Wanna Be the Strongest in the World: Episode 1 – “An Idol-Wrestler is Born!”

Wanna Be the Strongest in the World is an anime based on the manga written by ESE and illustrated by Kiyohito Natsuki. The anime is produced by Arms, and it is directed by Rion Kujo. As of this writing, Wanna Be the Strongest in the World is being simulcast on Crunchyroll on Sundays.

The main character of the series is Sakura Hagiwara, who is the member of the idol group Sweet Diva. At the beginning of the series, she is voted as the center vocalist for the fourth time. Her rival, Elena Miyazawa, vows that she won’t lose to Sakura again.

Sweet Diva is presented with a job of getting a beginner’s trial lesson for pro women’s wrestling that will be broadcast live. When no one volunteers immediately, Sakura says she’ll do it. Not to be outdone by Sakura, Elena also volunteers to go.

When they get to the gym of Berserk, the pro women’s wrestling team, Elena goofs off in the ring; this raises the ire of Rio Kazama, one of the women on the team. During the broadcast, Elena makes a comment that pro wrestling was easier than she thought it would be, and Rio takes offense because Elena is taking it so lightly. Rio suggests that Elena takes one of the “pro moves” right at that instant. Sakura tries to convince her not to, but Elena doesn’t want to be outdone by Sakura. Elena ends up getting beaten pretty badly by Rio. Sakura tries to attack Rio in order to get revenge for Elena, but Rio is able to block her. Rio declares a match between herself and Sakura, and Sakura accepts. The rest of the episode focuses on Sakura and Rio’s match.

It’s rather evident from the beginning of the episode that Wanna Be the Strongest in the World is going to be heavier on the “fanservice” side, due to the outfit being worn by Sakura in the first scene, as well as the types of shots the director chose to use. This fanservice is seen quite a bit whenever the wrestling takes place. During the wrestling scenes, groans are done in such a way that someone might think you’re watching hentai if they don’t see the visuals.

When it comes to the plot, it feels kind of thin, and that there’s just enough there in order to have justification for the fan service that appears in the episode.  The fan service eclipses the story so much that I really felt no motivation to want to watch the series any further.

I know that I normally give series two episodes to prove themselves, but I’ll be making an exception for Wanna Be the Strongest in the World. The fact that this establishing episode, which takes place before Sakura becomes a pro wrestler, has a lot of fan service in it already doesn’t bode well for the fan service levels of the remaining episodes. And once you factor in the sheer amount of series I need to try to sample over the course of the Fall 2013 season, I need to drop series like this one if I’m as turned off by a series after the first episode as I was by this one.

Wanna Be the Strongest in the World now becomes the second anime of the Fall 2013 season that I’m dropping.

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