As usual, I have many goals for about writing and blogging about anime this year. The first one is one Gundam post a month. Another hidden one is to cover every Patlabor series thing by the end of the year. A secret goal will be made known to you by the end of August and/or the beginning of September. With all these goals in mind, the largest one not held by a time table at all is stretching my usual field of anime that I watch. This is where I was able to watch Given, some Yuri series, and now Keijo!!!!!!!! A show that I have heard good things about for a while. Not a series that I expected to like as much as I did.
Keijo(8x!) is a series formed around the somewhat mythical sport revolving around only adult women in bikini playing a game sort of like Sumo Wrestling over the water. The idea would be for these girls to use their boobs and butts only to knock the other into the water. Each match is called a race. Now I said somewhat mythical sport because the sport does exist in Portugal. A quick google search shows that only a small group of women is working on it, but it’s interesting to learn about and think how it’s out there in the real world. Looks like they did add some special safety gear because they aren’t anime characters.
The story behind Keijo(8x!) starts when our protagonist, Nozomi Kaminashi, and her best friend, Sayaka Miyata, witnessed a professional Keijo match and got excited about it for their own reasons. For Nozomi, for the fun and competition of the sport itself. On the other hand, Sayaka comes from a Judo family and saw much more interest in Keijo then she ever did for Judo. With that in mind, the two took part in the Setouchi Keijo Training School. The two barely passed to go into the Keijo, but never making it to the elite class. Thus, begins the usual battle of the underdog’s rise to supremacy.
This anime is filled to the teeth with all sorts of underdog material. Nozomi and Sayaka are placed into a room with two other contestants that is infamous for having the students quit. That says underdog to me. You can say that like an ogre or an onion, Keijo(8x!) is built out of the layers of underdog. One over all layer is always going to be the pros vs the students which is something that never gets broken on any level. Of course, it wouldn’t. These are students. The first layer is Setouchi’s elite class. Afterwards, it was another school, Suruga Keijo Training School, during the East-West Keijo War. Fun times.
I feel like Keijo(8x!) has so many attachments which makes is it a breeze watch. A hot woman in a bikini trying to knock another hot woman in a bikini could never be as exciting for this for some reason. I think it’s the extra anime bit that adds something special to it. Anime has the natural ability to hype things up with characters you get to know. Not true with normal sports who you see on a tv screen or in real life at a far distance. The second part is that this anime moves at a good pace for everything. There is just enough time for a starting arc for the girls to make it to the elite class and make it enticing, a slow down during training, then a ramp up for the East-West war. Perfect for what this show is trying to do.
The fanservice comes in multiple layers too. I can easily say that at first by just stating that there are two sides of that as well like everything else. The first one is what you would expect from fanservice in anime. Boobs and butts fan service because that’s what you get with the premise of the show itself. Still, what is amazing is how hard the show digs into the fanservice angle. Not only are they competing using only boobs and butts to hit each other, the academy has schools about boobs and butts, and each character’s abilities depend on their body forms and types too. It’s that ingrained and that fascinating.
On top of all of that, the second portion of fanservice comes from referencing other anime with the first type also in use. Like I said, the fanservice is layered into the show and that’s the major appeal of Keijo(8x!). With the ridiculous dedication to fanservice, special abilities from areas of the body one would least expect, and the references to things like Fate, super robot anime, and many other series in that same vein, Keijo(8x!) is such a blast. I’m not lying about that. While I had to make sure the door was closed when I was watching it, I was also having the time of my life doing so.
None of that would work without the ample work put into Keijo(8x!)’s visual assets. I’m just saying that the show looks really good. The characters do suffer from same face syndrome, but the women on display do have a lot of varied body types because that matters when coming to their abilities. The settings for each battle are different and provides an additional tension to the series and gives the viewing audience a different experience. Same with the animation of the fights with how the women move around with and without their abilities. This show is pure spectacle and I love it.
With all that in mind, I think I am going to rate Keijo!!!!!!!! as a good series, not a solid one. The one reason I say that is because it’s really good popcorn entertainment. Like, exceptional popcorn entertainment that follows a predictable path in some minor unpredictable ways. There is nothing wrong with that fact and I had a great time watching the show because of that. But in the end, the show isn’t something thoughtful or special besides that fact. Like, the story was laid out in a typical pattern and you can guess what is going to happen from episode to episode to episode. That’s not damning, but it does lessen the experience for me quite a bit. I guess I’m not a popcorn entertainment person sometimes.