This is review number three hundred and eighty nine. This anime is part of the Winter 2017 linep, and it’s the last one I’ll review for this lineup. I’ll come back to the Summer 2014 lineup after this. Well, I’ll review six Spring 2017 shows when the season ends. Anyways, the anime I’ll be reviewing is called Keijo and it’s a twelve episode anime about boobs. Also butts. Boobs and butts. Let’s read on.
In a fictional Japan, the sports Keijo has gained tremendous popularity. This anime follows the journey of Nozomi Kaminashi, an eighteen year old girl, as she trains to become a pro in the world of Keijo. The anime features her time in a Keijo Academy along with her friends as they fight among the strongest hopefuls in the country.
Taking the Pants Off
So, yeah, this anime exists. It’s a show about girls fighting in a floating area in a giant pool, and they use their boobs and/or butts to push the other girls into the pool. When you watch the first episode, you are immediately bombarded with so many boobs and butts that you can’t really react properly. I certainly didn’t as I just stared at the whole scene until the opening sequence started. Processing what you’ve seen won’t help either, because the first episode is just downright full of half-naked girls pushing into each other with their boobs and butts. I’ll actually be typing boobs and butts so much that this post will get insane. Keijo is a super dirty anime full of fan service, but I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t engrossed while watching it. As stupid as it sounds, this is actually a well-paced Action anime full of exciting fight scenes and smartly paced battles. I kid you not, when the girls face off in the pool, you’ll often see some of the best battles around with some smart storytelling and high quality animation. I also love it for being so creative. For some reason, this is tagged as a Sports anime because the mechanics is kinda like sumo in a general sense. I’m not really sure myself what it is. I think it’s Action, since the sport doesn’t actually exist (sadly), but the pacing and the clichés are quintessential Sport elements. So, maybe it’s a combination of both and I love how much this show stumps me. I pride myself in knowing how a genre works, since I’ve seen so many anime I can tell you how a show would end, and I just love the fact that Keijo is nowhere in the field of a known genre. It exists as its own thing, and I get excited knowing originality can still exists in this day and age.
When I first saw the anime, I thought it was along the lines of Maken-ki or Freezing where the girls would have serious battles but also a handful of fan service moments. Keijo is different though, because the Ecchi elements of the show never really overpower the Action or Sports elements that make the anime great. In Freezing, the girls only fight to get their clothes torn off and their nipples exposed. This is how Ecchi behaves. The ends in more important than the means, so getting there can be a free for all. It could be downright insane like High School DxD or it can just plain shockingly dirty like Kanokon. Keijo is entirely different though, because it’s consistently serious. The Ecchi elements never distract from the serious battles, and the anime actually uses the Ecchi to really make the experience a lot more entertaining than you’d expect. I also thought Keijo would be like an actual Ecchi/Sports anime like Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai (Wannabe the Strongest in the World), but the latter anime actually ruins its wrestling matches by focusing so much on the crotch area of a character. The manga is a lot more dirty featuring sweaty crotches, and it actually convinced me that you can’t really tell a serious Ecchi story. Keijo proved me wrong though, because you can blend the two and create a really outstanding anime out of it. You can feature the boobs, the butts, literal ass to face scenes, groping and squeezing in all its dirtiness but still achieve a serious story with a nice pace, smart twists and exciting face offs between two characters. It’s scary how much I love this anime.
Despite being really entertaining, the show can still be quite ridiculous though. The audience is required to suspend disbelief a bit if you really want to enjoy what this anime is offering, because it can get stupid sometimes. Some of the moves the characters do can catch you off-guard at how amazingly stupid it is. One character squeezes her butt, and the muscles create an iron wall that can overwhelm people. There’s a girl that uses her erect nipples as a sword. One of the main characters also gains more speed in battles by giving herself a wedgie. She called it the W Acceleration and I bet you can guess what the W stands for. My personal favorite is the boob hypnosis, because I was laughing so hard when it happened. Some of the moves can really make you laugh but the fun part is that the anime never acknowledges how stupid the moves can be. Instead, it remains serious. The pacing picks up, the fights become more intense and the moves add more stakes to the battle. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the character you’re rooting for can break out of the enemy’s boob hypnosis? The anime does a great job of convincing you to stay with the serious fight despite seeing a character rub her nipples to make it erect. The insane part is that I’ve seen Sekai de Ichiban do the same serious battles, but I can’t really get myself to enjoy them. Keijo is different, because the animation and the storytelling is clearly ten times better than a wrestling match full of crotch shots. Instead, the battles never focus too much on the fan service but more on how the fights themselves will end. It can draw you in and the fact that the characters are only using their butts to fight will barely be a problem.
