One last game.

Here we go.

Snow White vs. Dream Monkeys. The game we all wanted and waited for is finally here! I think for this review I’ll just cover the highlights of the game as I’m not doing a full play by play of what happened.

We left off ep 11 with Maya opening the scoring early on, like under 2 minutes into the game. She’s looking very dangerous already and if the Dream Monkeys want any chance in winning this game, stopping Maya is their top priority. Easier said than done as Maya is a fast skater and a strong player. The Dream Monkeys thankfully tie it up with a goal from Manaka, beating the Snow White goalie low blocker side with a nice wrist shot. So far they’re keeping up with Snow White, but there is still a lot of hockey left to be played.

The second period gets a little physical as Maya delivers a bodycheck to Ayaka, which is illegal in woman’s hockey and in turn she gets a 2 minute penalty. For those unaware, bodychecking isn’t allowed in women’s hockey so if a player does bodycheck another player, they’ll receive a penalty. With Maya in the box it was finally time to see the Dream Monkeys on the power play.  Unfortunately they couldn’t capitalize on the power play so the game remains tied at 1 after 40 minutes.

In between the periods Eri and Yu finally have another moment to catch up, this time not to heated and the two can speak their minds. Eri basically wanted to say she now knows how Yu felt back when she was still on the Snow White and how they relied on her too much. The two could finally put their differences aside and clear up any misunderstandings that might have been held over from Yu’s time on the Snow White.

The final period of the game is like a chess match, each time trying to out maneuver the other other in an effort to score but as the clocks ticks down, the score is still tied at 1. With time running out and overtime looming on the horizon, the Dream Monkeys make one final rush in the dying seconds and end up scoring off a rebound. Manaka with the winning goal. I thought for sure Yu would score at least 1 goal here on her former team, but Manaka got both and gave the Dream Monkeys their win. As expected the idol element of the show returns as the girls perform their on ice victory dance after the game.

Final Thoughts

Well after 12 eps what do I think of Pride of Orange? Honestly I have to say I’m pretty disappointed. Hockey means a lot to me and many others and this being the first ever hockey anime, it failed to put hockey at the forefront and show us viewers what the game is really about. Hell, we barely even got to see the other players on the Dream Monkeys too, it felt like the team consisted of only the mains girls and that’s it. Other sports anime I’ve seen in recent times have at least made more of an effort in showing what the sport is about, but Pride of Orange really didn’t take the time to get into the game and show just how great it is.

True at the end of the day this is still a cute girls doing cute things show, so that much should tell you what to expect going into it, but still I’d hoped they would focus more on the hockey side of the show. And adding the idol elements were a mistake if I’m being completely honest. Sure I like idol anime, but in this show it just felt so far out of place that when it did return in ep 12, it just felt bad overall.

It’s sad really, I wanted this show to be good and I tried to like it, but it was just too hard to by the end. The actual on screen game moments were good but too few and far in between. But even during a game it was hard to really get a sense of everything happening as all the shots felt so tight to the characters and you could only really see just a few on screen at a time. I guess you could say this is because animating a full on game and all the players movements and everything would take too long and cost too much, but still it would’ve made for a more authentic experience and viewers a taste of what hockey is about. So for the few on screen hockey moments we did get, at least they looked decent and they got the sounds right as well.

Even in the final ep, which is all just one game, we hardly got to see any of the game being played as it kept on cutting back to Coach Yoko briefing the players or just other drama elements. This was what everything was leading to, at least blow the budget and show us the game for this final ep. For example, we only just got to see the Dream Monkeys power play in action for the first time in the show, but they didn’t even take the time to explain what a power play is to the viewers who might not know much about hockey. It’s the details, or lack thereof, that bring the show down in many ways.

Show of hands, who can explain what’s happening here?

So with all said and done, I’m not angry with this show just disappointed. Pride of Orange had its chance to really bring to life how amazing hockey is as a sport and show a brand new audience this sport in anime form. It should’ve used this rare chance to do something amazing and set the stage for future hockey anime, but adding in idol elements and focusing on slice of life and off ice drama, that’s what brought this shown down and ultimately made it miss the goal of what it should’ve been about.

Sad that I’m ending the blog with this review, I hoped this anime would’ve been the swan song and one of the best shows here, but that didn’t pan out. Oh well, I guess Love Live! Superstar! will have to be the unofficial last anime reviewed here.

So there you have it, the last anime reviewed here on Anime Corps. I’ll save all the closing comments for the final post next week, but I’ll start early in saying thank you so much for sticking with me for all these years and I really do appreciate all the support, the likes, and comments I’ve received on my posts. It really does mean a lot to me.

As always feel free to share your thoughts on this final ep or on the whole anime in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check out all the comments!

Once again thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you next week for the closing post!

As always, stay safe and healthy!