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Wanna Be’s

There aren’t a whole lot of anime that are dedicated to the sport of wrestling, and when one looks for some usually about half of what they find is related to Kinnikuman. So, Wanna Be’s is a rare find indeed, even more so that it’s about female wrestlers. That being said, it shouldn’t be mistaken with Wanna Be the Strongest in the World, a more recent wrestling anime featuring women. They’re not related whatsoever. Wanna Be’s is a fun 45 minute OVA full of action and not much else.

The show centers around two women named Miki and Eri who are in a tag team called the Wanna Be’s. After watching another pair of women in Dream Team get demolished in the ring, the pair are called up to take their place. Both Miki and Eri are very serious about the sport and spend most of their time training. However, unbeknownst to them, their coach has been pumping them full of substances that will give the girls super strength. From there, the story focuses on the Wanna Be’s training to be able to defeat the wrestlers who took down the Dream Team, as well as a show down with the corporation that was supplying all of the technology and drugs to make them so strong. So, as was mentioned earlier, there isn’t a whole lot to Wanna Be’s story. It’s just a whole lot of action, and, maybe, if someone wanted to be exceptionally charitable, a brief commentary on drugs in sports. Don’t go in expecting much in the way of plot here. Then again, it’s wrestling, not a Jane Austin novel, so how much should one really expect?

Watching Miki and Eri take on their rivals, one can see a cornucopia of different character design trends that were popular in the 80s. The two girls have a much more feminine look to them with curvy figures that juxtapose against the members of Foxy Ladies, their main rivals. The women in the latter barely look like women, appearing more like large, muscular men that just so happen to have breasts. Their face paint is quite nice and made far more sense when it was revealed that Demon from the band Seikima II was their manager (which was quite the pleasant surprise so far as cameos go). Quality-wise, everything is about on par with a very average television program in terms of detail. The show isn't trying to wow people with its art by any means, and it's doubtful it had the budget to do so even if those involved wanted to. Even the frames of animation can get a bit choppy at times. Visually, the whole thing comes off as a hastily put together direct to video product to make a fast buck off the rental market of the time.

Looking at who was involved with Wanna Be’s it’s interesting to see where they would end up in the years that followed. The show was directed by Yasuo Hasegawa, who would go on to be involved with the likes of Riding Bean, Armitage III, and Blue Gender. Meanwhile, prior to this OVA, he directed Cosmos Pink Shock and was an animation director on Megazone 23. In terms of the voice actors, Miki was handled by Eriko Hara who would later go on to voice Ayako in Slam Dunk. Even the supporting cast had some notable figures involved. For example, Dr. Sawada was voiced by Shouzou Izuka, who has had a long career performing supporting roles in various anime such as Tetsuichiro Kurumada in Future Cyber Formula GPX. Also, Tetsuma Kidou was voiced by Shuuichi Ikeda who was the voice of Char Aznable in various iterations of Gundam during the 80s and 90s as well as Shanks in One Piece and Shouka Kou in Saiunkoku Monogatari. For being a largely forgotten niche OVA, Wanna Be’s certainly has a number of heavy hitters in it.

Ultimately, this is a show for people that want to delve into obscure, niche anime releases of the 80s that a lot of folks have probably never heard of. It’s largely schlock, but the action scenes are enjoyable. Wrestling doesn’t get much attention in anime, but Wanna Be’s does a decent job of portraying it with some silly science fiction elements tacked on.

- IroIro
June 20, 2019

Related Articles:

- Cosmos Pink Shock (Same Director)
- Future GPX Cyber Formula (Shares Voice Actor)
Directed by: Yasuo Hasegawa
Studio: AIC, Movic, Artmic
Released: 1986
Episodes: 1

Wanna Be's Anime Image 1
VHS Cover Art

Wanna Be's Anime Image 2
Miki fighting someone twice her size

Wanna Be's Anime Image 3
There's no lack of cheating in the ring

Wanna Be's Anime Image 4
Eri fighting a mutant