The stupid moves can be downright ridiculous at times but it also points out one of the strongest aspect of this anime: creativity. A show about girls fighting using only their boobs and butts doesn’t really need to be sophisticated, but the anime has a way to really make each match different. Firstly, every girl has a special quirk that they bring to the fight. The aforementioned boob hypnosis is a good example, but there is a lot more than that in this anime. Some girls have special moves using their power or quickness, but some girls have different quirks like a super soft butt that reflects attacks. Some girls use strategy to their advantage while some girls would incorporate other fight moves to their battles. There’s a girl that targets pressure points to knock out her opponents. There’s a girl that uses the rocking of the battlefield to predict the opponents moves. There’s a girl that uses body heat to know where an attack will come from, and there’s even a girl that grabs her opponent and puts her in a boob vice grip submission hold. The point is that the battles are insanely creative. No match is the same because every pairing has something different to present. You’ll never know how a fight can go down, and this is a really great part of the anime. Sure, you can predict who’ll win but you’ll never guess how they’ll win. Despite the predictable outcome, I’d find myself still looking forward to a match because I just know something new will happen in it. Even the main characters with their set finishing moves always delivers something different in each fight, because the girl they’re fighting is also giving them something different to work with.
Creativity doesn’t end with the girls though. The “Land”, the place where the girls fight in, also has something different to it each time. At some point, the anime even feels like a video game because of how immersive it can be. The Lands boasts a lot of creativity to them, because they add their own wrinkle to the battles. Some of them are slippery, some tips to the side when weight shifts, and some aren’t even conventional round rings. Others are grid types, and there’s even a Land that is just two carrier planes linked together. The girls not only bring something new because of their pairing, but the Lands themselves also add to the mix. So there’s always something different to expect in each match. I love how much variety you can get in this anime, because it starts out with a very simple premise. A show about girls hitting each other with their boobs and butts doesn’t really spark much creativity when you think about it, so I love just how much effort is put into the matches. It doesn’t just rely on its gimmick of a girl hypnotizing people with her boobs though or a slippery battlefield. The fights themselves are smartly paced, and it knows how to properly tell a story. The Sports elements of one-upmanship are incorporated to make each match enjoyable and Action’s tradition of using all out or final attacks are also used to dramatically alter the mood of the matches. There’s so much going on that it’s amazing the fan service never gets lost in the shuffle. It is amazingly complex despite the fact that only boobs and butts are used to visually tell the story.
The anime has some noticeable flaws though. Well, you can argue the Ecchi elements make the anime trash, and that’s a reasonable argument. Don’t watch an anime that features hypnotizing boobs, but there’s also a problem beyond the visuals. I pointed out how amazing the battles are, and most episodes contain nothing but these awesome fights. The anime doesn’t share the same energy outside the Lands the girls battle on though. The overall story is predictable and boring. It is downright formulaic where even the progression of the entire series isn’t really that exciting. I guess it’s an element of its Sports characteristics, since Sports is a very formulaic genre. It follows a team that battles strong people, often loses because their skills aren’t honed, then trains for a very long time and then comes back for the epic rematch. It’s not really bad because Sports has a strong cast of characters with a “I want to be the very best in the world” mentality that makes them push their limits, and that’s entertaining. Some Sports anime like EyeSheild 21 can be awful when the characters aren’t on the football field, because there’s nothing interesting beyond that. The same goes for Keijo. If they aren’t bumping boobs or butts, then the show is hard to process. This is especially true for the second chapter of the show where the characters mostly trained for three episodes. Nothing interesting is happening, and the training feels contrived because the battles always offer something new. Most training is done for a rematch, and the anime doesn’t have any rematches in its twelve episode run.
