[Series Review] Keijo!!!!!!!! (2016)

Keijo!!!!!!!! parodies the most absurd ideas from martial arts (Dragon Ball Z) and other series (Ren and Stimpy) to invent a logically impossible new sport. Keijo is a more titillating version of wrestling, featuring pretty women competing in seductive swimsuits, and almost acts as the counterbalance to the ice skating series Yuri!!! on Ice, featuring handsome men competing in seductive clothing. Does Keijo!!!!!!!! exceed potentially being irredeemably exploitative or even misogynist to deliver a compelling Exploitation-styled premise?

Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]
Episode Spoiler Synopses:

  1. Setouchi Keijo Training School!!!!” nearly surpasses fetishizing the premise with neutral animation, decent narrative, and friendly competition. Some exaggerated action shots reminisce of Ren and Stimpy.
  2. The Hip Toss Brings Us Together!!!!” conveniently teaches the girls of Room 309 teamwork, ‘morality,’ and tapping into your hidden strengths to accomplish your bigger goals.
  3. Vacuum Butt Cannon!!!!” has themes of working hard to develop your skills hidden behind increasingly more provoking shots that detract value because plotless ecchi is everywhere.
  4. The Battle for the Fastest Butt!!!!” features the end results of impossibly fast off-screen training with a stereotypical series of shonen style showdowns except with girls.
  5. Full-Auto Cerberus!!!!” has a satisfying exchange between two equally matched fighters, even if only briefly tense, because this series has yet to prove claim any ambitions.
  6. Alluring Kyoto Trip!!!!” features a slice of life break after combat, which does help build character development, before launching into a brief psychological study via sport.
  7. Where the Turnips Lead!!!!” is the cliché ‘practice one move ten thousand times‘ episode and nice to see after episode four’s off-screen giant leap in skill.
  8. The Dramatic East-West War!!!!” further milks the rewards of the previous training episode with the typical pre-fight clash between two rivals before their official match begins.
  9. Ruler of the Jungle Gym!!!!” borrows motivation with latent talent achieving the impossible, without inspirational dialogue or memorable execution elevating the show to even minor grandeur.
  10. The Second East-West War Race!!!!” throws its first plot curveball using minor subterfuge that could have worked better with less suspense, obscuring a more damaging curveball.
  11. The Castle of the Final Match!!!!” returns to overexposed fanservice throwing in the usual plot device that knowing your motivation will help you overcome any obstacle.
  12. The Heated Battle’s Rear-End!!!!” concludes nobly. Not because of the obvious plot conclusion. More because production studio Xebec ran out of [resources in] every possible way.

Pros: Themes of friendship, motivation, and dedication prevent the series from being without merit or misogynistic. Attacks like Shoryucans are just too funny.

Cons: The execution is so predictable that if you’re not already watching it, then don’t bother. Wasted potential on a creative sports idea. Not nearly funny enough.

If Yuri!!! on Ice weren’t so overly saturated with handsome men doing pretty things, I might have watched that instead of Keijo!!!!!!!! this season, so I’d say the two series share more than just excessive exclamation marks.

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