Battle Arena Toshinden (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Release Date: Monday, May 19, 1997
What They Say
The last Toshin Tournament ended one year ago. Nobody won. For one year, Master Swordsman Eiji Shinjo has been haunted by the memory of his battle with the renegade champion. Denied victory, Eiji left the tournament followed by his opponent's mocking laughter. Who is this powerful, new foe and who will be his next target? Eiji and Kayin... his closest friend and greatest rival... struggle to unveil the mystery before they, too, join the ranks of the defeated. The answer lies at the heart of the Organization and its plans for world domination. At last, the ultimate battle between the greatest fighters in the world will finally be decided. But if Eiji loses, his friend... Ellis... may die... Let the tournament begin!
Toshinden, while not a bad OVA, isn't a great OVA either. But, this generally happens with media conversions such as a video game to anime/TV/movie or anything else like that. It doesn't suffer as horribly as some others, but the you can tell by the animation in a lot of places that it was a quick job to get something out on the market while the Playstation game was hot.
The story focuses loosely on a group called the Organization, and from there we learn of various characters who are after them, to bring down their evil schemes. And... well, that's sort of it. They go through a few fight scenes, somewhat resolve the plot over the two episodes, and let it hang there in hopes of a follow-up, which we all know by now just isn't going to happen.
The video itself overall is good, there's no artifacting or anything wrong that I can notice. The audio is decent 2.0 digital surround, which is what the majority of anime releases will be. My only gripe with the disc from a technical point of view is the horrid menus. Giving them a C rating was being nice. I just did not like how it worked, the way the text shifted to a voice balloon, and it seemed a bit smudgy to me as well. Granted, this was one of the first releases of the first few months of DVDs, so you have to give it some leeway in that respect.
Overall, I'd say this disc is for completists (like myself) only, or true fans of the game.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character introduction and story background,
Original advertising trailer
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Central Park Media
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Battle Arena Toshinden