Review/discussion about: Keijo!!!!!!!!
Louis Réard is credited as the inventor of one of man’s greatest creations: the bikini.
He apparently based the name for his unconventional clothing on the Bikini Atoll where nuclear testing occurred. And, when you think about it more closely, the dude’s a genius. He essentially invented public lingerie for women. They are less see-through and laced than their undergarment girlfriends, but they serve the same function of hoisting chests and concealing groins in a sexy manner.
The bikini also serves another purpose: to give onlookers a wonderful view of the behind. Looking at butts is no doubt swell, but Keijo!!!!!!!! (that’s eight exclamation points for those counting at home) proves that they can be used for more than just sitting and pleasure.
Keijo (dropping those exclamation points for the time being) stars Nozomi Kaminashi, a young woman hoping to make it big in the brand-new sport that has got everybody talking: keijo. Using her butt, boobs, and body, Nozomi, along with her best friend Sayaka Miyata and many other keijo-women-in-training, does what she can to make her dreams of wealth and fame become reality.
Most people, before they begin the show, ask a fair question: “What the heck is keijo?” To answer this question, it’s best to look at another franchise that does something similar: the Dead or Alive video-game series. More specifically, Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball features a mini-game titled “Butt Battle.” In short, two women fight to push each other off their platform with nothing besides their backsides.
In Keijo, take this concept and turn the dial up to eleven.
Multiple competitors battle simultaneously. That platform morphs its properties and topographies. Boobs are added to each woman’s arsenal. Infighters, outfighters, and counters denote different fighting styles. Wealth, fame, and glory await those skilled and driven enough. The rules of keijo remain about the same – only feet can touch the ground, falling into the water indicates a loss – but to deem keijo as merely a “butt battle” doesn’t do the sport any justice.
But these traits only get that dial to ten at most. To crank it beyond the limit, Keijo likewise breaks its own limits, bending reality and believability with the introduction of a key component: power moves.
Every character has a signature ability or set of abilities that both defines them as a person and elevates keijo past just a bunch of women shifting their backsides at one another. Sayaka perfected her “W-Acceleration,” boosting her speed to immeasurable levels to cut through space-time without a second thought. Hanabi owns the “Butt Guillotine,” slamming her derriere from above with enough force to decapitate any unfortunate soul who meets her cheeks. And Nozomi, the main protagonist, obviously uses the strongest technique of them all, the “Vacuum Butt Cannon,” a rotating, whirling mass of energy that insanely endangers the user yet decimates any foes (and clothes) in its path.
Altogether, from the rules to the structure to the powers, it all sounds silly, right?
That’s because it is.
What Keijo does well is taking this silliness and playing it straight. Beyond straight, what with its monologues on fighting to reach the top, the overly detailed explanations, and the seriousness in their approach to strategy. So straight in fact that, despite the stupidity of the sport, the anime likens itself to others in its given genres. The battles become intense bouts where special abilities collide, winning is the ultimate prize, and friendship among rivals remains as steadfast as ever. Just with less shots on net and more butts per shake.
So, yes, Kazane using her “Gate of Bootylon”, a fatefully reminiscent and entirely absurd hidden power, atop interconnected floating planes is as ridiculous as it reads. But when Kazane doesn’t want to let down her teammates after all their support, and the prospect of becoming champions is on the line, her subsequent “Boob Dunk” against the opponent’s “Left Perky Pile Piper” turns this scene into a dramatic and important ordeal.
With butts and boobs driving the narrative, the other sexual acts don’t feel out of place. Sayaka feeling up Nozomi’s buttocks is her physically detecting the progress she has made. And the figure-eight hip rotations the women perform are simply one piece to their training regimen. Ecchi content of this kind feels like a natural extension of the show itself, leading to lewd situations that make a surprising amount of sense in context (and more than arousing in perspective).
That’s not to say the anime doesn’t include some extra ecchi events as appetizers and side dishes. Because it totally does. Kusukai feels up Nozomi on more than one occasion for the fun of it, and Sayaka standing in front of the mirror, playfully saying “Bounce, bounce!”, only exists to give her more sexy screen time (which should never be argued against).
