This is review number two hundred and sixty one. This anime is part of the Fall 2013 lineup and it’s also a show that got no votes in my Review Poll. It’s a project of mine where I asked my readers which Fall shows I should review next. If you want to join in then just click on the picture on the right with “Review Poll” in it and cast your vote. Anyways, the anime I’ll be reviewing is this show called “Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!” or “Wanna be the Strongest in the World”. It’s a twelve episode show about sexy girls wrestling each other. It sounds good on paper but I think this show could’ve done more. Hey, it has sexy girls wrestling each other. Who am I to complain? Let’s read on.
The anime is about this popular idol named Sakura Hagiwara. One day, she and her group were asked to do some shooting on a local wrestling gym for a show. One of the wrestlers found the idol’s existence to be an annoyance and decided to throw in some insults with her remark. Sakura did not take this lying down and decided to challenge the woman to a wrestling match. She’ll make her regret the words she spouted about idols and her group. Sakura is not a trained athlete though and she’s about to get a rude awakening when the person she challenged is extremely skilled. The contest she challenged her on also involves people being dropped on their heads and Sakura is entering such a dangerous sport without knowing the risks. She doesn’t care though so long as she beats the crap out of her opponent.
Taking the Pants Off
This show is about hot girls and wrestling. There. That’s the review. My readers are smart enough to know when an anime doesn’t deserve a vote and I thank you for that. I would’ve appreciated it though if you would finally understand that you can rig the review poll by not voting for the anime you want to watch. C’mon people, let’s be smart about this. Anyways, there’s only one thing you need to know to get you sold on this show. This was handled by the studio that also created Ikki Tousen and both seasons of Queen’s Blade. These are two anime that is just straight on girls, breasts and perversion. It’s really just twenty two minutes of nothing but girls barely clothed fighting each other and moaning in pain between fights. I’m not going to lie, though. The premise of this show intrigued me. It’s a show about wrestling and I’m a huge wrestling fan. I have a shelf full of videos of guys half naked pinning each other and I’m proud to own that stuff. An anime about wrestling sounds like an awesome thing. You can also tell that it’s a very risky thing to do. I wanted to try the show out though and, after having my fill of crotch shots and girls bent down on the floor, I found this particular anime show about wrestling just too damn disappointing to watch. There are a lot of things that this show missed out on and I will be listing them below. For now, I guess the best thing about the show is this:
You like that? Good. The screenshots below are sure to be even more insane so you’re welcome.
The show is pretty straight forward. It’s about this girl named Sakura, a popular idol, trying her hands at wrestling. After being amazed at the passion put behind the sport, Sakura was enchanted and soon wanted to rise to the top. Being a pro wrestler is no easy task though but Sakura is serious. She decided to leave the world of idols behind so she can focus on wrestling. That’s how determined Sakura is. Determination and a never giving up attitude are among the things needed to make it into wrestling but Sakura is extremely green in this sport. She has no idea how tough it really is to be a pro wrestler. It’s a pretty damn good premise starting out. The show is tapping into many different elements and it does make the anime interesting. It has a sports element to it with the way pro-wrestling is being represented and it also has a handful of Ecchi to go along with it. The girls are placed in a lot of submission holds that looks so damn sexy to gaze at while you listen to the little b*tch moan in pain. She doesn’t scream in pain. Oh no, she moan. Sports and Ecchi is a strong component of the show but I think the fact that it also has a story to work with seals the deal for me. I wanted to see this show succeed. It just has too many things going for it that it’s seems too difficult to mess it up.
The show has two plot points. The first one is about Sakura trying to become pro. She is a rookie in the world of pro-wrestling so she was given a basic run down of how the sports work. She was given a trainer and she endured a lot of hardships just to make it to an official match with someone. The main focus of the first plot point though is about Sakura’s goal of beating the girl that diss on idols and her beloved “Sweet Diva” idol group. She faced her once in the first episode of the show and was beaten so badly that you immediately want to see the next episode just to see how Sakura will bounce back. The story is about her intense training and the various matches she had trying to become a pro as she tries to officially beat this girl. In the first half of the show, Sakura was doing her best to be stronger so she can last in the ring with a veteran and she was also trying to get a grasp of the basics of wrestling. She faced a lot of adversities and a lot of personal struggle as she try to become a talented athlete worthy to fight a veteran wrestler.
