Hinomaru Ushio dreams of becoming a professional sumo wrestler have been hindered by his height, but that’s not about to stop him from fighting for it!
What did you watch?
I started watching Hinomaru Sumo on a whim. At that stage, I think I had already settled on the shows I was going to watch, but then I had a little time and I thought I’d give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? Well, in this instance, I had nothing to worry about and when I discovered that it was going to be a twenty-four episode season, I was delighted. Before this, I knew absolutely nothing about sumo. Nothing!
What’s it about?
Hinomaru Ushio was once a prodigy in the world of school sumo, but when he stopped growing things changed. After a meeting with a former Yokozuna, he left the sport to train in solitude for three years and now he’s ready to return. So, first things first, he needed to find a school with a good sumo team, however, on his way there he got a little lost and ended up at a different school.
There he challenged the captain and sole member of the sumo club to a match and before he knew it he was fighting the school thug to regain control of the sumo facilities. Having cemented his friendship with Shinya, he sets about recruiting new members for the sumo team so that they can compete at Nationals and he can get a shot at bypassing the height restrictions for the pros.
What did you think?
I loved this series. Like, absolutely loved it. The matches were awesome and insanely strategic. It really was a joy watching each and every one of them. Then as you got to know the team and their opponents, it just seemed to become more intense. This really was a shining example of teamwork and even dignity in winning and losing. There was a lot of macho bravado, but it also had heart and when all was done, they could all get along and respect each other.
What was your favourite moment?
Oh, wow! There were so many great moments it would be impossible to list them all here, so, I’m going to say the entire national team tournament, with the absolute highlight being Hinomaru versus Sosuke which went on for more than a single episode, it was that epic! Their path to the final was unbelievable. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire series, sometimes, reminding myself to blink or breathe.
What was your least favourite moment?
I was really disappointed with Kunisaki’s fight in the final. He had already beaten two national treasures and was shaping up to be an incredible fighter, but when he came up against his brother, it all fell apart. I feel like it was done on purpose so that he wouldn’t stand up against Hinomaru, but it seemed to go against the way he was developing as a wrestler.
Who was your favourite character?
For the entire series, it has to be Hinomaru. He is inspirational and unbelievably optimistic, that it’s hard not to root for him. That said, he’s not alone. There are so many excellent characters all with their own stories that intersect with Hinomaru’s story. It should be noted that he inspires each of them to be the best they can as well. His enthusiasm is contagious.
Who was your least favourite character?
I’m going to go with Kunisaki’s brother. Sure, he was good at sumo and seemed to have found something that he could pour himself into, but he was also a bit of a jerk. Kunisaki let him get to him though, which is ultimately why he lost. I’m still not over that fight!
Who needs more screen time?
Honestly, I’d just like to see more of everything. More training, more fights, and more all you can eat buffet training sessions. This series had a lot of action and heart, but it also had a lot of funny moments. If you like sports anime, you should definitely check it out. If you don’t, maybe give it a go. What’s the worst that could happen?
Is it similar to any other anime you’ve seen?
Ironically, there were elements of the rivalries and fair play that reminded me of Harukana Receives. There was even more skin in Hinomaru Sumo, but it’s definitely not one for the ecchi fans. Joking aside, I thoroughly enjoyed both these series and would never have thought of watching them prior to diving into the seasonal anime schedules. It’s amazing what you can discover if you step out of your comfort zone.
Would you like another season?
It seems like this story has run its course, but even so, I would love to see more. These characters were a lot of fun and like Yuma said in his fight in the final, maybe I’m not ready to give up on sumo just yet. I was overjoyed when I discovered that it was twenty-four episodes and I would be just as thrilled to find out there was another season.
Other reviews in the series
Hinomaru Sumo ended up being twenty-four episodes, which began last year. There’s a mix of numbers and sets, but they’re all moving in the right direction still. Ten-thousand of each in 2019 is still a possibility.
- Episode Count: 24 (329)
- Push-ups – 130 (2,480)
- Sit-ups – 130 (2,500)
- Squats – 140 (2,490)