[Synopsis]: In the sport of Keijo, women compete against each other in water-filled stadiums atop floating platforms called ‘Lands’. Each girl’s objective is to knock the others off into the water or incapacitate them using only their butts and breasts. Kaminashi Nozomi (Lynn), a skilled gymnast, seeks to join the competitive world of Keijo in order to earn fame and fortune. Nozomi encounters both friends and rivals in her pursuit to become a Prize Queen – the highest rank in professional Keijo.
In regards to the protagonist Nozomi, her friends, and the rest of the cast – there isn’t too much to say. Keijo!!!!!!!! builds its story and presentation out of clichés and so the characterization of the cast follows the same kind of scheme. Nozomi herself more or less resembles the quintessential design of a protagonist. She’s energetic, friendly, and silly at times but becomes determined and serious during Keijo matches. Her physical ability as a gymnast translates well into the sport of Keijo, granting her nimble movement and access to a variety of special techniques.
Nozomi’s physical aptitude speaks to a pretty general characteristic of the cast in that each of the Keijo players sport their own influential background and wheelhouse of techniques. Many players excelled in certain sports or physical activities before venturing into the world of Keijo and so their combat gimmicks and approach to the sport typically involve some sort of related flavor. Nozomi’s friends, like the rest of the cast, fall into pretty standard archetypes. One is serious and composed, one is clumsy, and another is quiet and reserved. As a whole, the cast of Keijo!!!!!!!! isn’t particularly memorable or even all that important but they’re able to provide the show with what it needs which is eccentric personalities and a large variety of entertaining abilities.
It’s one thing to read the premise of Keijo!!!!!!!! but it’s something else altogether to see it actually play out. When you learn that the goal of the sport is to overwhelm the opponent with your breasts and butt, it’s hard to attach a fitting image to what that might look like. Above all else, Keijo!!!!!!!! gets this right. And it is absolutely hilarious. The premise of the show requires a very specific kind of choreography from each character and to see them swing at each other’s heads with their asses and attempt to uppercut or leg sweep one another with their breasts is not only funny but genuinely a solid implementation of Keijo’s concept.
This is all to say nothing of the positively absurd special techniques each of the characters make use of which range from relatively believable physical feats to borderline supernatural abilities. The premise of Keijo!!!!!!!! practically promises the viewer an over-the-top, laughably preposterous presentation and the show’s visuals deliver exactly that.
There is of course an endless amount of gratuitous fan-service but its so boldly presented that you can’t help but laugh at that facet of the show as well. Moreover, while Keijo!!!!!!!! may seem like an almost insultingly convoluted way to sexualize a given cast of characters, it doesn’t always put this aspect first. In many regards, Keijo!!!!!!!! genuinely is a sports show and so there are plenty of instances where it will put the intensity of its match or its dramatic implications before the butts and boobs. The art and animation quality wavers at times but, for the most part, the show looks surprisingly crisp and fluid. The Keijo matches themselves consistently look pretty fantastic. Despite the lunacy of its premise, Keijo!!!!!!!! features some truly imaginative choreography and combative techniques that keep the show very visually engaging and downright hilarious at practically every turn.
There is no single aspect of Keijo!!!!!!!! that is more riddled with clichés and conventions than its narrative. To reiterate, the show isn’t really defined by its fan-service as much as it is by its heavy sports influence. Though perhaps it could be considered admirable that the show takes such an approach, that doesn’t mean the sports shows that it is emulating are any good themselves. Every episode features about as predicable of a plot progression as you could imagine. Nozomi and her friends go to school in order to become professional Keijo players. There are workout routines, training episodes, and tournament arcs which all transpire in just about the way you’d expect them to. In this way, each episode can be a bit boring at times when there isn’t Keijo involved but the show does a decent enough job at keeping things lively and entertaining despite this.
The most promising idea present within Keijo!!!!!!!! aside from its premise is its attitude towards the sport itself. The show possesses a genuine interest in the athleticism of its players and the implications of certain techniques. The fact that the players take the sport so seriously and that honing their ability to control your breasts and butt takes legitimate effort and skill is both what gives the show its distinct personality and what makes it so damn funny. Though there are some throw-away gags here and there, Keijo!!!!!!!! handles itself in a fairly serious way and its the juxtaposition of this with the sheer, comedic absurdity of its sport that gives it the power to evoke laughter in practically every scene.
In so closely following the standard formula of a sports show, there were occasionally times where it would attempt to get the viewer to empathize with some characters through their work ethics, goals, backstories, and complications. These scenes fell a little flat due to the cliché nature of the cast however some of these moments successfully contributed to the pseudo-serious tone of the show. Keijo!!!!!!!! isn’t a complicated deconstruction of the sports genre or some kind of satirical masterpiece. It’s unapologetically predictable, exceedingly dumb, and far more fun than it has any right to be.
The soundtrack is surprisingly decent and though it doesn’t feature much memorability, it harbors within it the same serious attitude of the show. The music is triumphant and grand in order to attach a sense of spectacle and importance to an otherwise utterly absurd visual display. The sound effects are practically as funny as the visuals they accompany. The sound design of the show is very loud which both accentuates the intensity of the Keijo matches and plays into the seriousness of the show. Though the women fight with their breasts and butts, Keijo!!!!!!!! is remarkably good at selling punches. Each strike and blow is resounding and this sound quality pushes the already hilarious proceedings over the top.
[Final Thoughts and Rating]:
Everything else aside, Keijo!!!!!!!! was exceptionally funny. While not strictly a comedy in and of itself, its ridiculous nature probably earned more laughs than more deliberate comedy shows of a similar caliber. It is likely far stranger than you anticipate and the level of irrationality some of its developments reach is frankly impressive.
I gave Keijo!!!!!!!! a 5 because it made me laugh. It made me laugh loudly, frequently, and in reaction to things I never thought I would see. The show executes its premise phenomenally well and though its highly cliché nature and forgettable cast and story leave a lot to be desired, the show itself isn’t nearly as trite and appalling as it might suggest at face-value.
If you can laugh at the absurd and don’t get offended by highly ubiquitous fan-service, then Keijo!!!!!!!! has as good shot at earning more than a few laughs from you. If you don’t mind watching something rather deliberately dumb then this show might surprise you with the way it goes about executing its vision.