Wanna Be the Strongest in the World!, also known as Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! is the story of center vocal and leader of the pop idol group “Sweet Diva”, Sakura Hagiwara. As a publicity assignment for her idol group, Sakura and her fellow idol and friend Elena Miyazawa took part in a wrestling reality show appearance at the gym of revered wrestling team “Berserk”. It is there that they meet the very proud Rio Kazama, who takes offense that pop idols would presume that professional wrestling could be easy. An altercation occurs between Rio and Elena, leaving Elena hurt and Sakura hell-bent on avenging her as well as the name of Sweet Diva. She issues a challenge to Rio and is subsequently launched into the world of professional wrestling.
This is the event that starts our twelve episode journey with Sakura as she discovers her hidden potential as a professional wrestler and embarks on a journey to be the strongest in the world. Along the way, viewers will be treated to a varied cast of characters from this world of wrestling, which appears to be somewhere between flashy theatrical wrestling and submission grappling. As the cover art for this series indicates, there will be scantily clad wrestlers abound to titillate the viewer. Earning its TV-MA rating, the series is filled with wrestlers being put in compromising positions as our view pans over their contorted bodies.
Our protagonist, being unskilled but determined at the beginning of her wrestling career, is often placed in painful positions during her early career. This results in a great deal of screaming and whimpering during early match sequences, including the flash-forward series opening. Sakura is frequently thwarted by a single hold early in her career, resulting in an extremely long losing streak. She eventually loses most of her fans supporting her due to her previous idol career as she is again and again forced into submission by the Boston crab hold. But (minor spoiler) she does eventually overcome this extremely panty-shot conducive submission hold over time and discovers the strength to success as a professional wrestler.
I will say that Wanna Be the Strongest in the World is more than just boobs and butts, if only slightly. There is a ton of ecchi action throughout the series, but there is some merit beyond that. Though I feel that some characters were largely around for decoration, the dynamics between Sakura, Elena and Rio do evolve through the course of the series. Some of the motivations behind the actions of the main characters were a bit nonsensical, but these leaps in reasoning can be forgiven, given the premise of the series.
However, this series isn’t marketed for its narrative qualities. Wanna Be the Strongest in the World is primarily marketed as an ecchi series with its characters’ assets put prominently on display. There is no shortage of panty-shots, full-body pans and bouncing breasts in this series. Wrestling sequences are especially filled with gratuitous eye candy and whimpering noises primarily from our main character.
Wanna Be the Strongest in the World doesn’t have a lot of depth, but I don’t expect people to be purchasing it for its depth. If you’re looking for a moving tale of overcoming personal hardship, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for big breasts in tight wrestling uniforms, this would be the series for you.