「アイドルになりたい?」 (Idol ni Naritai?)
“Want to Be an Idol?”
With Gina settling into her new role as a transfer student and Hibiki’s new roommate, Dumbbell has its fun in showing us how she becomes acquainted with the rest of the cast. Whereas she still has her rivalry with Hibiki, her interest in Japanese culture has introduced her to a new, unlikely friend in the form of Satomi-sensei.
It’s always amusing for me whenever a character assumes there’s hidden subterfuge behind pre-conceived notions of something far more ingenious behind mindless motives. This is why many of the jokes the anime makes about Gina’s attempts to analyze Hibiki’s behavior stick the landing with scenes such as Gina jumping to conclusions about Hibiki’s binge-eating on her cheat day being inspired by a vigorous pro wrestler diet. But it’s a relief to see that there is more to Gina’s character with her new connection with Satomi-sensei. She is, fortunately, the only person who was able to deduce that she’s a professional cosplayer because her own avid love for anime and cosplayers spared Satomi the grim fate of having her identity revealed to everyone. At the same time, it gives Gina the opportunity to talk about her immersion into Japanese culture with Satomi and share her own personal aspirations now that she’s becoming further assimilated. During the idol contest she wanted to take part in, she also mutually bonds with Ayaka over their martial arts prowess as the two spar in front of an audience. It’s a nice break from the adversity that Gina has when she sees Hibiki as a harsh and fearsome rival by having Ayaka act as her equal, being able to match one another as they stand on equal ground with their expertise in their respective fighting techniques.
As far as valuable advice goes, it shares a similar thread with the last episode in that it weaves relatively basic tips into longer, more creative methods. As Gina takes Satomi on a trio through Akihabara, she gives us a rundown on how to go into Active Rest, or doing relatively light activities such as walking, jogging, swimming or stretching to promote oxygen circulation after a rigorous work-out. The idol auditions were hilarious because of how far the girls would go to incorporate their work-out into their audition, but it did help to finally give us a glimpse of what a Dead Lift looks like. It was considered fearsome during the beginning episodes so I expected there to be a little more fanfare behind Satomi perfecting the Dead Lift, but it is nonetheless highly amusing to see her do this as she avoids drawing attention to herself by donning a Kendo helmet and calling herself “F*** the Budo”. We also have a nice instructional section at the end of the episode by showing us to do a Lateral Raise with weights to help get the show back into gear about building muscle.
I’ve come to terms with the idea that this anime doesn’t have the best advice with dieting and this episode’s focus on the best cuts of beef to eat for a work-out can be misleading. While lean beef is high in protein and fattier beef is tasty and don’t get me started on the perfection that is galbi, red meat isn’t the most ideal source of protein, especially given its disadvantages in a healthy diet. For the most part, chicken and fish are given the most representation with an athlete or bodybuilder’s diet. For example, Hugh Jackman was said to have only eaten large quantities of steamed chicken breast, steamed vegetables, and occasionally brown rice whenever he underwent a strict diet to play Wolverine. Given this tidbit, is odd to see a whole section of the show dedicated to beef. However, it does give us more elaboration on Hibiki’s background as her older brother owns a yakiniku restaurant and her occasional work at the restaurant likely contributed to her love of food. It is sections of the show like this that do make it all the more special as it doesn’t hesitate to do little things to help expand on our cast of characters and give people like Hibiki more to work with as dynamic and fun personalities.