Hinomaruzumou was one of the top hits from the fall 2018 lineup. It’s one of the very few hit anime series in the last generation or two (or maybe even three) to portray Japan’s native sport of sumo. It tells the tale of a motley crew of six teenagers from Chiba prefecture who start from a one man team, to one of the best teams in the nation. All of that is thanks to the titular Hinomaru and its supporting cast. So, from this series, what are some of its top 5 scenes? And one warning, THERE’S GOING TO BE SPOILERS!
5. Buffet Challenge from Episode 11
This is probably one of the series’ most comedic moments as you get to see Odachi High School’s sumo team bonding in such a manner for the first time. This particular scene goes hand-in-hand with sumo’s image of its athletes being bulky and eating a lot, so they go to a yakiniku buffet called Stamina Jiro, a spoof of Stamina Taro, a real life restaurant chain. They take an all you can eat challenge where if they can eat everything offered, then it’s on the house. Naturally, the manager wants them to lose so they can pay but in the end, they win the challenge and end up getting banned from the restaurant. It shows that you can’t underestimate the power of a hungry sumo.
4. Kirihito’s Challenge from Episode 4
Kirihito served as the brains of the team and other than Hinomaru, they didn’t know much about him and if his bite was as big as his bark. As a result, he shows that he’s for real by challenging all members including Hinomaru. He indirectly challenges the rest of the team by coaching Kei, the physically weakest and least athletic member, to beating everyone except for Hinomaru. However, Kirihito decides to challenge Hinomaru himself. To top it off, he even beats Hinomaru with his own move! It shows that he knows what it takes to coach them and he knows what he’s talking about. As a result, this scene also gives a breakthrough as to why Kirihito can’t physically be active with the team due to his asthma, which won’t let him compete for more than 20 seconds. It also shows why he relates to Hinomaru (who is hindered by his height) and why he wants him to succeed.
3. Yuma and Shinya Making Up from Episode 11
Yes, we’re exploring episode 11 again but this time, we’re giving a much more serious scene. Concerned with Yuma’s motivation, Hinomaru thought it would be a good idea to pair him up with Shinya, the team captain, for some training. However, Yuma’s wall isn’t due to a lack of motivation, but how he’s ashamed of how he treated Shinya prior to the series. Through this scene, not only do you see Yuma feel a genuine sense of remorse for his delinquent ways, you see the good side of Shinya as well. Shinya never demanded any apologies and felt that Yuma joining the sumo team was more than enough. As we said in previous articles, this scene teaches its audience that while it’s good to have an open mind, it’s even better to have an open heart, and this is what this scene demonstrates best.
2. Kirihito Making His Debut From Episode 22
As we shared in entry number 4, Kirihito, despite being only a student, serves as the school’s official coach, but it also gives him an opportunity to serve as a reserve member in case one of the 5 varsity members can’t compete. After Kei injured himself in a previous match, Kirihito decides to make his debut by taking on a physically superior sumo wrestler. His opponent discovers that Kirihito has to finish fast and tries to use that to his advantage. However, thanks to Hinomaru’s encouragement, Kirihito manages to beat his opponent and feel victory in the ring after a long time.
1. Hinomaru’s Final Victory From Episode 24
After many trials and tribulations, Hinomaru faces the biggest challenge of his high school sumo career against Kuze, who is considered the best high school sumo wrestler in the country. For awhile, Kuze’s father, a famous yokozuna, banned him from competition due to a prior match with Hinomaru as children. Touched by his motivation, his father gives him his blessing to compete at the nationals. Kuze squashes through the competition and intimidates just about everyone but Hinomaru. After a hard fought battle, Hinomaru comes up on top. Yes, this victory has everything you can think of but more. Since this match took place in the team competition as opposed to the individual competition, so overall, this victory was not just for Hinomaru, but for his school as a whole to share. Though Hinomaru was eliminated in the individual matches, this match was his ultimate redemption to prove that he’s not only pro material but yokozuna material as his victory allowed him to become a pro despite not fulfilling the height requirement.
Combat sports like sumo, boxing, MMA, or judo may be individual in nature, but when you watch Hinomaruzumou, it masterfully shows that it’s a team sport in its own way. Nobody can become a champion on their own and it takes great coaching and teammates to get there. Not everybody can win, but when you do win, it is thanks to the support of your teammates and that is what the majority of our chosen scenes demonstrates when it comes to Hinomaruzumou.