What in blazes?! The only reason why an anime for women’s pro wrestling is made is because of fanservice, right? What else reason do you need to watch Sekai De Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai? And to top that, they have an idol doing pro wrestling! If having your cute pretty idol sing and prance on stage isn’t enough, here they make the idol wear tight leotards and do some body slam into the ring. If that is not fanservice, I don’t know what is. Well, that didn’t stop me from checking it out. Hehehe… And no, this won’t be some sort of musical either. What do I mean? Idols singing while slamming and grappling in the ring. No, no. That is just wrong. That is so wrong. So let’s just stick to the formula of girls doing wrestling in the ring for some eye candy fanservice. Make that lots of eye candy services. Still want to know the plot? Who needs the plot when all we care about is the fanservice, right? Oh… I said that word so much. It just shows how much of it there is in this series.

Episode 1
Right from the start you can hear the screams of Sakura Hagiwara. The kind that may get you thinking if it’s pleasure or pain. Okay, so it’s the latter since she’s in a painful submission move from Rio Kazama. How the heck did she get into this mess? Sakura is part of an idol group called Sweet Diva and she just beat her fellow comrade Elena Miyazawa in total votes for the centre vocalist position. Elena isn’t happy about it but she has to show her good faith since she’s in the idol business. Their manager Makoto Kirishima has lots of other activities lined up for the group. One of them being pro wrestling trial lesson. Don’t ask. They say it’s a pretty popular sport currently. Sakura volunteers to be part of it but Elena doesn’t want her to hog anymore of the spotlight and volunteers herself. They are at the training gym of Berserk, female pro wrestlers with real strength and part of the Shangri-La world circuit. Elena learns Sakura volunteered for this because she saw everyone afraid of taking this up. She wants to protect their group and being together with everyone is a place she wants to be. Because Elena is fooling around in the ring, Rio tells her off for doing something silly to their sacred stage. But Elena laughs it off and this task will be easy. She gets provoked when Rio calls her naive and will take on her pro moves right now. But she is made to eat humble pie after a few excruciating submission moves. How’s that for pain? Because Rio continues to badmouth those bimbo idols, Sakura couldn’t take it anymore and challenges her in their next live match. Rio accepts this as a Cabellera Contra Cabellera match. Cabe what?

Thanks to that, the stadium is packed with people. Record attendance. Yeah. Sakura’s fans. Can they see their idol getting beat up? If so, what can they do? The match starts and it seems Rio is purposely letting Sakura beat her up. But it’s just to gauge her power. It’s that all she’s got? Now Rio gets serious and shows her what pro wrestling moves are. Here comes the pain! No mercy! She even makes an embarrassing submission move on her, forcing her to spread her legs open. All the cameras snapping away… Good or bad thing? Even after all that punishment, Sakura won’t give up. She passes out when Rio uses her ultimate Sleeper Hold move. Rio wins the match and because of that Cabe thingy, Sakura must cut her hair as it is what it was bet on. This is something horrifying especially for an idol to lose her hair. Sakura agrees to it since she lost and will keep her word. It must be painful for her hardcore fans to watch. Even more painful to see her crying while her hair is being cut short. Sakura is fine with everything and could take all the insults Rio spewed until she badmouthed her idol group. That’s when Sakura wants a rematch. She will train and become a pro wrestler and beat her. Bring it! A centre vocalist becoming a pro wrestler? This is sure going to make the headlines.

Episode 2
Sakura is bent on going pro to win against Rio for she has stepped on the pride of Sweet Diva. Who will be the centre vocalist then? Will it be Elena? In an interview, she still considers Sakura as the centre vocalist and will do what she will have to do. Sakura meets the president of Berserk, Seiichi Inoba and Ryo Nishihara will be her coach. On her first day, she is put through rigorous training on par with some of the amateurs. Is this Ryo’s plan to make her see the harsh reality of pro reality and make her quit? But Sakura won’t give up with all the hardcore training. Even when Ryo throws her into the ring and does all the advanced submission moves and chokes on her. Ryo is impressed with her determination and feels she might have more potential than Misaki Toyoda. The training continues (including cleaning toilets) and although Ryo and Misaki report she has made some good physical progress, she doesn’t know the true face of pro wrestling yet. It is perhaps why she is fearless and may be blind stubbornness. It’s time to give her a test. For Sakura to make her ring debut, she needs to withstand 100 throws from 10 wrestlers! That’s what you call the Hell of 100 Throws, a Berserk special. The first throw is already a killer. 99 more to go… With each throw, Sakura gets back up, impressing the other wrestlers. They never thought she would make it this far. Rio is the last wrestler for the final 10 throws. Every pain decreases her energy and she is on the verge of blacking out. Finally on the last throw, it seems Sakura is knocked out. The rest tell her to get up or else it won’t count. And what do you know? She gets up. So now are you impressed? This settles it. Sakura will make her pro debut. Ryo knows Rio did not give it all in her last slam and held back. Why? She needs Sakura to turn pro so she can settle it all. Sakura’s first opponent will be Chinatsu Suzumoto, a second year wrestler and a promising one. Sakura puts all that she has learnt into the ring but she got caught off-guard and ended up in a Boston Crab move. It hurts so much that she could die and had no choice but to give up. Chinatsu takes the win and despite the bitter lost, both girls had fun (was Sakura? She was particularly screaming) and hope to fight each other again. Sakura’s loyal fans also cheer on her since she is way better than last time.

