“Kick-Heart” is a 13 minute short released in 2013, directed and created by Masaaki Yuasa (“Kemonozume”, “Kaiba”, “Tatami Galaxy”). The backer thank you note proclaims that it is “the first successfully backed anime project from Japan funded using Kickstarter” (a crowd funding website, though you could use PayPal, too).
Hit me, please! The action starts in the ring as tag-team wrestlers “Masked Man M” and “Chicken Man” face off against “Vacuum Fat” and “Lady S”. After receiving rather slow and repetitive hits from the ginormous Fat, Masked Man isn’t getting the kind of action he desires. If only the red leather clad, high heeled Lady S would relieve some tension by slapping him around a little. Unable to reign in his frustration, M tosses Fat out of the ring and wins a match that he was supposed to throw.
“She’s studying Psychology at university … with a minor in Brainwashing.”
Skedaddling out of town, M vamooses with a box of toys to the strict, nun run orphanage of his youth, where he meets the new nun, Juliet. Under his real name, Romeo Maki, and in the guise of a “CEO“, Masked Man is the home’s benefactor. Unfortunately, like his wrestling career, the building has fallen on hard times, and is in desperate need of repairs. But, as if by magic, Romeo gets a well-timed call from his boss informing him that Lady S is challenging him to a one-on-one match, 50 million yen, winner take all! Now, as long as he doesn’t get too involved in his fractious foreplay, he should be able to win the cash, get the girl/bondage queen, and save the day!
“This is what you want, right?”
Bring on the pain! Done in Yuasa’s signature loose, brightly colored, fast, energetic style, Kick-Heart’s characters bend, stretch, and move like classic ‘toons, sparing the audience from contemplating any real physical discomfort. The tone of this anime is as lighthearted as small children idolizing their larger than life wrestling heroes. Though its protagonist’s bedroom desires may be dark, “Kick-Heart” is anything but.