Home > Episode by Episode > Wanna Be The Strongest ep7: Gold Jackal, Blue Panther

Wanna Be The Strongest ep7: Gold Jackal, Blue Panther

Welp! I’m back watching this show. Believe me, if Golden Time or even Valvrave were available at the time of this post, I’d watch and talk about them instead. But someone needs to watch this show, it may as well be me. Plus, with the previous episode’s focus on action, I feel like I may be able to squeeze a little entertainment value out of this show yet. Oh who am I kidding?! This will be 22 minutes of crap!

With the world’s greatest female wrestler, Jackal in town, the Japanese world is treated to a rare jolt of international excitement.  We also quickly come to learn that Jackal is not only a tall hot blonde foreigner, but she’s Sakura’s mentor’s mentor.  That’s right, Misaki was actually schooled by the great Jackal, and their scheduled to compete in a match soon.  The wrestling world is buzzing with excitment, and the Berserk gym is no exception, as many of its wrestlers crowd around the television to see her.  Rio even mentions how Jackal inspired her to become a wrestler.  To add to the excitment, Jackal mentions in her welcoming press conference that she’s most looking forward to seeing the Rookie All-Star match that’s upcoming.  It looks like it’s Sakura’s time to shine.

Later that evening, we see Jackal, Misaki, and the reporter girl, Kanae all hanging out in Jackal’s hotel room.  It’s there where we learn a little about Jackal’s training, and how Misaki endured exactly the same punishment from her mentor, that Sakura endured from her.  Learning to cope with pain, and not giving up.  It’s in that room that Sakura’s name and skills are brought up.  It seems that Jackal is right on top of things in Japan, as she’s already heard of Sakura’s abysmal record, and her impressive win over Rio.

This show seems to like juggling the pro wrestling world and the idol world, which is good since it’s basically the entire makeup of the show.  And here we see the scene switch to the idol side of things as Sweet Diva is shown receiving an award.  Though the atmosphere is somewhat bittersweet, as they still seem to be coping with Sakura’s decision to not come back to them.  Her rival and friend Elena is taking it hardest of all.

Things once again switch back to the pro wrestling side of things as we see Misaki taking on a new opponent and – DAMMIT TO HELL!  THEY’RE SHOWING MORE BOSTON CRABS!  SOMEONE GIVE ME A HAMMER!  I’M GONNA SMASH THIS MONITOR!

(12 minutes later)

OK, I’ve calmed down.  I just had to go outside and kick my trash can a few times.  …I’m sure my neighbors enjoyed that.

Misaki is in the midst of pummeling her newest opponent, literally beating her out of the ring.  But the whole time, her thoughts are of Sakura, and the other young talents below her in Berserk.  That unfortunately leads to her undoing though, as her wayward thoughts lead her to lose her concentration, and therefore lose her footing on the turnbuckle and fall to ground.  It looks like she’s got a hurt ankle now.  The star of Berserk is down and out!

The situation at the hospital clears things up, but also exposes a problem.  Misaki is definitely out for a good amount of time with a fractured ankle (ouch).  And with Misaki’s match with Jackal being a major upcoming headliner, the gym’s president fears they’ll go bankrupt if they have to reimburse everyone.  Jackal thinks she has a solution though.  She thinks that they can use the Rookie All-Star Fight to find a suitable substitute.  And though everyone’s skeptical, they appear to go along with it.  It really does seem though that Jackal has her eyes on Sakura.

It’s somewhat ironic that as the Rookie All-Star Fight is getting started, it’s opened by Sakura’s old group, Sweet Diva.  It’s even more ironic, that as her match starts up the girls of Sweet Diva are asked to be guest commentators.  I’d say the irony is white-hot for this match (if that even makes any sense).  Still, even with pointed questions directed right at the group, they remained calm, stalwart supporters.

And now for the damned wrestling – HALLELUJAH!  A FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK!  There’s still hope for this show yet.  Though seeing this lock pop up twice in one episode, it really makes me wonder if the mangaka just learned how to draw this scene at this part of the story.  Whatever!  It’s a different hold!  I’ll take what I can get!  Regardless of the fluff of a wrestling match, Sakura breaks free of her opponent’s hold and wins the match with her Sakura Special (still a lame name).

As the even moves on, one of the matches gets an interesting surprise.  There’s a mystery wrestler who breaks into one of the matches, under the title of an assassin.  She’s flashy, she’s sexy, she’s Blue Panther!  And we quickly learn when we see her in a match that she’s a solid wrestler, as we quickly see her latch on solid and painful holds.  And before we know it, Berserk’s most promising rookie is taken out by this newcomer!  And just as mysteriously as she appeared, she disappears.  Sakura is unhappy at Blue Panther’s way of ruining a showcase for Berserk, and tells her that she won’t be forgiven for this.  And up from her perch above the ring, Jackal sees that fire in Sakura’s eyes.  It’s a fire that she saw in Misaki and herself.  And it’s the same fire that convinces Jackal to choose Sakura as her next opponent.  Which doesn’t make sense because Blue Panther was obviously the most exciting and impressive thing in spectacle.  But regardless, the wrestling world is now abuzz with the news of the world champion taking on the budding idol wrestler.

End of episode.

Well, things are starting to look up.  Sure I still saw the dreaded Boston Crab, and the animation and overall production values of this show still suck, but at least the actual wrestling and the drama around it still seems to have more flavor.  We saw a plethora of holds that we hadn’t seen before this episode, which adds at least barebones amount of variety to the combat.  Though I’m still quite disappointed in the lack of hype, pinache and overall technical abilities of the wrestlers in this show.  Everything still seems to revolve around submission holds, with a few exceptions, like Fourth Tiger’s finisher and Sakura’s Sakura Special.  Plus Sakura being shoved into the spotlight seems to have improved the pacing and overall amount of drama in the show.

Overall, this has been quite a decent episode.  I wasn’t bored.  There was variety in the narrative.  Hell, the show wasn’t even as lazily pervy as it usually is.  And aside from the problems that are just going to be a part of every episode, it was reasonably well done.  It’s not high praise, but this show doesn’t deserve that.  It just needs to be recognized for not sucking for an episode.

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