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SPECIAL A #1 - - Special Review

Is this really the second best wrestler in the world?

Watching this, my first thought is about whether green houses are common in Japanese high schools (as they do seem to be an unusually common setting in shows like this). Of course, since that green house is probably the last thing anybody involved in SPECIAL A intended you to think about, I’d say this pilot stumbles a little in doing what it set out to do.

Maybe I was just disappointed that there wasn’t more wrestling?

The show opens with the delightfully absurd premise of a six-year-old pro wrestling prodigy seeing her glory days come to a quick and annoying end when some boy suddenly shows up to steal her thunder. Their rivalry continues into high school, when the little tomboy grows up into a very fetching and fashionable young woman.

A big chunk of this pilot is then devoted to what’s best described as the high school anime equivalent of an extended “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” revue. Whenever she seems to be accomplishing something, this boy then comes in to reassert that she’s only the second best at it behind him.

The central challenge between the two centers around them both vaulting over impossible heights in their gym. Perhaps the reason the show seemed a little awkward to me is that it generally keeps things fairly close-to-Earth, but then includes a number of incidentally larger-than-life feats than seem a little jarring for their inclusion. Or maybe this specific style of humor would’ve just worked for me better if I were watching the dub instead of the sub.

Either way, to be totally honest, I kept clicking out of this viewing window to check out my other tabs, and my attention only came back when they had the final battle royale. All said, the show actually does make a touching point about these two having an odd sort of respect and friendship - - although, I don’t know if that point exactly incites you to keep watching, either.

Watch this episode, "Hikari; Kei" here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

SamJazon March 15, 2013 at 4:07 p.m.

The manga was hilarious, and managed to have realism hit when it needed despite the absurdity of everything else. Can't comment on the anime, but take it that it wasn't too gripping.

Kino88on March 15, 2013 at 5 p.m.

I will admit I stuck with this dumb series for an embarrassing amount of time a few years back, but the Op song for this show was a real guilty pleasure called me back every time, I don,t know it was just so cuuuuuute,

metalsnakezeroon March 15, 2013 at 5:17 p.m.

It a nice series with a funny relationship between the two characters. Nothing really special about it, just some lightheartedness.

Kino88on March 16, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.

@metalsnakezero: agreed

sotyfan16on March 18, 2013 at 2:13 p.m.

There is not a dub, Tom. S.A. only got a sub release.

I watched this when it first aired and found it quite funny. My only issue was the girl's blindness to the guy's feelings. Otherwise, a lighthearted show full of light, comical fun.

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