Hinomaru Sumo – Second Chances (Episodes 5-8)

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.

Hinomaru Sumo – First Impressions (Episodes 1-4)

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.

Hanebado! – Season One

What did you watch and why? This was another of those anime that I thought I could watch when the kids were up, and with Hanebado! I actually was able to. It’s another sports anime and this time it focused on badminton.

One line pitch! And you thought Badminton would be calm and relaxing…

What’s it really about? Ayano Hanesaki was a badminton prodigy, but she gave it all up. Nagisa Aragaki always had power on her side, but that alone isn’t enough. The story follows the rivalry between these two girls as they compete to be the greatest badminton player.

What hooked you? Continue reading “Hanebado! – Season One”

Harukana Receive – Season One

Haruka moves from the big city to live with her cousin, Kanata and their Grandmother in Okinawa. Upon arriving she goes to the beach and stumbles across a pair of girls practising beach volleyball. One offers to show her how to play, but when Kanata catches up with Haruka, they are challenged to a match and they only have to score a single point to win.

They lose, but Haruka has caught the beach volleyball bug and challenges them to a rematch. She is determined to improve so that the next time they play they will win. Kanata, however, has long since fallen out of love with the sport and is hesitant.

At school, they meet Clare and Emily Thomas, twins and the only members of the beach volleyball club. They convince Haruka and Kanata to join and help them train. Nationals is on the horizon and all four girls are determined to qualify. Continue reading “Harukana Receive – Season One”

Keijo!!!!!!!! – Season One

Keijo is the fastest growing professional sport in Japan. Popular for its gambling potential and exhilarating matches. The match takes place on a floating island, referred to as Land, in large water-filled stadiums. Swimsuit-clad competitors fight to incapacitate their opponents or knock them off the Land, but they can only do so using their breasts or buttocks.

Nozomi has dreams of becoming the richest Keijo player in history and her journey there starts now. She has just been accepted into a prestigious Keijo academy and is eager to prove she belongs. Now the hard work begins.

The girls are split into teams for their training. Regular sparing matches keep them honest and assess their abilities. Nozomi is forced to wear a special suit to increase her core strength when she unleashes an unstoppable move by accident. They need to get in top shape because the illustrious East-West War is approaching, where the two top academies fight for superiority. Continue reading “Keijo!!!!!!!! – Season One”