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

By:Mike Kiefl
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, December 07, 1999



The Review!
I'm dissatisfied with my old way of reviewing things, so I'm starting a new system for my reviews. Since I'm not that good on judging the technical aspects and besides that don't really have any good home theater equipment to view it on in the first place (the first time I watch it, anyway), I'm gonna totally skip out on the technical part. I'll give two scores, Presentation (packaging/menus/etc.) and Content (story/music/that kind of stuff). Thank you. Now on to the review.

Such a great series has been mistreated by Pioneer in packaging. As we finish out this series (which I believe is the first complete, 26 episode anime TV show to be brought out on DVD), volumes 1, 4, 7, and 8 have had white keepcases, while the other 4 have had black. And the black keepcases even had differences between them. I personally think that SOMEONE deserves to get fired over this, as I don't see why they didn't just pick one and stick with it. Thankfully, the spine is back to normal. The front box art is nice, but after viewing this disc, I'll never think of Tomoe Midoh in the same way. The back has good information, some nice images, and it fills it up nicely. The menu is the exact same it has been, but the background art just seems to be getting consistently better.

But the most important part of this and any other disc is the story. The show has been amazingly good up to this point, and just when you think it can't get any better...Ah, the true purpose of the Daigakko-sei...I believe someone on the forum once called this show "Nothing but a bunch of half-naked chicks playing sports" or something along those lines. The previous 22 episodes just seem like that now after the seriousness that these last 4 take on. Even despite that seriousness, it never loses its comedic touch. I laughed more than I've ever laughed when watching this series or other anime comedies like Tenchi. When the girls are training for the final conflict, though, it just seems rushed, same in the early rounds of the final competition. There aren't any episodes that were really unnecessary, though, so the only way to make it work out perfect would've maybe extended it to a 28 or 29 episode series (a la Magic Knights Rayearth). The final stretch before the victory just really, desperately needed an insert song. I'm so used to watching a Sailor Moon/ Dragon Ball type series that my mind desperately wanted to hear Unmei no Hi ~Tamashii tai Tamashii~ as Akari and Tomoe raced towards the finish. Minor loss.

The twists on this disc are incredible. My favorite character, Mr. Miracle is just expanded on so much. Damn, he is cool! He deserves his own spin-off! Don't you dare read the back of the box or a lot may be spoiled (although I had to debate in my mind about it). Many old favorites get call-backs. I'm so glad to see Itchan in the show again. You'd think she could at least have called Akari and talked to her during the Daiundoukai, but at least we get to see her again now. I also think the very end was handled very well. Unlike most series where there are a lot of loose ends, it ended up exactly as I wanted and expected (except there's still that one loose end...or should I say two...but that's better left undecided...behave yourselves, girls). As far as I know, this series has a spot reserved in the Essential Anime Collection, and I believe it deserves it. If you've just barely liked one volume, one episode, one minute of the show, buy all of it. Trust me, if you like it a little, you'll like it all a lot. One of the most amazing things is it is such an uplifting show, but it never crosses the line where it becomes that redundant Magical Girl-type anime. This is a superb series, and one every otaku should have in their collection.

Presentation: C
Content: A



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: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
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