They say that everyone loves an underdog. The come-from-nowhere, chip-on-their-shoulder, hard-working specimens that find success through hell and back. Disadvantages are their crux; doubt only entices them to try harder. These kinds of stories make up the plot of many sports stories, specifically, but also make for delectable drama in other ventures arbitrarily created by humanity for the sake of it. Such vapid appeal also comes in the form of runway modeling, which if not for the sake of allowing people to express themselves, would be one of the most superficial and arrogantly obnoxious things in the known world, in my opinion.
Fashion is neat, and something I find myself wholly attracted to, perhaps due to my own opine nature. However, such things also come with the burden of adhering to near-universally-held practices and templates that humanity has since rigidly held in place because… uh? (If I’m ever invited to attend an “important” ceremony/show, I’m wearing a T-shirt and jeans.) Runway de Waratte, from the outset, appeared to be something of an underdog + runway 101 hybrid series that aimed to showcase the fashion industry in all of its “glory.” After three episodes, I was correct in assuming this, but not strong enough to fight my way through heaping amounts of melodrama and over-elaborative leads.
Let me make this crystal clear: Runway de Waratte is d-r-a-m-a-t-i-c. Holy hell, if daytime soap operas weren’t spicy enough for you, this might serve as an after-burner firecracker. In case you did not recall, after the series previously stabbed you in multiple locations just minutes prior, the two leads are at incredible odds with their dreams. The female lead wants to be a runway model, but is too short (re-read: near-universally-held practices that humanity has rigidly held in place because fuck you). The male lead wants to be a fashion designer, but has a family to support and is a cowardly loser with dumb hair. In my time spent watching this, these conditions were never without importance to the scenarios that would take place. If not for the situations themselves, the characters would tell you about it, over and over and over and over and…
To the series’s credit, this is pretty much my only issue with it—granted, it’s a big one, and also correlates with other aspects of the production. With all the exposition and inner monologues, the pacing for this series is incredibly slow, and sequences that are supposed to be starved for time end up feeling like an eternity before anything occurs.
Simultaneously, a lot of convenient opportunities seem to present themselves at miraculous speeds for the two leads (especially the male one). Like being handed a dream task and being told, “Have this done by tomorrow at 3 p.m.,” the series ends up making the build-up to the task about a minute, and then the rumination of the task another twenty. By the end of the third episode, he’s already working for a (albeit start-up) professional designer and (through certain details) showcasing his (impromptu) designs at a serious event. I wish real life was more like that.
Should the drama pull you in, it’s likely to keep you immersed. While the situations feel too easy, said “rumination” is definitely arduous (and occasionally painful). These characters are constantly facing doubt from others and being ridiculed for their inadequacy and inexperience, to the point where it almost feels mean-spirited. Some potential commentary on the ruthlessness of the fashion industry could be at play, particularly with regards to the way the aforementioned start-up designer treats his (limited) employees (by having them work hyper-long shifts), which could be interesting for those curious to know. For me, as heavily inferred by the opening paragraphs, I think the whole thing is overblown and stupid, and should the fashion industry be this cruel and unrelenting (which I would not doubt whatsoever), then it’s in need of serious reform. Life’s too short to be so serious.
Animation can be a little choppy at times (which you can see with one of the images provided), but exerts itself in opportune situations. It’s been a while since I attempted this, so extra detail in presentation I recall is lost to time. Not much else I have to say, so I’ll end this shortly. For people who like drama and characters that do their best even when faced with overwhelming odds. I thought it got pretty ridiculous at times, but don’t let that stop you from trying what MAL users apparently consider a pretty good series.
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.