Will the Keijo Season 2 release date never happen because the poor anime Blu-Ray sales caused the Keijo manga to be canceled? That’s what the rumors being spread around the internet claim about Keijo: Hip Whip Girl, but are they true? It turns out to be quite the opposite, although there is some truth to the rumors.
Fans of the Keijo anime were astounded by the rumors largely because the series was popular based on multiple metrics. On MyAnimeList, Keijo had a good 7.37 score and Crunchyroll News reported that Japanese fans voted for Keijo as the second best anime during the 2016 fall season, placing the anime right behind Yuri On Ice. The show was popular enough to inspire a real life Keijo sport called Keijo Portugal.
The sales of the Keijo Blu-Ray Volume 1 disc in Japan were initially reported as being pretty miserable, with only 715 discs sold. An estimate from December of 2016 claimed the first-week sales numbers were closer to 1,025. However, Keijo manga author Daichi Sorayomi contested these numbers, claiming that “Keijo’s sales were closer to 7,000 than 700 as previously reported.” He claims the Oricon chart estimates were wrong, saying, “It’s like the decimal place was different.”
What do these numbers mean for Keijo Season 2? Conventional wisdom holds that an anime needs around 3,000 units sold in the first week to be guaranteed of a second season, but the anime industry has been shifting from disc sales to international streaming rights as a major source of revenue. For example, in China Keijo has received an 8.7 rating and has been watched by many millions. In addition, the Keijo Blu-Ray disc was very pricey at $70 for only two episodes, which means it’d cost $420 USD to own the entire first season on disc.
Unfortunately, the rumors about the Keijo sales numbers spread and then an alleged post from Sorayomi went viral on Yaraon.
“I’m very sorry to write this but the timeline was not on my side. You see, the editor came to me last week and informed myself to increase the popularity of Keijo!!! This is not something you can do overnight. I was lost for words, as I believed we were doing fine in rankings. Today, I was informed by my editor that my manga is being removed due to the poor reception of the anime. The anime failed to make an impact, for advertising purposes, and the studio is carrying that loss because of it. It is my fault, and I am sorry. The source material should have been better and I’ve done a great burden. I was actually very surprised by the reception overseas. In various conversations, I was told it was greatly talked about in America. I’m glad some of you enjoyed it, but I’m sorry once again for failing. My sincere apologies to Takahashi-san and XEBEC.”
This blog post was completely fake, but the news spread like wildfire and many anime fans assumed Keijo Season 2 was now impossible. Sorayomi’s personal blog responded to the controversy by explaining what really happened to the Keijo manga.
Sorayomi says the decision to end the Keijo manga was made well before the first season of the anime even aired. The mangaka was commanded to start finishing off the entire story once Keijo episode 12 had released in December of 2016.
At the time, the Keijo manga was struggling to keep afloat on Weekly Shonen Sunday. The magazine had already pushed the Keijo manga to the back pages, which is where the least popular manga end up. Sorayomi believes his manga should have been moved to the front of Weekly Shonen Sunday while the anime was airing in order to give it more visibility.
The author regrets that the magazine was forced to end his manga early because he was unable to realize the full story he had planned out. Instead, he had to rush the ending of the manga and he believes the half a year he was given was not enough.
But Sorayomi does not blame others for the decision to have Keijo canceled. Instead, he attributed the cancellation to his own lack of skill and personal issues he had with his publisher, Shogakukan. Sorayomi said he was overwhelmed by the work requirements related to creating the weekly manga and he requested an additional assistant to help. The publisher was unable to find him an extra assistant and Sorayomi was working so hard that one time he passed out from exhaustion.
The alleged poor sales numbers for the Keijo anime were also explained. Sorayomi says he contacted the staff at anime studio XEBEC and they confirmed the Oricon estimates were incorrect. He also says the anime lacked sponsors and this meant the anime was not broadcast in all regions of Japan, including the western areas. He claims that his own publisher Shogakukan did not sponsor the anime, but could not confirm this assertion.
“I really appreciate the readers who read it to the end. Thank you very much!” Sorayomi wrote in his blog.
“And thanks to the director who worked hard despite the difficult circumstances. To the animation staff, public relations people, and voice actors who finished working on this interesting anime: thank you! I really only have a feeling of gratitude and I was able to work hard during the second half because I saw everyone’s best effort.”
The manga writer’s last blog post was in July and he continued to celebrate the release of the manga volumes and other merchandise like Nozomi Kaminashi figures. He also expressed thanks to fans for continuing to send him letters and messages.
