Genre(s): Comedy, Slice of Life, Educational, Sports, Ecchi
Age-Appropriateness: 13+ (Partial nudity, light profanity)
Platforms: Crunchyroll, Funimation
TheAwersome Rating: 8.3 / 10 (I came looking for copper, and I found gold)
Premise: During a regular after-school grub crawl, gluttonous high schooler Hibiki Sakura is confronted about her expanding waistline by her best friend, Ayaka Uehara. With her attempts at solo exercise failing miserably, Hibiki decides to join the newly opened Silverman Gym. At her orientation, Hibiki runs into student council president and school idol Akemi Souryuuin.
Not only is Silverman Gym full of world-renowned bodybuilders and athletes, but to make matters worse, Akemi turns out to be a total muscle fetishist! Hibiki begins to leave, only to be stopped by trainer Naruzou Machio. Completely enthralled with her newfound Prince Charming, Hibiki signs up as a gym member. Now, because of her spur-of-the-moment decision, Hibiki must adapt to her new lifestyle.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This was a great deal more enjoyable than I had anticipated. It doesn’t take itself any flavor of seriously, and the comedy is very well done. Character expressions, writing, and voice acting are the driving factors rather than tired anime gags, and it was quite refreshing. The educational aspects were interesting, informative, and short enough to not feel boring at all, but in-depth enough to be useful and not feel like Sesame Street. Basically, every episode will have 2-3 exercises that they’ll do a quick spot on, detailing how to perform them correctly, what muscles they affect, practices to avoid, etc. Then, if you’re lucky, an appreciation of the human form having worked said muscles (a brief ecchi pose). The ecchi is light, but it is there, so be aware.
TLDR: A surprisingly funny, smart, and effective “edutainment” piece to get you excited about hitting the gym.
As far as the focus of this show goes, it zeroes in on weight and strength training, with a bonus sprinkling of body building information. That being said, it appropriately includes the many needed facets to successful weight training such as nutrition, rest, when and how to stretch (dynamic vs. static), as well as the importance of aerobic exercise.
Something interesting that I noted was that despite being a low-key ecchi piece, I didn’t feel that it fetishized fitness? Like, yes, it obviously does in the OP and such to lure you in, but once it gets into the episode it’ll take one of two routes. Either it will be just thoroughly excited about showing different exercises and the correct way to do them, or it will lean on the ecchi aspect and hang a lantern on it, and characters themselves will comment on “why is this being so sexualized?” It’s akin to the Animaniacs’ “Wheel of Morality” where there isn’t any attempt to be subtle about it. As a result, I feel like I’m respected more? The unashamed owning up to it makes it more enjoyable because there isn’t room for deniability? I don’t feel like I’m being deceived? I don’t know. Something in there.
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