each of their routes, Nana is the catalyst that helps them get their shit together.
    • Riku has his complex out of being shadowed by Tomoe, as well as not understanding Tomoe's fervent dedication to training. It's the reason why he's so determined to get the hell out of doing anything related to Stride, only Nana manages to convince him.
    • Takeru has his own personal dreams conflict with that of his father's expectations. He left his home to study in Honan to pursue his own dreams, so he is a boarding student. His loner tendencies are out of a lack of social communication proficiency, which led to conflicts time and again with his father. Nana teaches him how to take better care of himself.
    • Hozumi is from a broken family and tries his hardest to care for his siblings. He holds great resentment for his father whom he thought ditched his mother and him, but the truth was that his father's business was crumbling and he didn't want them to get involved. In an even more cruel twist, Hozumi only finds out after his father dies.
    • Heath has to deal with the aftermath of the Golden Trio disbanding, as well as the fact that he is the weakest out of the three of them. As a result, he doesn't really have much hope for the team until Nana came onto the scene. Compared to Hozumi and Takeru, his family dynamics are a lot more positive.
    • Kyosuke being at first unwilling to clear his name and only becomes motivated to do it with the help of Kaede and Kaede's father. Despite school rumours, he is a very kind and gentle person, having being resigned to his slandered name before the start of the game.
    • Reiji has to juggle responsibilities of Stride, Galaxy Standard, as well as his family's heavy inheritance burden. His relaxed cheerfulness is something he keeps up to hide his stress and maintain his reputation as the Perfect Prince of the Galaxy (his game title). It's no surprise that he collapses several times out of sheer overwork.
  • Idol Singer: The members of the Saisei Stride team, who double as the idol unit Galaxy Standard.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Heath is considered the most handsome of the bachelors in the team, and he has been modeling since he was a kid.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Tomoe,oh so much.
  • Jerkass: Although almost all the team could qualify, Ichijyoukan's relationer takes the cake, having no reserves in verbally bullying Nana as well as blaming on his teammates their loss against Honan.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Tasuku speaks in this manner.
  • Keet: Riku.
  • Like Father Like Daughter: Joe Sakurai, Nana's father, is the coordinator for most stride competitions and is considered the "king" of the sport". Nana, likewise, participated on stride competitions since she was little and in the Kakyoin match she's called the "princess".
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Kyosuke in Honan and Shizuma in Saisei.
  • Lots And Lots Of Characters: Considering each team has six members, and that Honan and Saisei aren't the sole schools to be featured...
  • Love at First Sight: In the visual novel, Riku falls for Nana literally on the first day of school. There are traces of this in the anime as well.
  • Megane: Takeru (but he uses contacts when doing stride), Ayumu and Yujiiro.
  • Mood Whiplash: Episode 8. Dear god, episode 8. After all the fun with Saisei in Episode 7, and Episode 9 with the rest of the Honan team trying to get Riku and Takeru to work together and a Pool Episode, episode 8 is just chock full with angst. Let's see...
    • Nana got a call from her father and told her he's coming back to Japan and she will have to move to other school that he will be working for. That's just the starter.
    • Nana's flashback about her father going abroad, keeping her in her grandparents' care, where she asked him not to leave. The fact that he didn't talk to her at all at the trial match doesn't help.
    • Tomoe was Kuga's opponent for the 4th turn and he realized their paths never crossed. The image of lonely Tomoe walking alone in the darkness where he saw Kuga walking into the Honan Stride club , into the light is just heart-breaking. Then he apologized to Kuga for attempting to get him into Kakyoin... Oh, and Heath listened when Tomoe said that.
    • Amatsu bragging that no one can defeat him, with wide gap with Takeru, and despaired Takeru telling himself that he already dedicated himself for Stride.
    • Honan lost. Even it's just a trial match it's still shocking with the wide gap. Riku was about to go away, but when Takeru hold him, he just yelled at him, "You're no different with Tomoe!" Then you see Riku's flashback, trying to chase Tomoe, but never being able to. Tomoe only wants to run with Riku and nothing more, but the wide skill gap pressured Riku. When Tomoe asked Riku to run again one day, Riku harshly answers that running is no fun with him and he hates his brother. Then we're back to the present, with depressed Riku looking at the track, with Tomoe greeting him fro behind... And the episode ends there. What.
  • Mystical White Hair: Kuga has a long mane of white hair and he's easily the most mysterious and "magical" out of the main cast, always analyzing how the wind goes and so on.
  • Nice Guy: Among all the hot-blooded and violent rivals, Natsunagi from Kakyoin and Yu from Mihashi definitely qualify.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted when Takeru and Riku have upset stomach from the giant shaved ice and seen running to the bathroom. Playing with since it's not graphic.
  • Older Than They Look: Hozumi looks like a middle school student, but is a second year, one year older than Riku, Takeru and Nana. Asuma is also this, as Riku expresses shock when he said he is second-year.
  • Onee-sama: Gender-inverted with Shizuma.
  • Parental Neglect: Nana's mom passed away when she was little. Her father left for the US due to his work being coordinating stride competitions: Nana was left in her grandparents' care and later moved with other relatives when she transferred to Tokyo.
