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New Sports Anime for Fall 2018 – Hinomaru Sumo Ep. 1 Review

Hinomaru 1

On October 5, 2018, a shonen sports anime series called Hinomaru Sumo, created by Gonzo studio, was released. The shonen anime Hinomaru Sumo is based on a shonen manga with the same name, which was published by Shueisha May 26, 2014 with serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Funimation has licensed a simuldub of the new sports anime.

The only reason I was interested in the sports anime was because the main character almost looks like Baki from Baki the Grappler and the school setting reminded me of Food Wars, except the Hinomaru Sumo sports anime is about sumo wrestling. I am not really into sumo wrestling, but I do like the show and I would recommend it to anyone who likes anime or sports.


The Premise

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Hinomaru Sumo focuses on a high school student named Hinomaru Ushio, who inspires to become the best professional sumo wrestler or Yokozuna even though he has such a small body. In episode 1, the main character tries to find Ishigami High, but ends up going to the wrong school known as Odachi High where none of the students care about sumo wrestling.

Hinomaru does meet one student who does have a passion for sumo wrestling named Ozeki. The other students at the high school’s dojo have been bullying Ozeki until Hinomaru challenges Yuma in a wrestling match. Yuma is impressively beaten by Hinomaru, and Ozeki is now allowed to use the dojo for his sumo club.

As Ozeki tries to recruit new members for his sumo club, most of the students from Odachi High are simply not interested. The only student to join the sumo club is none other than Hinomaru, which only makes up him and Ozeki.

 

 


Character Setup

Ozeki 1
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The main character Hinomaru is obviously very passionate for sumo, and he wants to become the sumo Yokozuna. For now, he may not be all that bright because of his comedic actions at a train station and going to the wrong high school. But he does show that he is honorable and respectful in everyday life. Even with his small body, he is the genuine sumo wrestling article, personality and strength wise.

Hinomaru new friend Ozeki has almost the same passion for sumo wrestling as he does. Although, Ozeki may seem kind of like a pushover right now in the series, but I guess his character will change as the story progresses.

The character Yuma, who was bullying Ozeki, is definitely a dick in the first episode. Still, he seems like he is skilled in karate for a high school student and some athletic male students look up to him. He also does seem like he will develop as a character and be less of a jerk.

 

 


Mood & Narrative

Based on the first episode, it lets the audience know there is comedy, but more importantly lets us know that there is a serious and competitive nature with the characters. In episode 1, we get subtle background information of the main character’s past that shows us that there can be dramatic tension. Elements like these are always in sports anime series, so I’m not completely surprised on how it sets its mood.

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The first episode does not show that this series will be bleak and depressing, but rather the audience is getting a series that is fun and exciting. There will be serious moments in this series, but it won’t be that way all the time. I will say the comedy can definitely use some work in future episodes, because the train station scene had somewhat poor comedic timing.

 


Animation & Sound

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The animation was mostly okay with certain character Design and the backdrops were great like always whenever they are digitally rendered in anime. Sometimes the animation would be off in certain places such as with irrelevant characters in certain scenes or whenever a shot is zoomed out showing important characters. Only 70% of the animation was great and that’s good enough for me.

When it was time competitive moments and intimidation, the electric guitar sounds being played made those the sound epic. They even use an electric guitar during heartwarming moments. Also, there was quirky melodies during comedic scenes that fit well.

The animation and music used for the opening theme got you pumped up and ready to watch the show. What was also great about the ending theme was the melody, the animation was just as intense as the opening theme animation, and it made you excited for the next episode.

 


Hinomaru Sumo Ep. 1 – Final Thoughts

Hinomaru Sumo Cast Ensemble
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For all I know the show could end up being trash in the future, but I know that I like what I’m seeing right now in the first episode. Hinomaru Sumo has a lot of potential and I want to give it a chance.

I like how we have an anime story that focuses on sumo wrestling because it’s something I’ve never seen before and I’m very interested to see where it goes. Like I said before the animation is good for the most part, but it can be improved upon. The music is great, especially for the opening and ending themes. Hinomaru is already my favorite character because he is a down-to-earth high school sumo wrestler, and will work his ass off to eventually become the best sumo wrestler.

Even if sumo wrestling is not your thing, this show finds a way to make it enjoyable. It’s almost like the anime series Food Wars that makes cooking fun to watch.

This was my honest review and I hope it was helpful. If you have any questions please let me know in the comment or let me know privately on the contact page.

 


Citation

ちゃみ子. 火ノ丸相撲落書きまとめ(腐要素あり) (Top image of page). https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=47364258

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