The second plot point is about Sakura trying to get to the top. I’m trying not to spoil things here but Sakura eventually got the brass rings she’s desperately reaching for in the first half and the only way for her at this point is up. A lot of strong wrestlers are introduced who consider Sakura as a serious challenge. They wanted to be in the ring with her and they’ll do anything to achieve that. Some of them would even do under handed tactics to get her to notice them. Sakura is riding high though as the world champion and a world class athlete both has their eyes set on her. The second plot point has a lot of fights involving some strong wrestlers. From a judo champion to a top veteran wrestler, Sakura faced them all and it is pretty interesting to see how she’ll fair over such strong challengers. This plot point also has a small subplot in it wherein Sakura is stuck choosing between her new found loves of wrestling against her lifelong dream of being an idol. She can only choose one but she really decide that easily. That’s not a problem because a longtime rival is ready to bash her head in and push her towards the right choice.
Damn, it’s really easy to summarize a show. While the two plot points sounds enticing there is one thing I learned after watching a whole lot of Ecchi anime. It’s a definite fact that a handful of these anime have bad stories. You see, story and Ecchi does not play along. As decent as the story was, the show managed to screw it up. One thing I hate is short sighted storytelling. It’s a kind of story where it’s focused on the things happening right now without any right of mind to build up other things on later episodes to come. This anime was only concerned on the “now” that it did not utilized proper story build up and progression to create a better story. I find it a bit stupid that our main character would lose more than twenty times yet her first win manages to get some head nodding. “She’s the future of pro-wrestling” is what they claimed. She had a really annoying losing streak yet the suddenly abandoned that because of one win. If she was primed to do great things then why didn’t they just let her lose practice matches, build up her strong determination, and let her learn more of the technical aspects of wrestling then claw hard for her first win? Any sports anime could easily tell such a gripping story and I honestly think this show can do it as well. It had such a heavy handed sports element that I thought it could easily pull off an underdog story like any good sports anime. Short sighted storytelling really made the show bad. If that wasn’t enough, the story is also pretty damn linear. A linear story means that the show only has one conclusive outcome. It’s so predictable and it lacks a good amount of suspense to convince us that any other outcome is possible. A linear story is bad because it’s boring. You often don’t need to watch the rest of the show because there is only one outcome for our struggling idol turned wrestler and I think the show could’ve easily gave us more.
Sadly, the story isn’t the only thing the show screwed up on. The wrestling itself was pretty terrible. While I do agree that “puroresu” or Japanese wrestling is different from the WWE kind of wrestling, I think the whole concept of translating a wrestling match into an anime proves just too difficult. Puroresu is more about technicality. They’ll drop people on their heads, try out MMA submission holds and they are encouraged to not act out a punch. No, they can legit punch an opponent and give them a black eye. It’s hardcore and it’s really a more athletic approach to wrestling. The problem with the show though is that it just lacks decent storytelling. A wrestling match tells a story and I think that’s just hard to present in an anime. The matches in the show are deadly boring. For god sakes, it’s all about submissions and girls moaning that it gets pretty damn boring. I think it’s really just hard to animate a full match and I don’t blame the show for this. However, the linear story and the focus on Sakura alone also hurt the wrestling aspect of the show. There are a lot of wrestlers in this anime and some of them are references to actual Japanese women wrestlers yet the anime didn’t properly utilize them. The show was about Sakura’s matches and how much she’ll moan before the match ends. If the show changed the approach by highlighting the different wrestlers and their various personas then I think this was enough to even cover the shallow story of the anime. I think that if the show chose a tournament style of story then the whole thing could’ve been better. It can highlight Sakura’s rise to the top while also focusing on the various characters and their wrestling styles. This was just wasted on the show. It had a Manami Toyota versus Bull Nakano (two insanely legendary Japanese wrestlers) reference yet it wasn’t able to utilize the moment properly. It’s a bit disappointing.
To be fair, I did like one aspect of the story. There was this little subplot of Sakura and her estranged relationship with her idol group now that she has chosen the path of a wrestler. Towards the latter half of the anime, this subplot reached a climax that was pretty fun to watch. It’s a shame the anime didn’t properly utilize this one good aspect as well. Like I said, the anime had a short sighted storytelling approach so you’ll really just be surprised that the show was suddenly about Sakura and Sweet Diva without any prior warning. If the show took the time to build up this subplot and develop the characters some more then this would’ve been a whole lot more entertaining. If you add in some conflicts that reaches a breaking point and a couple of flashbacks about Sweet Diva when they were trying to become popular then it basically writes itself. There are so many things the show missed out on that it’s really a disappointing. You could’ve easily reached a good balance of Sports, Ecchi and story if the anime truly cared. Sadly it didn’t so were stuck with a predictable boring show that manages to mishandle every possible potential it had.
