Runway de Waratte [Review]
- Studios: Ezόla
- Source: Manga
- Genres: Slice of Life, Drama, School, Shounen
- Synopsis: “Chiyuki Fujito has a dream: to become a Paris Collection model. The problem is, she’s too short to be a model, and everyone around her tells her so. But no matter what they say, she won’t give up. Her classmate, a poor student named Ikuto Tsumura, also has a dream: to become a fashion designer. The two decide to combine their dreams and overcome the naysayers.” – Runway de Waratte (manga)
There are a lot of shounen anime out there, one about collecting dragon balls, one about fighting ninjas, and even one about pirates eating fruits! But what about a young duo that aspiring to be a fashion model and designer? While it may seem out of place, Runway de Waratte makes a name for itself with great characters and a powerful storyline. The empowering underdog story that follows both Ikuto’s path to being a designer and Chiyuki’s challenge to defy the definition of “top model” to the world. It was a rewarding experience to see the progress that the main characters made throughout the show. The emotions are strong with this one, grab a box of tissues and a tub of ice cream when you get to the later half!
Artwork & Animation:
Fashion shows are, as you can imagine, full of color and elegance and Runway de Waratte applies these aesthetics to its art and animation. The color palette features a wide range of colors and allows from bright and cheery scenes as well as a darker tone for those sentimental moments. I really enjoyed the fully drawn characters as well as the little chibis for those fun and energetic moments throughout the show. I will admit that some of the animations came out a little awkward and therefore kept this from getting a perfect score, but an overall excellent performance!
A lot of shounen anime, and let’s be honest here, have a lot of pointless characters. I’m talking about side characters that come in to fill in a role like the comedy relief or just to add another face to the roster. Runway de Waratte has meaningful characters and makes it hard to tell the full story if any of them were to be excluded from the show. the relationship and interactions between the characters build on top of each other and creating a complex synergy that helps tell the story of who that character is and where they came from.
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
The soundtrack of the show is as refreshing as the fashion that is featured in the show. A great variety with subtle use of reverb and a fast bpm (beats per minute) to create an upbeat and youthful-like sound! While I do like complicated soundtracks, Runway de Waratte’s soundtrack is all about “less is more”. A minimalist soundtrack that still captures the emotions that emanate from the story and characters is a no easy feat!
You know, I really had no idea what I was getting my self into when I decided to watch this show. I’m really interested in fashion and having participated in one or two (it was for charity, nothing super fancy or complicated) I was definitely interested in seeing a different side of fashion! Once I started watching I was so engrossed in every aspect of the show: the characters, the art, the process of fashion, and even the different way of sewing! It’s just so fascinating, so much thought go into what you wear every day as well as items that are worn as art statements (though as an aspiring architect I should be used to this by now lol). Speaking of an aspiring architect, I saw a lot of myself in Ikuto, having to go through design competitions and learning about design, in general, is a very difficult task in of itself. The hardships he faced felt very relatable seeing him succeed, and sometimes fail, was an empathic experience.
Runway de Waratte is the shounen anime you never knew you needed, until now! The story about Chiyuki and Ikuto’s perilous path to being a top model and fashion designer is an endearing story full of hardship and triumph. With an excellent story as strong foundation and the bright soundtrack along with the colorful artwork, Runway de Waratte is a well-executed anime about following your dreams that you won’t want to miss.
Best Girl: Fujito Chiyuki
The aspect that I like the most about Chiyuki, aside from her strong headedness and determination to accomplish anything that she puts her mind to, is her habit to self reflect on her actions. Is she the perfect model there ever was? Of course not, but that’s something you learn through trial and error. The moment when she realized she was telling Ikuto the same thing that others have said her entire life was the moment I knew she would be a great character.
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