Plawres Sanshiro

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Plawres Sanshiro
Cover of the first DVD volume
(Puraresu Sanshirō)
GenreMecha, Sport
Written byJirō Gyū
Published byAkita Shoten
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Champion
Original runAugust 6, 1982May 3, 1985
Anime television series
Directed byKunihiko Yuyama
Produced byIsao Onuki
Yoshirō Kataoka
Written byJunki Takegami
Kenji Terada
Keisuke Fujikawa
Music byYasunori Tsuchida
Kaname Production
Original networkTBS
Original run June 5, 1983 February 26, 1984
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Plawres Sanshiro (プラレス3四郎, Puraresu Sanshirō) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Jirō Gyū. It was serialized in the Akita Shoten magazine Weekly Shōnen Champion from August 6, 1982 to May 3, 1985. An anime adaptation aired in 1983 in Japan, Hong Kong, Greece and Arab countries. The name is a shortened derivative of "Plastic Model Wrestling Sanshiro." The animation is based on the manga of the same name, though the visuals of the characters, in particular the PlaWrestler robots, were different.


The story is about a young boy named Sanshiro Sugata and his miniature PlaWrestler pocket robot with super LSI circuit named Juohmaru. Initially, the show was about Sanshiro's battles with Juohmaru against other PlaWrestlers in robot battle tournaments that were a hybrid blend of modern professional wrestling, hi-tech Robot Wars and Japanese noh theatre.[citation needed] As the series went on, its focus shifted to Sanshiro exploring the possible uses of PlaWrestling technology in medical implants, and his clash against those who wished to use it for military purposes instead.


Sanshiro's group[edit]

Sanshiro Sugata (素形3四郎, Sugata Sanshirō) Voiced by: Satomi Majima

Sanshiro is the series' protagonist and a PlaWres modeler. His PlaWrestler, Juohmaru (柔王丸 Jūōmaru), is custom-made. Initially, Sanshiro is an ambitious rookie, and his overconfidence and brashness leads to several mistakes that he sometimes does not get out of. As the series, progresses, Sanshiro learns to think more rationally and consider the benefit of others rather than only his own.

Kyoko Fubuki (吹雪今日子, Fubuki Kyōko) Voiced by: Arisa Andō

Kyoko's is Sanshiro's friend and possible love interest. She is assistant judo instructor at the Sugata family dojo. She is energetic and outspoken and does not hesitate to scold Sanshiro whenever he makes a mistake. Kyoko works at her family's eatery business and can drive a motorcycle.

Shota Yamaguchi (山口章太, Yamaguchi Shōta) Voiced by: Noriko Tsukase

Shota is Sanshiro's best friend, whose job is collecting information of any kind, particularly on rival modelers. Shota is hyperactive and is shown frequently running in a peculiar style of his own invention. He is also flirtatious, a loudmouth and quick to judge on first impressions. However, he takes his duties seriously.

Tetsuya Hasegawa (長谷川哲也, Hasegawa Tetsuya) Voiced by: Naoki Ryuta

Tetsuya is Juohmaru's mechanic, responsible for fine tuning him, upgrading him and repairing him, especially during the minute-long break between a battle's rounds. He is shown to be very capable, a quick thinker and an innovator, although at times he has taken offence at Sanshiro overriding him for Juohmaru's maintenance.

Shinji Murao (村尾伸次, Murao Shinji) Voiced by: Kaneto Shiozawa

Shinji is Juohmaru's programmer. His code, along with Sanshiro's manual control, guides Juohmaru in the battle ring. Like Tetsuya, Shinji is portrayed to be good at his job and a cool thinker compared to Sanshiro and Shota.

Sanshiro's family[edit]

Kennosuke Sugata (素形健之介, Sugata Kennosuke) Voiced by: Hidekatsu Shibata

Sanshiro's grandfather and judo master of the local dojo. For the most part, Kennosuke is critical of Sanshiro's PlaWrestling exploits, preferring him to practice judo and eventually succeed him as dojo master instead. However, he is also shown secretly watching many of Sanshiro's fights and worrying about the outcome. Eventually, Sanshiro's success and determination convince Kennosuke to let him pursue his own dreams.

