「夏休みいい事あった?」 (Natsuyasumi Ii Koto Atta?)
“Did You Have a Nice Summer”
Summer has come upon us in Dumbbell and that’s not entirely a good thing. Between the overpacked gyms, the town’s training facilities being closed down at the most opportune time, and hammerhead shark swarms, the girls find themselves needing to get creative about how they work out and what routines to go through. This, however, is great news for us viewers as the fourth episode teaches us ways to work out outside of your standard gym workouts.
Machines have become a fact of life in many gyms, and Akemi looks at them with scorn as she finds the old fashioned bench press to provide the most benefits during arm day. But what the show dives into is that chest machines offer balance instead of specialty. The seating format allows lifters to have the proper posture needed to get the most out of every lift, giving them a larger overall boost to their chest and upper region. For those summers that leave gyms over-capacity, you’re in luck because the episode goes over some basic and reliable work-out activities that can be done indoors and outdoors, at the gym and away from the gym. Kengan Ashura‘s unsettling combat professor Ozu Toshio gives us a decent how-to on doing Dips or using sturdy and sustainable objects to lift yourself. Similarly, he introduces Reverse Push-ups that would eventually be the focus of the end-of-episode workout. When the beach trip goes awry for the girls, Akemi uses this as the perfect opportunity to teach them how to do Burpies, an exercise I’ve been all too familiar with as I’ve tried to stay more active.
Along the way, we also get some fun developments among our main cast. Ayaka joining the Silverman Gym is a great way to have her further incorporated into both Hibiki’s path to weight loss and Akemi’s goal of gaining muscle. Throughout the episode, Ayaka’s interactions with Akemi are quite fun to see as her active life and personal goals are both similar and dissimilar to Akemi’s perspective. Their differing reactions to Ozu’s workout tape were particularly amusing to watch as Ayaka’s slowly building concern is counterbalanced with Akemi’s unbridled arousal. But while their preferences for muscle make them different, their healthy lifestyles allow them to stay on the same enthusiastic wavelength with exercise, matching the same continuous pace while they do Burpies as their peers struggle to catch up. It was a relatively light-hearted episode that shares the distinction of other anime’s beach episodes by balancing appealing ecchi with a good sense of humor (the scene where Hibiki breaks two timeless antique chairs was outright hilarious). But whereas those kinds of episodes tend to be light and fluffy without much substance, Dumbbell uses the summer beach episode to educate viewers on exercising outside of the gym and offer us a chance to get further acquainted with our circle of friends. It’ll be exciting to see how Ayaka and Satomi will continue to grow with their training at the Silverman Gym and what help they can give to Hibiki and Akemi with their company during the next set of episodes.