As part of this onslaught of sports animes that I have recently encountered, we now segue over to “Wanna be the Strongest in the World!” (“Sekai De Ichiban Tsoyoku Naritai!”) which is as representative of women’s pro wrestling as “Hetalia” is of world history. It’s not bad, but this is more like WWF (and that’s NOT for World Wildlife Fund) than the Olympics.
We start out with the best, the biggest, the most famous, the most beloved J-Pop group to ever grace a stage in Japan, Sweet Diva! Stadiums are sold out, CDs are hotter than flapjacks and every bit of information about them is glommed up by a hungry and caring public. The Center of the group is the dulcet-toned, flowing grace, heavy-bosom, just 17 years old, Sakura Hagiwara (black-haired up there). If she went out for the Diet (the National assembly, not something from Dr. Atkins), she would be elected by a landslide. Or a spacequake.
As part of their duties as pop idols, they do these meet-and-greets. One is with the wrestling team Berserk, an all-female pro team. One of the members of Sweet Diva, Elena Miyazawa (redhead with the mic), who is also Sakura’s on-stage rival and best friend, makes an injudicious comment about wrestling and is challenged by Rio Kazama (silver-hair, far right) to a no-holds-barred match. Sakura accepts the challenge in her stead and is soundly defeated by Rio.
Not willing to let anything besmirch Sweet Diva or her friends, Sakura takes a leave of absence to train as a pro wrestler to defeat Rio. The series covers not only her struggles to make it in women’s pro wrestling, but to be the best in the world at it.
Let us get right into the fan service. It is as berserk as the wrestling team. Most of the women have some well-developed muscles and outfits that can barely cover them. They have to use some kind of super glue to keep those outfits from sliding off or things popping out. That double-sided tape should get a nomination for a best supporting role. Also, since Sakura gets put into the Boston Crab with frightening regularity, there is a tremendous supply of crotch shots. If I was an advertiser, I might consider renting out that location, as it is shown to the audience without exception.
So we have the twin stories of Sakura trying to make it in the wrestling world and Elena trying to coax her back into Sweet Diva. Geez, it’s not like you could be on the world stage in two professions, right?
Two things that bothered me about the show was the sheer physical mayhem dished out. Sakura has to endure 100 body slams to get on the team. I would be concerned with back injuries, neck problems and potential concussions, owing to how badly man-handled (or is it woman-handled?) she is. Sakura has a signature move that could even knock out a few teeth, but it’s all OK. Everything is fine and nothing is broken.
The second is that it is another Warning show: “A request from Sakura: There are a lot of pro wrestling moves in ‘Sekatsuyo’, but they’re dangerous, so, please, don’t try them at home.” So I guess I can go to the gym and try them there, eh? It would make those board meetings more interesting. “Submit! Submit to the merger!”
It is a rather lightweight show. For all its posing and action, it comes off as a bad excuse to show female parts in a series of partial disclosures (see how revealing the outfits are up there?) so the show really gets down to what is dedication and how much are you willing to commit to achieve your goals. So, unless you want the fan service, I would stay away from this one.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Good art and character design)
Plot 6 (Rather standard)
Pacing 7 (Gets flat after a while)
Effectiveness 8 (Works for what it wants)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but I can’t really see a second season)
Fan Service 5 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)
Overall 6 (Thin all the way around)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Who is the Blue Panther?