I have seen a girl judo-throw another girl by hooking her erect nipple onto the other girl’s swimsuit and flipping her. Yet, somehow, this is not the most insane thing in Keijo!!!!!!!!
Keijo!!!!!!!! is set in a world where the big new sport “Keijo” is sweeping the world. A portmanteau of the words “keiba” (競馬)–horse racing–and “jo” (女)–woman–it is, oddly enough, not a sport about female runners. Rather, keijo is basically what is known in Japan as “butt sumo” (お尻相撲)–a game played by children where you try to push your opponent out of a large circle using only your butt.
Of course, keijo is a bit more complicated than that: you can use your breasts too. And instead of the ring being on the ground, you fight on a floating platform in the middle of a pool (while wearing a revealing swimsuit, of course).
It should be obvious from even a single screenshot that Keijo!!!!!!!! is a fan-service anime with a primary goal of being titillating the viewers. Of course, this is nothing new. Each season, there are a few anime that fall into the category of softcore pornography. Some have a plot to back them up, others don’t. And then there is Keijo!!!!!!!!
Keijo!!!!!!!! is completely self-aware of its nature as a fan-service anime, yet it chooses to play its story completely straight: Within the world the anime presents, keijo is treated as if it were any other sport. The characters are largely unaware that anything they do could be considered perverted at all. In this way, they are identical to the cast of any other sports anime. In fact, take the characters, make them play any other sport, and you’d have a by-the-numbers sports anime. And that is the genius of the series.
By taking the sports anime formula and centering it around a hyper-sexualized fictional sport, Keijo!!!!!!!! becomes an amazing parody of sports anime–and many western sports films–showcasing all the tropes common to the genre in the most over-the-top way possible.
We have the seemingly unrelated mundane actions that teach hidden lessons. In The Karate Kid, it’s “wax on, wax off.” In Rocky, it’s punching meat. In Keijo!!!!!!!!, it’s wearing bondage gear to increase your muscle strength. Or picking turnips… only with your butt.
But of course even that pales in comparison to the super attacks and secret attacks the girls have that would be at home in everything from Prince of Tennis to Inazuma Eleven–if they weren’t done with the boobs and butt, anyway. I’ve already mentioned the nipple judo throw, but it’s far from the craziest. One girl’s butt has a mind of its own, manifesting as a fiery purple wolf that chases her opponents around the ring. Another girl gives herself a wedgie–which frees up her leg muscles, granting her super speed. Another can hypnotize opponents with the swaying of her breasts.
Yet none of that even compares to one girl’s ability to copy the techniques of any butt she’s touched which manifests as a call back to Fate/stay night’s “The Gates of Babylon” with the special attack “The Gates of Bootylon.” (Of course, given her powers, a better name would probably be “Unlimited Booty Works” but we’ll just have to let that pass.)
The other aspect that makes Keijo!!!!!!!! stand out is the sport itself. Ridiculous techniques and fan service aside, it looks like so much fun to play. I don’t care if my opponent was male or female. I, a 31-year-old man, would love to hop into a pool and play this.
Moreover, each keijo match we see in the anime is dramatically different than the last because the floating ring is always changing. While there is a standard floating disk, other arenas have included a number of small platforms linked by floating bridges, a giant jungle gym, a platform that tilts easily that has a fountain to make it slippery, and even two seaplanes connected at the wing tips by chains. It’s a whole extra level of crazy, but it still looks like so much fun.
All in all, Keijo!!!!!!!! is my guilty pleasure because, despite the rampant fan service (or perhaps because of it), it makes me laugh. No anime this year (except for maybe Konosuba) has made me laugh this constantly or often. It’s a great example of how adding another layer to a fan service anime–in this case a parody of sports anime–can make it enjoyable to an entirely different audience. Each week, I tune in to see what the next lame butt-based pun or breast-powered special attack will be. And as we close in on the series end, I have yet to be disappointed.
Keijo!!!!!!!! can be seen with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.