Kaoru Sugata (素形薫, Sugata Kaoru) Voiced by: Akiko Inose

Sanshiro's mother. Kaoru seems to be somewhat aloof, which makes her a foil for Kennosuke when discussing about Sanshiro. Despite her impression of naivety, she occasionally exhibits moments of profound insight in a situation, attributing them to her "maternal instinct".

Machiko Sugata (素形真知子, Sugata Machiko) Voiced by: Chieko Honda

Sanshiro's little sister. Machiko is a lively child who supports Sanshiro in his endeavours. Despite her small age, she is prone to making surprisingly insightful remarks to many of her elders.

Kenichiro Sugata (素形健一郎, Sugata Ken'ichirō)

Sanshiro's father. Kenichiro died before the series begins and appears only in his photograph and Sanshiro's imagination. Kenichiro's research created PlaWrestling. His further attempts to use it for the benefit of mankind met with resistance from arms dealers who wished to use it as a means of warfare. Kenichiro ended up dead in a suspicious accident. After learning this, Sanshiro resolved to use PlaWrestling to continue his father's research, which was a pivotal moment in the series.


Jose Garcia

The mastermind behind all the plans directed against Sanshiro. Jose Garcia is a ruthless arms dealer who manipulates the PlaWrestling scene worldwide by funding and essentially bribing its officials. In this way, he hopes to exploit PlaWrestling technology to develop robotic super-soldiers. It is possible that he orchestrated the accident in which Sanshiro's father died. Somewhat atypically, Garcia is not defeated by the end of the series. He actually manages to develop and market robot soldiers of questionable competence, and Sanshiro believes in allowing the world to judge for itself whether the peaceful or aggressive use of PlaWrestling technology is more useful.


Chairman of the World PlaWresting Association (WPWA) and henchman to Jose Garcia. Ballesteros is a self-important man who manipulates the Association, its Japanese branch (JPWA) and the Fighting-type Modeler League to further Garcia's ends. After Garcia develops his robot soldiers, he loses interest in PlaWrestling and cuts funding, leading an enraged Ballesteros to face off against Sanshiro in the series finale. Like Garcia, Ballesteros suffers no consequences for his villainous actions besides feeling defeated and humiliated.

Sheila Misty (シーラ・ミスティ) Voiced by: Yō Inoue

An enigmatic, beautiful woman riding a motorbike, Shiela spies on Sanshiro from the first episode and constantly manipulates events and people to force him to give up PlaWrestling. Eventually it is revealed that she works for Jose Garcia, who has convinced her that he will heal her brother's Mash's legs, who were disabled when Garcia's car crashed into Sheila's motorbike. After she realises Garcia's deception, Sheila becomes an ally of Sanshiro. She also has an unnamed female PlaWrestler.

Gendou Kurosaki (黒崎玄剛, Kurosaki Gendō) Voiced by: Takeshi Watabe

Boisterous and self-important, Kurosaki is Japan's national PlaWrestling champion for three consecutive years. However, he loses from Sanshiro in the first episode, partly due to damage his PlaWrestler, Mad Hurricane, sustained during the championship match. This event makes Kurosaki a fierce rival of Sanshiro, and they clash for most of the series. Later on, Kurosaki becomes more sympathetic after seeing the troubles Sanshiro has to overcome and ends up his ally. Kurosaki is the region's foremost Fighting-Type modeler, following the philosophy of winning at any cost.

Other characters[edit]

Shinogu Narita (成田シノグ, Narita Shinogu) Voiced by: Tōru Furuya

In contrast with Kurosaki, Narita is the region's foremost Hobby-type modeler. Hobby-types generally view PlaWrestling as a contest of skill and place the well-being of their PlaWrestlers above winning. Narita is down-to-earth, intelligent, collected and has the respect of Sanshiro and his team, but his attitude sometimes makes him take things too seriously and appear cold and distant. Narita's PlaWrestler is called Ikaros Wing.

Dr. Warmer

A colleague of Sanshiro's father, Dr. Warmer helped develop PlaWrestling technology. After telling Sanshiro of his father's desire to use PlaWrestling to help the disabled, Sanshiro gathers data from Juohmaru's battles and send them to him. Dr. Warmer analyses this data and eventually comes up with a novel technology that relies on brain wave induction to restore a person's mobility.