Episode 3
Although Sakura enters more matches, she has been on a losing streak. Yeah. 10 straight losses. To a point where her fans gave up on her. So much about their loyalty. There are only 3 of them left by the way. They too start to have doubts about her because she seems different than her days in Sweet Diva. All she ever does is give up. And so there is only 1 fan left… Would you believe it, 45 straight losses! And it’s the same move every time! Boston Crab! WTF?! So predictable! Boring as hell! Can you blame the people for booing at her and telling her to quit? Even her lone fan is made to shut up. The sell out match between challenger Yumbo Yamamoto and defending champion Misaki will decide the BWQ title. True to her looks, Yumbo plays dirty and although I am not knowledgeable in wrestling, is it legal to have her underlings enter the ring to help out? I know referees are useless but look at this one, in addition to slamming objects on her (which I believe is the ‘norm’ in WWE matches), they even use a rope to strangle her?! Or even a wooden sword?! Is this even legal?! But what Sakura sees in Misaki’s eyes is that she never gave up. After all that punishment, Misaki turns the tables. I don’t know why Sakura and the other Berserk girls didn’t do this earlier, because they should have just entered the ring and restrain all of Yumbo’s underlings. Doing so seals Misaki’s victory. Sakura is motivated to become like her. However… Despite Sweet Diva making big waves, it is still the same for Sakura. More painful losses by giving up. With 50 straight losses, she has broke the team’s new record and given a whole new meaning to the biggest loser. This has her reflect if she should just quit. But if she does, will her fans accept her back? It’s like she is running away. Where will she go if she quits pro wrestling? Next day, she is about to hand her resignation to the president but Misaki is outside and knows what is going on. She wants to spar with Sakura tonight. The duo alone begin their sparring and Sakura knows she can’t beat Misaki with strength and tries some grapple techniques. However Misaki easily gets out and grapples Sakura with the same move but with more pain. After every grapple and submission move, here comes the dreaded Boston Crab. Oh God. Not again. This is the most painful one. Sakura gives up but Misaki tells her there is no such thing as that here. They are the only ones around. No spectators, no referees. So it’s up to her to think how to get out of this if she doesn’t want her hip bones to break. Looks like the pain will continue…

Episode 4
Reporter Kanae Fujishita sees Misaki’s secret training. Misaki even gives Sakura hints to use her upper body strength to move. Move, damn it! It might seem a big relief when Misaki releases one of her leg but the Single Leg Boston Crab is double lethal as the opponent piles more pressure. But this gives Sakura a fighting chance to use her body to move to the ropes. It took a lot of screaming and yelling till Sakura finally firmly grabbing the ropes. The pain is finally over. Misaki gives her a pep talk about strength and pro wrestling. If she cries and gives up just after this much, she isn’t fit to be a wrestler. At the rate she’s going, she doesn’t qualify, right? Today’s lesson should teach her something and it also shows that she can also do it. Once she’s done it, she should be able to understand some things. Misaki then takes her resignation letter and will keep it for now. Kanae talks to Misaki about her personal training. They know she has talent but her title as idol makes her stand out too much and might be brought down by extreme bashing before she could reach her potential. If that happens, it just shows her calibre as an athlete. So in Sakura’s next match. Again… Boston Crab… You’ve got to be kidding me. The audience are pissed. They want their money back. Give up now and save them the pain! At times Sakura wanted to really give up but remembering Misaki’s words, she makes her way to the ropes. This surprises the audience and suddenly they start cheering for her! The support gives Sakura the much needed power to grab the ropes. But it’s not over. The opponent does a few more painful slams. But Sakura doesn’t give up. In the end, Sakura lost but hey, at least it’s not the Boston Crab. The amazing thing is that everybody starts cheering for Sakura! Finally, something different! Right after the match, Sakura wants Misaki to teach her to become a pro wrestling. Sure. Just prepare yourself for hell training. Right now? Yes. You’ve been warned…