You might think that the visuals can actually make up for the boring parts of the anime, but you’d be wrong there. The best use of fan service happens in the battles along with the best form of storytelling in the anime. So the normal parts only have the girls showering or changing clothes in a locker room. I think the training chapter featured four or five bathroom/locker room scenes that don’t provide anything in the long run. That’s the stupid part about this anime. It has three chapters, and two of the best ones are sandwiched between a very boring training chapter. When you look at the overall story, the chapters themselves don’t really come together. The three chapters are pretty much self-contained and they don’t build up the energy overtime. The first chapter focuses on teamwork that doesn’t really connect to the second chapter’s individual training. I think the highlight of the second chapter features radishes, and the first chapter never really provides a proper transition for that. The second chapter also doesn’t connect with the third chapter’s School Wars because the East vs West rivalry is introduced very late in the show. We only knew they were training for a bragging rights winner takes all match in the last episode of the second chapter. So nothing really comes together. The individual battles are awesome, but the overall story is not even a fraction of that.
There are some characters arcs though. The show has three of them featuring the journey of the main characters. The first one is about our very typical main character that is all about the passion of bumping her butts with other ladies, and she tries to be the “very best in the world”. Nozomi Kaminashi’s character arc is a very simple one. She’s a stupid girl with a humble heart and a never give up attitude that makes her Keijo battles pretty exciting to watch. She would greet impossible odds with a smile, punches a hole in an otherwise unbreakable wall and she’d destroy her body just to win the battle she is fighting. She also gains a special technique that can ruin her body overtime, and the teachers forced her to stop using it. She argued that she wants to be the best though, so she forces back urging them to properly tell her to do the career ending move. There’s nothing really complex about Kaminashi, and that’s actually the beauty of her character arc. It’s just sheer dumb fun that rubs off on people. Her ultimate goal to become “prize queen” features an unstoppable determination to win, and this pumps her enemies to do their best as well. So this character arc actually fuels the already insane battles littered throughout the anime. Her never give up attitude is also one of the reasons why the show can really draw you in. You just saw a girl use pressure points to defeat and opponent, and then you’ll see Kaminashi charge head on as if not realizing how dire the situation is. This character arc doesn’t really grow into anything else, but its simplicity really makes the battles a lot more entertaining.
Another character arc is that of Sayaka Miyata, the former judo champion. This might be the only arc that actually gets a satisfying resolution in the series. It’s about this world class judo player turning her back on the sport. Instead, she decided to join another sport that features bumping boobs and butts. Her father does not like the sudden change, and the series follows Sayaka’s attempt to justify that she truly belongs in Keijo despite her father’s disapproval. Sayaka is a methodical player, but Kaminashi’s attitude eventually pushes Sayaka to be a lot more daring. Her fights are a lot more cautious than Kaminashi’s but she still brings surprises to the mix. Her final battle in the show culminates in a really satisfying development to her arc, and it also feature the dirtiest moments in the entire show. I wonder how it happened in the manga, because there was so much rubbing and exposure in the match that I still remember it in my head. The weirdest part is that her father was watching the match, and he never really bats an eye. The whole world must’ve seen so much in Sayaka’s last match, and her father can only be proud of her. Awww, but it’s weird in the context of the situation though.
The last arc is that of Kazane Aoba. This one is a very minor one compared to the other two, but this is actually my favorite character arc. Aoba is kinda like an underdog, and she doesn’t really have the same tenacity as the two girls mentioned before. She might lack in power or speed, but she comes at a problem with her brain instead. Yeah, because boobs and butts just don’t cut it sometimes. Aoba is often paired with the strongest Keijo players, so she needs to find a way to match up to them. She uses some brilliant tactics to fight them, and her underdog potential really comes out. I love how her matches starts bleak for her, but then she turns it around but then her strategies often breaks apart because Keijo is a game of power and speed. She lacks both, and things turn bleak once more. Her matches also have predictable endings, because nobody likes an underdog winning, for some reason. I like it though, because despite knowing the outcome, Aoba comes at it with some brilliant plays. In her last match, I was at the edge of my seat because she really had an epic showdown that ended with a lucky break. Kaminashi and Sayaka never had luck play in their battles, but Aoba’s games have both strategy and a ton of luck driving her character arc. It did get weird at some point when everyone presented their butts to her, but it makes for some satisfying journey for this quiet girl with confidence issues.
