You know, this one is late because I've been dealing with a hard drive failure (which, as you can imagine, can make it somewhat difficult to get anything done). The plan was to do a catch-up episode today, and then I realized something: Today is my birthday.
Shocking, I know. So then I decided against it, and drifted off to sleep and was well on my way to having fond dreams of strange things, when my phone began to ring.
So then I said f**k it. Since I'm up anyways.
Funny but true: There's a strange tradition in certain smaller Asian countries (I've heard tales from areas surrounding the Phillipines) where a person, upon reaching their birthday, actually winds up giving presents to their friends. Usually in the form of food or some such, but I figure hey, what better way to justify putting in work on my birthday of all days?
And we can all agree that having to put up with this show is a hell all of its own.
Things I am expecting from this show: screaming, horrible attempts at portraying 'wrestling', and a severe lack of animation in general. Let's see how well these predictions hold up. Today's episode starts with a very slow pan down while people mob the Berserk gym about the whole Blue Panther match up thing, and they make sure to animate as very little as possible, which is truly, truly amazing.
Oh, and I guess that Sakura is gonna fight the new girl Moe, but she's got something to ask and you'll just have to wait until the OP is done to find out what.
... truly, it is a talent that a show can spend so long to accomplish absolutely nothing. In fact, one might even say it's remarkable. These guys should give up on animation and switch to politics because holy shit can they manage to fill time with less substance than Chinese take-out.
And anyone who says they aren't hungry two hours after eating a shitton of Chinese food is a goddamn liar.
So now we get to the match-up where the newcomer is introduced to the ring and OH HOLY GOD WHY DID THEY GIVE US CLOSE-UPS OF THESE SHITTY 3D HUMANS.
Brilliant idea. Let's put the 3D humans right next to the 2D one.
I've seen better quality 3D out of f***ing IdolM@ster.
Anyway the 'high school wrestler' makes her debut and steps into the ring, and now that it's Sakura's turn to come in, the entire crowd is stiff despite the crowd roaring for her. Consistency, that's what I love about this show. It is consistently inconsistent. The fight starts and they kind of dance around one another and Moe comes around with some karate bullshit and wait, when did this stop being wrestling and start being a UFC match?
So now Sakura is getting the shit beaten out of her by this new girl, and everyone is like "wow, Sakura sucks" and the crowd is like "yeah world-class karate champ is awesome I guess". Then we get the flashback where Moe is all "you ever miss being an idol?" and Moe is like "man, what if I wanna go back to Karate?"
I guess she's having some serious doubts, but that's hard to see when she's kicking the shit out of the current reigning champ or whatever. Moe does some super special move her grandpa taught her or some shit, and we get more flashbacks where she decides that wrestling is super fun, so to hell with doubts right?
Then there's more Sakura being beaten around and crawling towards the ropes because that's what she does while Moe's foot gently massages her opponent's breasts.
Oh then Rio and that red-haired girl are all watching on the sidelines, and now Moe is throwing herself from one ring to the other in a super mockery of actual wrestling, where you never do that more than once. She does it at least six times while Sakura just stands there.
But I guess it's time for Sakura to do something, so now that Moe is tired she gets her in a headlock or something and then is forced into a rope break. Now Sakura starts tugging on her foot and asking her to cry for uncle or whatever while the new girl continues to crawl for the ropes time and again.
Oh and double-snatch-shots because why not we need more of those in this show.
Now Moe is getting tired at about nine minutes in and Sakura tries to finish her off, knocks her to the mat but she decides she's not had enough, so it's time to ramp things up a bit and throw her against the mat again. And again. And oh for christ's sake just stay down already. Now Sakura is considering how to just finish this off, using her special against the new girl might be too much, but the new girl is all "damn I gotta get her to use the special on me" and now I am just one giant facepalm.gif repeated ad nauseum. That means for f***ing ever.
It is at this point the girls give each other an epic staredown that you've probably seen in every "how to draw manga" book ever:
How Moe is even standing I will never know.
I am beginning to suspect some of these animators simply hate drawing feet. Or hands. After all, notice how their hands are all tiny little balled fists? These guys hate anatomy, and wish to hide their shame.
So now Moe is all magically karate-mastering Sakura, and nearly manages to pin her opponent, and now Sakura is like "man, I can feel how excited she is to be a wrassler", and this fight continues to be dragged on forever while Sakura inner monologues about how awesome it is to be a pro wrestler, and decides to crazy ninja backflip kick her opponent before knocking her down.
Rio, stop reading my mind. Also, stop being a shitty
wrestler please? You're kinda pathetic these days.
The match is finally over at the halfway point of the episode, which means there's still one more fight to begin (or at least try to begin) before this episode is over. Then they do the post-match friendship gulag bullshit and the crowd is like "man that was awesome" and Moe thanks her for kicking the shit out of her chin and damn near snapping her neck. Cut to commercial.
