Dream (Level 21)

Blade will be the next dud I cover for Ani-Crap Review. Stay tuned!
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Wanna be the Strongest in the World was a 12-episode ecchi sports series that aired from October 6 to December 22 of last year and was animated by Studio Arms. It is based on the ongoing shounen manga series written by ESE and illustrated by Kiyohito Natsuki for Comic Earth Star magazine since December 2010.

The Plot

She can't make you humble. But she can at least break your back and choke you out.
She can't make you humble. But she can at least break your back and choke you out.

Sakura Hagiwara is a 17-year old pop idol who is the lead vocalist of the idol group Sweet Diva. She impulsively decides to enter the world of women's professional wrestling to avenge the beating that one of her members took at the hands of a wrestler.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Sakura Hagiwara- The lead vocalist of Sweet Diva who decides to enter the world of pro wrestling who maintains a cheerful and bright persona through any ordeals she presses through.
  • Rio Kazama- A mid-class wrestler part of Berserk Wrestlers who is responsible for attacking one of the Sweet Diva members.
  • Misaki Toyoda- The top pro wrestler among Berserk Wrestlers and a former pop idol who trains Sakura in improving her skills as a wrestler.
  • Moe Fukuoka- A karate prodigy who joins up with Berserk later in the series to train in professional wrestling.

Why It Sucks

Like you would expect out of many Studio Arms titles, Wanna be the Strongest in the World's sole purpose of existence is to pander to otaku and ecchi fans with its desperate attempts to get gratuitous shots of T&A out of much of its female cast. A good amount of these shots come from submission holds that get applied to female wrestlers during their matches and the camera offering up-close shots of boobs, crotch and butt, as well as the occasional shower scenes and random service shots.

Fifty-plus losses to a Boston Crab? So why are we supposed to care for you again?
Fifty-plus losses to a Boston Crab? So why are we supposed to care for you again?

Outside of its desperate attempts to milk T&A, there's little else to get hooked into with this series. The pro wrestling element of its premise is lazily implemented as the first half to the series is quite painful to press through with Sakura's ridiculous losing streak she racks up and losing to the same submission hold in each match. The second half gets slightly better with Sakura being more competent in her in-ring ability, though the in-ring action still borders on ridiculous with a good chunk of action reserved to submission holds for the mentioned T&A shots and some wrestling maneuvers shown at camera-angles that are supposedly painful to look at (with moves like piledrivers and powerbombs that cause harm to the head, neck and back). However with the latter, the wrestlers are conveniently able to get back up to their feet like a shounen action hero refusing to stay down when just about crippled or near-death.

Don't go expecting to connect with the characters in this series either as they are mostly paper-thin archetypes and have little in the way of depth or dimension to make them relatable to more than just otaku and ecchi fans.

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A bit surprised I didn't cover this yet, but here we go. As of this writing, all the industry panels have taken place thus I'll cover any new announcements that distributors had to report:

Viz Media

Viz announced that they have acquired home video licensing rights to the anime series Coppelion and will release the series early next year.

Aniplex of America

Aniplex announced that they will be releasing Nisekoi in a Blu-Ray box set on November 25. The set will come only with Japanese audio and English subtitles and will include the following physical extras: collectible ending card pin-ups and a deluxe poster and box designed by chief animation director and character designer Nobuhiro Sugiyama. Aniplex is accepting pre-orders of the series now.

Crunchyroll

Cardcaptor Sakura will be streamed in its entirety on the site in both subbed and dubbed formats starting on Tuesday.

Vertical Inc.

Vertical announced the acquisition of another artbook with artwork from Makoto Shinkai called A Sky Longing for Memories. The artbook will have 160 pages and will be released in May 2015, being priced at $34.95.

Funimation

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This may seem like a cruel joke, but appears to sadly be true. A number of news sources internationally have reported that Ghibli's General Manager Toshio Suzuki announced on a Japanese news talk show today that the studio will be shutting down its animation studio. The studio will be transitioning to licensing and merchandising characters and trademarks from its various classic films, as well as keeping a small staff on hand to take part in "Miyazaki projects" that are yet to be revealed. The reasons for the shut down of the animation studio are heavily rumored to be due to Hayao Miyazaki's retirement from animation direction last year and financial issues that plagued the studio over the past year as one of their recent films, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, underperformed in box office earnings in Japanese theaters as it only earned back half the money spent for its animation budget. The studio's final film, When Marnie Was There, was recently released in Japanese theaters on July 19.

UPDATE: Have some additional details on this news. It looks like many of the news sources may have misunderstood Suzuki's announcement regarding Studio Ghibli's future due to a mistranslation. Anime News Network is reporting that the studio is currently taking a hiatus from future animated works to plan out and restructure the company, with the possibility of releasing some among its production department or even completely shutting down any future animation production. It would seem things are still uncertain with the future of the studio for now, but all is not doom and gloom right now.

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At an announcement conference in Shinigawa, Tokyo just today, the staff and crew for the upcoming Fate/ Stay Night TV anime at Ufotable revealed their production plans with the popular Type-Moon franchise. Instead of one project, they will be working on two animated projects for the franchise. The TV anime they will be developing will be an all-new adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works route from the Fate/ Stay Night visual novel that will be made to air for two separate seasons. The first half of the series will premiere on Japanese television on October 4 and the second half will resume things in April 2015.

Unlimited Blade Works is the second route in the Stay Night visual novel game that focuses on Shiro Emiya's interactions with Rin Tohsaka as the two team together to deal with developments in the fifth Holy Grail War where magi can summon the spirits of seven legendary heroes to compete in duels to the death where the winner will be able to make a wish upon the Holy Grail. Unlimited Blade Works was previously adapted into a 90-minute film adaptation by Studio Deen in 2010, where it was later licensed for American video release by Sentai Filmworks. A trailer for the upcoming Unlimited Blade Works TV anime can be seen here:

As for the second animated project...

Ufotable will be adapting the Heaven's Feel route of the Stay Night series into a film adaptation that they are presently in development with. Heaven's Feel is the third route in the visual novel series that had yet to receive an animated adaptation until now. It is the darkest among the three routes of the visual novel as it will focus on Shiro's interactions with Sakura Matou, a girl in his class who has romantic interest in him and regularly deals with an abusive relationship that she has with members of the Matou family that escalates during the events of the Holy Grail War. A trailer for the upcoming Heaven's Feel movie can be seen below:

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Figured I'd cover this in case no one has gotten word of it. The Weekly Shonen Jump manga publication has announced that the manga series, Assassination Classroom, will be getting an anime adaptation that will air on Fuji TV late night in Japan every Friday starting in January. A commercial commemorating the new anime series will be hosted on the title's web site in the near-future and Weekly Shonen Jump will be releasing a still of the characters in the series in anime form at Fuji TV's headquarters.

The anime is based on Yusei Matsui's popular and ongoing comedy manga series of the same name focused on a middle school that has a classroom full of misfit students whose teacher is an alien octopus with psychic powers. Said alien has destroyed the moon and plans to destroy the Earth unless his students can succeed in killing him by the end of the year. The Assassination Classroom manga series has been licensed by Viz Media, who plan to release the first volume of the series for American readers in December.

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