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Anime Review: How Many Kilograms are the Dumbbells You Lift?

The summer anime season has just started, and we welcome it with long and intriguing titles. How Many Kilograms are the Dumbbells You Lift is one of them. A weightlifting anime with an all-female cast? after all, we've had an anime centered around horse girls' racing (Uma Musume Pretty Derby), girls fighting in supermarkets over discounted bentos (Ben-To), as well as girls using their breasts and butts to knock off their opponents from the platform (Keijo!!!!!!!!). Surely nothing could be surprising with a weightlifting anime right? At first glance, some viewers might see this show as none other than an opportunity to add in fanservice but when I watched the first episode, I realised that it was more than just that--because I actually really enjoy this anime. 

How Many Kilograms are the Dumbbells You Lift? / Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?
Year: Summer 2019
Genre: Comedy, Ecchi
Studio: Doga Kobo

Video Credit:

With that, let's get liftin~

The first episode starts with a close-up of our protagonist, Sakura Hibiki, wolfing down various food items. A calorie count flashes across the food with each bite she takes, and from here we know where this is going: she's probably going to have to lose all that weight. 

With that, we see our high school protagonist not at the back row near the window of a classroom, but in a public gym. However, she isn't alone. There is also another fellow schoolmate, Souryuuin Akemi, waiting in the gym and with that hime-cut, she couldn't be an ojou-sama could she? 

Well, the first exclamation of a pronounced "ara" proved us right. It then makes us wonder why a girl like her would be a gym. That's where things get interesting. 

… Apart from actually exercising, Akemi is actually a girl with rather muscle fetish...

Asides from that, Akemi is actually a really lovable girl, and I already enjoy the interactions that she has with Hibiki as she doesn't use her privilege to her personality at all--she simply just loves to bond with her over the idea of exercising. 

In fact, their interactions, facial expressions and even hair colours remind me of a certain duo in Kakegurui… 

Yumeko and Mary from Kakegurui. Seriously, even the black hime-cut and blonde pigtails are the same... 

Moving on, we get into the actual exercise, led by the instructor named Machio. 

In contrary to his name, he is actually really gentle and pleasant-sounding, but man are we really in for a surprise when we see that he actually does put in the "macho" in Machio. 

*Cue Akemi's muscle-fangirl noises in the background* 

What I love about the exercising sequence is that they actually go in depth to explain the proper positioning and areas in one's body to take note of, so that's actually educational in a way. I wouldn't be surprised of anyone would pause the episode halfway just to follow along Mr Machio's exercise advice. 

At times though, the explanations can get a little too TMI, and that's probably where the ecchi portion in the anime comes from. 

However, what I do like about that is that they actually address the ecchi portions, rather than just throw in the fanservice remarks as and when they like. It maintains the comedic portion of the anime as well.

Of course, the first lessons aren't always the easiest, so I'm glad that they made it realistic by showing Hibiki struggling through it, while also throwing in encouraging comments from Machio. It makes for a very wholesome scenario as well, and it allows us to root for Hibiki in her quest to exercise well. Furthermore, they also show her continuing to enjoy food after an exercise session, rather than just avoid it because she wants to go on a diet. This is a realistic approach, because not all eating habits can go away in a day, and I liked that they kept this consistent even in the first episode of the anime. To add it on, when Akemi finds out that Hibiki eats quite a number in a day, her response isn't even derogatory. In fact, it's even positive, and she truly is the ojou-sama we didn't deserve, but the one that we definitely need. 

I can already sense the blossoming friendship between these two eccentric individuals, and I look forward to their progress in the gym.

To add it on, there are still two girls in the poster who have yet to be introduced in the gym, and that is another thing to look forward to in the next few episodes. Although, we did get a glance of Hibiki's best friend Ayaka Uehara, who is the one responsible for Hibiki's presence in the gym.

Overall, the first episode of How Many Kilograms are the Dumbbells You Lift has been rather enjoyable, and I can tell it's going to be one of my favourite anime series this summer season. If you enjoy CGDCT (cute girls doing cute things) anime, I believe you can enjoy cute girls doing MACHO things as well. While the ecchi tag may be a bit of an alarming factor for some, the fanservice is kept to a light-hearted note. The comedic timing is also constantly on point, which makes for a good balance in the pacing of the anime. I'm looking forward to the next few episodes in this very fun anime!

Written by kimizomi

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