The characters are all forgettable. They have their roles in the anime, but they don’t really act as actual characters with interesting personalities. They have their quirks, but they only shine in the battles. In fact, the character arcs above only really mattered in the battles and the characters are all forgettable when they aren’t battling with the boobs and butts. It’s not really a bad thing, because the one strong aspect of the anime is kept consistently strong. The show focused too much on the battles though, so anything outside of it isn’t really that interesting. It’s also a shame that we lack characters here, because there is a ton of female players to introduce. Sometimes, you can only remember them by their insane moves and odd quirks. There’s a cat girl here, but I don’t remember her name. There’s a bunch of muscle girls, but I only remember them squeezing their butts. Even the cool samurai character that uses her erect nips as a sword is just plain background character outside of the battles. She was also introduced very late in the show, so you clearly see where the priority of the anime lies. With that being said, the main characters themselves aren’t that interesting as well. They were prominently featured in the first chapter, but their group dynamic is dropped early on. I would’ve loved to see more scenes of Kaminashi and Sayaka hyping Aoba and the soft butt girl up, but the focus shifted into something else. As the show progresses, it just keeps dumping more characters for the battles and nothing else. I think they got around thirty girls to appear in the entire anime with unique special moves and quirks, but clearly lacking any standout personality. It’s such a waste to push for thirty characters and have them not grow into something else. It’s as wasteful as Mayoiga (Okada sucks).
This anime lives and dies by its half-naked battles and nothing else. Going back to the genres, the show is also unique because it is pretty broken. As I said before, it lacks a healthy rivalry with other characters that makes the Sports genre amazing. It lacks the passionate heartfelt inspirational element that makes audiences try and pick up the sport. Yes, I want little girls to grow up and become Keijo players because they were inspired by this anime. Yeah, ok, that’s messed up. But it’s missing a lot of good things that could’ve elevated the experience a lot more. I’m mostly nitpicking now though, because we can’t forget that this is an original anime. The idea of a Sports-Ecchi-Action is really new, and I want more hybrids like this. I want people to fine tune it some more, because it is a really great idea. In the near future, I want a stronger Sports anime featuring half-naked girls trying to be the best in the world but without any emphasis to their crotches. So, despite the show’s noticeable flaws, I do appreciate and greatly respect what it has accomplished.
So, I just learned that Xebec is a subsidiary of Production IG. That’s pretty crazy. This anime is pretty Xebec though, because they really love their Ecchi shows. Kanokon and Ladies vs Butler is a strong example of their preferred style. You can also add DNAngel in there if you’re feeling particularly weird, but now you can put Keijo as the definitive Xebec anime. My first Xebec anime is Sorcerer Hunters featuring this girl named Carrot or something, and she was half-naked most of the series. That was a 1995 anime, so Xebec really has a long history. They did an amazing job with this show. It’s easy to mess up a serious Ecchi anime, but these guys really knew what they were doing. The anime completely simplified the manga though, and I’ll explain down below. I reviewed the anime though, and the director really nailed this one. Hideya Takahashi is a Xebec mainstay storyboarding shows like Upotte and Maken-ki! 2. Both shows feature the same Ecchi as Keijo, and they also have the same aura of a focused battle with a weak story. You could say that Hideya has finally mastered this Ecchi storytelling style of his, because it’s just damn fantastic in this anime. There’s a matter of not being faithful to the manga though. They cut a lot out of the original source, because the Sports genre tag is actually respectfully done in the manga more than the anime. The sad part is that the manga is eventually killed off after the anime aired, so the author witnessed his baby altered and then his publishers told him to end his manga soon. It’s such a cutthroat industry that it really makes me sad.
Sight and Sound
So I checked out the manga, just to see how the show stacked up to its original source, and I learned that it’s two completely different beasts. While the anime is a glorious three way of Action-Ecchi-Sports, the manga is a more grounded sports story. It’s about a gymnast opting to play Keijo, a gambling sport, instead of being a full time athlete in her sport. I only read the first chapter, but Kaminashi is a high school girl with a male coach convincing her of the dangers of the gambling sport. She even has a male love interest in the manga, and the entire manga feels more like Yawara to me. It’s an obscure judo anime featuring a high school girl. Kaminashi certainly has a lot more depth in just the one chapter that I read. Okay, I skimmed it because it’s bogged down by a lot of dialogue. I learned that the anime actually skipped a bunched of chapters. The ones featured in the anime are actually the same in the manga. The same pace, hyped storytelling and beautiful visuals, but it looks like the anime actually cut way some of the boring dialogue. They featured the best parts though, and just kinda got to the point. The audience wants the glorious three way, and they’ll shave away tons of exposition to achieve it. I can only imagine how slow the manga can get during the second chapter featuring the training the girls underwent through.
