Back in October I first saw a trailer for this series due out for the fall 2016 season. The trailer was the most forward and blunt that I’ve seen for a weeb trash fan service anime perhaps ever. It was unashamedly self-aware and this was just the trailer, so obviously I was going to watch it.
Keijo!!! (yes 3 exclamation marks) is set in an alternate world where somehow the sport of Keijo became a legitimate form of gambling and even has an air of prestige about it. The basics behind Keijo is only women can battle each other in the middle of a pool in a ‘land’ which can range from anything from a floating platform to a sinking azuchi-momoyama period castle. The story follows young hopeful Nozomi Kaminashi as she starts a professional training school in Keijo with hopes to become a prize fighter.
So straight from the off, this show is the biggest pile of fan-service meme bait trash ever created. The trailer tells you from the start and delivers what it offers in unashamed weeb fodder. However was the series as bad as the feminists on Kotaku made out after just one episode? Well not really, in an age where everyone is offended by the slightest thing it becomes a contest of who can shriek ‘won’t somebody think of the children’ the loudest. Keijo never promised to be an anime about anything else but a group of girls in swimsuits battling using only their boobs and butts. If these people wanted to be outraged why wasn’t it back in 2013 when the manga came out? But the anime was exactly like the manga which was a plus however they knew what angle to use in promoting and throughout the 12 episodes they stuck to it. I found myself mildly titillated, disgusted, confused, dumbfounded then disappointed in myself. The show follows a pretty well worn set up there is a few training episodes, the protagonist overcomes some hurdles and it all finishes with a 3-4 episode final battle where even at the very end everyone end up friends and then some post content to leave it wide open for season 2. That’s about as complex as the plot goes in between there’s a bit character development with some of the girls but the rest is just silly fanservice filler.
This anime is choc-a-block with the most meme-worthy special moves anywhere. If you have been on the internet in the last 3 months you will not have missed all of the GIFs; the chalk butt bullet, butt cannon, butt Gatling, ass of vajra, gate of bootylon, buttack on titan and many, many more. The full blow creative process in Keijo can be found in the attack naming process. I’ll be honest, the fanservice didn’t interest me, the plot was thinner than the outfits, the animation was sloppy and lazy in many places (see episode 12 after the big battle as Nozomi’s bikini goes from destroyed to partially fixed to fully repaired and back to non-existent) and the majority of the characters were too two-dimensional (excuse the pun). I returned week after week for the absurdity of it all, how could they bamboozle us more with cheap smut and flashy attacks using puns with a T&A theme.
This has been a weird one for me one the one hand this is the prime example of anime which I detest. A 15-year-old boy’s wet dream is often the kind of series that is chosen over better stories and it must be frustrating as a hard working mangaka to sit and watch shows like Keijo being optioned by studios when they have a series with an amazing plot, well thought out characters and a huge emotional investment being overlooked because harems of girls in swimsuits sell anime, apparently. But Keijo has never tried to offer us anything else but the festering scrapings from the bottom of the morality barrel. It has been forward in what it has offered from the start and in all honesty for the nonsense alone it’s worth a watch. This is not a good show by all means and I dare say you could condense the whole season into a 10-minute video of all the ‘special’ moves and bypass the extra 230 minutes of awful.
Keijo!!! can be found on Crunchyroll and all 12 episodes are up now so if you’re a bit of a sadist have it.