Real-life bodybuilders stand in for anime weightlifters in otaku community’s favorite workout anthem.
Anime in the “teenage girl starts a new hobby and is surprised to find how deep her passion is for it” genre are a dime a dozen, but 2019 weightlifting series How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? stood out from the pack. By picking a fitness activity that isn’t nearly as mainstream in Japan as it is in the west, but still something that people can easily dip their toes in by buying a day pass to their local gym, How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? landed right in the sweet spot of intriguing and relatable, becoming an unexpected sleeper hit.
But the “sleeper” qualifier isn’t at all necessary when it comes to the anime’s opening theme, “Onegai Muscle” (“Please, Muscles”), which has an official live-action video that (as of this writing) has racked up 115,379,386 views!
While the vocals come …