A while back, a rather strange anime was released. The Winter of 2016. It appeared to be completely ludicrous, a series based solely on the concept of fanservice. Keijo!!!!!! took the Western world by storm, attracting people at first with the promises of breasts and butts, but then keeping them hooked with sheer lunacy and hilarity. Keijo was perceived as a clever, subversive anime, something not too dissimilar to One Punch Man in regards to how it subverted anime tropes. In the span of 12 episodes, it gained a rather sizable fanbase–some people even started to read the manga!
But then, about a month ago, a travesty was announced: the manga’s run in the magazine was ending. Citing lack of popularity in Japan, as well as conflicts with the publisher, the author, Daichi Sorayami, apologized to the fans, and thanked the magazine that allowed him to run the manga.
Man, what a shame.
As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the series, both the anime and manga, I’ve gotta say, it kinda sucks that it’s getting cancelled. Considering this, I thought that it’d be a good idea to just…appreciate what Keijo!!!!!! brought to the table. Here’s to one of the strangest series of recent memory!
Turning “Fanservice” Into Something Good
It’s no secret that Keijo!!!!!! is a series that has fanservice at its core. The whole point is that girls in swimsuits battle each other in sumo-like fashion, using their breasts and butt. It’s a freaking weird show.
But man, it uses fanservice so, so well.
And no, I don’t mean it’s done well in regards to actual content of the fanservice, I mean, that as a trope, fanservice is honestly utilized far better here, than in other series. In anime like High School of the Dead, Food Wars, and even Code Geass, fanservice is often thrown in out of nowhere, contributing nothing to the narrative, simply providing eye candy. These series have different focuses, their narratives are dramatic, action filled, character focused, and so, fanservice just doesn’t fit well here.
So, when a series like Keijo!!!!!! comes along, with a premise that, in and of itself, has to utilize fanservice to be done well at all, it’s honestly rather refreshing. The series, surprisingly, does not utilize fanservice to the extent that other series does, rather, letting the situations of the plot naturally bring it into focus. Fanservice then, isn’t something that is actively…focused on, if that makes sense. It’s just there, and it was interesting to see just how Keijo!!!!!! was different, compared to other anime that seemed to pander to their audience.
Referencing Anime Everywhere
Keijo!!!!!!’s absurdity was something the show exploited to full effect. The concept in and of itself was already ridiculous, but the fact that Keijo!!!!!! was absolutely okay with taking it above and beyond was just plain enjoyable. And of course, one of the things that added to that, was the fact that Keijo!!!!! referenced every anime under the sun.
Okay, perhaps it wasn’t the biggest detail to focus on. But come on. Don’t tell me you didn’t chuckle upon seeing an attack named “Buttack on Titan” completely unironically. With nods to Street Fighter, Gaogaigar, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Fate/Stay Night, any seasoned anime watcher, or nerd in general, will have a fun time identifying just a few of the many references Keijo!!!!!! has to offer.
But honestly, the thing I love about this, is that Keijo just goes for it, and takes into account the absurdity of the series. It treats the references completely seriously, so that if you don’t know ANYTHING, it doesn’t matter. But at the same time, if you do know the references, it just adds that much more to your enjoyment of the show, and fits perfectly into the sort of contained chaos that Keijo!!!!!! aims to be.
Just Being Fun
And last, of course, we’ve got to appreciate Keijo!!!!! for just being a fun anime. Maybe that’s just something I like, with shows like Nichijou and Sakamoto Desu Ga, the ability of anime to just be unashamedly crazy.
Every anime has its purpose. Some are meant to be emotionally compelling dramas, others meant to blow you out of the water with crazy action scenes, and still others meant to tell a powerful story. And with Keijo!!!!!!, we get an anime whose purpose is to be as over-the-top as possible, and it succeeds in every way.
From concept, to animation, to characters, to…basically everything, Keijo!!!!!! goes out of its way to be as ridiculous as possible, and as a result, was hugely entertaining to watch. Here’s to you Keijo!!!!!!. Thanks for the good times!