Sekai de Ichiban week six TV report



By Jonny Clare

Episode 6 - "Revenge Match"

This episode, for the time being, closed the chapter on Sakura Hagiwara's feud with Kazama Rio. Did she avenge the loss of her hair and restore honor to Sweet Diva by finally defeating her nemesis and ending the run of sixty-five defeats? And if she did, will the sweet taste of victory be a strong enough allure to quit the band and continue wrestling? If so, what will become of Elena Miyazawa? 

Either way, from Sakura's first introduction when she was battling Elena for the prestige of being center vocalist, to the time the two had a heartfelt moment dancing in the park. Whether it was Sakura realizing the ring was a sacred place for girls like Kazama, to the special endurance training at the Shinto shrine. Those moments, and everything in between, have led to another sacred place, Budokan Hall.

Wrestling, like most TV and movies, is very formulaic. Generally, the good guy always wins. The key to making this tired tradition work is making the viewer root for the main character and plant a seed of doubt that they might not achieve their goals. The first five episodes accomplished those objectives with aplomb and were executed masterfully here in "Revenge Match". For example, Rio had the fiery-eyed Sakura in a variety of stiff submission holds, like the Sleeper and Sakura's Achille's heel, the Boston Crab. Part of me wanted to see Sakura get to the ropes and a small part of me thought she might give up, like she's done numerous times in previous installments. It was basic psychology at its finest.

It's hard to say anymore without giving too much away, except this was an exhilarating episode that left me thoroughly satisfied. If you've followed it so far, I'm sure you'll feel the same. The result was always in question, thanks mainly to Sakura's previous unexpected losses. All I will say is, in a sold out Budokan, in front of her loyal fans, her trainer Toyoda Misaki, her Sweet Diva bandmates and manager, she can't finish looking up at the lights for a sixty-sixth time, can she? 

What's directly next on the horizon for Sakura remains unclear. Although, the same can't be said for Toyoda Misaki, who has a match coming up with the World Champion, Jackal Tojo. But will the fight even go ahead?

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