On one hand, this is definitely an April Fool’s joke.
On the other hand, if we were to hypothetically do American horse-girls, this is probably where we’d start.
For starters, several of us are big fans of Cygames and the content they put out. We were largely introduced to Uma Musume last year while looking for something to watch for team anime night, and on a whim we were like, okay, let’s go for this one. What surprised all of us was that it’s very, very, very good. Extraordinarily wholesome characters aside, the entire show is crammed full of references and knowledge about horse racing in general. We were instantly hooked (and yes, we do follow horse racing (mostly American) now. Thanks Cygames. Horsegirls game when?)
So, naturally, I pestered Zero to see if we can get something done along those lines. After all, we celebrate American things. We’ve done American shipgirls. You’ve seen our work on American politics. American horsegirls isn’t that much of a stretch, eh?
▲ Seabiscuit / 海饼干
What became a random idea kinda became an elaborate April Fool’s joke. So here it is. Seabiscuit. The American legend. Here’s the tagline from his autobiography.
In 1938, near the end of a decade of monumental turmoil, the year’s number-one newsmaker1 was not Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hitler, or Mussolini. It wasn’t Pope Pius XI, nor was it Lou Gehrig, Howard Hughes, or Clark Gable. The subject of the most newspaper column inches in 1938 wasn’t even a person. It was an undersized, crooked-legged racehorse named Seabiscuit.
Laura Hillenbrand’s book does the horse far better than I can in a single article, but I will say, either the book or the movie based on the book based on the actual horse is great to introduce you to Seabiscuit’s story. Basically, the story is very American. It’s an underdog story with a cinematic ending. Seabiscuit was a horse that had a rough upbringing, but had immense degrees of talent, a will to succeed, and the drive to back it up. He ran far more races than a horse of his age and at his time was expected to do, broke dozens of records, beat a legendary racehorse that, for all intent and purposes, he had no real chance to win at –
… Sounding familiar to ya yet?
After winning that race, he suffered through a ton of injuries, each one enough to end any race horses’ ordinary career.
But through it all? Seabiscuit came back, to pull off the impossible one last time. Through that, millions drew inspiration from his story. We included.
So, after talking it out with the team (a lot of thanks for K9 to do the actual legwork and the bulk of the research here, heh – being in California has its benefits), here’s our take on her.
- Since we wanted to do an April Fools thing with Pacific characters, the design of this character would be in essence one of our shipgirls. In terms of Seabiscuit’s influence on the American psyche, only the Enterprise comes close. So, naturally, Prisse is the one to take front and center for her. I suspect if we were to redo this one from scratch, we’d likely still keep the short hair due to the physical attributes and description, but her hair color would likely be chestnut brown rather than Enterprise gold.
- Uma musume designs frequently incorporate jockey silks colors into character outfits. For us, we did the same. Here, Seabiscuit’s colors and her “H” emblem are based on the silks worn by Seabiscuit’s famous jockeys. You can look this up easily, but we adjusted the colors a tiny bit to match well, an anime depiction of a character.
- Since again, this is an April Fool’s joke, we thought to directly refer to our source inspiration. We’ve envisioned her to be a pretty upbeat and cheerful girl, very similar to the uma musume protagonist, Special Week. Her expression and pose, therefore, is largely a nod to that.
- Since this is about horse girls and races, it makes sense to have her race here in American races. The obvious choice? The Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest horse race. My great uncle (the same guy that keeps on pestering me about when his shipgirl’s gonna get posted) says it’s the most exciting two minutes in American sports, and after watching one, I kinda agree.
▲ Kentucky Derby LOGO / 肯塔基赛马大会标志Now, here we are taking some creative liberties. Seabiscuit never raced in the Kentucky Derby – he would have been too old for that in real life. However, since this is fiction, we just thought it’d be kinda cool to have one of the best horsegirls run one of the best races. After all, it is the first leg of the American Triple Crown, which is what Japan modeled their races on.
在这里，我们发挥了一些自由创作。毕竟在现实里海饼干的一生中并没有参加肯塔基赛马大会，因为那时它已经年事已高。尽管，这是虚构的内容，但我仍然认为让最棒的赛马娘参加最棒的比赛是一件很酷的的事情。毕竟这是美国三连冠比赛中第一站，而日本的比赛也正是从这里模仿。So, yeah, if we were doing an American horsegirls anime, we’d probably cover the life of Seabiscuit from start to finish following largely a historical route mirroring the races that the real-life Seabiscuit would have won, then insert some kind of hypothetical triple crown race (and maybe have the canonical Japanese horsegirls show up in an invitational), and end on an even bigger happy note. Just an idea, but if anyone from Cygames’ reading, you’re welcome. We’d love to see an American season. 😛
So, um, with all that said…
走れ (Hashire, run), E-chan!
(No seriously Cygames please, UMA MUSUME GAME WHEN?)
PS. The “Run for the Roses” is a reference to the … sheet? bed? thing of roses draped over the winning horse. These sorta shows tend to have somewhat chuuni subheadings and titles. Gotta keep with tradition and all.
以及，Run for the Roses（为玫瑰奔跑）参考来源于……床单？床？总之就是一个披挂在马背上印有玫瑰的东西。这类动画一般都会有些中二病的副标题或者标题。兼顾了传统与其他。