Episode One-Derland Plawres Sanshirou

Plot: The incredibly popular sport of plawrestling is sweeping the nation. People called modelers create and control small robots called Plawrestlers in battles/wrestling matches. A boy named Sanshirou and his plawrestler, Juohmaru strive to be a great plawrestling team.

Breakdown: I think I inadvertently found Angelic Layer’s 80’s shounen predecessor.

Seriously, barring the target audience, they’re pretty much the same show in regards to the game. The modelers are dueses, the plawrestlers are dolls and the plawrestlers battle each other in an arena from the modeler’s computer commands. Angelic Layer is just more high-tech and shoujo.

That aside, this does seem like a really fun classic shounen gaming anime. In a time where the market was being completely flooded with giant mech anime, this small robot anime seems like a big breath of fresh air. The game seems really cool and this is yet another instance where I wish this existed. It seems like the robots don’t use special weapons and abilities really, either. They have stuff that helps them maneuver and special features but seemingly no special attacks like swords or lasers like Angelic Layer would have.

The matches are interesting, exciting and very fun and it definitely has a feeling like a shounen gaming anime.

A bit too much.

In our first episode, we’re introduced to our main character, Sanshirou, who is a very typical lead in these shows in that he loves the game and is basically a prodigy at it. He’s loud, he’s incredibly confident to the point of obnoxiousness but still retains likability.

That being said, if he suffers from the messiah trope, I can see this becoming a chore to watch.

The extended cast is really only touched upon, which is fine as I imagine we’ll explore them more later. I think we got enough to realize that they’re really good friends. The girl is obviously the love interest and the fat guy is kinda irritating. The stand out character in this regard is Shota, who acts like he’s a really brash adult when he’s really like seven years old. The first time you see him he’s ‘smoking’ a chocolate cigarette.

The main plot of this episode is what made me dread the messiah trope in the future as in this episode Sanshirou is challenging the repeat champion to a battle and wins….Yeah, he’s going into episode two with a win against a champion under his belt. This might get annoying.

However, despite my worries for the future, this was still a really fun anime that made me want to pick up Angelic Layer again. The art and animation are of course dated, and the backgrounds get really trippy for some reason sometimes. The music is alright with my particular favor going to the ED. While Sanshirou’s voice got a little annoying when he yells, the Japanese voice acting was also fairly good, albeit with that classic 80’s cheese.

I’m ready for more plawrestling!

Recommended Audience: Shota swears a little, and there’s robot violence, but that’s it.  6+

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