Tribe Cool Crew

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Posted 1/29/15 , edited 1/29/15
by Koda89

Imagine listening to a song by an artist you are hearing for the first time. At first the song may sound a bit off putting and you may want to stop listening, but you persevere. Then all of sudden something clicks and you start to get into the rhythm of the song, despite a few quirks here and there. Before you know it, you are completely drawn in and find yourself having a good time. That scenario is exactly how my experience with Tribe Cool Crew, an original anime by Sunrise, has gone.

Tribe Cool Crew follows a pair of 13 year-old kids named Haneru Tobitatsu and Kanon Otosaki as they start getting heavily involved in the world of street dancing. Haneru specializes in parkour and flip-based dancing, while Kanon is able to use her long limbs in tandem with ballet training from her youth to excel in isolation dancing and dancing in sync with the song. The two of them form a dance team that Haneru gives an obnoxious and long winded name that eventually gets shortened to just Cool Crew. One day Cool Crew goes to see other street dancers doing dance battles on a stage, when they are personally selected to battle against a team of adult dancers named Tribal Soul Crew. Tribal Soul is comprised of three people; the lean, mean-looking breakdancer Kumonosuke "Kumo" Sakagami, the sultry jazz dancer Mizuki Mashiro, and the rotund "dance machine" Yuzuru Tempoin who can dance in virtually any style.

Tribal Soul ends up beating Cool Crew in the dance battle, but despite that, Haneru and Kanon impress the members of Tribal Soul enough that they ask Cool Crew to merge their teams together, forming the show's titular group Tribe Cool Crew, or Tri-Cool for short. As it turns out, all five members of Tri-Cool are deeply inspired by a world famous dancer named Jey El. Jey El himself is essentially a cross between the flamboyancy, mannerisms, and dancing skills of Michael Jackson and the philanthropy of Bono, as he often visits war-torn and poverty-stricken towns and countries, with his ultimate philosophy being to bring about world peace through the power of dancing. Tri-Cool makes it their goal to eventually become his onstage backup dancers, so they get to dance alongside the person who drives them all.

While I do enjoy myself with Tribe Cool Crew's overall harmless fun each episode, there are a few slight issues I have with the series. For starters, the show predominantly uses CGI animation for the various dance scenes in the show. This can be quite jarring to see at first, though personally I did grow used to it after a couple of episodes. Another issue is that this show likes to reuse resources a lot. What I mean is, whenever Tri-Cool learns a new dance routine, be prepared to see that same dance sequence at least once for the next several episodes. What is more bothersome is each dance routine is tied to a specific song, so you'll be seeing the same animation and hearing the same song enough times in a row to easily make them wear out their welcome. And this is a bit disappointing, as every time the show gives us a new dance number, regardless of who is doing the dancing, it is always a nice treat to see. Lastly, it must be said that every now and then Haneru can become quite annoying. He gets better after a while, but even then he'll slip into his annoying mode from time to time.

Another thing I want to bring up is while Tribe Cool Crew is ostensibly a kids show, there are a couple of things that make it seem like at the very least it is aiming for the attention of more than just children. I'm not saying these are problems, more like they are things that belie the show's kid friendly exterior. The first thing I want to bring up is this show has a surprising amount of fanservice. I don't mean in the way of bras and panties, or even swimsuits or anything like you would see in your typical ecchi series, but the show does have a shockingly large amount of intentional shots of Mizuki's and Kanon's butts. And I mean taking up the majority of the screen with the center of attention clearly being on their bums. This actually also kind of carries over to both of their dancing as well, as they both utilize some suggestive dance moves, though Mizuki moreso than Kanon. The other thing I want to bring up is that this show gets into some surprisingly dark territory as it goes along and Jey El becomes an even bigger focus in the story.

All in all, I have been extremely surprised by this show. I went in thinking, probably like the vast majority of the people who looked at this series, "Oh, it's just a kid's show, how good could it possibly be?" But to the show's credit, it is genuinely quite enjoyable, though not without a few hiccups. It may not be an award winning series, but Tribe Cool Crew is the kind of good vibes show anime fans could use to lift their spirits after seeing some of the more heavier shows around. To see if Tribe Cool Crew is your kind of show, please, please, please check it out on Crunchyroll.
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