Similar thoughts can be said for the keijo bouts as well. For, no matter how dire the plot gets, it’s still hard to not laugh at the flying butts and the the silly names for the power moves. For example, the Suraga twins cause Murata to sing a butt-inspired variation of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” after their “Assteroid Afterglow” distracts her.
Even so, Keijo’s ability to deliver a “serious” narrative, built on a foundation formed from a ridiculous premise and booty for days, gets taken seriously. A feat in and of itself. One could even claim that the anime (and thus the mind behind the show) has some subtle commentary on what it believes is the best feature of the female body: nipples. After all, the three races in the East-West War were each decided by neither butts nor boobs but nipples.
To be fair, the ending is a bit strange, how they all pretty much go their separate ways (save for Sayaka and Nozomi) as they crawl into the big leagues. Also, no deeper themes beyond the typical perseverance and sportsmanship ones are explored. And, truth be told, the novelty of the whole premise has waned after twelve episodes.
Still, Nozomi says it best after her win in the East-West War. In some nice full-circle writing on the anime’s part, Nozomi drifts slowly deeper into the water, echoing the same words that shortly followed her first lost and that started this whole tale: “Keijo is amazin’!”
And nobody else can phrase it better than that.
In an ecchi anime like Keijo, it’s important to have attractive character designs and arousing moments. For the most part, the anime delivers the milk and the meat.
Looking at the designs of the characters first, they don’t all have the same level of nuance, but many achieve that needed attractiveness. Varied hairdos and colors, different sizes for their assets, and hot bathing suits of the bikini and one-piece variety.
Nozomi’s design is particularly interesting thanks to its parallels with her character. She has the Goldilocks physique – a bust and backside that are not overly big or unduly small but oh so right – that goes along with her main-protagonist status while her double ahoge atop her head indicates doubly her overall silliness.
Unfortunately, the anime doesn’t have the most impressive visuals around. That’s because the setting itself doesn’t change too much, and a structure floating on some water is not exactly exciting. Plus, the actual animation worsens over time. It’s pretty fluid near the beginning of the season, but, by the end, it’s clear that the resources behind the scenes have dwindled. There’s even a moment in episode ten when Sanae’s mouth movements blatantly fail to synchronize with her voice.
It also doesn’t help that the characters stand around a lot when not battling, explaining everything that is currently unfolding for the audience.
Even so, the anime puts effort elsewhere to make up for the stale setting and the lacking movement. For instance, Keijo almost always goes overboard with the delivery of its power moves. Imaginative scenes often play out, huge words and letters dominate the screen, and a flurry of swinging hips and flashing colors further the pizzazz. The anime also includes, on occasion, a comedic style for the reactions and the moments that are clearly meant for laughter.
Most importantly, Keijo emphasizes the women and their bodies. Frontal shots of their chests, low shots of their butts, and full profiles provide both sides of the goodness, giving the audience that arousal they have been looking for.
Keijo fills its space with as many butts and boobs as possible.
No one’s assets are more important than those of Nozomi, the main protagonist. Nozomi loves keijo and money. Thus, to her, pursuing the top spot and becoming the so-called “prize queen” of the sport makes almost too much sense.
From the very first episode, it’s clear that Nozomi has a lot of strength, a lot of passion, and a lot of heart. Her flips and momentum give her a spinning edge that, while not yet refined, proves her worth on the “battlefield.” Then, despite losing out on one of the coveted spots in the Elite Class, she reaffirms why she fell in love with keijo, experiencing the strength of other fellow fighters. And, all the while, her happy-go-lucky, energetic, and affable personality keeps her spirits high and attracts the friendship of those around her.
After her, Sayaka, Kazane, and Non become a solid team and even better friends, Nozomi accidentally uses the monstrous “Vacuum Butt Cannon,” a move so powerful that it could potentially injure the user permanently. Wanting to harness this power to reach her goal, Nozomi wears a UTM – a rubberized suit that constricts the body – for a month straight, training her muscles and hips to handle the power of that move.