The characters are all one dimensional. The main character is your typical heroine with the typical high spirited attitude. I think this kind of personality works well in a sports show but the lack of depth is certainly a bit annoying. Her strong determination often lacks sincerity and the linear story works against her. It doesn’t really matter if she has a strong challenge and she has a strong passion to face it head on because the fights are always on her favor. The show isn’t really concerned about having an engaging main character though because all that matters is that she moans really well. I think I’ll have to point that out. She moans pretty amazing that you often want her to just stay in a submission move for the rest of the show. Hey, a show about women in tight clothes grappling each other is probably in someone’s wish list so a one dimensional personality doesn’t really matter all that much.
The rest of the characters are wasted though. They’re flat and they really just have a specific role to play. They don’t even do it well. It was pretty clear that these characters have abundant potential yet the show just didn’t want to put the focus on them. The characters that are given focus has a rushed development and they didn’t do anything much for the show. Most of them are really just supporting characters for Sakura and they’re main goal is to make her look good. It’s a shame because you can tell that these characters have something more to offer. I remember one character that can pull off a Death Valley Driver and she was deemed as the best of the rookies in wrestling. The show could’ve worked this into building up Sakura’s opponent more instead of just announcing their names and locking on a move on our hero to make her moan. It’s a shame. There are some pretty important characters that are wasted as well. There is Sakura’s rival in Sweet Diva. She had a really nice thing going on. She was always second place next to Sakura and then our hero went to go pro. The rival suddenly became number one. She has since wanted a proper showdown with Sakura and has since tried to chase the girl. If it was developed more then I think the girl’s inferiority complex could’ve done some wonders to the show. A bunch of characters like her are tremendously wasted in the show and sadly, it’s a fact that the show could’ve avoided that mistake.
This was a really promising show. I’m not really sure if the manga was as daft as this show but I think my heart sank as I keep watching more episodes. The wonderful potential of the show drowns into a sea of mediocrity and it was just hard to watch. If the show’s goal was to make one hot steamy highly perverted anime then I think it has reached that goal tremendously. I’m a fan of story though and I’m a bit bummed that I wasn’t able to get that in this show. I guess I’m at fault to even expect something from Arms Corporation. I’ve seen Ikki Tousen and I’ve seen the first season of Queen’s Blade. They were insane. They were hard to watch and you’re really just in it for the perversion. Boobs and half naked girls is really the thing that makes this studio stand out and I guess you can’t expect anything else. To be fair, they seem to have perfected that erotic visual style of storytelling. Just from looking at the girls, you can tell that you’re about to experience something dirty. I think their deep roots on Hentai are the reason for that. I’ll have a lot of paragraphs for the visuals so I’ll talk about that later. For now, this anime had massively wasted potential that could’ve turned a boring experience into a memorable one….excluding the perversion, of course.
Sight and Sound
Arms Corporation handled the animation for Queen’s Blade but they also handled Hentai classics like Night Shift Nurses and Words Worth. I can’t believe I’m talking about Hentai in a review but this is an important point. Making 2D characters visually stimulating is a mastered craft. Arms Corporation does this with ease simply because they’ve been doing it for a long time. Character design is pretty much the same as the manga. The amount of perversion is also the same. God damn, I do not like the things I saw in the manga. The characters look about the same but the anime eliminated the sweat effects of the characters during fights. So you’re really just seeing visually pleasing characters displaying their crotches and being held in different positions. Anyways, the design is pretty great. I love Sakura’s gentle fact that is accentuated by those big expressive eyes. They express pain as much as the rest of the face does. The focus of the designs though is on the body. The girls have really nice sexy bodies that are coupled by some nicely shaped breasts and really emphasized curves. They also have some distinct muscles though. I’m a fan of ESE (the character designer and author) because you can tell they did their research on the girls. They can bring out the sexiness with the flashy and slightly slutty clothing while also giving the girls some defined upper body muscles. You can tell that these characters are based on actual body design and I love that little attention to detail by the author. Seeing girls in different positions during matches certainly becomes more fun when you realize how realistic the whole thing looks like. I mention Arms Corporation though because there is one thing that separates the manga from the anime. I’m talking about the color palette. This is taken for granted but the one thing I like about Hentai is how they have this appealing skin color on characters. It’s far off flesh and more pinkish white. This color works great for when a character is nude or half naked or when you’re constantly exposing the crotch areas of a character. The color palette elevated the characters and it added to the appeal of the lackluster matches. When you see the girls touching bodies, I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it and it’s because Arms knows how to make it look amazing. Also, I can finally brag about watching Hentai without sounding like a massive pervert. Who am I kidding? I still sound like a perve. F*ck.
