“Physical: 100” is the closest we’ll get to a real-life Hunter Exam from the fantastic adventure show “Hunter x Hunter,” with the strongest, fastest, and most qualified people from all over the land trying to prove they are the very best. The first episode is mostly dedicated to introducing the contestants, revealing their mighty impressive bodies, and telling us what they do for a living and how they became so fit.
Herein lies the first big surprise of the show, where we learn the backgrounds and expertise of the contestants. This is not just a show about the strongest man or the fastest woman, but the person with the overall best physique, meaning people of all backgrounds participate. There are bodybuilders, and literally the strongest man in Korea, sure, but also actors, dancers, MMA fighters, a car salesman (really!), fitness YouTubers, and a guy who designed the choreography for zombie shows like “Kingdom” and “Hellbound.”
Indeed, “Physical: 100” has a wide variety of competitors of vastly different ages and body types. Better yet, it does not separate challenges by gender, even the one-on-one death match challenge. The diversity of body types also serves a practical function, feeding straight into the challenges, where one can benefit the purely strength-focused competitors, while the next challenge can be all about agility and speed.
Then there’s the design of the actual challenges. Here is where the comparisons to that other popular Korean show come in (which several competitors reference at various points), became it is not just about having a bunch of people compete for cash, but because each challenge looks designed by Jigsaw from “Saw.”