  • Passing the Torch: From the parental generation to the children's generation. Nana's parents were part of a stride team during their university days, with Nana's mother being the relationer and Nana's father, Yujiro and Sakura-chan being runners. Presumably this is why Yujiro is the supervising teacher for the Honan team. Throughout the game, Sakura-chan and Yujiro give Nana advice, and Nana's father also trying to get her under his wing.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Tomoe.
  • Princely Young Man: Reiji. Bonus points for actually being an heir to a rich family.
  • Psychic Link: Yes, telepathy features in this game. Some of the relationers are able to sense the feelings and actions of their teammates - it's not a compulsory skill to participate in the sport, but the best teams' relationers often have this ability. Nana, Shizuma, Toya and Nana's mother are known to have this ability.
    • Nana's mother passed down her ability to her daughter, presumably. Both of them are so powerful that they can trigger a scenario known as Overflow, where the Psychic Link extends to the audience as well. Everyone can hear each other's thoughts. Nana's mother did it once in their team's race, and Nana does it herself during the final match against Kakyoin regardless of the route chosen.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Nana.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Tomoe. His red eyes seems to exemplify the fact he is the most talented of the Golden Trio and the only one to pull a Face–Heel Turn. Also, it's in darker shade than Riku's eye color.
  • Red Herring: Before the match , Yu from Mihashi said he is just a figurehead. He means it. He is just a decoy. The person who gives the actual command when should the next runner starts is Kei, giving commands from his watch.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Riku is the red, Takeru is the blue. If you look at them closely, their eyes are exactly those colors. (although Riku's eyes are somehow pink-ish and Takeru's is gray-ish. ) To lesser extent, Ayumu-Hozumi and Heath-Kuga also have this dynamic, with Ayumu and Heath being the Red while Hozumi and Kuga being their respective Blue.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Rare male example: Shizuma.
  • Satellite Character: Despite Nana being the one that starts the plot, later in the series she doesn't do much other than being the relationer and giving the cast some kind of female presence. The boys don't even pay her too much attention outside of Riku blushing when looking at her a couple of times on episode 1, and in episode 2 they don't react when she's put on a cheerleader outfit. Most of the plot is developed through all the other male characters.
    • Subverted in the visual novel, where she is the main character. The entire story is told from her perspective, and we get great insight into her thoughts. She pulls the team together and helps each of the boys solve their backstory problems in their routes.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Riku is blonde, light-hearted and energetic. Tomoe, however, is black haired, aloof and gloomy. Their only similarity is their eye color.
    • The two Kamoda brothers from Mihashi. Kei is much more hotblooded and the captain and main runner of the team, despite being the younger brother. Yu, however, is much more laid-back and serene, and acts as the relationer of the team. They also don't look too similar, with Kei being black-haired and Yu being blond.
    • Also to a lesser extent, Shizuma and Asuma Mayuzumi. Shizuma, the elder, is a Bishōnen with long hair and the Team Mom, using keigo almost all the time in public. Asuma on the other hand is more shounen, has visibly dyed hair, and speaks in more casual Japanese.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Takeru and Hozumi have blue eyes, Riku and his brother Tomoe have red eyes, Heath and Ayumu have green eyes, and Nana have pink eyes. Also, there's Yuri and Reiji with purple eyes, and Kazuki with yellow eyes.
  • The Dragon: Shizuma, to Reiji. Comes with the Undying Loyalty, too.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Nana is the sole girl to be part of a stride team in all the series.
    • Kind of a duh considering that this is an otome series.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Hozumi in Honan and Kaede in Saisei.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Takeru: Protein spread. He is often spreads that to whatever he is eating.
    • Riku: Yakisoba bread. Because it is his family bakery's specialty, it is often sold out and he don't have the chance to bring it to school, but he eats it often enough to be called his trademark favorite food.
    • Tomoe: He always having lunch with bean bread and soy milk, and the cafetaria lady called him out on that. Even back in his parents' home, he always eats that.
    • Reiji: Hot dogs, and to a lesser extent junk food. It Makes Sense in Context given how much activity he does in a single day - stride, idol work and also traditional Japanese dance, he needs the calories.
    • Kaede: His character page in the game states that he loves green tea. And in episode 3, he is seen drinking green tea after Galaxy Standard's performance.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Tomoe looks eerie, with his Peek-a-Bangs and dark black locks, but his voice is much sweeter than it seems like.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Played with Kuga. Kuga was rumored as this thanks to his delinquent-like appearance (goes to school with a bike, a chain dangling from his pocket, etc), and then there is Heath's incident. Bonus that his hair is not only white, but also long. Also, his character color is black. Emphasis on rumored, that it's not the truth. In fact, he actually is an aversion of this trope. He invoked this trope in people's eyes by taking all the blame for the sake of maintaining the club. Also when you go for his route, you will think of him as "the nicest person you'll ever met"
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Reiji has purple hair, Shizuma has pink hair, Kaede has green hair.
    • Let's not forget Amatsu with hot pink hair.
  • Youthful Freckles: Yuri in the official art, though barely noticeable.
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