Keijo, a new form of gambling sport, has taken Japan by storm. While standing on floating circular platforms, players must defeat their opponents by using only their breasts and buttocks. Drawn into this female-only sport in hopes of making a fortune and escaping poverty, 17-year-old Nozomi Kaminashi decides to abandon her gymnastics career to apply for the Setouchi Keijo Training School alongside Sayaka Miyata, her new friend and former judo athlete. In the upcoming exam, the girls will have to utilize the utmost of their abilities to qualify as students of the school. With only the final goal in mind, Nozomi and Sayaka steel themselves to compete against participants from all over the country.
Following the conclusion of Keijo!!!!!!!!, Daichi Sorayomi revealed in a blog post that prior to the anime's airing, he was told to conclude the series by the time the anime ended. He also said that he did not receive much support by publisher Shogakukan in producing and popularizing the series.
Keijo!!!!!!!! (that's 8 exclamation points mind you) is a low fantasy sports shounen with a gimmick that ends up being far more entertaining than it has much right to be. But if the consistent level of outrageously new and unique ass-attacks doesn't make you laugh, you won't find much to hold your interest here.
See, Keijo!!!!!!!! exists somewhere in between "so bad it's good" and "surprisingly good" for me. It feels like it takes a checklist of everything a shounen is and goes down the list, fulfilling the obligations with quality that vaguely surprise me, but with virtually zero creativity.
It has a lovable, if clumsy and
dull-witted, protagonist who pulls genius ideas out of her ass in battle. It has a parade of characters with a gimmicky way of battling in what seemed to be an otherwise straightforward contest, with matching gimmicky personalities and lightly-touched-upon backstories. The main story features said protagonist on her journey to become the best at the sport of Keijo!!!!!!!!, or at least good enough to make oodles of money. Thus far, as of Chapter 69, it has mostly featured the protagonist applying for and training in a school for the sport while facing off against various ass-themed challenges and opponents.
The art matches the story: it's acceptably done but not exceptionally. Character designs are identifiable and pretty, if vaguely forgettable at times. Environments and objects are clearly defined, but not impressive. Asses are... fine... I guess? Not my area of expertise. Feet are wonky, but that's surprisingly common in mangas, and the author cuts the feet out of the shot where ever it wouldn't interfere the shot (something you will now be unable to unsee in manga mwahaha).
Keijo!!!!!!!! is, in a sense, the ultimately generic sports shounen. But then there's that gimmick, which I find endlessly hilarious and brings the manga from a 6/10 to a 9/10 in my mind.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is a low fantasy ass battling manga. And the asses are absolutely hilarious. Every fighter has a specialized ass technique to call their own. There's the relatively simple double-strike called the Ass Hurricane. If you can get above your opponent you can pull off an Ass Meteor or an Ass Guillotine depending on style. A recently shown ability is a pair of twins cooperating to create a literally dazzling Shooting Ass Star. From the immovable object of the Vajra Ass to the unstoppable force of the Vacuum Ass Cannon (a personal favorite) to the unbelievable speed of the Ass Gatling. One fighter has such accuracy with her ass strikes that she can surgically strike weak points on the opponent's body (such as the solar plexus, nape of the neck, or an unnamed spot and angle on the jawline that collides it into your brain), and instantly disable them, knocking unconscious 2 or 3 weaker opponents in the blink of an eye.
I could go on, and want to, but won't, because this is a major draw of Keijo!!!!!!!! to me and could be for you too. Seeing all of the outlandish and ridiculous ways the author comes up with for girls to attack each other with their asses just makes me laugh every time. If you need a story you can handle not taking seriously, one that will deliver on hilarious ass-themed outrageousness, then Keijo!!!!!!!! delivers at a somewhat generous 9/10. If you're bothered by how ludicrous and over-the-top it is, or if you're somehow totally unmoved by the ass ridiculousness, then you'll be underwhelmed by a 6/10 generic shounen.
Note: This review is mostly for the people (like myself) who are moving to the manga after starting with watching the anime airing this season.
I haven't been too keen on super fanservicey anime as of late, but I had to check out Keijo this season because of the pure absurdity of the plot (and the "plot"). I actually ended up enjoying it a lot more than I imagined I would and had to check out the manga to see if it was the same kind of deal.
I was not disappointed.
I will say first off that the manga and anime open very differently. The anime picks
up around the second arc of the story, whereas the manga starts off showing how she initially got started playing Keijo to begin with (not really a spoiler it's kind of the first noteworthy thing that happens in the manga). The characters in the manga are explored a lot more and, even though the events of the two productions line up pretty well, the manga goes into much more detail (as of right now 6 Keijo episodes are out, and the events of that are around the 50-60 chapter mark in the manga).
Now to the meat of it, the manga turns up the Keijo senseless absurdity tenfold, and I love every page of it. Most of the craziest stuff takes place past the point where the anime is now (though it seems it might get there by the end of the season), but the characters and techniques they use would be enough to give you an aneurysm if you were trying to actually take it seriously. It's essentially a test to see how many laws of physics they can break within the length of a chapter.
That being said, the characters, if a bit ridiculous, all have their charm, and their relationships (especially between the two main girls) are given a bit more attention than the anime. It focuses more on the action and less on the fanservice (though you get your fill of both and then some) than its animated counterpart, and is definitely one of those series I would recommend reading even if you're usually an anime-only kind of person.
tldr; It's insane, there's cute girls, and nothing makes sense. Don't take it too seriously, enjoy the ride, and enjoy nipples being used in ways that make you hurt just thinking about it.
What is Keijo!!!!!!!!? Essentially, it's what you get when you weaponize T&A (boobs and butts), essentially making asses out to be extremely lethal weapons. Throw in the universal shounen, "rise to the top" plot, and there you have it—And yes, Keijo!!!!!!!! does take the plot, the asses, and the sport itself, very seriously, and with a straight face, characters will absolutely comment on how overpowered ones' particular ass may be. Naturally, expect tons of incidental "fanservice" as a result of weapon choice. If what you really want to see is mad gymastics do T&A, and T&A doing mad gymastics, martial arts, and more, this is
probably the show for you.