Episode 5
Since Sakura is away doing pro wrestling, Sweet Diva takes another national vote to fill in the centre vocalist position. Elena wins by a mile but she is still not satisfied. Because it feels she has not beaten Sakura. Sakura’s training continues and you can see some improvements. Sakura experiences her first match from an opposing team. They use dirty tricks. Although Sakura is wiser this time (even giving her opponent the Boston Crab move), they use dirty tricks and illegal moves to slow her down. In the end, Sakura loses out on victory by a whisker. At least her fans are back to support her. But there is another good news: Her revenge match with Rio is arranged. Sakura ponders that she has trained so much and gotten stronger, why can’t she win once? Yeah. She already lost 65 times straight! Misaki advises that she lacks her own special move. How do you learn that? Well, duh! You have to find it yourself. Copying others would be a no-no too. This special move thingy has Sakura preoccupied. So much so her comrades become ‘guinea pigs’ as she tests out her special move. And that was just a casual greeting. Caught by surprise? One night thinking at the park, Sakura is surprised to see Elena. It has been a long time and they catch up on stuffs. Sakura is more worried if she can put up a good fight with Rio rather than coming back to Sweet Diva if she wins. Elena prefers her to smile so she starts dancing like they used too. Sakura joins in and then it hit her. She got an idea for her special move. The days draw closer to the revenge match. Kanae interviews Rio who brushes off Sakura as some loser stalking her forever. Sakura continues her training which I would like to say the scenes bring back uncanny resemblance to Rocky… On the night of the revenge match, the stadium is packed. Probably even more than the concert of Sweet Diva. Sakura’s Sweet Diva girls are here to support her as well as her fans. Time for the showdown.

Episode 6
At first Sakura seems to be doing great at first but she gets tricked by Rio. She does her favourite Boston Crab on her and wants to beat her this way. Sakura is able to grab the ropes but this only gives her temporary reprieve. Because Rio once again does the Boston Crab on her and this time she blocks her movements so she won’t move so easily. Sakura won’t give up despite the tremendous pain. How could she when the entire stadium is cheering her name. Sakura is able to head for the ropes and break free. Since Boston Crab won’t work anymore, Rio does her Sleeper Hold move. I’m not sure if Sakura really did pass out there or was just feigning because she comes back to live and struggles like hell to break free of her stranglehold. Rio purposely doesn’t end the match so she could slam more pain into her. Just as Rio is about to jump and finish her off, Sakura rolls away so Rio bears the pain of slamming herself into the ground. Sakura begins her counter attack and pays back Rio with a Boston Crab move! Give up? Not quite. It’s going to take more than that. Sakura even uses the Sleeper Hold move back on her. After a few more slams, Rio is getting serious not to lose and smacks her flat out. But Rio also collapses as she has taken in lots of slam. Will it be double KO? Not quite. Not when the crowd is calling for Sakura and the loudest one has to be Elena screaming her name. With both wrestlers back up, it’s time for Sakura to do her special move. She gets into an idol position that her fans instantly recognize. Rio charges but misses because Sakura ducks. Then she does a flip kick somersault! The hard double kick on Rio’s jaw knocks her out!!! For the first time, Sakura wins! The 66th match breaks her losing streak! Hearing everyone calling her name felt good, eh? Rio admits defeat and that Sakura has become stronger. But now that she has achieved her goal of beating her, what are her plans now? After Sakura’s short speech of why she took wrestling up to avenge her friend, blah, blah, blah, the journey made her realize she wants to keep winning and get stronger. She loves pro wrestling and wants to continue! This doesn’t sit well with some of her surprised fans and especially her Sweet Diva members. Does this mean she is not coming back? The hardest hit has got to be Elena. She’s really heartbroken, crying… Rio and Sakura shake hands, renew their rival-cum-friendship of the ring.

Episode 7
The world number wrestler, Jackal Tojo returns to Japan. To commemorate this special event, a special match between her and Misaki is scheduled. There is also a Rookie All Star Match that Jackal is interested to watch to see what new rough diamonds have been coughed up. This gets all the rookies motivate to start training. Want to be noticed? Seems Jackal, Misaki and Kanae know each other. They were once wrestlers in many years ago. Kanae had to withdraw due to a back injury and Misaki was Jackal’s disciple. Back then, Jackal gave the same no-giving-up treatment training to Misaki that she passed down to Sakura. Meanwhile Sweet Diva wins some top idol award thanks to their overwhelming fan support. But of course, Elena isn’t happy. Sakura could have been here together. Although the shock of her continuing pro wrestling still lingers, the Sweet Diva members agree to support Sakura’s decision. Not Elena. She somehow can’t accept it. Misaki is in another BWQ title fight. However her mind is too preoccupied with Jackal’s words that she saw potential in Sakura. She can still overwhelm her opponent while thinking all that? Unfortunately she got careless. As she climbs the ring post and is about to jump, she slips. This one has got to hurt. Misaki is hospitalized for fracturing her ankle. She will be out for a few weeks and they can’t cancel the special match. Refunding will cause them to go bankrupt. Easy. Find a substitute. She will choose one from the Rookie All Star Match. Why not choose one that is more established? Because there are none currently that can live up to her standards so it’s best to take on an up and coming wrestler. Sweet Diva does the opening gig for the Rookie All Star Match. Jackal watches every match and looks like Sakura has caught her attention especially with her somersault special that once again knocks out her opponent. Chinatsu is supposed to face an opponent from Miyabi team when suddenly a mysterious masked wrestler dubbed Blue Panther (supposedly Miyabi’s ‘assassin’) enters the ring to challenge her. Chinatsu is overwhelmed by every move of hers. In addition, Blue Panther barely moves from her spot. In a matter of seconds, Chinatsu is defeated. Sakura chides Blue Panther for hindering a match that was supposed to show their progress. Blue Panther leaves coolly without saying a word. Jackal sees that fiery burning passion in Sakura’s eyes. She has decided. Sakura will be the one to fight her.

