How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Hibiki Sakura’s love for food is starting to affect her size. In effort to slim down, she scopes out her local gym only to discover two problems—it’s a haven for intimidating body builders, and her classmate Akemi has a weirdly aggressive muscle obsession. After meeting her handsome personal trainer, Machio, Hibiki bites the bullet and starts her quest for a hot bod! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? is a surprisingly fun, informative anime on physical fitness and weight training. It starts with the altogether relatable, straight
man Woman, Hibiki Sakura. Like all of us Hibiki can’t help but indulge a little more than she should in the food she consumes, and eventually finds herself in need of a diet. The show manages to keep itself entertaining by bouncing between well realized goofs and reactions to the intensity of physical fitness training, exasperation at the grueling nature of intense exercise, while also delving into little informative stretches where the audience learns helpful tips and tricks to get the most out of your workout.
Linny: The show’s only ‘offence’ is how it presents information via suggestive panning shots over the female cast members, often lingering on their private areas, or placing them in revealing positions. In fact, it even acknowledges its clear perverted gaze pandering efforts with a comedic line from Hibiki but then does it again without hesitation, making the series feel like it’s self-aware, yet wanting to have its cake and eat it too. Seeing as it also presents the male body in extreme forms of undress and close ups, this show should probably only put off those who strongly dislike any sort of fan service. Dumbbells actually has some pretty solid jokes scattered throughout its first episode and its very relatable main character only helps to make the show all the more appealing. I know I felt for Hibiki whenever she came away from an exercise begging for relief. And the show also quickly and upfront presents a very positive and supportive message of how it’s wrong to mock or belittle people new to working out and to instead encourage and cheer them on for doing their best.
Tom: Right now Dumbbells might be the best offering Summer has. Of the Six new series that have premiered it’s a step above the rest with solid art, lovable characters, solid comedy, excellent informative tidbits, and only a small bout of pervy pandering. It’s a generally well rounded half hour series, and the only thing I feel good about recommending thus far.
Linny: Speaking as someone completely oblivious to the world of bodybuilding and training, Dumbbells does a good job of presenting beginner friendly information. In fact, it even has an after credit section that goes into more detail about the various work outs and training methods presented in the episode, so as to help the activity feel more accessible and understandable to newcomers. And while it’s important to start such serious activities only under licensed professionals, this series feels like a pretty decent introduction to the world of fitness/bodybuilding. Throw in a fun protagonist and comedy and you’re set for a pretty enjoyable ride, even if you have no intentions of ever taking up body building.
How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? is available for streaming via Funimation.com