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

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, December 07, 1999
Release Date: Tuesday, December 07, 1999



What They Say
When Akari found her father, it was a shock. But the real surprise was the true purpose of the Cosmo Beauty Competition: to hone the athletic skills of the best athletes that humanity has to offer in order to compete against strange and hostile aliens! It's the ultimate contest with the fate of humanity on the line when the Melody Queen sends her genetically engineered champions into the competition for the most precious prize of all - the planet Earth!

The Review!
Talk about a wild ride. Though the DVD series comes to a close 3 months after the VHS version, I have to say I'm glad that it made the journey to DVD since otherwise I would have missed it entirely.

Other than a couple of minor instances of line shimmering, this volume looks just as good as the previous versions. There are several extremely fluid pieces of animation throughout this episode and they simply look gorgeous on this release. Colors are vibrant with little hint of any bleeding and the darks look quite good. Visually, this is a great looking disc.

As expected, there were no surprises with the audio on this disc. The stereo soundtrack sounds clean and clear throughout on the Japanese side and some spot checking on the English track didn't reveal anything odd there. The majority of the dialogue and sounds end up coming through my center channel, but there is one sequence where there is a great throw to the rear speakers that really surprised me. A solid disc in the audio department.

The final cover to the series is definitely a great one, with Tomoe Midoh gracing it. This series has been fortunate in having some great artwork to draw from the Japanese releases and have produced some very eyecatching (if not spoilerish) covers. The back contains the usual amount of good and useful information as well as a listing of all the episodes on the disc and their episode number. Definitely the way TV series discs should be done.

The only downside to this release, other than the lack of openings and endings, is the menu system that is just very sluggish on anything other than a really good DVD-ROM drive. The language selection is very good though in that it leaves the selected options in a different color so you know exactly what you're going to end up with. Otherwise, this menu is pretty much identicle to the previous releases.

This final disc is very hard to review in terms of content, as practically everything about it is a spoiler based on the last disc. Since it contains the last four episodes, there's more oppurtunity to clean up the outstanding minor plots in addition to the one glaring big plot as revealed in volume seven. There's a lot of truly great writing and moments in this disc.

This is one of those series that you hope keeps up the same pace it started with and never stops. All eight volumes are a treasure and contain some of the tightest anime writing and plotting that's up there with Vision of Escaflowne and Neon Genesis Evangelion. The characters are all very fleshed out and in these final episodes, what has gone before isn't betrayed at all, but rather built upon and provides some truly great moments from just about every character.

Fans of the first seven volumes will be amazed by what transpires within. It's been a wild ride and I'm sad to see it's over. Battle Athletes Victory is a world I'm definitely going to revisit many times in the years to come.

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: A
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
MSRP: 14.98
Running time: 85
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Battle Athletes