Both of the following shows are similar in concept thus the reason I am reviewing them at the same time. That being “sexy girls teaching viewers stuff while showing plenty of skin each episode”. “Ecchicational” if you will. Find out what I mean as we take a look at Sounan Desu ka? and Dumbbell nan Kilo Materu?
Alternate Titles: Are You Lost? and How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift? (EN)
Genres: Comedy, Educational/Ecchicational, Harem-ish (Survivor)
Themes: Survival, Exercise, Weight Training
Number of Episodes: 12 (Sounan Desu Ka? episodes are around 10 minutes or so)
G-Rating: 8/10 (Survivor), 9/10 (Dumbbell)
First of all let us go over what similarities both shows share.
- Both are Girls Club shows, meaning shows centered around a female cast doing whatever they feel like doing.
- Both have solid soundtracks with nice OPs and EDs. Dumbbell’s OP is one of my favorites of 2019.
- Both teach viewers a lot about their respective fields. Anime are known to teach viewers stuff but there are the select few who educate more than others. These two shows are examples of such.
- Both feature beautiful ladies showing off parts of or all their majestic figures at least once per episode. Note the shows are PG-13.
- Both are colorful shows with nice animation, Dumbbell’s being better personally.
- Both feature a male guide who is there to educate, not be a love interest/het harem protagonist. Survivor Girls has “Flashback Dad” and Dumbbell has “Machio”, both of whom are not interested in picking up chicks for reasons I will get to when we talk about the respective shows.
There may be other similarities but the ones mentioned are the most noticeable.
Right. Time to talk about each show separately starting with Sounan Desu ka? The plot revolves around four girls who survived a plane crash and swam toward an island in the middle of nowhere. There three of the four girls, under the guidance of survival expert Homare, followed her advice as they scavenged for whatever they could find to survive until one day hopefully being rescued.
The three inexperienced beauties of course start off unwilling to get their hands dirty but as the situation becomes more dire and not wanting Homare to do everything by herself they pitch in helping as best as they can. The girls and viewers learn valuable survival tips such as what is or is not edible, how long people can survive without nourishment, how to scavenge for supplies, how to set traps, etc.
By the way, the show warns viewers that although these tips are helpful it is advised not to apply the teachings on a daily, specifically ones involving food and water.
Most of Homare’s tips and tricks come from what was taught to her by Big Papa here when she was younger. It is thanks to her spending most of her time traveling with him that she was raised without shame. Viewers will get what I mean watching the show.
As I said the show is “Ecchicational” meaning viewers will learn neat stuff and on multiple occasions bare witness to the lovely ladies in some or all their glory like Homare here.
Alongside Homare we have her fellow survivors/harem.
Asuka is the brawn. She is initially unwilling but becomes more dependable helping everyone with her strength.
Mutsu is the quick learner. She is the quickest to adapt of the three, willing to do what must be done even in the harshest of circumstances.
Shion is the “weak link”. The reason I put weak link between brackets is because of Shion’s upbringing and her development throughout the show.
Speaking of Shion she is arguably Homare’s #1 harem girl. Watch the show to find out why this is.
Overall Sounan Desu ka? is a fun, educational and sexy show that at times pushes the PG-13 rating as far as it can without entering R territory. Recommended to viewers who do not mind watching sexy girls show off their skin and can handle some difficult circumstances.
Before we continue discussing Dumbbell it is worth noting for certain viewers to not go into this show expecting much yuri. This show is for people who want to see sexy ladies exercising and some super manly macho men on the side. If this upsets you then stop reading. On the bright side this is not a het harem.
Dumbbell is about a thicc cutie name Hibiki who loves eating. One day however, her friend Ayaka noticed she was getting pretty pudgy. Freaked out she tried losing weight on her own. When that did not work she found herself at Silverman Gym where with the help of her school’s bishoujo Akemi she entered the world of weight training and dedicated fitness.
Some readers initially misinterpreted this series as a bodybuilding sports anime where the goal was to become magnificent muscle istresses like Valmet from Jormungand and Tsubame from Uzamaid! when in actuality it is about girls working out, getting into shape and maintaining their figure. While one of the girls does want to become a magnificent muscle mistress this is more part of her character than a main plot point. In one episode some MMMs are featured but of the main quintet Ayaka’s the most muscular. The other side-beauties are all equally splendid when they get to show off their stuff. The show is an Ecchicational comedy where viewers get to relish gorgeous girls working out and learning some tips and tricks on how to better exercise at home or the gym. The key to getting into shape is a dedicated weekly regimen. Bigger is not always better for beginners. Some stuff at home like water bottles or books are as effective as small to medium dumbbells. What is important is having the right posture and breathing properly. Obviously eating properly is important too.
What I mentioned above are some of the many useful tips featured on the show to start begin the road to a better body. Various exercises at the gym and at home are discussed with either Mr Machio or one of the ladies explaining in full detail. During these explanations another of the beauties or on some occasions Mr Machio demonstrates how it is done ending with a steamy image at the end (Not Machio obviously because he is always showing off his inspirational physique).
Alongside the exercising each one of the characters have their moments to shine be it learning more about their personal lives or doing fun stuff together/individually such as Ayaka’s family business and Miss Satomi’s other activity besides teaching. While everyone has their own sense of humor I can confidently say this is one my favorite comedy anime of 2019 thanks to the ladies’ reactions, Akemi’s extreme muscle fetish (Makes my undying love of muscle babes look tame in comparison), Miss Satomi trying hard to maintain her adult image, Hibiki’s love of food and special secret, Ayaka’s straight person approach to everything that happens, Gina being Gina, the supreme manliness in display by Mr Machio and the other buff doods that appear, the cameos (My goodness the cameos), the occasional fourth wall breaking and…
…the “shonen vision” as I like to call it. There are times the characters change visual style to that parodying old-school shounen anime with a modern coat of paint. This is the kind of stuff that has me busting my gut. Other than that it is a Girls Club show at heart with the theme of exercising. Great stuff.
While there is little yuri (maybe one ship) on the show do not fret about people who talk about the girls liking guys. It is not taken seriously here. Every time our heroines are introduced to the Inspirational One they are initially smitten but when his true power is unleashed they are like “Ehhhhhhhhh a bit too much for me”. As mentioned Machio is more focused on achieving god tier manhood and guiding everyone in the world of fitness than anything else.
Overall Dumbbell nan Kilo Moteru? is one of my favorite anime of 2019. It is sexy, hilarious, features very helpful exercising tips and of course muscles galore (mostly macho men but the few muscle babes there are are spectacular). One step away from that all-girl bodybuilding anime of my dreams.