Tribe Cool Crew – Season 1

Tribe Cool Crew – Season 1

IMG_1353.PNGHaneru is a kid who’s really into dancing and one day dreams of becoming a famous dancer like his idol, Jey-El. One day while he’s practicing his moves at his usual spot he finds out it’s the same place where a girl named Kanon also practices and. She’s secretly a famous dancer, known on the internet as Rhythm. After being impressed by her moves and finding out she’s been watching his, he decides to form a dance team with her. The decision leads them both into the world of street dancing.

Tribe Cool Crew was one of the earlier shows from this seasons line-up, but it has somehow ended up flying under the radar, washed away in a sea big autumn titles. Being a show that’s obviously targeted towards a younger audience didn’t really help things and made it pretty easy to ignore. This is definitely a big shame as, in my opinion, this series is one of the more interesting and original entries in the Autumn 2014 line-up. It has a great sense of style and identity that caught my eye from the very start.

IMG_1012.PNGIt’s a pretty simple story, but this is part of its charm. The show also makes up for any complexities by having more than its fair share of flair. The show has some really great visual direction and the R&B aesthetic gives it an over-the-top style that excels in being really flashy whilst getting across the impression that things are not only to be directed at a younger audience.

Animation-wise the show could look a little better. Things look rushed when compared to the detail of some of the other titles being showcased this series, but whilst some of the 3D CG dancing can look a little awkward in some instances, I still find myself looking forward to it. Especially now that we are coming towards the end of this series, the 3D dancing scenes have really come along and the songs are incredibly catchy. Aside from the fairly catchy J-pop opening song, the music focus is generally on hip-hop and has some really great tracks that makes the show worth watching for that reason alone.

IMG_1351.JPGThere is an interesting dynamic between the two leads as well. Haneru is a short, hyperactive kid from an average family while Kanon’s a noticeably tall, shy girl from the richer part of town. Normally this would often make a predictable setup, but the balance between the their personalities is handled well, and while their differences sometimes present minor issues, the show isn’t too interested in putting a lot of focus on hinting at any kind of divide. If anything, the diversity of the characters is heightened with the introductions of breakdancer Kumo, sophisticated Yuzuru and jazz-specialist Mizuki. If Tribe Cool Crew is aiming for any deep and hidden meaning in its run (which I’m sure it isn’t), it’s that no matter how people differ, dancing transcends everything and brings people together in ways they couldn’t imagine.

IMG_1011.PNGI love the vivid ways that the dancing is portrayed, and I love that each dancer has their own signature moves that clearly represent their dancing backgrounds and physical features. Haneru is energetic and performs jumping manoeveures, Kanon uses her height and the length of her limbs to best effect – and the members of Tribal Soul all have their own styles too, which work to compliment their team mates moves, as you would expect.

Tribe Cool Crew is a show with considerable style. The story isn’t exactly going to set the world on fire, but it more than makes up for this by just being generally fun to watch with some fantastic music that is almost irresistible not to move along to at times. It has a lot of potential, and I’m eager to see if Haneru finally reaches his dream of being able to perform next to the mysterious Jey-El in the Dance Road competition.