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It appears that the willing suspension of disbelief sometimes requires ignorance. In the case of Anime De Training! Ex that’s a bit of a problem for me. For the amusement value I’m presenting this as a sort of self-interview.

So, what is this thing, exactly?

To quote CrunchyRoll:

Five girls who are aiming to become idols, lead the viewer through practicing various types of training, such as push-up, sit-up, back extension, dance, yoga, stretch, trunk training, and Tai Chi, while talking to viewers.

Since the episodes are fairly short at 4 minutes so I’ll let you watch the first one here before proceeding further:

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-de-training-ex/episode-1-push-up-and-crunches-bring-it-on-687155?p360=1

I’ll just wait here until you get back. Done? Good, let’s continue.

There’s a fair bit of fanservice there, is that the problem?

Well, it’s a problem. Certainly the fanservice is fairly gratuitous, especially at the length of the episodes.

There’s some dubious body image issues there as well, is that it?

Well, that’s another problem, granted. It ties into the fanservice, and also to yet a third issue of nutrition[1].

The second episode More push-up! For bigger bra size!![2] is actually worse in this respect. Several years back I had a housemate who complained that exercise shrank her breasts because that was where the fat burnt off from first. So, arguably, Anime De Training! Ex is quite misleading in this sense[3].

What about the techniques shown?

The push-ups seemed bad to me. Keeping the arms out at 90 degrees feels very wrong to me – I’ve been trained to keep the elbows in when doing push-ups. There’s a number of reasons for that, not least of which is that you need similar movements for bench press

The abdominal technique shown isn’t too bad, and very close to what I’m currently doing as part of my rehabilitation exercises for my back.

What about instruction/supervision?

This is probably the area that bugged me the most. I have very poor kinaesthesia at the best of times, so I really depend on supervision when I’m doing a whole range of exercises. There’s a reason I do personal training, especially when free weights are involved[4].

So whilst the idea of an exercise focussed anime, particularly a short, that might inspire viewers sounds good in principle, I have serious doubts about what could go wrong.

Note that there may be disclaimers that CrunchyRoll hasn’t translated (although I didn’t notice anything in an appropriate position on screen to be a disclaimer).

In other words: I’ve spent too long at the gym getting proper training to be capable of suspending my disbelief for Anime De Training! Ex. Nice idea, sucky execution, probably best avoided in future.

[1] Which is something of a persistent issue for me, but I don’t make the mistake of thinking that one set of exercises justifies over indulging. I may still over indulge, but I know that it’s costing me more than I gained.

[2] This show does seem to like exclamation marks.

[3] That said, this isn’t the area where I’m actually claiming to have any knowledge, so I’m happy to take corrections in the comments.

[4] Even then I’ve occasionally had injuries, particularly when losing abdominal control during back squats and dead lifts.