- 1 What is Uma Musume?
- 2 Reasons for Uma Musume’s Huge Popularity
- 3 Select Character Introduction
- 4 Popular Uma Musume Merch
What is Uma Musume?
Uma Musume Pretty Derby is a Japanese multimedia franchise from Cygames that originally began in 2016 with the announcement of a mobile game for iOS and Android. The game’s delayed release meant that the anime adaptations from P.A.Works and Studio Kai were the first introductions that fans had to the series.
The ‘horse girls’ that are the main stars of the Uma Musume world live alongside humans, training in races to become number one. Notably, there are real-world connections in how the horse girls were originally the souls of famous racehorses from our world, reincarnated into a new life. The first season of the anime focuses on horse girl Special Week, who transfers to Tokyo’s elite Tracen Academy from the countryside to win the Twinkle Series race. The second season is about the struggles with sports injuries that follow Tokai Teio as she tries to make a comeback to reach the top once more. The series is full of strong writing, great characters and voice acting, but if you had to shorten it down to a simple summarization, it would be: ‘isekai for horses!’
Reasons for Uma Musume’s Huge Popularity
In the Uma Musume series, the horse girls are meant to be reincarnations of the souls of famous real-life racehorses of the past and present, transported to another dimension. Those who win the races get to sing and perform on stage like real-life Japanese idols, in scenes that fans always enjoy! These unique twists on the formula allow both horse racing fans and viewers without those connections to become invested in the Uma Musume series!
・The Gamer Becomes a Trainer
In the recently released Uma Musume game, players can train different horse girls to build up their strength and beat the competition, and over time they may eventually reach the top ranks! As you get into the role of a trainer, you may start to feel a closer connection to your horse girl partner.
・Top Celebrity Endorsements
Uma Musume has been a hit even with popular Japanese celebrities such as the famous baseball player Masao Tanaka, who loves to regularly talk with his fans on social media. With these kinds of fans, it’s no wonder that Uma Musume has started to trend in Japan!
Select Character Introduction
Here you will find a basic introduction to a selection of Uma Musume characters considered to be among the faces of the franchise.
Known as the ‘Record-Breaking Black Assassin’, and has a reputation that is totally at odds with her actual caring personality. The real Rice Shower racehorse managed to win multiple top races such as the Kikuka Sho, Tenno Sho and Nikkei Sho before the end of his short career.
A main protagonist of the series, Special Week is a cheerful and caring horse girl from Hokkaido in northern Japan. Having won the Japan Cup at the end of the anime’s first season, she is usually the first character you will see in Uma Musume promotional material.
The protagonist of the second anime season. Tokai Teio has a strong competitive drive, and a great amount of pride. Her real life counterpart won the 1993 Japan Cup and 1993 Arima Kinen Grand Prix races, among others.
Daiwa Scarlet is a popular horse girl idol who determinedly aims to be number one in every race. The real Daiwa Scarlet was a successful racehorse from Hokkaido who won competitions such as the 2007 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup and the 2007 Oka Sho race.
A major character in the story of the second season, Mejiro McQueen comes from a prestigious horse girl line and carries great pride, but still works hard to support her friends. In real life, Mejiro McQueen was actually a stallion (male horse) who began his career later in life, winning prestigious races such as the prestigious Tenno Sho and Kikuka Sho races.
The longest-serving member of the Team Spica racing team at Tracen Academy, Gold Ship has a laidback, sometimes unpredictable personality that contrasts with the amount of time she has been on the team. This is a clear inspiration from the real-life Gold Ship racehorse, whose equally unpredictable personality always made his great wins a surprise.
A second protagonist of the first season of the anime series, Silence Suzuka is a quiet, beautiful horse girl who always surprises the crowd by rushing to the front with superb speed. The horse that she represents is famous for having won the 1998 Takurazuka Kinen race before an injury the same year unfortunately cut his career short.
A horse girl with a cold personality and a big appetite. In the series, she seems to have an equally strong dedication towards both racing and eating food. The real-life Oguri Cap recorded a stunning 13 wins, including four Grade I races, from his transfer to new management in 1988 to the end of his career.
Popular Uma Musume Merch
Uma Musume Cosplay Clothing
The flashy and stylish uniforms worn by the horse girls in the Uma Musume series naturally attract a lot of fans in the Japanese cosplay world who want to try them out for themselves!
Collectable Uma Musume Goods
The many horse girl characters of Uma Musume and their many personalities have naturally led to an incredible range of collectable merchandise! The items featured in the left image are just one example – click the button below to find everything from Uma Musume cups to series T-shirts on the Rakuten online store, purchasable direct from Japan via Buyee!