The newest review can be described as a hidden gem from 2018, during the Fall of 2018 when shows such as Sword Art Online: Alicization, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, and Goblin Slayer were the big shows to watch for, Hinomaru Sumo is a story about a young man named Hinomaru Ushio just started his first day of High School and has an intense dream of becoming a Yokozuna, he joined Odachi High School’s weak sumo club. If he becomes a Yokozuna at the high school level, he can get a waiver to be a pro. Although his physique seems ill-suited to a fighting sport where size and weight rule, Hinomaru has an incredible dream. He and the weak sumo club will fight their way to the top!
Adapted by the manga written and illustrated by Mangaka Kawada, while most mainstream sports take the center stage (Baseball, Basketball, Boxing) it is nice to see a series about Sumo. The Manga consisted of 250 Chapters and was collected in 28 tankōbon volumes with an epilogue chapter available on Manga Plus. According to John Gunning from the Japan Times, he writes that Sumo has gotten even more popular overseas thanks to Hinomaru Sumo.
As a westerner, I didn’t know or have learned much about how much this sport meant for a culture, let alone a Country but Hinomaru Sumo gives fans a taste of the sport and the passion that comes with it without exaggeration in certain Shōnen Anime, providing an educational look into the sport. There has been some negativity towards the sport due to narrow-minded people writing the fighters off as “Morbidly Obese Men fighting”. The studio behind the Anime Production was Gonzo, the studio is well known for hits like Witchblade (based on the American Comic series from Top Cow Productions,) Rosario+Vampire, Afro Samurai; the studio has had a reputation for having great artists and great animators, they have done plenty of research for this production including on fighting stances, techniques. It also does a great job of showing how and why Hinomaru is determined to become a Yokozuna, and why everyone wants to win at sumo. With a great cast of characters and a well-written plot, I would recommend this series to any fan of sports and anyone curious about the sport of Sumo.
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