It is a divine ritual, a martial art, a combat sport—it's sumo!!
A "small" new student, Ushio Hinomaru, appears before the weak little sumo club of Oodachi High School! The words "big" and "heavy" are the rules to this sport, which does not fit this newbie any inch, but this guy goes and does what...?! Ushio and the small sumo club climbs its way to the top!
The goal is Hinoshita Kaisan! (a title for the highest rank in professional sumo, equivalent of Yokozuna)
A fired up high school sumo tale—no retakes allowed!!
*Hinoshita Kaisan - A title for the highest rank in professional sumo, equivalent of Yokozuna.
In general, I usually hate sports animes. I have never had any sort of appeal towards them and just simply think that they are boring. However, this was not the case with this sumo anime, Hinomaruzumou. From the very first episode, I fell in love with this show. I don't know if it was its shōnen-esque nature or if it was the awesome music at the end of every episode, but it has become one of my favorite current anime. I highly recommend this show, and to those who don't particularly enjoy sports anime, like me, I say give it a solid chance.
When they say that anime literally has everything you can think of, even the weird ones, they're speaking the truth. An anime about magic? Done. An anime about ghosts? There's one. An anime about turning war weapons into cute and beautiful girls? Look no further. And finally, an anime about soda cans also being feminized? Yes, it exists.
And now a shounen anime about sumo.
I can now finally add another entry on my "Japan's Greatest Ideas" list and not on the "Japan's Weirdest Ideas".
Hinomaruzumou or Hinomaru Sumo is about Ushio Hinomaru, a new student who enrolled at Oodachi High School and joined
their very small sumo club with the intention of being a Yokozuna (the highest rank on professional Sumo). But it appears fate isn't very kind to him because he's too "small" for the sport.
Despite his disadvantage, Hinomaru makes up for it with training and strong spirit. And he's going to prove to everyone that you can still be a Yokozuna even if you're not big enough!
I know, I know. It has that clichéd sports anime feel of wanting to be at the top of the summit despite the main hero's glaring flaw(s). But don't let it deter you from watching this anime! It was brilliantly done and in just a few minutes, you can't help but be immediately get used to their world.
This is, after all, another retelling of that classic shounen and sports anime feel while giving it a breath of fresh air. It's advantage is the fact that it features a sport that (let's be honest) not everyone will immediately be interested in. They're taking a risk with this one and I'm all in!
I literally went in with little to none knowledge on sumo and so far, this is becoming educational for me. I never thought that I'd actually would like to learn more about sumo and find this, in general, something fascinating. I mean, it's just about two "fat" guys hugging each other, right? Wrong. I was so wrong. It was more than that and I admit, Hinomaru was able to influence me for I saw how passionate he was and I couldn't help but be interested as well.
The opening was wonderful and gives insights on future characters/rivals/events; and at the same time, makes it obvious that this IS shounen and you're in for a wonderful ride. The ending is very manly as well. The "ooh hah" parts really get my blood pumping!
The characters are so lovable. The main character can really inspire you and even though he's the good ol' shounen hero, I didn't mind at all. In fact, that made me love him even more. The supporting cast are amazing as well. I love their individual quirks and how they all blend so well together. This is truly an ensemble to watch out for!
The art style, at first, didn't truly catch my attention. It's not bad but it's not that great either. However, when the sumo matches are shown; wow, I was blown away. I love the way they used heavy and darker lines and palette during intense scenes and lighter ones during comedic scenes. As someone who read the manga, I'm glad they're staying faithful to the original art.
Another thing I'd like to point out on the art style is that I hardly saw any still shots which is a really good news. I tried pausing at random times to see if I'll see any goofy drawings but haven't seen one. A lot of anime nowadays resort to those aforementioned goofy shots because they either want to save money or speed up the animation process.
Overall, Hinomaru Sumo is a really great anime. Since it's about a sport I'm not very familiar with, it immediately piqued my interest and I'm so glad I tried it out. The opening and ending songs give me the classic shounen feel, and the characters, especially Hinomaru, are lovable; and I can't wait to get to know them better. The art is the typical one you usually see on anime nowadays but when it's sumo time, wow, it really brings a lot to the table!
I'm very excited for the next episodes and continue this wonderful journey!
P.S.: There are anime released before about sumo but none of them caught my attention like this one did.
P.P.S.: If you're thinking of reading the manga, I suggest you start from chapter 1. The anime skipped a lot of chapters after all. It's like the anime has its own storytelling of the same characters and universe while the manga has its own different style as well. Both are enjoyable and will make you appreciate Hinomaru Sumo even more. :)
Who knew watching 2 fat dudes hug could be this entertaining...
First of all, let's get the somewhat ugly art style and slightly above average animation out of the way; character designs that appear throughout the show are nothing special and usually their appearance reveals their personality before we even get to know them, every character seems basic and stereotyped to the max, even the MC has the classic shounen body scars to show he's been through some shit! Animation is very still typically but I can't deny that it becomes good and borderline great in action sequences! Sound wise, the OP, ED and OST
are top notch, some of the best this season and probably this year! Voice acting is solid but doesn't stand out in any way to be honest.
Although the characters are stereotyped heavily, I can't deny that I do love them and especially their chemistry and interactions as they all seem linked by the sport of sumo which can be seen as following a lot of shounen tropes but honestly it doesn't seem forced; also as a small guy, the MC makes me hype! The story is the typical, "I wanna be the best at something but I have a certain drawback so I'm gonna recruit some buddies and go on a journey until I learn to be the best I can be." Very simple underdog plot line but it's executed well enough that I'll let it slide
Honestly this show is very simplistic and basic with minimal unique features; it mainly follows a very basic shounen route but yet, I can't help but enjoy it, and I enjoy it a LOT! I could give it a 6 or 7 but honestly, every time a new episode comes out, I find myself anticipating it and watching it instantly and that counts for more than anything else. Also, even if you hate sumo or know nothing about it, watch it because I think most would still enjoy it!
Personally, I don't see why this anime isn't as popular as it should be. It feels as if this anime needs a little more attention so I decided to write this review.
As a fan of sports and shounen anime I think that Hinomaruzumou is actually quite original. There are all these anime that have already been done such as volleyball, tennis, boxing, baseball, etc. But never in my life I thought there would be one about sumo. Every single time I watch an anime that is about a certain sport, I think its great that these anime's teach you about how the sports work as
well. Now learning about sumo was probably the best experience out of all the sports anime that I have watched. Since the first episode, this anime was screaming "HYPE" right from the get go. I think that learning about different sumo techniques such as slapping or grabbing the belt are very interesting and that is what makes sumo so unique. This also makes it like Hajime no Ippo just toned down a little bit.
The story and art are not totally perfect by any means. Of course there are things that I want to have improved such as like have more background information about the main character Hinomaru. Why does he look that way? These questions got in the way sometimes but overall didn't distract from the main story. The art is quite normal but that doesn't get in the way at all. Most of the time, I don't even notice it. The characters in this show are very likable and the introduction of each them are very smooth.
Overall, I think that this is one of the hidden gems of the season. Like I said before, I am a very big fan of sports and shounen animes so you can take this review with a grain of salt but I am loving this anime. The opening is very cool as well and I can't wait for what is going to come. Not only do I recommend this show to sports anime fans, but for everyone, as I think that it is a great watch this season.
(P.S These are my initial impressions. I am going to be writing a review at the final episode)