Real Bout High School Vol. #1 - Mania.com



Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: A+
  • Extras Rating: A+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Real Bout High School

Real Bout High School Vol. #1

By Kevin O'Connell     May 04, 2002
Release Date: May 21, 2002



The Review!
Real Bout High School, the latest release from TOKYOPOP has arrived on DVD. I was lucky and was able to pick up the disc a little earlier thanks to some good shipping.

Audio:

Both tracks sound to have been recorded on the same level. It's always a mistake to have one track have a higher volume then the other. No problems with sound, music or anything else. I listened mostly to the Japanese track for this review but I did watch a few episodes dubbed with my brother and came away very impressed. A good dub from dub studio Bang Zoom! Although Wendee Lee may suffer from overexposure. Unlike the GTO dub, RBHS has quite a large cast of English voice-actors.

Video:

Oh my god, the video is just beautiful. I can't find another way to describe it. If more discs have this kinda quality, there's no need to ever complain about video quality for an R1 anime dvd. No overlays or hardsubs anywhere on this disc beyond translated credits.

Packaging:

A large shot of the cast is on the cover. Is the cast really this big? It's not the greatest shot, but it's fairly good. The back cover has some shots from the series, a brief description about the series, episode listing and a description of the extras.

Menus:

This is probably Nightjar's best menu design yet. Animated menus (designed to really make it look like a fighting game), easy to determine what choice is selected and cool submenus. The extras menu makes it look like a page that would show how to do special moves in a fighting game.

Extras:

Wow, talk about incredible extras. A "behind the scenes feature" of the Japanese production. This kinda behind the scenes feature is not usually on R1 dvds and is always welcome when it is there.

Next up are Japanese commercials for the TV series. They're soft-subbed.

Dub outtakes are also here (and welcome). Some of the outtakes are pretty funny.

Also an extra are translator's notes in the footnotes. Very similar to AnimEigo's translator's notes. This extra definitely jumps the grade up on a disc that already had excellent extras.

No Creditless Openings or Closings on this disc. Perhaps they are being saved for a later disc.

Content (May contain spoilers):

Can you say "Fan-Service"? I knew you could. The series is from Gonzo and character designs were by Keiji Gotoh. I doubt I could count the number of panty shots on this disc.

This show isn't really serious. It is fluff and meant only for entertainment. If you want something intelligent, go and get something else. If you want something only for entertainment, then you came to the right place.

Supposedly taking place not long after the end of the manga, where Ryoko became the K-Fight Champion, we are introduced to the new champion Ryoko. She continues to dominate all challengers and has a 22-0 ratio when the series begins. She's a very large girl and her rival (and ex-champ) Shizuma continues to taunt her over this fact. Ryoko calls him a monkey. It's a basic anime rivalry. Ryoko is in love with Tatsuya (the only other student stronger then Ryoko. But he never challenges her to a K-Fight so Ryoko is still the undefeated champion in the official records. It's like how Kuno is still the undefeated Kendo Club Champ because Ranma doesn't challenge him to an official Kendo Match).

Before a big match, Ryoko finds a mysterious pendant and takes a look at a strange world. She snaps out of it and wins the match. After winning, Ryoko's pendant glows and she is taken to another world. She is called the "demon lord of Yenen" (More on this plot point should be revealed later). Ryoko defeats the dragon and returns to her world only to discover she went by her normal routine while she was in the other world.

Ryoko is prepared to fight Shizuma in a rematch when the mysterious first K-Fight Champion named Keiichiro returns and easily defeats Shizuma. Ryoko learns Keiichiro is staying at the Hiten Temple and goes there to find him. She's shocked that he isn't there but runs into an old sword master named Tessai, who was defeating a goon squad when Ryoko firsts sees him. Ryoko is determined to train under him but is rebuffed. After proving herself, she is accepted and begins her new training.

When Ryoko is training, she learns it is Tessai's granddaughter Miyuki's birthday and Ryoko sets out to throw a big party for her. After having her friends help plan the party and keep Miyuki busy, the young Daisaku unwittingly makes Miyuki suspicious and leads her to the party long before it is time for the start. While singing "Happy Birthday", Ryoko and Shizuma are transported to the other world and team up to defeat a terrible beast and return home.

One problem I have is the cast is pretty big for such a short series and too many characters are introduced so quickly. I can't even remember all the characters. If I had checked out the manga beforehand, I'd probably have an easier job with the large cast.

Rika Takahashi is still a strange translator, IMO. Her notes are definitely welcome, but I'm a little confused at some of her translation choices. She says she couldn't think of anything for "Senpai" and translated it as "Senpai." And yet "San" was translated as "Mr./Ms." and "Sensai" was "Mr./ Mrs." (because it is a High School they go to), and "Chan" was dropped entirely. I'd prefer if she either used the Japanese honorifics, or did English equivalents for all of them. The half-way thing is very strange.

But beyond that, a great job all around. TOKYOPOP is really shapin' up. I must say that I am impressed. Great job, TOKYOPOP. Recommended.



Review Equipment
Sony 32" Vega Flatscreen TV, JVC D723 Progressive Scan Audio/Video DVD Player

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