Episode 8
Sakura does a few drop kicks on Jackal but nothing that impresses her. Jackal begins her counter attack by dishing out a few basic grapple moves and several variations of Camel Clutch followed by deathlock moves. Then here comes the Boston Crab one and even if it hurts like hell, Sakura won’t give up. However it seems Jackal eases off a little so that Sakura can fight back. With Sakura being able to move, now it’s her turn to counter attack with Boston Crab. Even doing her somersault special does not do very much damage. It’s like Jackal purposely stood there to take the kicks. Sakura does Misaki’s special move on her but that too did not work. However the next move surprises Jackal. She does a variation of Misaki’s special move. Seems Sakura did not come up with this move on the spot. During training, Misaki taught her this move as she wanted to use it on Jackal during their match. Since she couldn’t she passed on this technique to her. Jackal might be surprised but she’s got a lot of energy to be pinned down. Sakura has run out of tricks so Jackal ‘thanks’ her for showing everything she’s got. Now it’s her turn. Jackal imposes some of her special moves like Piledriver, Bow and Arrow, Meteor Suplex and Finish Hold but each time whenever Sakura is about to give up, she releases her as if she wants to continue this torture on her. But on Sakura’s part, she still manages to withstand all the pain and Jackal is impressed that she is the same as them. The kind who can inspire dreams. Sakura is taken out with Jackal’s Super Galaxy move. I guess that’s it for her. Sakura’s fans must be disappointed that she came close to an upset victory but seriously, you’re taking on a world champion and survived so I think it’s good enough. Sakura realizes many points in the match Jackal went easy on her when she could have won. It is to entertain the fans and make room for her to shine. This must be the gap between her and a world class champion. As usual, the wrestlers have to make their end speech. Sakura’s reiterates her love for pro wrestling, wants to be the strongest in the world and vows to defeat Jackal one day. That day would be in the Shangri-La circuit if she makes it that far. Later Jackal meets Misaki and knows she thought her that move. Misaki thanks Jackal for giving Sakura some great experience. Jackal also learnt a thing or two. She was supposed to finish off Sakura with her Comet Buster move but Sakura broke through with her own strength. She went above and beyond her expectations to the very end and might one day surpass them.

Episode 9
The fight with Jackal was awesome. Sakura’s speech was inspiring. And thus that is how high school girl, Moe Fukuoka got so interested in pro wrestling. She enters Berserk like her own home and plays around with the ring. She doesn’t listen to others even if it’s Rio. So she is challenged if she can take down Rio, she’ll be allowed to use the gym however she wants. With a swift kick close to the face, Rio falls down! OMG! Was she shocked by the lightning kick? Turns out that Inoba is Moe’s uncle and currently the high school karate champion. She squeals in delight after seeing Sakura and wants to train with her. Sakura will be her mentor and will accept nobody else. Yeah. Overnight, Sakura just became a teacher. She gives the harsh training she underwent like the favourite Boston Crab but Moe doesn’t give up easily. She even steals the lines she wants to say. Meanwhile Jackal visits Miyabi and sees their top wrestler, Juri Sanada. She knows she was the Blue Panther and wants to know why she crashed into an official match. Juri admits she is that masked wrestler and her aim is to fight Sakura. After a month, Moe has the chance to make her pro debut. That’s right. Hell of 100 Throws. Moe withstands all the slams and Sakura takes over for the final 10. Moe amazingly passes. She wants Sakura as her debut opponent and since she is okay with it, I guess that pretty much settles it. However before that match, Sakura must fight Rio again. Since the score is tied a piece each, this match will settle everything between them once and for all. Before the match starts, Blue Panther crashes in again and knocks out Rio with Sleeper Hold. So effective that Rio had to be stretchered away. Blue Panther reveals her aim to fight Sakura because she isn’t impressed that an amateur like her can easily get into the ring. It’s like she’s taking pro wrestling lightly. If Sakura loses their fight, she must retire from pro wrestling forever. Sakura goes against Misaki’s advice not to accept it since Blue Panther mocked her Berserk pals. She accepts the fight but with condition that if she loses, she must unmask herself and apologize. So the fight is on. But what will be of Sakura and Rio’s fight? Because Blue Panther just fled like blue lightning and Rio is totally out. You mean the fight is not now? Can the audience get a refund?

