The Wanna-Be's (Japan 1986)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/16/08

Imagine taking Kei and Yuri of "The Dirty Pair" and putting them in a female wrestling film. That sums things up pretty well. Miki and Eri are two up and coming professional wrestlers who get their big shot at fame when two other members of their team are nearly killed by the nasty and underhanded Foxy Ladies. At least that's what it looks like on the surface. In reality, they were guinea pigs for a new performance enhancing drug that almost destroyed them. Now Miki and Eri have become the next unwitting test subjects for the evil pharmaceutical company. When they finally realize this, they raid the bad guy's office and beat him to a pulp. Naturally, there's a bioengineered monster in the lab that they also have to take care of. The nonsensical ending will leave you scratching your head and wondering if anything in the second half of the movie even happened at all.

The film has a nice nostalgic 1980's feel to it, and the style fits in well with the time period. The production values seem average for the time and the animation tends to skimp on the frame rate and use lots of static frames. Kenichi Sonoda provided the character designs, but it's hard for me to see his style. Miki is the spitting image of DP's Kei and has the same aggressive attitude, while Eri takes on Yuri's more demure and girlish charm. The only difference is that her hair is green whereas Yuri's is jet-black. Additionally, the name of their team is "Honey Angels" which bears a strong resemblance to the Dirty Pair's codename, "Lovely Angels." One of the more amusing aspects of the film is that Demon Kogure of Seikima-II makes a cameo in the film (as himself) to introduce the Foxy Ladies as the "emissaries from hell." It's full of melodramatic flair as you would expect. The film also features one of the funniest subtitles I've ever seen, and I wonder if it's a straight translation or if some artistic liberty was taken. When Miki first encounters the monster at the end, she screams:


I'm not sure what that means, but it sure did make me laugh. If women's wrestling is your thing, then you might get some enjoyment out of "The Wanna-Be's." Otherwise, it's just a pointless time waster.