Rival Robots[edit]

  • Mad Hurricane
  • Ikarus Wing
  • Majin
  • Rocky
  • Mosquito
  • Cherry Bomber
  • Iron Killer
  • Blue Hawaii
  • El Matador
  • Stardust
  • Ganchanko
  • Hiryu
  • Pretty Rosa
  • Big Bang
  • Asteroid
  • Death Trap
  • Devil
  • Yoga
  • Great America
  • Western Buffalo
  • Red Arrow
  • JJ
  • El Cid
  • Mad Maximum
  • Great Simba
  • Siegfried
  • Ivan
  • Jupiter


Function Names
Chief Director Kunihiko Yuyama
Producer Isao Onuki, Yoshirō Kataoka
Planning Azuma Kasuga
Production manager Akihiro Nagao
Episode director Eikichi Kojika, Kazuhiro Ochi, Kimiharu Oguma, Kunihiko Yuyama, Masahisa Ishida, Masamune Ochiai, Osamu Sekita, Yasuo Ishikawa
Composition Keisuke Fujikawa
Script Junki Takegami, Kenji Terada, Keisuke Fujikawa
Original creator Jirô Gyû, Minoru Kamiya
Music Yasushi Tsuchida
Character Design Mutsumi Inomata
Art director Geki Katsumata, Junichi Mizuno
Animation director Hiromi Muranaka, Hisashi Takai, Kazuhiro Ochi, Masamune Ochiai, Mutsumi Inomata, Shigenori Kageyama, Toshiki Hirano, Toshio Nitta, Yoshiharu Fukushima
Mechanical design Shohei Kohara, Takahiro Toyomasu
Editing Shuichi Kakesu
Sound director Noriyoshi Matsuura
Sound effects Katsumi Itō

DVD release[edit]

Six Plawres Sanshiro DVDs are available spanning 37 episodes at 25 minutes each.