Animation is a bit inconsistent. There are some good moments and there are some bad. I noticed that most episodes have limited movement and there are also some recycled scenes like during Sweet Diva performances. It brings the anime down a bit considering you’d have some insane animations during the matches. The one thing that I really love about this anime is how dirty it is while still celebrating the complexity of a submission hold. Certain submission holds are animated wonderfully without it looking awkward. The camera movements also enhance the experience by moving with the characters. It’ll focus on a character writhing in pain trying to crawl to the ropes and it’ll also feature angles from the one applying the hold and putting on more pressure. This gives us a pretty decent storytelling by the show. Of course, seeing the girls in pain and moaning out loud was also nicely animated. The facial expressions are done seamlessly and I love how detailed the face looks. It gives a nice feel of how tough it is in the ring. I also love the power moves. The show has a decent number of them. While they lack full animation, they still look pretty cool. From dropkicks to some beautiful head drivers, the body positioning was spot on and the angle of each drop was nicely detailed. It’s hard to present this kind of thing and I’m glad the anime was able to give the manga’s vision justice. The pained look on characters when they’re dropped is also nicely animated. The visuals is really the high point of the anime for me and now I’ll be displaying a lot of images below to further drive this point home.
The Ecchi aspects of the anime are a bit good and bad for me. Animation wise, I think it was pretty smart. The show didn’t resort to abnormal boobs or characters getting undressed. Instead, it just featured a lot of crotch shots. Basically, this:
There are scenes where the focus is on the crotch area of a girl when she is in a wrestling hold. I saw the manga and it’s basically the same. There is a great amount of focus on the highly detailed mound that the show kept on focusing. It is a bit distracting but it doesn’t take anything from the show. When a character is locked on a hold, the anime is now mostly about the girl moaning in pain and then the show does a bunch of crotch shots. It was a tad too many for my taste though. This was the only perverted aspect of the anime for me. The shower scenes had the blinding light censor bars in it. I’m guessing the show exposed some nipples on the uncensored version but I’m not going to bother watching this show again. The most you’ll be getting though are some girls in different positions with a lot of focus on their crotches.
The anime’s OP is “Beautiful Dreamer” by Kyoko Narumi. It’s your standard OP song. It’s a song about never giving up. I love the lyrics because it tells of how you should keep the failures as motivation for you to succeed. The singer’s voice is pretty decent but I think the song itself felt a bit lackluster. The chorus was a bit flat and the verse just sounds a bit stiff for my taste. The OP sequence features a short montage of the events that happened in the show. It was basically a short summary of the show but in a more cool looking way than the show could ever present.
The anime’s ED is “Fan Fanfare!!!” by Sweet Diva (Ayana Taketatsu, Kana Asumi, Yuka Ootsubo, Miku Itou, Sora Amamiya). It’s a cute and bubbly song. I think it’s a bit cheesy with the way the lyrics make no sense but it is pretty catchy. It tells of not giving up but with the typical idol flare of adding sprinkles on everything. It’s cute and it does lead to a pretty great chorus. The voices of the characters blend well together and they give the song its upbeat and highly energetic appeal. The ED sequence is about Sweet Diva dancing and acting cute. These are mostly the recycled moves that appear in the show but the animation is still pretty great. I’m not just a fan of recycling animations. The dance routine is pretty cute though even though the whole sequence isn’t really about the show. Hey, it’s a nice sequence. I can’t ask for more.
4/10 “A linear show with dull characters but certainly top notch visual appeal.”
You’ll be watching this show for the perversion and nothing else. If you like girls in different positions crying out in pain then you’ll love this show. If you’re a fan of those one dimensional shows that is all about sexy girls being slutty then you’ll like this show. I know there are some people that’ll like this show. If you like some story in your anime though then I think it’s best to stay away. This show is all about girls in tight clothes exposing their half-naked body pressed upon other girls with their exposed half naked bodies. Yeah. Life is good.