Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 3 - Southeast Asia
- Released By: Odex Private Limited
- MSRP: S$49.90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Battle Athletes
By Chris Beveridge
June 12, 2002
Release Date: June 01, 2002
What They Say
© Odex Private Limited
A satellite training facility was built at the turn of the 51st century to train participants for the great competition DAI UNDO KAI. Akari Kanzaki, daughter of the past DAI UNDO KAI champion was determined to win the laurel of victory. As a freshman in the training facility, she has to handle the strenuous training, out-shine all of her competitors and also to overcome her lack of confidence. She is joined by other freshmen from all corners of the galaxy, among them an emotional priestess from the Moon, a boisterous African friend from Earth and a shy girl of unknown origins.The Review!
Dai Undo Kai, otherwise known as Battle Athletes, was the first sports anime of any kind that really grabbed my attention, and since it�s been nearly four years since I last saw it, I remembered quickly why I enjoy this series so much.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. And seeing how that�s the only language here, it was another easy choice. Though the show is a few years old now, it�s still got a nice stereo mix to it that features some moments of good directionality across the forward soundstage. Dialogue is nice and clear (and free of bad dubisms such as �This place makes my nipples hard!�) and essentially problem free.Video:
Right off the bat, this transfer takes you back some. The disc opens with the previous Pioneer logo with the floating golden halo and that brings back some memories. The transfer of the show itself however is very nice with only a few spots of dirt and an occasional scratch that we could see. Colors look nice and vibrant, cross coloration appears to be very minimal and only some scattered instances of noticeable aliasing. While this show won�t win awards for its looks, this appears to be a solid presentation of the material.Packaging:
Similar to the Vandread release, this release is a single keepcase with an interior flap that contains the second disc. The front cover features a great looking image of Akari in her USSA uniform, though it�s reversed since you can see the text is backwards on the patch. Some animation shots are in the background and the front cover also provides both the English version of the title, the romaji version and the actual big logo. The back cover features some promotional artwork that made up the region 1 covers as well as a decent summary of what to expect from the show. The discs features are clearly listed though the runtimes seem off. Since this is a clear keepcase, we get something of a reverse cover, with the back side being three shots of Akari in different modes in full color.Menus:
The menus are pretty basic, with selections for language and chapters and just playing outright. There�s little here to the discs beyond the show, so the fairly simple menus are quick to load and easy to navigate about.Extras:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
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 Cosmos 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 males achievement 1000 years prior to this. Maybe it'll be explained later on.
Through the cute and funny trials and tribulations that are similar to going to a new school, we meet a wide variety of cast members, from the cold upperclassman to the girl-watching Headmaster. Add in some strange friends (including a nature-loving pacifist from the moon) and you have the usual interesting cast. While there is a fairly sizable cast, it�s broken down into more manageable groups. We primarily follow the trials of Akari and the team she becomes a part of, which includes Kris from a moon colony known as the Beginners to Anna, a rather introverted girl with some amusing secrets.
Through the episodes, there�s a fair amount of conflict as you have the upperclasswomen who are trying for the title of Cosmos Beauty after the years of hard work put in, only to find themselves actually facing some form of real competition from these younger women. To balance these moments, they�re shown in both the athletic competitions as well as the ways in which these people deal with each other off of the courts, so to speak. The seniors tend to be more set in their ways though, while the new kids are more open to trying different things. A lot of this simply has to do with their personalities though.
It�s really the way the team we focus on interacts both internally and externally, that makes this show appealing. While we follow them through various events where they win and where they suffer defeats, it�s how they deal with it that�s the main draw. The competitions themselves are well done also, providing some good areas to showcase some action sequences that help further the story along. Though the OVA is somewhat hampered by its short length of just six episodes, they cram a lot in there.
After having seen Vandread before this, with the problematic subtitles, I was concerned about how this one would go. Thankfully, it almost feels like it was done by a different person as there were hardly any errors throughout and for the most part read flawlessly. Names were as I expected them, tenses were spot on and the translation appears to be solid throughout.
Rediscovering the fun and simple joy that these OVA�s contained was great and re-energized me into watching even more shows as I was slowly entering a stage of getting tired of seeing so much. These are the kinds of shows that get me excited about anime. Good stuff.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Chinese Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.