Metal Fighter Miku is a ★★☆☆☆︱Professional Wrestling with Magical Girl Transformations

Similar to the “Cutey Honey” M.O. …a group a cute girls (adorned in spandex-armor) transform and then fight against a group of masculine women. It’s difficult to categorize this bizarre, amalgam of retro anime tropes with clear precision. Metal Fighter Miku could have been something, but by incorporating so many tired clichés, it ended up being a series scarcely thought about in the community. Even in the realm of Japanese forums, I was couldn’t find many mentions of the show and it was hard to scrounge up any official art for the series, despite Akiyuki Shinbō’s name being attached to it!

⚠️ This review for Metal Fighter Miku will have spoilers ⚠️

—Story/Characters

Synopsis: In the near future, the sports world is dominated by Neo Wrestling, a new spectacle in which Metal Fighters challenge each other to be named champion. The story follows the girls of the Pretty Four (Miku, Ginko, Sayaka, and Nana) as they face off against the current champions, Team Sapphire. With a burnt out drunk named Eiichi Suo for a coach the girls must not only contend with problems in the arena but also unforseen circumstances that arise in day to day life. Only through protecting their friends, understanding their enemies, and eventually challenging their idol Aquamarine, can Miku and the girls understand Eiichi’s purpose and the shady secrets behind Neo Wrestling.

When I first heard of this series, I really hoped it would be something like “Battle Athletes”! Motivational, funny, a little bit of shōjo-ai, and a cast of likable characters! All the girls in Metal Fighter Miku have cardboard personalities, I would say that there’s only one character-trait per person in the span of this series. Miku is the leader of the group and is, naturally, the most determined. Ginko is the headstrong, tomboy. Sayaka is the vapid, pretty one. And Nana is the cute, “baby” of the group.

Even though the wrestlers are a bunch of nobodies, a big corporation feels threatened by their burgeoning talents and that they’re being coached by, supposedly, the best coach to ever live. Eiichi Suo is a flagrant alcoholic with geta shoes, whose main technique, in getting the girls to out-perform the rest, is to make them do five-hundred push-ups and sit-ups. No special method or anything. Towards the end of the series, Suo prepares Miku for her final battle—by making her train in the ocean with scuba-diving gear—but that’s as far as the “special” training goes.

There’s a teenage boy, Kinta, who works at the gym. The only aspect of his personality, is that he has a crush on Miku. That never really has a purpose or goes anywhere. He gets jealous when a CEO, from the evil organization, starts asking Miku on dates. But, he doesn’t do anything! There’s never any romantic tension, nothing at all between Kinta and Miku, it’s just him awkwardly gawking at her from afar!

The evil organization is kind of like Team Rocket, in each episode, they try to sabotage the girls, via: sending in a secret agent to get in the way of their training, manipulating Miku into falling in love with the organization owner’s heir, or, in one episode, Ginko is even offered compensation to betray her teammates. All of the conflicts, in this series, are resolved with relative ease and are very anti-climactic!

—Technical

Luna’s Favorite Works by Each Respective Creator = ✅

Akiyuki Shinbō (director), notable works:

  • 3-Gatsu no Lion (series) 
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge (series)  ✅
  • Cossette no Shōzō
  • Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
  • Detatoko Princess
  • Fate/Extra: Last Encore
  • Ginga Ojō-sama Densetsu Yuna: Shin’en no Fairy ✅
  • Hidamari Sketch (series)
  • Katteni Kaizō
  • Kōfuku Graffiti
  • Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai
  • Mahō Sensei Negima!: Mō Hitotsu no Sekai
  • Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
  • Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha ✅
  • Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica ✅
  • Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica (film series) ✅
  • Maria†Holic (series) ✅
  • Mekakucity Actors
  • Metal Fighter Miku
  • Monogatari (series) ✅
  • Natsu no Arashi! (series)
  • Negima?!
  • Nisekoi (series)
  • Ojōsama Sōsamō
  • Paniponi Dash!
  • Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei (series) ✅
  • Shihaisha no Tasogare
  • Shin Hurricane Polymar
  • Shina Dark: Kuroki Tsuki no Ō to Sōheki no Tsuki no Himegimi
  • Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
  • Soreyuke! Uchū Senkan Yamamoto Yohko (series)
  • Tenamonya Voyagers
  • The SoulTaker: Tamashii-gari
  • Triangle Heart: Sweet Songs Forever
  • Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase
  • Uchiage Hanabi, Shita kara Miru ka? Yoko kara Miru ka? (“Fireworks”)

Commentary: Most of this series is low-budget and the frames of animation often glitch or linger on still-shots. The character movements are practically non-existent. In the last few episodes, there are a few memorable sakuga moments. Miku’s last fight against Aquamarine, is filled with some really artistically stunning gems. Another scene that comes to mind, is when the CEO takes Miku to the beach. The set-up for him asking her to quit the league was well choreographed, but then again, Mr. Shinbō has a knack for creating memorable moments!

