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

By:Morgan Law
Review Date: Sunday, May 12, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, December 07, 1999



The Review!
Almost 3 1/2 years after Chris' initial review of this volume; I have decided that this series needs to be seen by many more. That is the purpose of this review. Enjoyable and heart-warming, the final volume concludes the ever-loving tale of Akari Kanzaki and her path to the title of Cosmo Beauty. The third story arc occurs in this volume, revealing many secrets and history of Cosmo Beauty. There is no other finer way to end a series like this.

:: [ Video ] ::
Since the release at the end of 1999, technology has greatly advanced. The video is still great here though, and no obvious glitches. With a few timely spots and softer quality but still overall a good video transfer.

:: [ Audio ] ::
Viewed in both the Japanese track and English dub, the Japanese track is a lot better for the viewing. The English dub is well done, but lacks of the emotion of the Japanese VAs. Standard 2 channel stereo here, with dialogue being crisp and music very easily heard.

:: [ Packaging ] ::
Featuring on this volume is Akari Kanzaki's mother, the legendary Cosmo Beauty, Tomoe Midoh. This is my favourite cover of the series as it brings a surprise to the ending. The back provides a very descriptive summary, and the insert lists the chapter tracks. Nothing out of the ordinary, but well-presented.

:: [ Menu ] ::
The only fault to this discs. The menus are very slow loading, as the cursor changes with each selection making it incredibley slow. Good layout and design with a pretty picture is our menu.

:: [ Extras ] ::
Absent. Unless Pioneer Title Information counts.

:: [ Content ] ::

The bad thing of this disc is the lack of openings and endings between each episode. And the previews for the next volume are shown altogether at the end of the disc, but does not affect with this volume, as it is the last. Also, be sure to check out the omake 'Where Are They Now?' which are omitted from the DVDs, but can found at Jim Lazar's Animeprime site in form of screencaps.

Since of the great praise received here by many members of the AoD forum and the selection of the AoD Essential Collection, I was eagerly anticipating watching the series when I finally bought them. When my friend saw these, he said he doesn't like Sailor Moon-type anime. Admittedly, the discs from the outside seem a little childish, but it shines brightly on the content.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

We are placed in the final story arc in the last volume. At the end of the last volume, we see a mysterious man at Tomoe Midoh's grave and then a huge explosion. Later, we learn the alien life-forms, Nerlians, have returned to Earth seeking to compete for the Earth and all its habitants. The mysterious man is unveiled as Akari's father, also known as her coach, Mr. Miracle. Rescued by Headmaster Grant Oldman, Miracle is quickly attended to by his faithful doctor, Eric.

Akari, in sadness of the explosion of her mother's grave and the total shock of finding out the true meaning of the Cosmo Beauty competition. Many years ago, when the world was at war, the first contact with the Nerlians left the Earth in shambles. Proposing a competition to decide the fate of Earth, the single Nerlian was captured and into custody. Now, years later, the Nerlians have returned. Seven female competitors must be chosen to be Earth's last hope against the aliens. As Akari races around world to unite with her friends for the upcoming battle, Miracle is getting weak but decides that this battle is what he has given his life to, and he will not quit now.

Akari flies across the world, picking up characters from the past to form the seven that is to save the Earth. These include her close friend, Itchan (who inspired her to attend University Satellite and become the Cosmo Beauty), Tanya (the quick and agile African girl who knows no bottom to her stomach), Lahrri (former Cosmo Beauty, ousted by Akari), Mylandah (vengeful and second best to Lahrri for two years), Kris (Akari's Beginner from the moon friend and 'lover' who sacrificed her beliefs to be with her) and Jessie (after a tragic defeat by Lahrri, she returned the New York, seeking guidance from her past reverend and friend). Ayla was offered a place on the team, but with the seven month pregnant baby of her coach, she is forced not to join. At first, Jessie Gurtland is reluctant to join the seven on their quest to victory, but after tying Akari in a race, she decides to join to help the world and for herself. And so the seven is formed, and the training has started by Mr. Miracle, as the date with the Nerlians coming closer.

As we see the gang train intensively by Miracle, Akari is in deep conflict as to why Miracle does not treat her like a daughter. Finally accepted, Akari gains the spirit to train as her hard she can to defeat the Nerlians. The crucial day arrives none too soon for our heroines. The group approaches the Nerlian ship, to be surprised by greater technology than anticipated. Face to face at the queen of the Nerlians, Melody Queen, and the huge task at the end, the girl must group together as they each face a grueling test of their limits.

As the humans jump to early lead in the best of set series, intermission hits and Headmaster, the girls and Miracle is confident they can beat the aliens. Intermission ends, and the athletes prepare to finish off the aliens. But the mischief Melody Queen has an ace up her sleeve, and with the greater technology of the Nerlians, resurrects the greatest Cosmo Beauty of all-time at her peak age of performance with no memory though, Tomoe Midoh, wife to Miracle, mother to Akari. Baffled and surprised at her outrageous personality, the group slowly begins to find out why she is legendary Cosmo Beauty. After been beaten by every competition against Midoh, the series set is tied with only the final event left, the relay race. With Captain Lahrri injured from the last competition against Midoh, a different four must be chosen. Sticks are chosen, and Jessie is chosen to run first, followed by Kris and Itchan with Akari as the anchor. As Tomoe Midoh announces she will run the whole race herself, Miracle is dying, caused from poison. Eric, his doctor was hired by the Nerlians to poison Miracle just at this moment, so he could not assist the team in beat Midoh at this race. As Akari rushes to her father's side, seeking his final advice to defeat her mother in the fate of humanity, Miracle can only say that they cannot beat her.

On Your Mark... Ready... Go! Begins the race that will decide the fate of humanity, and Tomoe Midoh races to an early lead on Jessie Gurtland. Determination and grit flows into Jessie and she quickens her pace to catch up to Tomoe, but when she hands the baton to Kris, Tomoe is well ahead. Wanting to make Akari happy again and to be with her, Kris shows a surprise amount of speed against the undisputed Cosmo Beauty. But when she hands to baton to Itchan, Tomoe is still well ahead, showing no signs of fatigue. Itchan uses all the energy left in her to get the baton to the anchor, Akari, but Tomoe Midoh is too far ahead to be defeated. As Akari finally receives the baton, she knows she must surpass her mother in order to save the world. Just as Tomoe Midoh executes her sonic wave running, knocking Akari to ground. She returns to her feet, determined as ever, and begins her own sonic wave running. Quickly tailing Tomoe Midoh, Akari leaps over her mother, and runs to victory saving the Earth and surpassing her mother.

As the group celebrates and Melody Queen in shock of defeat, Tomoe Midoh crazily exclaims that she can't lose to the group, but is silenced by a kiss from Miracle. Her memory returns and the group returns to Earth with all being as it once was, with one exception. Victory!

Battle Athletes Victory is a series that can be enjoyed by any age. It covers different genres perfectly, and has an incredible conclusion. When my friend's kid watched the final episode with me, he started imitating Tomoe Midoh's last run. What a funny sight, a 7-year old kid trying with his hands out, preparing to generate a sonic wave while running. With the eight volumes and three disc OAVs selling for half-price of a standard DVD nowadays, this series is a must-see by anyone. If you don't find Battle Athletes Victory the least bit enjoyable, then you don't good anime if it hits you square in the face. =)



Review Equipment
27" JVC Television, Pioneer DV-444 Interlaced (Secondary Equipment: Compaq DVD-ROM GD-2000, 17" Color Monitor, Matrox 32mb G400, JBL Pro Speakers, WinDVD 3.0)



Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
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