- Wanna-Be’s (1986: AIC and Artmic) 1/1 ep.
Wanna-Be’s kind of sums up what OAVs were for the most part: not particularly good and bat shit insane. This anime original production was helmed by Yasuo Hasegawa who was mostly a producer but also directed Cosmos Pink Shock and the Thunderbirds anime, you forgot that existed didn’t you? Another staff member of note is the character designer: Kenichi Sonoda. You know, he only did character designs for little shows like Bubblegum Crisis, Riding Bean, and Gunsmith Cats. Finally, for reasons unknown to mankind, fucking Demon Kogure did the theme song and is in this show. Presumably that is where Sony Music Entertainment’s involvement came from but still, what the fuck?
As I indicated above, Wanna-Be’s is a bit odd. It starts with our protagonists, a female wrestling duo named “the Wanna-Be’s”, watching another wrestling duo getting absolutely destroyed by a duo of baddies aka “the Foxy Ladies”. Our heroines then spend the rest of the OAV training to beat the Foxy Ladies, in order to get revenge. They are helped in this training by some new equipment and a new training regime. This somehow ends up with the Wanna-Be’s fighting a monster in a skyscraper…so ummmm yeah. It seems like a normal sports show, with maybe some drugs stuff being hinted at, for 90% of its run time but that last 10% it dives right off the deep end. The OAV was story boarded by three separate people so maybe the last guy got confused as to what show they were making? None of it is really bad per se but none of it is particularly good. The sports side of it is fairly bog standard and the other stuff, while it comes from out of fucking left field isn’t all that amazing either. Actually I lie, there was one really bad scene. The Wanna-Be’s sneak out for a night on the town, which apparently comprises of sitting in a diner and eating. Then they happen upon some old friends with whom they have a super awkward conversation, have a fight with one of the friend’s new boyfriend, and then run off. This scene is never referred to again, provides no character development, no character exploration, nor really serves any point. It is like that scene and the ending were left over storyboards they had that they just randomly decided to through in for whatever reason. The characters aren’t particularly wonderful either with everyone falling into their archetype and promptly refusing to move an inch out of them.
On a visual front things are fairly sub-average overall. Sonoda’s designs are awesome as always but even they aren’t enough to hold up the shows shoddy production values. At least the final wrestling match was kind of cool, though nowhere near something like Grappler Baki. Demon Kogure’s theme is cool but the rest of the music is a bit shit. To be honest, the most notable audio-visual part of this production is the various cameos in it by characters such as Urusei Yatsura’s Lum.
Overall, this show isn’t very good and probably isn’t worth your time. It is fun giggling at how weird it gets but if you want to do that then something like Ai City or Crystal Triangle would be a better choice.
Final score: 3F