Liked Keijo!!!!!!!!? Watch Grand Blue
- Episodes: 9+
- Aired: July 2018 – Ongoing
College is all about embracing life to the fullest and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Unfortunately for Iori Kitahara, things have not quite gone according to plan! After moving to the city and setting up shop with his uncle, Iori ends up unwittingly embroiled in a scuba diving club, although the members seem to be far more preoccupied with getting drunk than actually exploring the deep blue sea! Always discovering new and exciting ways to piss off his cousin, Iori's college life is off to a rocky start!
Major Similarities Between Keijo!!!!!!!! and Grand Blue
1. The Sport is Secondary
Unlike Keijo!!!!!!!!, Grand Blue does not center around a competitive sport, but both anime devote a great deal of time to developing the relationships between their core casts. Due to the girls being rivals and friends, Keijo!!!!!!!! manages to establish quite a number of fascinating dynamics between its main characters. In contrast, Grand Blue is more preoccupied with Iori's growing appreciation for diving, which, in turn, allows the protagonist a better understanding of his colleagues and cousin. Iori also forms a friendly rivalry with another first year student, although that is mainly played for laughs.
2. Purposeful Fanservice
While timid when compared to something like High School DxD, Keijo!!!!!!!! hardly masks its affinity for fanservice. Seriously, its entire premise reads like a parody of ecchi! Every episode of Grand Blue features multiple topless scenes and, occasionally, a character or two even bare it all for the world to see! Admittedly, these exhibitionists tend to be men, but beggars cannot be choosers. Striving to satisfy all preferences, the club's female members are also not above stripping down to their swimwear. As both anime revolve around activities requiring some degree of exposure, Keijo!!!!!!!! and Grand Blue's fanservice feel quite natural.
3. Respect the Water
For the most part, Keijo!!!!!!!! takes itself seriously. Considering the sport is essentially a sexualized version of shoulder wars, you might be inclined to assume Xebec's anime is a comedy. Despite a couple of funny moments, Keijo!!!!!!!! follows the typical formula of a sports show. First and foremost, Grand Blue is a slice of life comedy, but the club's shenanigans are confined to dry land. Even with differing tones, both anime view their respective activities as serious business!
Liked Keijo!!!!!!!!? Watch Free!: Dive to the Future
- Episodes: 10+
- Aired: July 2018 - Ongoing
The greatest sports anime are infectious. The passion felt by the characters seeps its way into the audience and, suddenly, you find yourself buying a gym membership and asking about the possibility of attending a boxing class! Centering around a high school swimming relay club, Free! encapsulates the best qualities of the genre. Kyoto Animation and Animation Do's gorgeous slice of life series toes the line between comedy and drama, but Haruka Nanase's undying love for the pool is impossible to resist! Dive to the Future is Free!’s third season and follows closely on the events of its predecessors, so it would be best to not jump straight into this one.
Major Similarities Between Keijo!!!!!!!! and Free! (Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club)
1. The Tournament Beckons!
After winning a tournament in elementary school, Free! launches with a group of friends reuniting in high school and opting to form a swimming club. Their initial goal was to compete in a national tournament and face off against a former teammate who has become obsessed with defeating Haruka, but Dive to the Future jumps forward to find the cast attending college and facing newer challenges. Following similar structures, Free! and Keijo!!!!!!!! are both rather stereotypical examples of sports anime, but familiarity is not always a negative. In most ways, Free! is just Keijo!!!!!!!! with a male cast and a far less silly premise. Obviously, this comparison also extends to the fanservice.
2. Liquid Goodness
When it comes to the animation, Xebec exceeded expectations with Keijo!!!!!!!! With smooth action and visually appealing character designs, the anime comes to life whenever the cast jumps into the pool. Free! is very much the same way, although an argument can be made that Kyoto Animation's work is of an even higher caliber than Xebec's show. Visceral is the most accurate description of the races, and you do not have to be a fan of the sport to appreciate the series.
If you have any thoughts on any other shows that are similar to Keijo!!!!!!!!, please leave a comment below with your suggestions! In the future, don’t forget to check Honey’s Anime for more articles offering great recommendations.