Kenji Kawai (music composition), notable works:

  • 009 Re: Cyborg
  • A-Ko: The Versus
  • Akachan to Boku
  • All That Gundam
  • Bakuretsu Hunters
  • Barakamon ✅
  • Biohazard: Vendetta
  • Blue Seed
  • Burn Up! ✅
  • Busō Chūgakusei: Basket Army
  • CB Chara Go Nagai World ✅
  • Chibi Neko Tomu no Daibōken: Chikyū wo Sukue! Nakama-tachi
  • Corrector Yui
  • Cosmos Pink Shock
  • Cyborg 009: The Reopening
  • Devilman: Tanjō-hen ✅
  • Devilman: Yochō Sirene-hen ✅
  • Dragon Fist
  • Esper Zenon
  • Eyeshield 21: Maboroshi no Golden Bowl
  • Fate/stay night ✅
  • Fate/stay night Movie: Unlimited Blade Works ✅
  • Fūjin Monogatari
  • Geisters: Fractions of the Earth
  • Girlfriend (Kari)
  • Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai! ✅
  • Groove Adventure Rave
  • Gunparade March: Arata Naru Kōgunka
  • Hakuouki Movie 2: Shikon Soukyū
  • Hana no Asukagumi! 2: Lonely Cats Battle Royale
  • Higashi no Eden ✅
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni ✅
  • Hime-chan no Ribbon
  • Hyper Police
  • I: Wish You Were Here
  • Iczer-Girl Iczelion
  • Innocence ✅
  • Jinki:Extend
  • Joker Game
  • Jūsenshi Gulkeeva
  • Kidō Keisatsu Patlabor ✅
  • Kōkaku Kidōtai ✅
  • Kurogane Communication
  • Kyūketsuhime Miyu ✅
  • Mahō Senshi Louie
  • Maison Ikkoku ✅
  • Majū Senshi Luna Varga
  • Maroko
  • Mermaid Forest OVA
  • Metal Fighter Miku
  • Mezame no Hakobune
  • Mob Psycho 100
  • Kidō Senshi Gundam 00
  • Mutekiou Tri-Zenon
  • No Guns Life
  • Oira Uchū no Tankoufu
  • Ranma ½ ✅
  • Ryūō no Oshigoto!
  • Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarō ✅
  • Seirei no Moribito
  • Servamp
  • Shōka
  • Shōmetsu Toshi
  • Starship Operators
  • Subete ga F ni Naru
  • Tachiguishi Retsuden
  • Taiho Shichau zo The Movie
  • The Sky Crawlers
  • Tōken Ranbu: Hanamaru ✅
  • Towa no Quon
  • Twilight Q
  • UFO Princess Valkyrie
  • Wakaba*Girl
  • World Trigger
  • Xi Avant
  • YAT Anshin! Uchū Ryokō
  • Zetsuai 1989

Commentary: I could tell that Mr. Kawai composed the soundtrack for this series, but it’s really plain, in comparison to his work on series, like: Vampire Princess Miyu and Ghost in the Shell.

I watched Metal Fighter Miku with the English dub, so I will list the Japanese seiyū. Unfortunately, with this particular title, there were no English voices listed. Their credits are non-existent on the internet! I guess with good reason, the English dub was terrible! But because of that, there will be no commentary on the vocal talents. Just a list of the main, four seiyū!