Keijo Manga Has Enough Chapters For A Second Season Of Hip Whip Girl
Another false rumor being spread around is that there is not enough source material for creating Keijo Season 2. The anime ended at about Chapter 90, which is contained in the first half of Keijo Volume 10. Several volumes of the manga also came bundled with Keijo OVA episodes. Unfortunately, an English translation of the manga is not available except through fan sites.
The anime began when Nozomi and Sayaka enter the school and meet Kazane and Non. The first season skipped about 35 chapters of the manga so anyone wishing to read the story should probably start from the beginning. To put things into perspective, Nozomi’s father was present at the end of the East-West tournament in the manga whereas the anime adaptation pretty much cut the backstory about her family.
Keijo Volume 18 released in July of 2017 and finished the entire story with over 177 chapters. That leaves about 87 chapters for the second season. Since there have been about 4.5 chapters per episode, it should be possible to adapt the manga in its entirety with two more seasons composed of 10 episodes each.
Unfortunately, some fans have been disappointed by the manga ending since Sorayomi wasn’t allowed to complete his full vision. Nozomi never becomes the Prize Queen with the current ending. However, if given 24 episodes to work with, the studio could take the story even further with Keijo Season 3 by creating an anime original ending that allows Nozomi to completely fulfill her dreams.
Keijo Season 2 Release Date
As of this publishing, anime production company XEBEC has not announced anything official about the Keijo Season 2 release date, although this article will be updated as soon as the anime sequel’s premiere is confirmed. However, there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the Keijo Season 2 air date may occur.
XEBEC is one of three anime studios under IG Port, along with Production I.G and WIT Studio (Attack On Titan). In 2017, XEBEC released BanG Dream! and Clockwork Planet. The anime studio is currently working on Full Metal Panic! Season 4, which will be released in the future.
Considering the studio’s schedule, Keijo Season 2 probably won’t enter production until 2018 at the very earliest, meaning that fans should expect the second season to be released in 2019 in the best case scenario. But that’s assuming Keijo Season 2 is green lit immediately and there are no unannounced projects being planned by XEBEC. Either way, fans won’t be seeing a new Keijo: Hip Whip Girl anime anytime soon.
Keijo: Hip Whip Girl Season 2 Spoilers
The last time audiences saw Nozomi she had won the East-West War tournament by using “nipples that will pierce the heavens” to defeat Maya Sakashiro. The ending of the anime went pretty crazy with the names of the attack moves by parodying other anime (“Buttack On Titan” and “Gate Of Bootylon“), but it also gave anime fans a boob-shaped spoiler named Beach-kun. This odd visage seemingly came out of nowhere during the end credits of Episode 12, but he’s actually a minor character from the second season.
Is it any wonder he’s holding up two fingers since he represents Keijo Season 2? Nozomi has graduated from school, and she’s becoming a Keijo professional for the first time, but now she’s facing a major problem: her nipples won’t stand up! Nozomi discovers this fact after she spots Beach-kun waddling around the party.
“This is a bit sudden, but I figured I’d say goodbye,” Beach-kun declares to Nozomi’s befuddlement. “It seems like I won’t be able to get hard for you anymore.”
Rehabilitating Nozomi’s primary assets is a small story arc composed of two chapters, but the anime ending also hinted at the second season by briefly showing Sumire Sakuragi, a major character that is featured on the cover of Keijo Volume 10.
Known as the Ice Mistress, Sumire can freeze opponents in fear with her tricks. She becomes a mentor to both Nozomi and Sayak Miyata after they both realize they would benefit from a professional relationship called “soeur,” which means “master and apprentice.” Unfortunately for Nozomi, she only realized she needed a mentor after she did not follow Sumire’s advice during her Debut War.
The Debut War and the soeur apprenticeship story arcs take about 27 chapters in the manga. It leads into the story about the”Unlimited Panty” and the Five Butts, the five strongest Keijo players in Japan. While the Unlimited Panty sounds odd, it’s simply an enhanced swimsuit that gives Keijo players an unfair advantage and it’s considered an illegal item in a race.
The rest of Keijo Season 2 follows Nozomi after she publicly challenges one of the Five Butts. This declaration of war is ignored since Nozomi is only B-rank, so she decides to enter an East tournaments to boost her rankings to A-rank. But this desire to reach a higher rank pits her against her friend Sayaka, who won’t give her a free win just to advance.
Where will Keijo Season 2 end and Keijo Season 3 begin? It’s hard to say, but let’s just hope XEBEC gets a chance to “rear-end” this story with a “final butt.”
[Featured Image by XEBEC/Keijo Anime TV Still]