Reviewby James Beckett,
Limited Edition BD/DVD
Keijo is a sport with deceptively simple rules. Female competitors gather on a floating arena known as a Land, and they must try to knock each other into the water using only their boobs and their butts. However, an action-packed worldwide phenomenon has grown from these seemingly basic parameters, with women from all walks of life fighting to be the number one Keijo player. Nozomi Kamanashi is one of these women, rising from humble circumstances to attend the prestigious Keijo academy known as Setouchi, with the goal of becoming a professional player. She ends up rooming with fellow Setouchi hopefuls Sayaka, Kazane, and Non, and the four girls quickly become friends sharing a journey to stardom. The road to victory is paved with damaged derrieres and busted busts, but Nozomi and her friends will give their all to get their bottoms to the very top of the ranks as Keijo legends!
To determine whether or not to invest time and money in Keijo!!!!!!, you need only to ask yourself if you like:
If you consider yourself a fan of all of the above, then rejoice, because Keijo!!!!!! has everything you're looking for. This series delivers insane boob-jiggling and butt-bouncing action that is so mind-numbly stupid that it comes right back around to being tons of fun, albeit the kind that will make your loved ones ask some incredibly awkward questions if they happen to stumble into the room. Director Hideya Takahashi and the rest of the crew at Studio Xebec know that Daichi Sorayomi's source material could never in a million years be taken seriously, so instead they lean into the ridiculousness to produce a fun and memorable action series that wouldn't know the word shame if it was tossed at them with incredible speed by a high-powered butt-cheek.
There have been plenty of action-packed anime obsessed with fanservice, but I'm at a loss to recall any that get so weird and creative with the combination. Keijo!!!!!!!! is just as concerned with delivering satisfying fight scenes as it is with titillating its audience, and all of the fanservice on display is paired with high-tension inner monologues and Super Special Ultimate Attacks. Nozomi and friends really aren't messing around when it comes to their sport of choice. When these girls go toe-to-toe, they don't just play Socker Boppers with their behinds; they can literally warp reality itself with the sheer power of their curves. This is a show where one of the primary schools of study in Keijo is “Ass-trology”, where women can hone such super moves as the “Vacuum Butt Cannon”, “Buttack on Titan”, and the “Perky Pile Piper”. (That last move involves the user twisting her nipples into such a coil that, when they unwind, they create literal drills to drive the opponent off the battlefield.
All of this makes Keijo!!!!!!!! sound incredibly stupid (and it is), but this unfettered devotion to keeping things at peak absurdity all of the time is key to the show's success. Outside of the female bodies flying around at absurd angles and speeds, Keijo!!!!!!!! is otherwise a typical shonen sports story. Nozomi is defined primarily by her limitless devotion to becoming the best, and the likable supporting cast all fill out the traditional batch of friends, mentors, and rivals that have populated so many other anime series. None of the training montages, friendship epiphanies, or battle royales that our heroines undergo contain any subversion of convention; Keijo!!!!!!!!'s core value comes from its crass devotion to twisting and warping the female form in more ridiculous ways every single episode. Everything else is incidental.
Thankfully, Takahashi and the team at Xebec are up to the task of making all of this goofiness look nice at least. The show features streamlined character designs and boldly colorful art direction that perfectly fits the series' tone, and the animation is generally capable of keeping things moving with pep and pizazz. The non-combat sequences tend to suffer from a lack of attention, especially in the later episodes of the show, but the staff keeps things looking fresh and dynamic when the boobs are flying and the butts are hitting hard, which is what's most important to keeping Keijo!!!!!!!! entertaining.
Keijo!!!!!!!!'s Blu-Ray/DVD combo set comes courtesy of Funimation and Crunchyroll's distribution partnership, and the set has been given quite the treatment for collectors. For physical goodies, the set comes packaged with both an artbook and a miniature calendar, which features swimsuit pinups of all the girls in the main cast. As far as on-disc extras go, they're all exclusive to the Blu-Ray discs, including the usual OPs and EDs, the series' six mini-OVAs, and a pair of commentaries by the English dub cast for episodes 2 and 4. The minisodes are nice but nothing essential to the experience, and the commentaries are a lighthearted peek inside what it was like to record one of the silliest scripts out there. The English dub is generally good, with all of the cast gamely committing to the weird and stupid world of Keijo. (I imagine just about every variation possible for the words “boob” and “butt” were written and recorded for this project.) There's a certain comedic pacing to the dialogue that's lost in the translation from Japanese to English, but the Funimation dub has an old-school earnestness to it that makes even its occasional clunkiness charming.
At the end of the day, Keijo!!!!!!!! is nothing if not completely up-front about what it wants to be and who it wants to please. Anyone with a love for silly humor, sports anime tropes, and curvy anime girls will likely find a lot to love in this show. Likewise, those who crave more depth and class in their anime should stay as far away from this series as possible. I'm not usually one for fanservice-heavy nonsense-fests, but I enjoyed Keijo!!!!!!!! much more than I ever thought I would. It's so gratuitous with its cheesecake that it ends up not being very sexy at all, but that was perfectly fine by me. I ended up sticking around just to see what new heights of absurdity each Keijo match would bring, and the show never disappointed in that regard.
Overall (dub) : B-
Overall (sub) : B-
Story : C+
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : C+
+ Bountiful fanservice, ludicrous and entertaining action sequences, never takes itself seriously
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