Plawres Sanshiro Vol.1 – Episode 1,2

Plawres Sanshiro Vol.2 – Episode 3 - 9

Plawres Sanshiro Vol.3 – Episode 10 - 16

Plawres Sanshiro Vol.4 – Episode 17 - 23

Plawres Sanshiro Vol.5 – Episode 24 - 30

Plawres Sanshiro Vol.6 – Episode 31 - 37


# Air Date Episodes title (names translated from Japanese) Episodes title (Japanese)
1 June 5, 1983 Juohmaru, This is Plawrestling!! 柔王丸・これがプラレスだ!!
2 June 12, 1983 Death Match! Kurosaki VS. Sanshiro デスマッチ・黒崎VS3四郎!!
3 June 19, 1983 The Majin, Power Attack ザ・魔神 パワーアタック!!
4 June 26, 1983 Take That! Fireball Attack! 受けてみろ 火の玉チャレンジ
5 July 3, 1983 Danger! Sanshiro Is In Big Trouble あぶない!3四郎危機一髪!!
6 July 10, 1983 Finally! Female Plawrestler! ついに出た!女子プラレスラー!!
7 July 17, 1983 Tekkamen, the Assassin Lullaby of the death 暗殺者鉄仮面!?死の子守唄!!
8 July 24, 1983 Beat the rival!! Narita VS. Sanshiro!! ライバルを倒せ!!成田VS3四郎!!
9 July 31, 1983 Mad Hurricane's revenge!! Stand up, Juohmaru!! 復讐のマッドハリケーン!!立て柔王丸!!
10 August 7, 1983 Crash!! Skateboard kid Challenger from Hawaii!! 激突!!スケボーキッド ハワイからのチャレンジャー!!
11 August 14, 1983 Knock Down Matador! Get Angry, Juohmaru!! 必殺のマタドール!怒れ柔王丸!!
12 August 21, 1983 Killing Stardust! Targeted Juohmaru!! 殺しのスターダスト!狙われた柔王丸!!
13 August 28, 1983 Plawres Wars! Juohmaru Aims Championship!! プラレスウォーズ!チャンプをめざせ柔王丸!!
14 September 4, 1983 Fateful Rivals! Hard Crash, Juohmaru!! 宿命のライバル!激闘柔王丸!!
15 September 11, 1983 Strong Opponent! Kung-Fu Vs. Juohmaru!! 強敵出現!カンフーVS柔王丸!!
16 September 18, 1983 Dueling In Georama City! Juohmaru, 2 Vs. 1!! 決闘ジオラマシティー!柔王丸2対1!!
17 September 25, 1983 Beautiful Challenger! Juohmaru, Dance of the Beast!! 華麗なるチャレンジャー!柔王丸獣の舞!!
18 October 2, 1983 Highway Battle! Desperate Juohmaru!! ハイウェイバトル!決死の柔王丸!!
19 October 9, 1983 A New Sunrise! Come back alive, Juohmaru!! 新たなる夜明け!甦れ柔王丸!!
20 October 16, 1983 Heart & Machine!! Juohmaru! The Long Way! ハート&マシーン!!柔王丸!遥かなる道!
21 October 23, 1983 Trap of the Space Shuttle! Fly to the Cosmos, Juohmaru!! スペースシャトルの罠!宇宙に翔べ柔王丸!!
22 October 30, 1983 Kurosaki, desperate challenge! Survive, Juohmaru!! 黒崎執念の挑戦!生き残れるか柔王丸!!
23 November 6, 1983 Plawrestling war! Be the star of Asia, Juohmaru!! プラレス大戦争!アジアに輝け柔王丸!!
24 November 13, 1983 A tower of execution! Juohmaru, fight with anger!! 処刑の塔!柔王丸怒りをこめて戦え!!
25 November 27, 1983 The champion from America! Juohmaru, departure for tomorrow!! アメリカから来たチャンプ!柔王丸明日への旅立ち!!
26 December 4, 1983 Juohmaru! A midday western fight!! 柔王丸!真昼のウエスタンファイト!!
27 December 11, 1983 Juohmaru! Run for tomorrow!! 柔王丸!明日に向かって走れ!!
28 December 18, 1983 The night of evil! Tear the darkness, Juohmaru!! 悪魔の夜!柔王丸,闇を裂け!!
29 December 25, 1983 A stage of death! Awaken, Juohmaru!! 死のステージ!目覚めよ!柔王丸!!
30 January 8, 1984 Juohmaru! Oath for tomorrow!! 柔王丸!明日への誓い!!
31 January 15, 1984 Juohmaru! Glowing Plawrestling spirit!! 柔王丸!燃えるプラレス魂!!
32 January 22, 1984 Enemy plane over! Jump over Juohmaru!! 頭上の敵機!跳べ柔王丸!!
33 January 29, 1984 This is brain wave induction! Run softly Juohmaru!! これが脳波誘導だ!走れ柔王丸!!
34 February 5, 1984 Juohmaru! Road to champion!! 柔王丸!チャンプへの道!!
35 February 12, 1984 Juohmaru! It is the day when the world changes!! 柔王丸!世界が変わる日だ!!
36 February 19, 1984 Juohmaru! Plawrestling Eternally!! 柔王丸!プラレスよ永遠に!!
37 February 26, 1984 Juohmaru! Soldier is wanted! Last time!! 柔王丸!希望の戦士!!


The 1983 Plawres Sanshiro soft vinyl robots are considered extremely rare. Instead of selling giant robots scaled down to toy size, what was sold and marketed to the public was pocket robots at about 30 cm tall claiming to be identical in size to the TV show version. Despite having the rival robots available for sale, the consumer trend at the time was to purchase the protagonist robots, thus most sales were limited to just 1 robot.

In the end, there may have been reissues and re-releases of the toy line, including models that require assembly. But because there were so few Plawres Sanshiro soft vinyl robots in circulation to begin with, the 80s original model is considered an exceptional collectible gem.


Plawres Sanshiro came at a time when the Asian late 70s - 80s anime scene was practically dominated by giant robots every year. The show was uniquely different since it mixed genre and featured a lead robot character that did not tower over buildings, grow in size or carried any firearms. Because of its unique substance, contents, and a relatively short episode count of 37, it had a very limited lifespan in the market. However, director Yuyama would reuse some of the series' elements a decade and a half later in the worldwide success Pokemon.


External links[edit]