Wanna Be the Strongest in the World! or Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! is a professional wrestling anime adapted from the manga by ESE and Kiyohito Natsuki.
The plot of Wanna be the Strongest in the World! follows the idol and member of the group Sweet Diva Sakura Hagiwara as she attempts to become a professional wrestler. The reason for this was that one of her fellow Sweet Diva members, Elena Miyazawa, received a beating from professional wrestler Rio Kazama.
The main protagonist, Sakura Hagiwara, is usually cheerful and bright. She would put her idol group before her feelings, but discovering professional wrestling brings about a change in her. She will try her best at whatever she turns her hand to.
Elena Miyazawa is Sakura’s rival in Sweet Diva. She is strong-minded and something of a tomboy. Sakura is extremely important to her.
Professional wrestler Rio Kazama is the one responsible for Sakura’s determination to become a professional wrestler. She believes that idols have no place in the ring.
As you would expect from an anime about professional wrestling, there are many other characters. Some are merely obstacles to be overcome, whilst others actually receive characterisation and have backgrounds rather similar to Sakura’s.
Wanna be the Strongest in the World!‘s first half wasn’t all that impressive, to be honest. Having to watch Sakura constantly crying out in pain and giving up really made it difficult to enjoy.
However, once that first half is over, things start to improve a lot. Sakura becomes a lot better at professional wrestling, even developing her own special move. With the arrival of the masked wrestler Blue Panther, things start to get really interesting.
In addition to that, the anime also shows Elena’s feelings as Sakura drifts further away from being an idol.
Also, the twist at the end of the tenth episode was a great surprise.
The soundtrack is all right; particularly the tracks used during actual matches. Of course, there are Sweet Diva’s performances as well, but that’s just not my type of music. Still, if you are into idols, there’s no harm in listening to their songs.
Fanservice is rampant in this anime. Male gaze is very much a thing, and the wrestlers’ choice of clothing often appears to be rather tight. With Sakura constantly crying out in pain, I recommend watching this one with the volume turned down or with headphones.
My personal highlight would have to be the final wrestling match. Both characters are fighting desperately for their beliefs, and it is actually fairly enjoyable to watch.
If you can get past the first half, the fanservice and the constant cries of pain, there is actually a fairly decent anime to be seen here.