Konami Yoshida as Miku, notable roles:

  • Sawa, A Kite
  • Shimarisu, Bonobono
  • Alice Shinohara, Idol Fight Suchie-Pai 2
  • Alexandria Meat, Kinnikuman (“Ultimate Muscle”)
  • Gash Bell, Konjiki no Gash Bell!! (“Zatch Bell”) ✅
  • Umi Ryūzaki, Magic Knight Rayearth ✅
  • Kukuri, Mahōjin Guruguru (1994)
  • Azusa Kanzaki, Mamono Hunter Yōko
  • Ruri Himeyuri, To Heart 2 ✅
  • Maria Shiratori, Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh (1992) 

Ai Orikasa as Ginko, notable roles:

  • Arisa Mitaka, Aozora Shōjo-tai (“801 T.T.S. Airbats”)
  • Max Mizuhara, Bakuten Shoot Beyblade
  • Ryoko Takeuchi, Blue Seed
  • Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya, Detective Conan ✅
  • Marth, Fire Emblem ✅
  • Berg Katse, Gatchaman
  • Kōtarō Kirigakure, Genki Bakuhatsu Ganbaruger
  • Tōma Seguchi, Gravitation ✅
  • Sealand and Tony, Hetalia
  • Jakotsu, InuYasha ✅
  • Hayabusa, Jigen Sengokushi: Kuro no Shishi (“Black Lion”)
  • Yuko Kondō, Kidō Shinsengumi Moeyo Ken
  • Naoko Asakura, Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo: Yōkoso Tsugumi Ryō e
  • Pururun, Kyattō Ninden Teyandee (“Samurai Pizza Cats”)
  • Solude Schfoltzer, Maze☆Bakunetsu Jikū (TV)
  • Quatre Raberba Winner, Kidō Senki Gundam Wing ✅
  • Sakura Murakami, Momoiro Sisters
  • Natsuki Kisumi, Natsuki Crisis
  • Pietro Pakapuka, Popolocrois Monogatari
  • Kurt, Pymalio
  • Romeo, Romeo no Aoi Sora ✅
  • Pavlin Peacock, Saint Seiya Omega ✅
  • Mizuki, Saishū Heiki Kanojo: Another Love Song
  • Kanae Ōtori, Shōjo Kakumei Utena ✅
  • Cedric Errol, Shōkōshi Cedie (“Little Lord Fauntleroy”)
  • Helga Mittermeyer, Suna no Bara: Yuki no Mokushiroku (“Desert Rose”)
  • Genius Sage, Tales of Symphonia ✅
  • Ryōko Hakubi, Tenchi Muyō! ✅
  • Alexial, Tenshi Kinryōku (“Angel’s Sanctuary”)
  • Tarydon and Mother Eliza, Terra e… (TV) ✅
  • Siddhartha Gautama, Tezuka Osamu no Buddha
  • Koto and Shizuru Kuwabara, Yū☆Yū☆Hakusho ✅

Mariko Onodera as Nana, notable roles:

  • Snow Dancer, Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon S: Kaguya-hime no Koibito ✅

Machiko Neya as Sayaka, notable roles:

  • Satella Harvenheit, Chrno Crusade
  • Nine A. Thunder, eX-Driver
  • Melissa Mao, Full Metal Panic! ✅
  • Riza Hawkeye, Fullmetal Alchemist ✅
  • Jun, Gatchaman
  • Irene Vincent, Gunsmith Cats ✅
  • Hungary, Hetalia
  • Ihrie, Hikyō Tanken Fam & Ihrie ✅
  • Tatsuki Iizuka, Hyakko
  • Mako Satō, Initial D
  • Talho Yūki, Eureka Seven ✅
  • Delphine Eraclea, Last Exile ✅
  • Hilda Harken, Kidō Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
  • Huang Kuang-Mei, Power Dolls
  • Nancy Makuhari, R.O.D リード・オア・ダイ (“Read or Die” OVA) ✅
  • Honey Kisaragi, Shin Cutey Honey
  • Doll Izumi, Super Doll Licca-chan
  • Natalia Luzu Kimlasca Lanvaldear, Tales of the Abyss
  • Adiane, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
  • Serio (HMX-13), To Heart ✅

Conclusively, Metal Fighter Miku is a series that is very forgettable, despite the Evangelion Rebuild character designer (Takeshi Honda) portraying the girls as lithe and lively young women, you can’t let the cover art fool you! I would only recommend this a) if you’re a diehard Akiyuki Shinbō fan, or b) if you’re into professional wrestling and you really want to see representation in anime. And if that’s the case, Tiger Mask and Kinnikuman (“Ultimate Muscle”) are decent alternatives. I give the series a 3/10.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Published by eggheadluna

H.E. Rodgers is the author of the Juniper's Tree series, also known as the 真柏Project. MyAnimeList: https://myanimelist.net/profile/Egghe... Twitter: https://twitter.com/EggheadLuna #真柏Project #JunipersTree

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