She succeeds in using her newfound power against Kotone, the wielder of Cerberus. And, alongside her closest friends, she moves into the Elite Class. During their training camp, though, her instructor, a pro keijo player named Shirayuki, tells Nozomi that she has a weakness that she must correct if she ever wishes to fight professionally atop the land.
One thousand turnips later, Nozomi controls the inertia of her hip swings, giving her thicker butt the “Butt Flash” into “Meteor Hip” combo and demonstrating once more the dedication she has towards honing her body and her craft. The culmination of her season-long efforts showcases itself in the final round of the East-West War. Marking her first spot in the history books, Nozomi defeats Maya and with her the unstoppable East. Nozomi not only claims the championship for her school but also proves to everyone that the pro scene is about to be shaken up by one of the best players of all time to grace its ranks.
Nozomi’s climb is filled with tough obstacles and important self-realizations. She trains harder than anyone on her quest to be the best, and she proves that she is time and again. When taking a step back, though, her character arc cannot exactly be classified as exciting. She isn’t a woman with a personal conflict she must overcome, and she doesn’t start her journey from the absolute bottom. I.e., Nozomi is nice and dedicated but not much else.
Yet she is, for she brings something vastly worthwhile: positivity.
She’s obviously a positive person in nature with her happy smiles and general kindness. But such positivity goes further. Her lighthearted behavior alleviates the seriousness of keijo, letting others understand that the sport is as much about having fun as it is about winning. Her friendliness not only brings her closer with her “rivals” like Kotone and Usagi but also forms a tighter bond among the entire class. And her drive keeps the spirt of the sport alive, heralding in a new chapter in the world of butts and boobs and battles.
In all, Nozomi is far from a well-written character, but her ability to embody what keijo is all about more than makes her fit as the star of this show.
Similar thoughts can be applied to a couple of the other cast members. That is, they aren’t the epitome of writing thanks to Keijo injecting backstory only when it is necessary, but they bring their own flavor nonetheless.
Sayaka abandons judo despite her father’s wishes. Her time with keijo gains her newfound friends and greater strength as she pursues her dream of stardom. And, in the end, her father comes to support his daughter. Sayaka represents the idea that choosing one’s own path in life is vital for leading a happy life.
Maya never had anyone rely on her or look her way until she met her instructor. From then on, she refused to back down no matter what. Nozomi forces Maya’s second personality, Kaya, to emerge to protect herself from the pain of loss. Through Nozomi’s few choice words, though, Maya comes back to properly finish her duel. Maya represents the idea that losing isn’t the be all, end all that life may make it out to be.
These characters and even the ones that don’t receive a whole ton of attention also arguably have their most important trait: the power moves. Once again, for many of the women, the parallels between their powers and their personalities indicates thoughtful construction.
Non gives the gift of comedic relief with her clumsiness and falls (that “don’t really happen”). But, in keijo, her soft, pillowy bum acts as the ultimate supporting tool, defending those in need of assistance.
Kusakai is obsessed with cute girls, and Hanabi is head over heels for hot guys. When they fight, though, Kusakai’s manipulative nature unfurls, and Hanabi’s killer instinct takes over, making themselves out to be anything but attractive.
Keijo does make hefty mistakes despite the representations and parallels it develops. Shirayuki, the “Missile Lady of Kyoto,” gets forgotten about after their training camp. The villains in East-West War don’t have enough build-up to make them feel like worthy opponents. And Non arguably doesn’t get enough time or attention, considering her main-character status and her spot as one of the four friends in Nozomi’s group.
The biggest oddity, though, is Kazane. She majorly loses not once but twice during the season. In both cases, the anime chalks it up to near misses – Kusukai is forced to use a forbidden move, and Sanae barely touched the water last. It wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that the anime ends before she has a chance to officially win. Her losses without a follow-up win go against Keijo’s own mantras. How hard work and dedication eventually pay off in the long run. Apparently, not so for Kazane.
