Hinomaru Sumo – Go Fourth (Episodes 13-16)

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.

Continue reading “Hinomaru Sumo – Go Fourth (Episodes 13-16)”

Hinomaru Sumo – Back for Thirds (Episodes 9-12)

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.

Have your feelings changed? This has been one of the surprise series of the fall schedule for me. I knew I was going to enjoy Goblin Slayer and Slime, but this one came out of nowhere. Bunny Girl Senpai already had a bit of a buzz when I joined in, but I had heard nothing of Hinomaru Sumo.

Continue reading “Hinomaru Sumo – Back for Thirds (Episodes 9-12)”

Hinomaru Sumo – Second Chances (Episodes 5-8)

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!

Have your feelings changed? I ended up really enjoying this series and hadn’t planned to even watch it, so that was a big surprise. Since then, I think the series has just got better and better. I am really enjoying it, much more than I did or even thought I would.

Favourite character so far? It’s still Ushio, but all of the characters are growing on me. That said, it’s the fights that are the real show stopper. I never fought I would get into sumo, but I find myself on the edge of my seat, cheering and fist-pumping the air. It’s so entertaining.

Who do you want to see more of? I’d say more fights, but I think that’s a given. Then, I’d say more of Ushio infecting people with his commitment and energy, but that’s also a pointless request. So, I’m just going to say, more. Keep them coming. It is an absolute blast.

Are you going to continue watching? Definitely. Like I said earlier, this is a really fun series and I’m excited to see where it goes. I’m certain it will have moved up in my rankings.

Other reviews in the series

Hinomaru Sumo – First Impressions (Episodes 1-4)

Hinomaru Ushio dreams of becoming a professional sumo wrestler, but he’s not tall enough to pass the physical, but that’s not going to stop him trying!

What’s it about? Former elementary Yokuzuna, Hinomaru Ushio has been training hard for several years now and is ready to join a school with a sumo wrestling club. However, he ends up at the wrong school and helps a fellow sumo wrestling out of a jam. Having made a new friend, he instead enrols at that school and set out on his quest to become the greatest sumo wrestler ever.

What are your first impressions? I originally hadn’t planned on watching this series, but then I had a little time so I thought why not and I am really glad that I did. This was a lot of fun. I know I recently poked fun a Radiant for having a hero who follows the standard shonen quest to become the greatest whatever, but when you see Ushio you instantly realise that he has obsessed over this mission for some time now, plus he’s a genuinely nice guy.

Favourite character so far? It’s really hard not to get behind Ushio. His enthusiasm and commitment are contagious. The way he has somehow managed to build up a small team of potential sumo wrestlers from the most unlikely people is amazing to watch. At this stage, we have a team and a coach. Everything seems to be moving in the right direction and I can’t wait to see how it goes.

Who do you want to see more of? Kunisaki was a lot of fun. He has a dream to become a champion mixed martial artist and having faced Ushio has committed to sumo in an attempt to broaden his skills. I enjoyed the way he’s always listening and looking to learn, despite his apparent overconfidence and brash personality.

Are you going to continue watching? Absolutely. As I said, this was a real surprise and I’m glad I took a chance on it. It’s jumped up to the upper levels in terms of my priorities for the season. I never thought I would get into an anime about sumo wrestling but that’s the beauty of anime. You really don’t know where it’s going to take you next.

Other reviews in the series