Episode 10
First, we tackle Moe’s debut match with Sakura. As it gets along, Moe is using her karate chops with her punches and kicks. Is this a wrestling or karate match? This has Sakura review back what Moe asked her. She was asked if she missed being an idol. In order to become a pro wrestler, Moe abandoned everything in karate. She knows she cannot go back to karate and is nervous. She can’t give up halfway either. That’s why she can’t stop thinking if she did the right thing. Moe catches Sakura by surprise with some of her grapple moves. However as an amateur, she didn’t know how to pace herself and loses stamina, allowing Sakura to come back. At several times Sakura wants to end the match seeing Moe is out of steam but each time she is pinned down, Moe gets back up. It’s like she refuses to throw in the towel. Sakura finally knocks her out with her somersault move. Although Moe lost, she had fun. So did the crowd. They can expect her to be stronger next time. Sakura trains with Rio before her match with Blue Panther. From Misaki, they know Blue Panther is Juri. She and Misaki were from Berserk and always competed till she left to form Miyabi a year ago. In terms of ranking, Juri ranks higher than Misaki in the Shangri-La circuit. We shift our attention to Sweet Diva for a moment. After completing their nationwide tour, they will be departing for a world tour. Everyone’s work hard and excited but Elena… And so the match between Sakura and Blue Panther is here. It’s a match both sides can’t lose. It’ll be a shame if Sakura retires. I mean, Rio is starting to like her, right? Before the match starts, Blue Panther walks up to Sakura and unmasks herself. She doesn’t need it anymore because she came this far. Guess who? It can’t be Juri because she’s sitting next to Jackal. OMG! OMG! OMFG!!!! BLUE PANTHER IS ELENA!!!!!!!!! Didn’t see this coming, huh, Sakura? Can she bring herself to fight her idol friend-cum-rival?

Episode 11
Why Elena? Why?! She’s here to take Sakura back to Sweet Diva and find out her true feelings. If Sakura wants to continue pro wrestling, she must beat her and sever ties with Sweet Diva. Because if she doesn’t have the resolve, there is no point continuing. Elena doesn’t waste any time getting at Sakura like as though she’s her worst enemy. Juri explains that a week after Sakura defeated Rio, she felt guilty for making Sakura go to pro wrestling and wanted to experience the same pain as her. It’s amazing she managed to take some time out of her hectic idol schedule to train every day. She was so determined that Juri wanted to respond to that determination and saw great expectations in her. From that day Elena donned the mask known as Blue Panther and trained hard as she felt the only way to bring Sakura back was by her own hands. However up till now, Juri was the one who donned the Blue Panther mask when she crashed into official matches. Jackal feels how similar this tragic story is. For Sakura-Elena case was something that happened to Misaki-Juri a long time ago. Elena does not relent and goes on the offensive, piling the pressure to force Sakura to give up but she won’t. The fight even falls outside the ring (only legal for 20 seconds. WTF) and Elena doesn’t even hesitate to continue her Kneebar move. More Kneebar back in the ring and this scene hurts Elena more than Sakura. But the crowd loves it because it’s not just idol bimbos in a cat fight but real pro wrestling. Hmm… Idols duking it out in the ring. A treat or nightmare? Any more Kneebar moves will definitely break Sakura’s leg. Sakura manages to pin Elena down but the referee delays in counting which allows Elena to bounce back. Seems Elena is almost at her limit. Due to the lack of real fights, she doesn’t have the stamina and experience and the signs are showing. I mean, she can’t be going around to gain such experience if she’s going to keep her double life a secret, right? Now it’s Sakura’s turn to fight back. Boston Crab for her and the Kneebar right back at her. However due to her weakened leg, Sakura’s somersault move packs no punch. Just when Sakura thought she had Elena in her grasp, the latter slips from it and pulls off Juri’s special move and locks her in a Spider’s Web. So hard the lock that Sakura passes out. Oh no. Could she be done for real?