However, Nozomi’s positive purpose and the show taking the time to establish other characters and connections keeps the cast from at least falling over.
Keijo, perhaps surprisingly, backs its scenes most often with strong orchestral scores. They not only up the seriousness of the anime but also provide those feelings of triumph and thrill that support both the sport and the entertainment.
The show also doesn’t let up on its flurry of sound-effects. The butts and the boobs do smack into one another. But the explosions, drills, cartwheels, drops, and teleportations. All sounds with obscene weight that fit the over-the-top the premise and are perfectly at home amidst the ultra-powerful and super-serious abilities.
Listening to the show’s opening track, it achieves the same fun and seriousness that defines the content it precedes. The on-beat referee whistle and the back-and-forth “Hey!” cheers in the background invite playfulness, and the scary, deliberate drop near the halfway mark spells out the fact that keijo isn’t always for laughs. The OP even has a catchy beat, vocal harmonies, a fuller second half, and a lyrically cute start and finish. It’s one butt that should be touched.
The ending track, titled “Fantas/HIP Girlfriends,” goes all lighthearted, almost slice-of-life in its presentation. Techno beats and sounds create the foundation, the women (formerly) of room 309 all sing together, and the first half offers three-step lyrics that are simple yet fun. Not a stellar ED by any means, but it’s still worth a listen.
And while the cast of Keijo is as large as the butts therein, not many notable voice-acting performances are provided. However, Lynn as Nozomi uses a dialect that adds charm to her character and thus ups her aura of positivity.
In the Great Debate of Butts Versus Boobs, I argue in favor of the buttocks.
Yes, I am what society colloquially refers to as an “ass-man.”
As such, the beautiful butts brought to this bountiful buffet were bootylicious. Never had I seen an anime place so much emphasis, so much importance on the round, plump backsides before me. The small waists. The big hips. The glorious thiccness. I was enraptured by these butts (to say the least).
My top three butts were easy to choose (and they go in this order): Sayaka, Nozomi, and Shirayuki. Simply put, I couldn’t get enough of them.
(Also, Sayaka’s maybe-possibly-implied yuri feelings for Nozomi were more than welcome.)
That’s all the anime needed personally in my eyes, but it also delivered something crazy yet truly fun. All the power moves were hilarious and cool. The comedy was lighthearted and well-timed. The battles were intense and silly.
As I wrote way earlier, the writing in the anime is not complex let alone thorough. In fact, it barely passes the competent line. But, to me, that doesn’t matter here. Instead, what this anime did was remind me how a show doesn’t always need amazing characters, dramatic plotlines, or profound themes to be worthwhile. With its premise, its comedy, and of course its butts, the anime was extremely entertaining, and that’s all it really had to be.
Sadly, the anime will probably never see a continuation given how its source material met a premature end. Nevertheless, I walk away from this anime feeling more than content and wholly satisfied – and with a renewed vigor for the butts I love so much.
Keijo!!!!!!!! is even wackier in anime form than it is on paper, but that leads it towards ever higher praise. The ridiculous sport played straight, the attractive designs, the positivity of Nozomi’s character, the orchestral score, and the massive amount of massive booty create something that deserves to be ogled just as much as any nuclear bikini.
Story: Good, a wacky premise played straight makes the narrative as intense as any hockey game
Animation: Fine, while the setting is visually uninteresting, and the characters stand around a lot, attractive designs, flashy power moves, comedic styling, and emphasis on the assets showcase thrills and arousal
Characters: Fine, Nozomi’s positivity encompasses the spirit of keijo, the other cast members highlight motivational mottos and parallel powers, but Kazane’s arc is treated rather poorly
Sound: Good, good OP, okay ED, good OST, okay VA performances, and nice sound effects
Enjoyment: Great, butts are better than boobs
Final Score: 7/10
Thanks for taking the time to read my review. If you want, take part in the discussion below! :3