The summer 19 season for anime was one of the most interesting and diverse anime seasons I’ve seen in a long along. It had a strong collection of show’s that can appeal to anyone from Astra Lost in Space, Dr Stone, Cop Craft, Vinland Saga, etc. Despite the variety, the majority of shows from that season ranged from decent to fantastic a big improvement over the Summer 18 anime season. It was also fortunate enough to have very few bad shows such as the super underwhelming Fire Force, the nothingness Isekai Cheat Magician to the creative bankrupt sewage that is Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest.
Out of all the animes from this beautifully diverse season How Heavy Are, the Dumbbells You Lift was the most fun series out of the bunch. A nicely crafted slice of life comedy that managed to be both funny and educational.
The strongest aspect of Dumbbells is that was never boring. To me what makes a good slice of life series that it has consistently funny with minimal hiccups well as features a character cast that perfectly bounces each with the show’s humour. Any slice of life that doesn’t do any of these things they are doomed to fail as the bad slice of life anime devolve into tedious slogs that you want to turn. Lucky Dumbbells fulfils the criteria of what a good slice of life is.
In fact, I would go far that Dumbbells is the funniest series I’ve seen since Chio’s School Road and Hinamatsuri.
The comedic timing, setups, the humour to the hiarious character interactions all put a smile at my face. I ended up laughing at almost every single comedic scene.
Oh, how can I forget to mention how beautifully random the show can be.
There’s a good dose of references towards western media most apparent one being the camo of Arnold Schwarzenegger I mean Harnnold Dogegenchonegger as they have to creatively change the name it to avoid copyright. Dumbbells even branches out from the usual gym stuff at certain moments for some episodes. In one segments the girls enter an amateur talent show. then the next segment the girls celebrating Christmas, then in the next segment the girls are taking part in a field trip.
Dumbbells is super creative with its content and I like it that way.
On top being funny Dumbbells also manages to be very educational. I learned a lot of things while watching Dumbbells from the various gym exercises, how each gym equipment was used to the important day to day life lessons.
As for the characters I found them to be charming and hilarious. They may lack character development and depth but they brilliant character chemistry more than not makes up for it.
We have the dorky Hibiki who’s determined to lose weight but has a hard time controlling her hungry.
Akemi the school council president that dedicates herself for a healthy lifestyle. She also has a muscle fetish.
Ayame the outgoing best friend of Hibiki that is a passionate boxer with her extremely tone abs.
Gina the foreign transfer student from Russia’s who’s an otaku.
Machio the charming gym instructor who’s a big muscle enthusiast.
As I stated before the characters lack depth but their chemistry with each other is absolutely incredible. Seeing their personalities bounce each other through various episode segments was a joy to watch.
The visuals in Dumbbells were generally solid across the board. The animation may be your usual slice of life afire, but I adored the bright, urban, soft colour pallet for the characters designs and background secretly.
The soundtrack produced by Yukari Hashimoto is solid for what it is. It may be as memorable as Yukari other soundtrack-like Toradora, March Comes in Like A Lion, Sarazamai, Katana Maidens and Mawaru Penquindrum soundtracks but I feel she produced a solid upbeat and energic musical score that fits the one of the series.
The opening theme Onegai Muscle was one of the most fun and catchy opening theme’s I’ve heard in 2019. I loved how energetic the song was especially when the Seiyuus shout out the word muscle.
The ending theme Macho a Name? is good but it fell a bit short compare to the opening theme Onegai Muscle.
The English dub is wonderful. Once again Funimation has produced a worthwhile dub filled with excellent acting, a splendid dub script that has surpassed the original due to humour and good audio quality.
The original Japanese audio was fantastically well-acted as expected but I prefer the dub a little bit more which is rare for a slice of life series as I tend to prefer the latter.
How Heavy are the Dumbbels You Lift may not win any 2019 anime awards for its deep story and characters but I felt that Dumbbels has won the most charming anime award of 2019. It was a creative and nicely crafted slice of life ecchi comedy that has made me laugh more than anything and I like it that way.