Surprise to hear that Keijo became a real event in our day and age?
Well, same for me, too. If you tell me this back when the anime was just airing, I would not have believed it. It blew me away when I heard that Keijo sports became a real event in our world!
I finished the Keijo anime back in Fall 2016. At that time, I thought that girls bumping each other with their bodies in a swimming sports arena is a silly thing.
Yes, the girls are cute when they’re wearing their colorful swimsuits in the events. But remember they’re animated girls at the end of the day!
How do you think this all-female sport transformed to real life when we see actual women imitating Nozomi, Sayaka, Kazane, and the Keijo participants in the anime? Read on to find out the answers below!
1. Quick Answer
Keijo was an actual sport! But it only became real after the Keijo anime finished broadcasting in Fall 2016. If the anime didn’t serve as an inspiration, this all-female sport wouldn’t even have existed in Portugal.
Yes, you heard me right! The first Keijo sport occurred in a European country. Unbelievable, right?
In any case, this news surprised me as much as the next fan. But after realizing that there are over 2.70 million anime fans in Portugal (with an estimated population of 10,288,527 as of 2017), it’s understandable how Keijo debuted in the country.
2. Keijo Sports vs. Martial Arts
Why Portugal? Is it because there’s a large avid Keijo fanbase in the country? Whether or not fans are a keen observer, they will quickly notice the primary inspiration for the Keijo sports: martial arts.
Before I move on, let me remind you some forms of martial arts undertaken by its members: sumo wrestling, grappling, boxing, karate, stick fighting, fencing, and even swordsmanship! These combat sports have one thing in common — self-defense!
Hence, that’s what we see in the Keijo series: women toppling off one another among “lands” in a swimming pool arena. This is kind of the same in sumo wrestling because in sumo, if you’re out of the white circle, then the bout ends!
Sumo competitors also apply grappling against their opponents to tumble one another. In the same way, Keijo women battle one another with their chests and butts until the other falls off from the “lands” floating in the swimming arenas.
Also take note how the girls in the anime are either armed or unarmed. If they’re armed, they use stick weapons or any other forms of defensive equipment like gymnasts’ ribbons. If they go unarmed, they apply ground fighting or striking to topple off their opponents.
3. The Portuguese Keijo Sports
Portugal’s Keijo sports uses the same martial arts techniques I’ve mentioned above while imitating the Keijo anime girls.
In other words, women combated one another using their chests and butts to grapple their opponents and topple each other off from the swimming pool arena’s “lands”.
But this event became unpopular as soon as it debuted in Summer 2017! The reasons below will outline why the Keijo sport failed in Portugal after the anime finished airing on Fall 2016.
The participants were gaining serious injuries from headbutting, grappling, and wrestling using their chests and butts.
The anime clearly side-steps or underestimates the injuries that Nozomi and her friends acquired during Keijo events. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because it’s not the focus of the story.
The story arcs in the anime must move forward. The staff in the animation department can quickly fix the girls’ black-and-blue injuries by applying the right colour palette on their skin tones. In real life, Keijo participants and staff are at risk of health and occupational hazards during the games.
II. Expensive PPE (Property, Plant, and Equipment)
Numerous “lands” are required to fill a pool! And if multiple contestants must compete simultaneously, about 10 to 20 lands are required!
(Note: Each “land” can only carry 2 competitors. Overall, a swimming pool arena will have 20 to 40 members, which increases the risks of high injuries!)
III. Few participants
There’s only a handful of participants when Keijo debuted in Portugal. This is not a surprise given the unpopularity of the sports in the country. Women would rather choose sports such as gymnastics or karate.
Besides, why would you join in a sports where there’s high risks of injuries and hazards because you’re battling your opponents with your chests and butts?
IV. Insufficient support
This is basically talking about sponsorship. There’s not enough money to support or sponsor the games because not many participants are joining Keijo.
And because of few participants and insufficient monies entering the Keijo sports, there are not many attendees, too. The event organizers and sponsors can’t make money off Keijo if there are:
- Only a few people are interested to participate.
- Only a handful of the audience are interested to see women battling in their bikinis.
The Keijo events in Portugal barely makes profits, which is what lead to the event’s cancellation and unpopularity in the country.
4. About Keijo!!!!!!!!
The manga takes place in an alternate Japan where a sport called “Keijo” by law in 2003 became a sport alongside horse racing, boat racing, and cycling that allows for gambling.
In the sport, contestants stand on platforms floating on the water and must use their butts and chests to fight against each other to push each other off the platform.
Nozomi Kaminashi, a high school student, aims to join the sport after she graduates. She was raised in a poor family and hopes to make lots of money by playing Keijo.
She grew up training in gymnastics, and she has good balance and flexibility. After high school, Nozomi joins a training boarding school and enters the world of Keijo.