Now we're back at the gym where everyone is basically beating up on Sakura in turns. Remember everything that made the first seven episodes of this show so goddamn painful? WELL GUESS WHAT IT'S ALL BACK BABY.
Oh yeah and we also get to see Sakura's pink bra as she unbuttons it shoved into our faces because there is nothing we love more to see in an anime that boobs getting shoved in our eye holes every forty seconds or so.
Wait no, I'm sorry, it's the animators that love doing that because they hate actually animating anything. My bad.
So now people are going "well I guess you're probably ready to fight this chick, since you've been getting pummeled by us all day and we've fought this bitch before" and Rio is all "what are you guys nuts we know jack shit about her". It's almost like they live in some kind of anime world or something.
They spend a little bit of time talking about the time Juri and Mimi wrestled together, and how her motives are 'shrouded in mystery' but the end result is that someone is totes going after Sakura for some reason. This scares Moe for some stupid reason. I guess it's because "Juri seems crazy awesome".
Also she doesn't want anything bad to happen to her idol. GEE THANKS FOR THAT FORESHADOWING KID.
Of course Sakura's not going to lose, she's got a reputation to keep.
A reputation built upon continually losing over and over. And over.
Then they remind us that Sweet Diva is still a thing and that now they're doing some crazy big tour with all 150 members of the gro- WHAT THE HELL.
WHAT KIND OF MUSICAL GROUP HAS 150 MEMBERS THAT IS RIDICULOUS EVEN BY K-POP STANDARDS. SERIOUSLY. HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR BOY BANDS? SOMETHING LIKE A DOZEN DUDES OR SOME SHIT. THIS IS RIDICULOUS BEYOND MEASURE.
Why exactly should we even care?
Okay so they're going worldwide. Cool. WHY SHOULD I GIVE A SHIT. Then they show us some faces with names of people who ahve probably been appearing the entire show but we don't care about them BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH WRESTLING. Oh I see, they're showing us promotional video that they are shooting for the event, oh and an 'intimate' interview with fire-head involving a camera WHILE GETTING DRESSED. I forget that Japan has different standards on what is appropriate for an interview.
Oh, and she's still pissy because her rival is totally giving zero shits about that whole 'idol' thing.
She describes it as "something missing from Sweet Diva" but really, that thing which is missing? It's that she earned the top position by default. Oh and she wears a knee brace now and there's some dramatic music while they call attention to this face OH THE HORRORS.
They make sure to keep it super subtle by making it
stand out like a sore f***ing thumb.
Now it's time for the Rocky montage and people getting interviews and typing articles and zooming into photos and reading the papers and checking their Facebooks on their cellular devices. Best montages ever.
I'm sure this is close enough to Japanese Facebook.
Oh and I guess her number one fan is still wearing that headband. Who wants close-ups of shitty 3D human models? YOU DO. Oh, and Misaki is overseeing this match while blondie is all up in the VIP box getting ready to masturbate or some shit. Now they introduce the wrestlers and with all of four minutes left in this episode, I see that my earlier predictions are, as usual, entirely accurate.
It's a new tradition she wants to try out. It's called the
pre-match lesbian makeout session.
Rio is all "you best not lose or else" and then she runs out in all of her horrible stock animation footage and sees Misaki holding the ropes for her to enter the ring, which she does and waves and bows and does all that polite pretty shit. Then her opponent finally shows up, and the music is just.... what the hell am I even listening to. The artwork continues to degrade, and they keep panning all over teh place with shitty cuts trying to ramp up the drama, but failing miserably because they forget this is an actual TV show and not some shitty hentai.
Whatever. Now both fighters are introduced, and they remind them of the stakes here: Sakura's hair versus her opponent's mask, and the loser retires from fighting. Oh no, the horror. Can Sakura lose so we can finally end this goddamn show already?
There's all kinds of flashbacks and the team is all "man, I hope she doesn't lose because she's representing us" and everyone is all "yeah this is tough but she can't lose". Even Rio is all like "that bitch better win or else I'mma get PISSED."
So the Panther walks over to Sakura, and is all "hey don't be ringing that bell yet, I'm just gonna take off my mask and show you who I am", and everyone goes 'oh shit' because it turns out the mystery warrior is actually...
SUPER DRAMATIC TWIST THAT ONLY MAKES
SENSE IN SHITTY ANIMEEEEEE!
So next time, we get to see Elena finally take out her frustrations on her supposed 'best friend'. Because she wants to knock her down not just one peg, but all the pegs. See, her plan is to beat her at wrestling so that she can then force her back to singing and beat her there too and thereby feel accomplished in being a vindictive bitch.
Also, she can totally get away with kneecapping this one and not get in trouble for it.
This is lulzy as shit. Because it is the worst kind of bad imaginable.
The real depressing part of this is that it means Sakura will not, in fact, lose next episode, and that we really will have to sit through three more episodes of this shit before we can file it away in the vault labeled under "open at your own peril".
Happy f***ing birthday man.