Battle Athletes OVA Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, December 29, 1998
I had held off from viewing this series (as I am doing with Bastard!!) since I knew it was going to arrive on DVD. Everyone knows that once you go DVD there's no going back to VHS. The transfer is absolutely dead on with no visual flaws that my eyes could see. I can be very picky about these kinds of things, as I seem to pick up on errors that others would glance over. Battle Athletes is on par with Pioneer's best releases such as Night Warriors in terms of video quality. If CPM could have this same consistent quality then I'd be I heaven.
The audio tracks are standard Dolby 2.0, which is nothing terribly impressive, but seems to go hand in hand with most OVA's and television series. It is clear with no distortion or anything else that would detract from the total anime experience. I did notice while changing tracks on the fly that the English seems to be more subdued than the Japanese track. This leads me to a small complaint about the English version. There seems to be a habit with companies to want to add lines of dialogue where there were none originally. It's the same deal as with the Kiki dub done by Disney.
I have to admit that the packaging is very eye catching. It's very colorful with it covering the three primary colors and besides, who doesn't like cute girls adorned on front covers? I also thought it was quite clever that they put the long and very shapely legs of Akari on the back since they were cut off on the front. Did I mention that cute girls on front covers were attractive? ^_^ That's enough for a good grade in my book. Inside the Amaray keepcase are three bonus stickers of a SD Akari and the very important chapter list. Why is it important...?
There's no chapter selection menu on the disc! I don't know if I'm just a complete moron because I can't find it or if Pioneer is for not including it. I found this particularly annoying since I didn't watch this in one sitting and I had to reference the case and type in the chapter manually. The only thing that saves the menu's grade is the inclusion of previews and character art for the Athletes.
Finally...an animated version of Apollo 13. What? Battle Athletes? OK, so they love retro in the 50th century. That's cool. Another thing that struck me was the distinctly Japanese feel to the University Satellite with the cherry blossoms and the dress of the Satellite's headmaster. I guess you could relate it to the Buenos Aires kids in Starship Troopers acting like Americans. After the teeth pulling first ten minutes the show does pick up, but still drags for most of the first episode with Akari predictably running afoul the series' antagonist. The second episode is much more entertaining to me having more of an action base. Here's looking forward to the much anticipated bath scene in the next volume!
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Battle Athletes