Don’t try this at home, kids! (No really it had a disclaimer and everything)

If you know anything about the notorious idol group AKB48 and its many regional spawn, you may know that it’s not uncommon for idol groups to take on bizarre, quirky little jobs as interest pieces and for publicity.  Sakura Hagiwara had just been voted the centre-mic (ie, the leader) of the popular idol group Sweet Diva, and her and her rival Erena have been tasked to try a spot of women’s pro-wrestling for the hell of it. The girls’ underestimation of the sport enrages one pro-wrestling veteran who teaches them a lesson, and then, when said veteran proceeds to ‘underestimate’ idols, this enrages Sakura enough to challenge her to a duel on live television. The rough and tumble of pro-wrestling is very different to Sakura’s normal pristine and sparkly idol life, but maybe she’s on to something…

Gee I wonder what the target audience of this show is.

It seems like we could be in for another sports anime boom, with fare of interest to male and female fans, so it shouldnt be too much of a surprise to have one aimed squarely at booby fans. While I’m not that into sports myself, I do like the idea of sports anime with mainly female casts and heartwarming tales of female friendship. There could be some of this in here, but that’s clearly not the main appeal for this show’s demographic. I am…not in this demographic. The pro-wrestling gimmick is pretty unique, but there’s only so much women squealing in highly suggestive pain as their breasts heave that I can take before I start to feel just a little uncomfortable. And there’s a LOT of this.
If that sounds like a grand old time to you, then Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai could be worth looking into – it’s pretty solid as far as fanservice anime go (the animation was a little mediocre in places, though) and the main girl Sakura does have a fiery streak that’s a little admirable. (idiotic as the ‘I HAVE NEVER TRIED PRO-WRESTLING IN MY LIFE BUT I WILL FIGHT YOU AND BEAT YOU ON LIVE TELEVISION’ idea she had was.) The story has set itself up in a typical shonen way; with Sakura vowing to go pro so that she can face off against the vicious veteran again, and, presumably, go even further (the title means ‘wanna be the strongest in the world’, which is great because I like the idea of female characters being super powerful, I just wish we didn’t have to fetishize their pain.) It’s, at least, a relatively unique spin on that shonen tournament formula.
I can’t say I particularly enjoyed the episode as all the blatant lycra-covered vulva closeups and humiliation fetishation was pretty uncomfortable, but it’s definitely going to find its audience with no problem.  Interestingly, I’m not actually as angry about it as I feel I should be. Maybe I’m just subconsciously glad it’s not a school anime about girls who want to bang their brother.

This was…pretty much the entire last 10 minutes of the episode.

Out of 5,