Episode 12
The power of Misaki’s voice must have woke up Sakura. Enough power to even lift Elena still locking her into the air and slam! The exchange of blows even continues temporarily outside the ring. Elena can see for herself why Sakura is strong. There is resilience in her moves that makes her don’t want to lose. Sakura once more does the somersault but this is not to finish her. She gets on the ring post and jumps. Elena is too weak to move and takes the full brunt of the slam. The referee counts to three and Sakura wins! Now that the fighting is over, it’s time for some emotional drama. Although Elena admits defeat, she starts crying she can’t let this go. She cannot accept things as it is and really wants her to come back to Sweet Diva. She can only be herself when Sakura is around. It is her dream to compete with her and make Sweet Diva the best idol group in the world. The fans are also calling for Sakura’s return. If that’s not enough, the rest of the Sweet Diva members are here too. Sakura, please come back! However this dilemma isn’t just Sakura’s problem as she has now 2 sets of fans. The Sweet Diva Sakura fan and the pro wrestling Sakura fan. Since she can’t decide, Jackal enters the ring. She wants Sakura to come to Shangri-La where her next stage should be. Sakura would love to be on the world stage but she feels she can’t cut off Sweet Diva entirely. Jackal doesn’t see a problem. Because she’s going to do both! Because being an idol and pro wrestler involves moving the hearts of millions and Sakura has what it takes. But can she handle both? It’s not the question of can or not. She will! Because she has things she cannot abandon, don’t abandon them. Whether she makes it half-assed or not is up to her. Not just Sakura but Elena as well. She too will do both. But what about the promise of this match that the loser must retire? Juri tells her not to lie to herself. From the match, she herself knows that she wants to continue and get stronger. With the fans chanting Sakura and Elena’s name, it’s time to give their answer. They’ll do both and give it their best shot to provide first class entertainment and be the world’s strongest. That nicely said, everybody is happy. Which means the fighting ring has just become a stage for Sweet Diva to put on a concert. How convenient. Sweet Diva strut their stuff much to the fan’s delight and Sakura hasn’t lost her touch as an idol. Few months down the road, seems this is the hectic schedule for Sakura and Elena. After every idol concert, they rush (in this scene, run by foot) to the wrestling stadium. Geez, can’t they take a taxi? To say, they’ve got lots of energy to get there, get into a wrestling match and then get back for another idol concert? Crazy! But they just love it.

Specials
What is the use of having such fanservice if you don’t take full advantage of it and put it into short 3 minutes DVD specials? Although there are 6 of them, I only watched the first 5. The first 3 specials see Sakura in some sort of special training with Misaki (and joined in by other fellow Berserk wrestlers, especially Kanae who is eager to enter the fray). Yeah. A blatant excuse to see the girls in fanservice-y ambiguous moves and positions and including bare tits. Heck, there is even some sort of history from the past how this training came to be. Special 1 has them in mud wrestling, Special 2 has them in oil wrestling and Special 3 has them soaking in a very hot boiling tub. I don’t know how such training can be considered to be the final steps in becoming a true Berserk pro wrestler. Okay, maybe you have got to respect them for being able to move and grapple in such situations. But then again, remember why we are here for? For the remaining 3 specials, it is a tag team match between Sakura-Misaki against Yumbo-Hornet for the BWQ title in a best-of-three-rounds. Special 4 sees Sakura-Misaki taking the first round easily before baddies Yumbo-Hornet owning Sakura with lots of pain and take the second round. And in Special 5, Sakura’s beat up continues but she manages to tag in Misaki to deliver the decisive blow for the win. Of course Yumbo and Hornet being true baddies aren’t going to take this loss quietly as they launch a full assault on the duo. Yeah, playing dirty but that’s what this kind of wrestling is about. With our heroines in a pinch, can they turn the tables in their favour? Although I didn’t see Special 6 (as it hasn’t come out at this time), I have a good idea how it will turn out. Unless…

Scream Fest! Fellowship Of The Ring!
Well… Am I entertained? As far as this anime is concerned, then yes. Because there are busty babes and some cool wrestling moves that kept me glued to the screen instead of catching myself yawning. Thank God none of the latter. So that is why in terms of such definition of entertainment as an anime from an average otaku guy like me, yes, this series has its fair share of entertainment value. I won’t go so far to say it has top quality entertainment because I wasn’t screaming for a sequel when it ends nor do I crave to see more women pro wrestling or the slightest bit get interested in the sport that WWE of America is so famous for. And that is so much about it.

My main gripe in the series (of course I have them) is the screaming. Mostly from Sakura in the first half of the series when she is an amateur. It was disheartening and to a point annoying to hear her screaming in pain but I guess when you are in that painful submission position, it is only natural for us to be screaming out loud. Sometimes I pity Sakura for being twisted into almost such un-human-like positions but that is what wrestling is all about. But the way she screams really got to me that I had to lower my volume whenever she does that or else my family members would be thinking I am watching some sort of kinky sex video. Really! I kid you not! As the series progresses, although Sakura still screams, it is more ‘bearable’ because I guess once you have gotten too much of the same punishment, you get immune to it. There is less ‘annoyance’ in her screaming like as though she has learnt to control it as a pro.

One of the best and interesting parts of this series is the pro wrestling moves. What? You were expecting me to say the fanservice? Hold on. We’ll get to that later but I want to make a point that the wrestling moves here are interesting. At least from an otaku who knows nothing about the wrestling world. As cautioned at the end of each episodes, each of the moves seen here are real so viewers are strongly advised not to try them anywhere, anytime and on anybody. Let professionals handle it. So you can bet that all the moves are definitely real and do exist and not made up or even go as far as some sort of super power magical stunt. Phew. I don’t know if that qualifies as pro wrestling anymore. Probably I was too absorbed in watching the wrestling (and mind you, not the girls) that sometimes I feel the pain too. Get what I mean? Watching the girls bend their bodies that sometimes would make gymnastics look like child’s play, at times I could feel myself clutching my own leg, hands, body, back or whatever part I could grab on while watching the pain of the submission move. The thought of their bones may break any time also made me mine feel as brittle and could break just by watching. Not even the fanservice could save this part. For me. The body bending was just too overwhelming in some scenes.

