Out of My Comfort Zone (12th Day of Anime)

If you missed my announcement yesterday, I’m doing the 12 Days of Anime from Appropriant. People like Isaac Akers (iblessall) and Irina are doing it too, so be sure to check out as many posts as you can without being lost in the deluge – there’s a lot of us anibloggers doing it almost simultaneously!

As for what’s in this post…this shows 0% originality, but I guess it’s the opinions that count…

(In case you don’t get why this shows 0% originality, the post/prompt I’m replying to is this one from Scott.)

The out-of-my-comfort-zone show in question is Wanna Be the Strongest in the World!/Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!, and the reason it was eligible for the 12 Days of Anime despite its coming from 2013 was because I watched it over a long weekend in September 2017.

At first, the reason I watched it was because Crunchyroll said their rights on this show were running out. (There was another show – Mahou Shoujo Taisen, also known as Magica Wars – which was getting pulled around the same time, but I didn’t have the heart to deal with it past episode 2.)

I thought it would be an interesting challenge to tackle a show that was so out of left field from my usual fare, I might even drop it after one episode. After all, it’s ecchi and bishoujo wrestling, all in one – my tastes lie on the exact opposite end of the spectrum. By the way, I didn’t know anything about wrestling aside from a bit of information about what the heck a heel and kayfabe were, from the fact Yuichiro Umehara was voicing Tiger the Dark in Tiger Mask W.

Then I discovered this show was on another streaming service just as I got to about episode 6, so it was pointless to watch the show anyway since the other service was a lot more stable in regards to show offerings. I still continued with it on Crunchyroll, because the priority shifted to completing the show.

It turns out I can’t get a show out of my head, I want to keep talking about it and consuming more about it if I binge. Yes, even if I deliberately picked a trash show out of my element so I could apply the brakes more easily, I want to know more about shows. Binge watching and my yandere-like tendency to tear into shows whatever way I can if I don’t apply some mental restraint is a terrible thing, indeed.

For those who don’t know why I referred to Wanna Be the Strongest in the World! as a trash show, it is.

Aside from the old shonen shtick (it’s in the name, after all) and some minimal cosmetic/strength differences between the wrestlers, you don’t learn much about the characters, about wrestling or recovery from wrestling (because Sakura is in pain and/or contorted into strange positions a lot) – a lot of the show is seeing the wrestling matches one after another, with not much explanation behind technique aside from calling out names that don’t hold much significance to anyone that isn’t a wrestling fan (however, Sakura’s signature move is the “Sakura Special”, which just seems lazy on the creator’s part). It’s not particularly fascinating to look at, aside from its blatant fanservice. It’s forgettable as a bingewatch, since a lot of the content is recycled and the only mystery is the identity of a character called Blue Panther. (Plus there is a gratuitous ad for Wanna Be the Strongest in the World!‘s home magazine, Comic Earth Star, found in one corner of the ring which brings to mind a meta version of the advertising in Minority Report, but I digress.)

Furthermore, I’m surprised I got through Wanna Be the Strongest in the World! at all, let alone the fact I got thrown by who Blue Panther really was. Blue Panther was Sakura’s idol buddy Elena, but the show did manage to play her trainer Juri up as this wrestler instead due to their signature move being the same. However, that and the Panther’s appearance were the only clues offered to the Panther’s identity, meaning it was more likely to have been a lack of information rather than genuine suspense which led up to the mascara contra cabellera match which facilitated the Panther’s reveal(The show uses terminology through demonstration by the way, meaning only wrestling fans will get what terms mean without stopping to Google – mascara contra cabellera means “mask vs. hair”, referring to what the loser has to sacrifice.)

I don’t think this series will ever be memorable for anyone, so really the only lesson is to exercise more caution when watching shows that will be removed from Crunchyroll and to avoid the shows I’ve always been avoiding.

One thing’s for sure though – aside from Nobunagun, which was kinda decent from my sampling of it, I’m going to stay away from Comic Earth Star stuff. The only other series I’ve dealt with that originated there was Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Iidesukara…and you’ve never heard me talk about that show for a reason.

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