Battle Athletes OVA Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, December 29, 1998
Subtitle Rating: B+
In the year 4999, there is a great Physical competition (Daiundoukai). Try to picture super powered Olympics events with competitors to match. The main judge of anyone on any planet in the future is their physical abilities. There are no more wars or conflicts (at least in the national/world sense). How humanity got here was through a long drawn out war, lasting all of the first 10 minutes of the DVD, but in the end the outcome of the war was decided through a great athletic meet.
The audio on the disc is as good as the LD version and a pro-logic mix. The Japanese tracks are a great transition from the originals. As for the English track... well I decided to switch and check it out occasionally, but what I heard caused me to start laughing within a few sentences (even when it's serious) and thus switch back to Japanese for a while. Also one think I thought strange was that there seemed to be extra/different background sounds in the English version in some scenes. Maybe it's my imagination, I will have to watch it again and update this latter. I don't have Rear speakers yet so the front sound stage was just great for me.
The video is really close to perfect as one can get. The video did seem a lot crisper then the LD I watched but not the best, thus the A- rating. In itself the video was very clean and clear with no noise or pixellation. Excellent all around in my view.
The DVD its self was packaged in a keepcase with great and eye-catching artwork. I love how they fit all the main characters, well all the female ones, onto the box and the SD Akari is a great addition.
Now for the menu... I'm still very divided on whether or not it's good, great, poor, or what. This being the ohhh 3rd DVD I've watched adds a little to the confusion. In other reviews people have pointed out how the menu is slow and disruptive. I found the menu to have a slight lag when changing from options. But when accessing things off of the main menu and actually selecting (as compared to moving) I found it to be just fine, also doesn't the SD images make up for that little lag. In some people minds it doesn't.
Well moving right along to the show's content, we are in for a treat. Like stated above there is a recap of the last 1000 years in the first 10 minutes, but you aren't really shortchanged on info like others have done in the past. Also having watched the full TV series already, this small intro and the 3 disks in the OVA set shows a hint at a wider plot development. This disk includes the first two EPS of the 6 part OVA and is slightly longer then the other disks at 75 mins instead of 60. (Because of that extra intro part) Ohhh and on a side note my subtitles in a few parts seemed to be slightly blurred, I think this has to do with my TV and not the disk, because they played fine on my friends computer.
Looking back at other peoples reviews I know if you wish to know about the overall storyline you already will by the time you get to my review, so I'll just leave that part for others. (Also isn't it fun not knowing much about some movies/series/OVA's before watching them?)
So, in the year 4999, we have Akari and her friends going through their entry into the University Satellite, where the best girls/women train to become the Cosmic Beauty, the ultimate achievement of physical training. There's no explanation of why men aren't allowed on (at least not yet) which is strange since the concept behind the University was based on a male's achievement 1000 years prior to this. Maybe it'll be explained later on.
Well to go somewhere fast with this lets look at characters really briefly.
Akari Kanzaki: Well other then having her image on the front of the box and having her name in bold on the back you can tell right off that she is the main character of the series. When put onto the satellite and a very "interesting" team Akari can either be a great competitor or a complete wimp. This sort of changes over the whole OVA series, both ways, and is emphasized even more in the Japanese language version.
Tanya: Well you really have to watch the series to find out about Tanya (with the VERY long last name). Basically she is a very entertaining character to watch and very very very energetic.
Kris: Only person in the main group of characters not from Earth. She has a very interesting life style/religion, which leads to fan service and some very interesting situations.
Anna: Anna starts out as a very quiet and background character, but is brought forward throughout the storyline.
More to come in the next OVA review.
With these and more interesting characters in the OVA series we are in for a real treat in the next 2 DVD's. In addition the Headmaster is just a GREAT character and is a joy to watch in the few scenes with him.
Favorite Quote: "It's a Pioneer show! Of course it'll have a bath scene!" Most people only have to think about it for a few seconds before they start laughing. Until next review!
Sharp 21" TV, Pioneer DV-525 codefree DVD player, JVC receiver, Monster Video cable and Klipsch speakers (Front only).
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: N/A
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