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Pile of Shame - Wanna-Be's


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Bamble



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:10 am Reply with quote
Reading this I was reminded of just how much I rated Kenichi Sonoda's character designs. I always thought it was a great pity that he pretty much dropped out of anime not long after the split with Artmic.
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 387
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:24 am Reply with quote
[quote="GVman"]
Quote:
And while I'm still typing, Daryl Surat might've been a good guest writer to have done this article. The man's a pro-wrastlin' fan; he might've been able to shed some light on a few bits and pieces of Japanese ladies' wrestling culture.


Putting aside that this column, much like a good deal of what I do myself, is a driving mechanism for the author to put a dent in their unwatched media pile...listen to what you're saying, man! If that happened, then I'd have to WATCH Wanna-Be's!

Honestly, the passage of time has been a little kinder to this one. In the days when CPM first released it, Wanna-Be's was often mentioned in the same breath as Roots Search, Dog Soldier, Crystal Triangle, MD Geist, and the like as far as "worst anime released in the US." (Yes, I too noticed that all those examples were CPM releases!) But Wanna-Be's isn't really in the same league as those others since by comparison, it's just rather dull and middle-of-the-road. Now that we're decades later, divorced [somewhat] from the negative perceptions of what "anime" meant at the time, I now find those other titles rather enjoyable since they're no longer held up as the representative poster child for what Japanese animation entails.

But this remains somewhat forgettable. It won't be showing up on the channels of too many "zany" Youtube "reviewers" since there's no cheesy dub and the only comical bit you can pull out of context and show for a laugh comes at the end. Now that Kenichi Sonoda character designs and the general 80s animation aesthetic aren't present in popular anime, you can go back and say "well, this is pretty all right" about this.

I'd probably still rewatch this one over Genesis Survivor Gaiarth though.

CountZeroOR wrote:
From what I can tell, the most influential figure in Japanese pro wrestling who wasn't from Japan (or Korea) was Stan Hansen, who was notorious for working incredibly stiff due to his poor eyesight - he couldn't tell when to start pulling his punches, so he never bothered to pull his punches in the first place.


Hansen is probably my first pick as well, though good arguments could be made in favor of Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer, Dory and Terry Funk, Mark "Rollerball" Rocco, and Tom "Dynamite Kid" Billington.

Japanese women's wrestling from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s is a rather fascinating subject, since it marks the only time in history that a significant viewing and attending audience demographic for pro wrestling was teenage girls. Imagine the type of audience that'd show up for a One Direction/Justin Bieber/Jonas Brothers sort of concert act. That's who the main target audience was. If anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about, watch say, the first four minutes of this (or skip to around the 3:30 mark if your Internet attention span is about 30 seconds). Much as with Japanese women's volleyball and other sports, I get the feeling that the narrative aesthetics of these sorts of character archetypes and actions must have influenced shojo manga for the time. But as most of that material has never been brought over into English, I can only work off of limited information.

Wanna-Be's is clearly not for THAT audience--it's for the less numerous yet more individually affluent older male crowd whom they gradually shifted over to targeting--but it did come out at the height of that mania. Most of us would have never gotten a chance to see this stuff between our ages and the fact that getting videos from Japan used to be hard. But nowadays, everything in the world is on Youtube.

For most of this year, I've been scouring Youtube, DailyMotion etc for bits of this material, and every week I put up a 2 hour playlist of it at this address, where the list loops in succession for a week. There's almost always a women's pro wrestling match from the time when Wanna-Be's was culturally relevant there. I switch the list over Wednesdays at 8 PM Eastern if anyone cares. Few people do, but much like this column, it's a driving mechanism for me to put a dent in my unwatched media pile!
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YotaruVegeta



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 1048
Location: New York
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:27 am Reply with quote
I watched a clip of this (it's the scene with the monster pictured in the review) and it's was awkwardly animated action for half of the clip. Then there is a fade to black and there is a new scene where Erin is held out a window, and I felt like the A-team was back on, because the action improved.

That clip ends in a way where I want to see more, actually. It took a turn I didn't expect.
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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 6027
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:55 pm Reply with quote
This is what "I Wanna be the Strongest" should have been. It's strange that no one has made an actual female wrestling anime.

Last edited by v1cious on Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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YotaruVegeta



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 1048
Location: New York
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:05 pm Reply with quote
I think I don't want either. I just want a more straight-up wrestling show.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1772
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:09 pm Reply with quote
v1cious wrote:
This is what "I Wanna be the Strongest" should have been. It's strange that no one has made an actual female wrestling anime. S


There is Fighting Beauty Wulong, though I'm not quite sure how much of that is "wrestling" & how much is more "battles that happens to take place in a squared ring".
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:33 pm Reply with quote
v1cious wrote:
This is what "I Wanna be the Strongest" should have been. It's strange that no one has made an actual female wrestling anime. S

Ayane's High Kick was about an aspiring wrestler who was tricked into becoming a kick-boxer instead; is that close enough?

It's also way too short, though.
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3758
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:50 am Reply with quote
Bamble wrote:
Reading this I was reminded of just how much I rated Kenichi Sonoda's character designs. I always thought it was a great pity that he pretty much dropped out of anime not long after the split with Artmic.


Agreed, always wanted more shows with his designs.
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