As for the visuals, Daichi Sorayomi does a wonderful job of featuring half-naked girls in his story. The proportions are pretty great, and he actually brings a high level of storytelling in his manga. He puts too much exposition though, and it’s something the anime actually took off, but he makes up for it by giving us the same fluid storytelling as the anime. The glorious eye candy visuals of the anime are also prominently displayed in the manga, and Daichi is a beast to draw so many alluring characters. To draw big butts and make them look great is a gawd given talent, so I really admire how much work is put into the manga. The anime nailed his vision to a tee, but I sure wished they kept the grounded story of Kaminashi meeting Sayaka in the anime. I think the anime skipped the first volume entirely or something. It’s not that bad, since the show is really entertaining. Daichi’s design lacks in the faces though. Some of the girls aren’t really that pretty to look at, and they just aren’t as impressively drawn compared to their boobs or butts. Considering more than thirty girls appeared in the story, I think you can give that a pass.
The animation is incredible. From the first few moments of the first episode up to the opening sequence, the animation is just outstanding. The visuals are consistent throughout the anime, and I love how they kept Daichi’s camera angles to tell the story. He draws a lot of butts, and the anime stayed true to his vision. The fights are all amazing given how the storytelling is absurdly good despite the lack of dialogue. Boobs and butts clashing looks well animated, and the fights can shift from fast strikes to slow methodical dodges that the animation fluidly presents. Of course, the fan service is top notch as well. I love the skin color Xebec used, and I love the thick lines they employ to give us a sense of Action during the fights. I also love how the characters interact with the background, because the animation is a complete set with the Land moving with the girls as well. Its high quality animation at its finest, and it’s just a treat to watch. The animation is also pretty good during normal scenes like girls changing clothes or the class training by doing figure 8s with their butts. Yeah, let’s not go into too much detail about that.
The anime’s OP is “DREAM×SCRAMBLE!” by AiRI. I love this song, but mostly because I only listen to it with its accompanying OP sequence. From the opening instrumentals to the cute chorus, this song really gets me hyped for the anime. The lyrics are a bit iffy, but it doesn’t matter. The energy of the song really makes me want to listen to it some more. The OP sequence is incredible. It’s certainly one of my personal favorites as it summarizes the entire show, features all the opponents that appeared and also had the amazing animation upfront and in your face. There’s also so much ass in this OP that I urge everyone to try it. Go on, it’ll blow your mind.
The anime’s ED is “Fantas/HIP Girlfriends!” by Nozomi Kaminashi (CV: Lynn), Sayaka Miyata (CV: M.A.O), Kazane Aoba (CV: Kaede Hondo), Non Toyoguchi (CV: Saori Oonishi). This is sung by the four main girls, and it’s a song about teamwork but it’s done in this cringy pop idol way. I don’t like songs like this, even though the voices are pretty awesome, because the lyrics are often just stupid. It has hip girlfriends in the actual lyrics, and it’s painful to listen to. The ED sequence features the girls putting some swim suits on a clothesline, but it gets blown away. The chase after them and some cuteness ensues. I like the sequence, because it has a decent story to tell featuring the anime’s amazing visuals. The song makes it hard to sit through though, but that’s just me.
8/10 “It’s a gripping sports anime about scantily clad girls hitting each other with their boobs and butts, and it’s done absolutely perfectly.”
There is a lot to love about this anime. It has its flaws, but I think the positives outweigh them. The anime’s greatest strength is its pool battles, so watching one fight will really convince you how good the series is. Of course, this is not for everyone. I’m sure some people won’t like the over the top perversion of the anime, but I will say that it’s done rightfully in this anime. It’s excessive, but it’s all for the benefit of the strong storytelling the anime is presenting. If you can get over the fact that boobs and butts are used throughout the anime, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy how original the setup of the show is. It’s one of a kind, so I highly recommend it.