Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A-
- 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 Brent Reed
May 31, 2002
Release Date: May 21, 2002
For my initial viewing, I listen to it in the original Japanese. There were no noticeable audio problems in the DVD. The music is good and the sound effects were great throughout. Both the Japanese and English tracks were good, especially the English track. The English dub cast did a great job in their roles. I hope future anime releases have a great sounding English dub track.
The video is simply amazing with no noticeable problems. It does look good throughout especially when Shizuma and Nagumo did their Fist of Kamui attacks. None of the Japanese characters are replaced with digital English signs and there is an option to have subtitles for just the signs only.
The packaging is good with a shot of the main cast on the front and on the back with eight screen shots from the show. Also, the back has a short synopsis and gives the episode numbers and names. With a translucent blue packaging cover when you opened up the package, you see three of the main girls of the show since the cover is a dual-sided cover.
The menu for Real Bout is one of the best menus that I ever seen in a DVD. It designed as a fighting arcade game with the main menu showing a fight between Ryoko and Azumi with matching lifebars, the subtitle and audio screen designed as a character selection screen, the extra menu options have special move commands, and the DVD credits look like a high score screen.
There are a wide variety of extras like English dub outtakes, trailers, previews for other TOKYOPOP anime titles, translator's notes, and "the Special End Corner." The Special End Corner has two of the Japanese voice actresses doing behind the scenes featurettes from photo shoots, the Japanese Real Bout website, and interviews other voice actors.
Content: (Contains spoilers)
Real Bout High School takes place at Daimon High School where fights between various clubs and individuals tried to be the K-Fight champion who is a girl named Ryoko Mitsurugi who fights in the kendo style. She is currently 22-0 after she defeats the Amateur Ninja Club, but her battles will get on a fantasy side as she finds a blue pendant in the girls locker room. A mysterious entity named Reiha transports Ryoko and sometimes Shizuma to the land of Solvania where they fight demon beasts with super jumping and powerful abilities.
While demon beast battles are not that great yet, some of the K-Fight battles are good like the fight between Ryoko and Azumi in the first episode. The fight between the creator and the first champion of the K-Fight, Keiichiro Nagumo and previous champion, Shizuma Kusanagi shows some supernatural power in the real world. I believe as the series goes on, the fights will become better.
The characters have a wide range of personalities from Miyuki's shyness to Daisaku's stalking Ryoko all the time. Ryoko is a great main character because she is herself and does not care for popularity. Hitomi is Ryoko's support mechanism as she reassures her that everything will be fine. Shizuma has huge amounts of pride and goes on training journeys he defeated like Ryoko and Nagumo did to him. Azumi is like an older sister to Ryoko from pulling pranks or stealing Lord Tatsuya from Ryoko to giving her advice or supporting her in times in need. Keiichiro Nagumo is very mysterious and powerful, while Master Tessai Onizuka is very wise and strong.
After the watching the first four episodes, I find myself about many mysteries surrounding the show like Solvania or the mysterious black suit lead by a man named Gates. So, there is plenty of guessing about many things that are unexplained. One of the faults about the show is that some of the characters have not given a name in spoken dialogue like the school nurse (Nanako Hishinuma) or the lady with the black suits (Mian Cubie) in episode three without guessing at the end credits. While this is not a problem with me, but there are numerous panty shots throughout the show (Ryoko and Tamaki Nakamura (announcer of the K-Fights) in particular). This does not detract from the action onscreen though.
Real Bout is pretty a good anime all around and I recommended it for good action and character interaction.
Sony DVP-S300 DVD Player with Sony STR-D865 Surrond Sound Reciever with subwoofer and rear speakers