Battle Athletes Victory Vol. #7 (of 8) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, November 02, 1999
Release Date: Tuesday, November 02, 1999



What They Say
Lahrri's mechanized training method gives her a perfectly consistent performance which is quite the opposite of Mylandah's method of unleashing her awesome rage. However, both of them enjoy a comfortable lead over Akari and Kris in the semi-finals. Fortunately, Kris reminds Akari to relax and to try harder, so they renew their efforts. With this new confidence, their skills improve drastically and they experience a resurgence! The winners will face the final event - the 100 meter dash. Who will claim the final crown?

Episode 20: Friend
Episode 21: Save the Last Dance for Me
Episode 22: Farewell & Introductions

The Review!
Talk about a change in the story! Let's talk about the guts first.

The audio on the disc is clean and clear. The Japanese language had no indication of distortion and the spot checking I did on the English version sounded fine as well. The majority of the sound is spread across the front speakers providing a decent soundstage with sounds moving smoothly back and forth as necessary.

The video is a step up over the previous volume in terms of softness and pixellation. Colors are very vibrant and simply gorgeous on some occasions. Close ups of Kris's face with the coloring is very well represented. No color bleeding was evident that I could detect.

The packaging is where I'm wondering just what happened. The front cover contains a great picture of Kris and the other two girls and the back has some decent information on it as well as a few pictures that thankfully don't give anything away. The problem comes in that the sleeve that contains all of this is purple on the spine and on the back. The back's not much of an issue, but the first six volumes were all black. And now a purple. Some will find this to be a non-issue while others like myself wonder just what went wrong here. Not only has this series "suffered" from having different colored keepcases throughout the run, but in a well lit room (such as where my video library is) there's a contrast in how the discs look on the shelf now as opposed to a nice seamless block of discs. I really wish I knew what prompted this decision.

The menu continues to be the same as the other releases in the slow movements on the main screen and a general blandness in terms of design. Still better than some of the early DVD releases but there's nothing really noteworthy about it.

But what matters is the content of the disc itself. I'll be honest right now, I'm not going to go into much detail. Suffice to say that anyone who has said "wait till the last episode" was entirely on target. The three episodes on the disc contain the final two competitions for who will become the Cosmos Beauty and it's simply wonderfully done.

I must echo what has been said elsewhere: this TV series is simply beyond many standards. Wonderful characters, above level animation for many sequences and an excellent script. This series is better than it deserves to be.

If you've enjoyed the last six volumes, this one will keep you on edge wondering who will compete against who. And the last 5 seconds will make you sit up and be thankful you can scan in reverse and pause easily.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
MSRP: 14.98
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Battle Athletes