Okay, now to the fanservice part. Being a women’s pro wrestling sport, viewers would already beforehand know that there will be lots of boobs shoots and crotch shots especially when the wrestlers do their submission move, some of them look like ambiguous sex positions. Heck, you might say that every submission and grapple move is a form of twisted S&M play! Don’t you agree? Well, if you’re a pervert you might look at it that way. So if you are unlike me who is too engrossed in ‘feeling the pain’ of the body bending moves, you might be enjoying the many zoom-ins and angles of those delicious boobs and crotch shots littered throughout the matches of this series. Thus to make up for the lack of seeing girls in their underwear or a chance to get a peak from the Sweet Diva idols (you wish), the pro wrestling ladies here in their leotard should satiate fanservice in this department. I won’t say that their outfits are skimpy but you can’t be wearing tight outfits that cover every part of your skin, right? How are you going to sweat and let your skin breath? And because we already know this is pro wrestling, the thought of seeing the ladies in sexy (if you can call it that) leotards just doesn’t cross our mind since it is already given. Pro wrestling and spandex go together.

A thing that boggles me is the body structure of the women wrestlers. Let me start off with Sakura and Elena first. They have been training for months and to be a pro wrestler, I am sure that they need to do a lot of power training to increase their stamina and strength. That translates to bulging muscles, right? Even if they don’t look like the Hulk, at least there should be some muscles or small biceps that are visible. However they don’t really seem to have that making it feels a little superficial. I know they are idols and they have a svelte body figure but in the case of Sakura who has been training a lot, you would think to at least see some muscles on her forearm or biceps. Not only them, the other wrestlers too feel the same from Jackal to Misaki. In terms of this look, the only wrestlers I am ‘convinced’ are those with huge bodies like Yumbo. Now that looks like the body a pro wrestler. Oh wait. Sumo wrestler maybe… The only reason why this effect doesn’t seem obvious is because of the outfit. It’s probably the tight leotards and the way you see their huge breasts and cleavage being shown that makes the female wrestlers look like wrestlers instead of models in underwear. Serious.

Just another point to ponder. After Elena and especially Sakura who have taken in so many body blows, how come they can still maintain their beautiful face and figure? I guess that is why this is possible in anime. Or you can say that wrestling is fake (like WWE?) and that everybody is acting. But like I have said in the previous paragraphs, the moves and techniques are real that even I feel the pain. Unless they’re pretty darn good actresses. Entertainers would be a better term. So you don’t see the bruises on their faces and body after so much grappling and slamming, does this show they have done so much training to withstand the pain? Or did they activate some fast healing spell. Just kidding. Otherwise, I think viewers would be disheartened to see pretty girls having messed up looks. Especially fans of them. Who would like to see their pretty idol getting beaten up all over? Here’s another point to ponder: For the wrestlers to take in so much pain and at the end of it love the sport? Doesn’t that make the characters some sort of masochists and the audiences sadist? Also, I want to point out about the animation of the ‘audiences’. Yes, those unimportant extras just to fill the ring just to show us the importance and value of the match. It isn’t obvious at first but if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that they are CGI. What is so bad about that? Well, it feels like there is some sort of mismatch between the CGI and 2D animation. Besides, the animation of the CGI makes the audiences look and move like puppets. It’s like unreal. It’s like lame. But since we’re not really paying attention to them, it doesn’t really matter.

Now to go rant about the characters. As we see, this is what happens to most of us. We get a little taste of something, the next thing we know, we totally dig this new exciting thing. The case for Sakura as she found her true calling in pro wrestling after a revenge match. So as not to displease the fans of both sides, they have her do both her new wrestling passion as well as continue her existing idol job. If you ask me, it sounds impossible although there is a slight chance it can be done. That will take a lot of energy (enough energy to create the universe, I supposedly exaggerate), accurate time management and one hell of a burning passion. The flame is still going strong in Sakura and now Elena as well. When Sakura first began as an amateur and made her pro debut in an infamous way of losing over 50 matches, many would have written off and lost faith in her. You might call her a dumb idol trying to be in a game she is not suited for but don’t you see? After 50 straight loses, she still doesn’t give up! This is the important thing which most people fail to see. She never gives up even at times when she is close too. Of course, there are times she really would want to give in but with a little push from her friends and mentor, she draws strength from an unknown reserve to persevere till the end. Sakura’s perseverance should be a lesson to us all about work and life. See? Who says this is a dumb wrestling anime with fanservice only? You could learn a thing or two.

