Thursday, January 31, 2013
Video profile of preteen Ice Ribbon wrestler shows why the joshi business is dying a slow death
Here is a video profile of 13 year old Ice Ribbon wrestler Kurumi. Long time readers of this blog will be aware that I don't care for Ice Ribbon or their practice of training preteen girls to be professional wrestlers. This video shows some of Ice Ribbon's problems and problems with the joshi business in general. When Sakura Emi started Ice Ribbon, she wanted it to be like an after school activity for preteen schoolgirls. She was always uncomfortable with the company's growth. But once it became a full blown pro wrestling company, she couldn't go back to what it was. She wanted to return to Ice Ribbon's roots but she knew she couldn't. And that conflict is Ice Ribbon's major flaw and is the reason the company's growth has stalled. Kurumi seems normal except she is a big Nanae Takahashi fan. And it is revealed that her mother tried out to be a wrestler and failed. So her mother supports her foray into pro wrestling. But when I watch her in the ring, she clearly doesn't know what she's doing. When she was executing her finisher, she lost her balance and almost fell off the turnbuckle twice. But that's what you get with Ice Ribbon. They don't have the time to train them for any length of time so most of them debut long before they are ready. The truth is a lot of the preteen girls leave after a short period of time. They either get hurt or lose interest. I don't know if that will happen with Kurumi. She's a fan so she could be more likely to tough it out. She talks about the audience being mostly old men. Well, that's another reason that Ice Ribbon encourages preteens and idols, the dirty old man factor. And that's the audience joshi puroresu has appealed to for years. Because they aren't on network TV in Japan, there is no way for the joshi business to attract young fans. The fanbase is stagnant and has been stagnant for years. The dirty old men are not a profitable audience. But that is their audience. It's an interesting video and be sure to activate the English captions at the bottom of the player.