Hinomaru Sumo (Season One)

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.

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Hinomaru Sumo (Episodes 17-20)

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When Hinomaru lost in the individual tournament, his dream of becoming a pro sumo looked to be over, but his team aren’t about to let him give up just yet!

What’s happened since last time?

The Odachi High sumo club has reached the semi-finals in the team tournament where they will have to face off against the number one school and Hinomaru will get a second chance to defeat Tennoji. In preparation for the match, they practice with Sada and his team, who they defeated in the preliminaries.

First we see the captain, Shinya faces off against a much smaller opponent who uses Aikido. The battle is long and hard, but ultimately Shinya loses. Then Kei, the smallest and least successful of the team goes up against a man mountain and deploys a series of tricks, before being declared the winner, only for it to be contested and declared a draw. They will have to start over, but Kei is injured and can’t put up much of a fight.

Kunisaki faces off against their second strongest wrestler in an epic battle that has firmly cemented him as my new favourite character. Following that former thug turned sumo wrestler, Yuma has to win in order to keep the match alive, but he’s up against a Mongolian beast. Somehow, he manages to win his match and take a step towards redeeming himself, leaving Hinomaru to face off against Tennoji once more. It’s another epic fight.

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Hinomaru Sumo (Episodes 13-16)

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Hinomaru trains with a former Yokozuna whose methods really aren’t for everyone, but with Nationals coming up, he better make it count!

What’s happened since last time?

Hinomaru and Chizuko have been invited to join a former Yokozuna for training. Chizuko isn’t quite sure why she’s there or what she’s got herself into but is willing to help Hinomaru. That seems to be his gift. His passion inspires those around him to help.

Upon completing their training, they rejoin the others and head home to prepare for Nationals. Everyone has taken something from the training camp with Oyakate’s stable. Kunisaki even approaches a rival wrestler for help and is ready to shock the sumo world.

Nationals get underway and Hinomaru quickly shows how much he’s grown before coming up against the number one ranked high school wrestler in Japan. He’s in for the fight of his life and all the supporters can do is hold onto their seats and try to remember to breathe.

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Hinomaru Sumo (Episodes 9-12)

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The Oodachi High sumo team are in the finals of the preliminary tournament with the winning team heading to the National Championship. It’s 2-2 with all hopes resting on Hinomaru!

What’s happened since last time?

Hinomaru goes up against another National Treasure in the final match of the team tournament. The match is epic as it swings back and forth. Seriously, these fights are tense. One wrong move and it’s over. Hinomaru manages to put a number of moves together to win with a monster combo.

Next is the individual tournament where the wrestlers get to test themselves against their team mates. The fights between Hinomaru and Kunisaki, and then Hinomaru and Shinya are excellent. Ultimately, Hinomaru wins the individual tournament and the team head back home.

To celebrate the victory and the addition of Chizuko and Reina as co-managers the team head to an all you can eat buffet. Not one to rest on his laurels, Kirihito turns it into a trained exercise and uses it to help the team bulk up, much to the horror of restaurant owner, Stamina Jiro.

Finally, they receive an invitation to train with some of the pros in Nagoya. Something that they jump at. Hinomaru is taken to practice with the best of the best, where he catches one by surprise, but is quickly put back in his place, before a mysterious old man takes an interest in Hinomaru and invites him back to his gym.

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Hinomaru Sumo (Episodes 5-8)

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With a team of unlikely companions, Hinomaru will look to take the first steps towards going pro. Can they help him get there?

What’s happened since last time?

Hinomaru Ushio has now managed to build a team that can compete. That’s the first steps to Nationals and potentially becoming a professional sumo wrestler. The team includes the captain and third-year student, Shinya Ozeki. Bizarrely, the former school thug, Yuma Gojo has also enlisted and is determined to turn his life around.

Then there is Chihiro Kunisaki, a national wrestling champion who is seeking to increase his fighting knowledge so that he can become the ultimate MMA fighter. The last member of the team is Kei Mitsuhashi, a first-year who caught the bug after seeing Ushio fight.

The final member of the team is Kirihito Tsuji who is the manager, and despite being a first-year has an incredible understanding of sumo and a wealth of interesting training techniques. The team has been training and now, they’re in finals of a tournament with just Ushio to fight. Winners go to Nationals!

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