Cute girls. Comedy. Action. All are good elements to ensure a manga series stays in the Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine. But what happened with Keijo? Why was the manga canceled despite a 12-episode anime that premiered in Fall 2016?
Today, I’ll be talking about several reasons why Keijo (a sports and ecchi comedy series) got axed in Shōnen Sunday.
If you think about it, cute girls plus comedy plus action are ingredients we often see in several famous Shōnen manga and anime series today.
From One Piece to Dragon Ball Z to InuYasha — there’s just no stopping Shōnen Sunday Comics if they want to level up their sales in the name of friendship, effort, and victory.
But allow me to clear things up for you so you’ll understand what the strengths and weaknesses of the Keijo series are.
1. Quick Answer
There’s no denying that Keijo has all the elements to attract a large audience. Cute girls revealing too much skin and getting competitive & pumped up to fight — that’s a magnet in it and of itself to attract a large male audience!
But despite being an ecchi anime, Keijo didn’t utilize their female characters’ beauty and prowess.
In fact, the anime’s storytelling points only diminished the series further and lead to low poor sales. And because of poor anime sales, the manga got cancelled.
It’s sad. I know. After all the hardwork that mangaka Daichi Sorayomi put in his manga, it’s axed. And what’s worse, the manga got cancelled a few months later right after the anime finished broadcasting.
Want to know the reason for its cancellation? Read on.
2. Reasons for Cancellation
I. Poor Manga Storytelling
Poor manga storytelling is the main reason for the manga’s cancellation. Keijo’s story arcs are not compelling enough to get you invested in the series.
If you look at manga series that are in the same ecchi genre, they have compelling character arcs and stimulating stories. Some examples are Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins) and Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars!).
Both have action, comedy, cute girls, and competition involved in the series.
However, unlike Keijo, Shokugeki no Souma and Nanatsu no Taizai have four to five anime seasons (most of them are two cours where episodes range from 12 to 24 episodes).
Keijo has only one cour (that is, only 12 episodes). Since Season 1 of Keijo didn’t do well, Xebec Studio did not produce a sequel. If the anime’s DVD sales are poor, then production should stop here before they lose more money.
II. Limited Support
Because the anime resulted in poor sales, the manga’s publisher (Shogakukan) has limited budget to pay Mr. Sorayomi (original creator of the series) and his one manga assistant working on Keijo.
Think about this: one manga assistant to sketch and ink all the drawings that Mr. Sorayomi need to submit weekly! A total of two people. That’s it. Mr. Sorayomi carries the strenuous burden of drawing manga every week.
No wonder he collapsed for one hour at one point while drawing Keijo! No one is there to help him. His health gave up, as well as his mentality. He needs more than just one manga assistant at that point.
Sadly, Shogakukan could not deliver. And even if Mr. Sorayomi repeatedly asked for more manga assistants for 1 ½ years, no one showed up.
III. Bad Timing
Timing and luck go hand-in-hand. And in Keijo’s case, it was simply not the right time to show this kind of ecchi genre in the late 2010s. Animes that rose in popularity at the same time Keijo was broadcasted on Fall 2016 are:
- Haikyuu!! (Season 3)
- Yuri!!! On Ice
- 3-gatsu no Lion
- Bungou Stray Dogs 2
If Keijo was broadcasted in the early 2000s (somewhere around 2000 to 2005 when ecchi anime is popular and gaining its peak), it might have survived.
But it didn’t survive because it’s not the typical genre to gain popularity in Fall 2016 (when drama, slice of life, and mystery are preferable for anime viewers).
Moreover, the manga was cancelled a few months after the anime was broadcasted. It just tells me that manga readers didn’t support the series anymore after the anime was broadcasted. And because of low manga sales, the mangaka decided to end it.
3. How Ridiculous is Keijo?
To tell you the truth, Keijo anime has the most ridiculous scenes I ever saw in a tv show. Its characters are not appealing despite the bikini girls’ cute faces and fierceness in their sports.
The content I saw in the first few episodes of Keijo is not pleasing or laughable at all. I find this show weird to be honest. I couldn’t laugh even if I’m midway throughout the series.
I understand the goals that they need to topple off one another with their body parts during the Keijo competition. And that whoever is the last person to stand in the arena is the winner. But that’s it.
So, what comes after next? To come clean, I would rather watch Hinomaru Sumo, a sumo sports anime filled with half-naked guys. At the very least, its compelling manga series lasts 28 volumes while Keijo only lasts 18 volumes.
Take note that there’s a good difference between gold comedy and ridiculous. Gold comedy in anime gives me a break from the gory scenes whenever I see bloodbath episodes in Shōnen anime.
They truly make me laugh. Comedic characters give me a breather or a break. The comedic episodes also tell me that I need to laugh (even if it’s only once in a while) before the characters in the show return into berserk or full power mode to battle their opponents.
Keijo is a unique manga. And I understand why Mr. Sorayomi must find ways to keep the story arcs in the series interesting enough for his target audience.
But if you ask viewers to watch a show about cute girls in a bikini, and that these girls are toppling each other off with their breasts and butts, then don’t bring it on.
Only a small percentage of anime viewers prefer this ecchi mixed with shōnen genre. They paid the money for the home-released videos of the anime, but those were not enough to cover the animation studio’s budget, the mangaka, and his lonesome manga assistant.
Keijo might not have connected with its readers and anime audience because of lack of soul, empathy, and grace in its characters and storyline. But what do you think of Keijo? Let me know what’s on your head when thinking of this anime. 😁
5. 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.