I feel Elena was like being a tsundere. She really wants Sakura back but couldn’t find a better way than to persuade her via wrestling. I guess this is the only way. You have to beat her in her own game. Elena is like what most people will call a true friend and a true rival. You rarely get this nowadays. So they turned the final arc of the anime into some sort of Sweet Diva internal fighting in the form of an official pro wrestling match. Hey, it’s better for them to take out their emotions this way instead of those live reality TV footage of showing their catty cat fight backstage, on stage and off stage drama. Like we haven’t got enough of those lately. Other characters feel sufficient but nothing more about them like Misaki, Jackal and Kanae’s past or the past between Misaki and Juri. This season is mainly about Sakura. We’re here to see pro wrestling (with fanservice) and not some teary emotional drama? Sakura and Rio once hated each other’s guts now become friends-cum-rivals. Their third match is still unsettled. Moe somewhat feels like a waste of time and perhaps it is unfair to me to say that since she doesn’t get lots of screen time. She debuted after halfway through and her introduction just feels like they wanted to make a filler episode before Sakura’s ultimate showdown with fate. Perhaps she’ll shine more in the future. That is, provided if they make another season. In which, I too predict the tough and weird opponents Sakura and Elena will face when they tour Shangri-La circuit. Hmm… Tag team pro wrestling… Sakura and Elena… Has anybody thought of that for this anime?

At first it was odd for me to hear Ayana Taketatsu behind the voice of Sakura. She is fine with Sakura as an idol. It is just that when she was screaming as a wrestler that I felt weird. This girl who was the voice of Kirino in OreImo, Azusa of K-ON!, Kotori in Date A Live and even Fuu of Tamayura, screaming like that? I don’t know if I’m feeling discouraged or not. However I have to respect her for doing so because it is not easy screaming like that for half the time. Well, she certainly ‘convinced’ me that it is definitely pain (duh) in that position. Looks pain, sounds pain, must be very painful. Yeah. Duh. There are a handful of popular seiyuus lending their voice to this anime as well. Kana Asumi as Elena (putting on a serious tone like Kaoru in Tamayura), Haruka Tomatsu as Rio (putting up that hoarse voice like Ranmaru in Binbougami Ga), Kana Hanazawa as Juri (not in retard mode here), Hisako Kanemoto as Moe (no “~de geso” so I couldn’t recognize this Shinryaku! Ika Musume’s Ika-chan), Rina Satou as Kanae (sounds like a perverted version of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Misaka especially when she narrates the next episode preview) and Eri Kitamura as Makoto (didn’t put up her trademark high voice like Rin in Kodomo No Jikan so I couldn’t recognize her and partly due to her limited appearance). Other casts include Chiaki Takahashi as Jackal (Nanami in School Days), Suzuko Mimori as Chinatsu (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) and Kyouko Narumi as Misaki (Nasuno in Teekyuu). The opening theme by Kyouko Narumi, Beautiful Dreamer may be fitting for a sports themed anime like this one but I don’t find it appealing. Instead, I prefer the very idol-like ending theme, Fan Fanfare by Sweet Diva (that includes the voices of Ayana Taketatsu and Kana Asumi and the rest who voiced the other members of Sweet Diva).

It makes me wonder if Sakura is exposed to more of other stuffs, would she get addicted to it and find another new passion. I mean, had pro wrestling not be on the agenda and something else, say, motor-cross bike racing, would she have developed a new infatuation for it? Because if you think about it, just about everything from movies to sports and even books, they have a potential to entertain people. And I believe Sakura is a person who strongly believes in providing top class entertainment to her audiences. So in addition to pro wrestling, imagine if she has taken up tennis, a cooking variety show, a disaster relief and emergency volunteer, writing a novel, a leading role in the most anticipated movie of the century or even a stand up comedian. She finds all these are suitable for her and decides to go for all of them instead of abandoning them. Wow. I don’t know how she’ll manage it but I think she will burnout faster than an insect’s life. So many interesting things to do in life but so limited time. Yeah. Maybe she should consider going into the porn industry too and do some adult videos. Holy cow! Please don’t defile the pure Sakura!!!

I don’t know what people consider now as in this age as entertainment. Mixing idols and pro wrestling seems to be a dangerous combination. It can be both lethal and entertaining depending on how you see it. I hope this won’t happen: All of the 150 Sweet Diva members (that is the total amount of members including the top 5 at the forefront – I wonder how a stage is going to feature all of them) becoming pro wrestlers and as part of the after-concert, they get into a messy free-for-all battle-royale king-of-the-ring brawl. You get all your action and excitement from the singing and wrestling. Cute and dangerous girls in cute and dangerous outfits doing cute and dangerous moves. All in one just for you. I don’t think that would be entertainment anymore. That would be just sick. I won’t be watching this crap if it ever happens. Ever.