Sakura officially began her training and successfully made her pro debut, unfortunately for her she lost her first match. Spoilers Ahead!
Sakura has seen better days when it comes to her pro wrestling career, she has yet to win a match and has racked up a staggering 45 consecutive loss streak. Inspired by seeing watching Misaki defend her women’s title in a grueling match, Sakura seeks to turn her luck around; but she still continues to lose extending her loss streak to 50. With her hopes crushed, Sweet Diva climbing the ladder of superstardom and her fans decreasing by the day, Sakura decides to give up pro wrestling. That is until Misaki asks her to be her sparring partner.
The road of pro wrestling is a hard one and this episode exemplifies that, showing just what kind of hell Sakura has to go through.
The opening of the episode sets the entire tone as it shows Sakura once again at the mercy of the Boston Crab (the move that she tapped to in her first match), she gives up once again and that basically sums up about 80% of the episode. Mostly a montage of Sakura being put in Boston Crabs and her giving up. Now while this can be a bit boring, it s important to establish her dilemma in the episode. Sweet Diva (her idol group) is climbing the heights to musical stardom which causes Sakura to question whether or not she’s burdening them by continuing to lose. This shows in the episode when they cut between Sweet Diva’s rising popularity and Sakura’s falling one.
Sakura gets some inspiration in the form of Misaki Toyoda, the women’s champion (also a former Berzerk wrestler and current reporter) when she has to watch her defend her title in what is essentially a handicap match (I mean it’s basically three on one and Misaki is also getting beat by kendo sticks, choked by ropes, and put in three way submission holds. It’s basically a WWE No DQ match). Despite the odd thrown at her, Misaki never shows the will to give up which does start to inspire Sakura, even though she still decides to quit.
Misaki confronts her before she turns in her resignation letter and asks Sakura to spar with her so Misaki can prepare for her next match. Despite Sakura’s rightful anxiety by getting in the ring with the champ she agrees. These scenes are done well enough seeing as it showcases more wrestling moves as well as Misaki giving Sakura some tough love. Sakura tries her best to try and get the upper hand, but Misaki counters all of her moves by doing the exact same move but with more inensity. Eventually she puts Sakura in the dreaded Boston Crab and Sakura gives up again, but instead of letting go Misaki only increases the pressure saying: “There’s no giving up here. It’s just you and me. There’s no ref and this isn’t a match. If you don’t want your hips to break, you’ll have to do something about it on your own.” Talk about dire staits.
“Give Up!” is a decent enough episode that shows more hurdles that Sakura has to go over in her life as a pro wrestler. The animation is so-so but it’s not too jarring. The scenes with Sweet Diva serve their purpose well enough, and the matches Misaki has with both Yamamoto and Sakura are done well without too much cheescake. The road to glory continues next week as Sakura tries to fend off the champ.