Battle Athletes Victory Vol. #2 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999
Let me say right off that I've enjoyed Battle Athletes TV much more than I did with the OVA's. The story line is much more full and captivating allowing a greater fleshing out of the characters than was possible before. They've done all this and still managed to retain the high production values of the OVA giving the series a very polished look.
Enough of the small talk, let's get down to what I consider the real meat and potatoes of a DVD review...the technical aspects. Because, let's face it, no matter how good a story line you have, it'll be killed by poor presentation.
The audio is very crisp and clear on both the Japanese and English tracks. Pioneer consistently does a very good job of this avoiding the downfall that some other companies experience by screwing up and washing out the sound effects and music for the English dialogue. I've always been a sub-only guy, but I'm glad someone at Pioneer listened to the complaints about the OVA's "creative license" taken to the English track. It's been toned down a few notches so that it's actually faithful to the subbed translation!
When I viewed the first BA TV disc I was completely in love with the video. It was standard Pioneer excellence. This disc is almost there, but just falls short. I have a very discerning eye when it comes to flaws in the video and I noticed in a few spots that for some reason the picture gets a very low-res look to it. For instance, at the 14:07 mark there are two brief instances where the picture isn't as sharp as it should be. This effect is also noticeable many times when the camera cuts to a new view or scene. This could just be my player or disc since this was not present on volume 1, but I don't think so since I can freeze frame it.
Again, this disc suffers from the same type of slow loading menu that the first volume was afflicted by. The production of the disc was probably too far along to change it once Pioneer started getting feedback from the first disc. It's forgivable so long as it's changed later along with the addition of better chapter stops and the OP/ED's.
Time for the episode reviews, but I'll keep it mild for those of you with weak stomachs for spoilers. What can I say besides the fact that this volume kicks? I don't know why, but I love all the angst and cheesy overcoming-your-own-demons story lines. Jessie proves that she can be a major bitch when the time is right and we learn that Ichino isn't quite as selfless as she'd like to think that she is. Tanya still has no brain and Ayla seems to actually be growing some type of personality. Great, great stuff all over the place. If you're not watching this series, you should be.
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: B+
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