With the new fall anime season upon us, we have all new shows to look forward to. It seems that this season is a little light as compared to spring and summer, but there are still anime coming out that garner some attention. Long-awaited shows like March Comes in Like a Lion and Izetta: The Last Witch have finally dropped, but there’s certainly a lot of weird ones this time around. One of which comes in the form of “Keijo!!!!!!!!” (henceforth Keijo) a show about the game-turned-sport of Keijo, a sport in which women fight on a buoyed surface in the water, known as a Land, and only use their breasts and butts to push each other out. While this is primed for a run-of-the-mill “it’s totally not porn” show, what viewers end up getting is a show that is unbelievably stupid, hilarious, and enjoyable.
The story centers around the main character Nozomi Kaminashi, a college entrant to the school of Keijo itself. She of course is looking to become pro in the sport, for the simple prospect of cash. Joined by her friend Miyata, both her and friends she meets along the way strive to reach the top of the class and get upgraded to the elite class.
The story is easy to understand, short, and most of all spares no expense in getting the viewer to just go with it. Shockingly, there is a good sort of goal for the characters to achieve. Nozomi is utterly defeated by other entrants into the school and is knocked down to the standard class. Now there is a whole class of elite Keijo players that Nozomi and friends must conquer in order to become full-fledged pros. It did not take me long to get wrapped up in how the plot was structured, mostly because the anime gives us the pleasure of not taking it too seriously. The episode structure -so far- consists of episode-centric themes like teamwork and friendship, so it’s safe to say that the anime -so far- doesn’t have any plans of being introspective or deep. But it’s hard to say what the anime will do, because it has completely floored my initial expectations.
One thing that helps this anime to be a cut above its erotic contemporaries is the amazing animation. This show is completely aware of what it is, and takes full advantage of making the matches between girls as ridiculous as possible. What could’ve simply been pulled off with a couple butt-thrashes and calling it a day, it’s not a rarity in Keijo to see some girls do back-flips, somersaults, and after-image speed techniques in order to push their opponents off of the Land. Even special moves happen in the fights, which range from a butt-swipe so fast that it knocks the opponent out to high-speed spinning that rivals the revving of Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s fast-paced action that ends in surprisingly-believable force being dealt to the players. The animation and choreography helps sell this anime as less of a not-porn and more of a shockingly enjoyable show of gymnastics and tactics that also happens to have eroticism in it.
One can’t mention shows like this and not bring up the fan-service aspect. Thankfully, the fan-service is undoubtedly purposeful and meant for more of a joke than the common sleight-of-hand nature other shows like Izetta have. It’s less of a distraction that detracts from the show and more of a focal point. I’ve always been fine with fan-service that was unabashed and comedic, since it just helps sell the show as something both not to take seriously and enjoy better as a whole. Even the over-used “trip-onto-sudden-breasts” gag is made funnier here. It’s also a lot easier to forgive the abundant boobage and buttness because of how well-animated the keijo fights are. It clearly understands that it has excuses for fan-service lined up like a laundry list, but still keeps it cool in the fight department.
Against my better judgement, I watched the first two episodes of Keijo, expecting a poor excuse for fan-service that sometimes had a point. What I got was an unabashed spectacle of breast-pounds and butt-bumps that knew full well what it was. In effect, I not only ended up not hating the show, but actually grew to love it. It’s only 2 episodes in so far, so I don’t know if it’ll plummet in quality later on, but it’s doing its best to hold strong. “Keijo!!!!!!!!” is amazingly stupid, but in the most positive of ways and turns into a rather enjoyable sport show with pretty girls in it.