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Wanna Be Strongest in World
Wanna Be The Strongest in the World is a wrestling anime series based upon a manga created by ESE and Kiyohito Natsuki. The series was produced and animated by Studio Arms. The series was licensed by Funimation Entertainment for the US release.
The series setup focuses on a girl named Sakura who is part of a pop-music group called Sweet Diva. Sakura is the lead vocalist of the music group. The group is successful and has a lot of fans. The music group isn't the only thing which Sakura becomes a part of though as she will eventually go on to become a member of a pro wrestling team.
One day, a pro wrestler named Rio Kazama is in a wrestling match against fellow band member Elena. The match is horrifying and Elena is badly beaten up by opponent Rio. Deciding to face down Rio in a wrestling match herself, Sakura decides to become a wrestler who can avenge band-member Elena by defeating Rio. Sakura joins the Berserk Wrestlers team: an all-girl professional wrestling team.
The series was written by Kazuho Hyodo (Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom) and directed by Rion Kujo (Asu no yoichi!). The music score is by Kayo Konishi and Yukio Kondo (House of Five Leaves, Challenged). As this is a pro-sports anime series the focus of the show in on the sport of wrestling. The idea of the show is largely centered on showing the wrestling matches.
The concept for the show is something that might appeal to anime fans who like pro wrestling, but for most others the series might not be as appealing. The series has disturbing violence. It seems unnecessarily violent and this is something that is a negative with regards to the series.
Series art direction is by Minoru Maeda (Dragon Ball Z). The animation by Studio Arms is actually pretty sub-par looking with static animation during some moments and cheap CG gimmicks for some background animation. The character designs are over-the-top. This production feels limited in budget and is not anywhere near a high-quality level of craft.
Funimation presents Wanna Be The Strongest in the World on Blu-ray with a technically impressive 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer which preserves the 1.78:1 widescreen original television broadcast aspect ratio. The image has bold colors and good clarity. The presentation is generally solid looking but there is a minor issue with brightness levels. The release also has ever-so-slight banding.
The audio on this release is generally solid. The release includes two lossless audio options: one English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound presentation and one Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 stereo audio presentation. Either option should prove satisfactory with decent lossless audio. However, the 5.1 sound mix will have some improvements in bass reproduction and be a bit more robust sounding than the original 2.0 stereo audio mix.
English subtitles are provided.
This is a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack release.
On disc supplements include: 2 episode commentaries (featuring English dub VA's), 6 OVA short episodes (which run a total length equivalent to one standard episode), textless opening and closing credits, the U.S. trailer, and trailers for other releases from Funimation Entertainment.
Unless viewers are fans of pro-wrestling, Wanna Be The Strongest in the World is a series that should be skipped. This sports anime seems excessive, over-the-top, and ridiculously violent. Funimation has done a solid job with regards to the quality of the release but the series itself feels sub-par.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.