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Battle Royal High School shares more with "Real Bout High School", than Kinji Fukasaku's modern classic.
Review by Matthew Anderson
One Shot OVA
Running Time: 46 minutes
Rating:R (Language, nudity, and graphic violence)
Riki is on his way to becoming the greatest fighter of all time. He has just defeated the entire Karate club at his school. Now, this leopard masked fighter is ready for whatever the next challenge may be.
However, his next challenge isn't another karate club, but extra-dimensional fairies, led by the evil Fairy Master. This nasty creature has tricked her master, the also evil Lord Byoudo, into merging with Riki, who happens to be his dimensional counterpart. With Byoudo trapped in Riki's body, the Fairy Master is set to begin her conquest of Earth.
Naturally, her actions attract attention . A spirit hunter named Yuuki, and Special Agent Zankan of the Time Police are hot on the Fairy Master's trail and fast converging on Riki/Byoudo's position. Little do they realize the danger that lives in the shadows.
Now Riki must fight the demon fairies of the Fairy Master, deal with Yuuki, Zankan, the evil inside him, and his friend Ryou.
Things are going to get messy!
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: AnimEigo has done an excellent job with the restoration. While not on par with their Macross release (hey, what is), the colors are solid, with no color bleeding, wrinkles, or pixels to be seen. The image is sharp and the washed out look of the original video is gone.
AUDIO: The Japanese 2.0 audio track is pretty sharp and clear. There is a richness that is sorely lacking on the English dub track. The English 2.0 track sounds muffled, and there is not as much directionality as the Japanese.
EDITS: Not a single
frame has been edited. The original open and close are still there, with
optional subtitles during the closing segment.
EXTRAS: Pretty skimpy. The only extra is a alternate angle storyboard. With the animation in the upper right corner, you can see the storyboards, with the current "scene" highlighted. Unfortunately, the promotional trailer is not for Battle Royal High School, but for the DVD release of "Riding Bean".
STORY: Don't buy BRHS for an in-depth story. Like "Tekkin the Movie" this is a typical "Bad ass free for all" anime. Based off the Manga by Kuruma Shinichi, the screenplay by Itano Ichiroo is pretty straight forward. Don't expect much characterization either.
ACTING: The English cast does a very good job. Michael Granberry is very funny as Riki, and his Byoodo is sufficiently menacing. I really enjoyed Susan Grillo's (Nene from Bubblegum Crisis OVA) work as Ryou. Totally different from the wimpy Nene, her tough chick Ryou is very well done. I think she is a voice actress to keep an eye on.
On the Japanese side of
the house, some well done 80's OVA voice acting. Like Michael Granberry, Yao
Kazuki's portrayal of Riki is the right mix of comedy and menace. One of
my favorites voice actors, Michie Tomizawa, has a small part in BRHS as time operator
Sandy. I have always enjoyed hearing her voice work, from the sexy Linna
in Bubblegum Crisis to the obnoxious Cko from Project Ako.
FAN SERVICE: There is some nudity, but is usually not presented in a very sexy way. I am sure that fans of the manga could pick out a lot of in-jokes, but since I have never read the manga, I have no idea what they are.
Ever wondered what the character King from the video game "Tekken" did before kicking Jackie's ass? Well, with "Real Bout High School.............err, I mean "Battle Royal High School", you may get some idea.
Before I begin, let me say that BRHS has nothing to do with the live action film "Battle Royal" by the late Kinji Fukasaku. Battle Royal High School shares more with "Real Bout High School", than Kinji Fukasaku's modern classic.
The plot is simple. Evil spirits invade the Earth, turning innocent people into demonic creatures. The hero, possessed by a similarly evil force, fights them on his turf, the campus of his high school.
Some will say that this movie comes off as "Urotsukidoji" lite, with all the raping and "three phalluses" demons out of the picture (thankfully). Others will say that BRHS feels very much like a video game anime, due to it's large cast of super powered fighters who look like refuges from several different video games.
Personally, I think that this OVA was made for fans of Kuruma Shinichi's manga. I'm sure that those who were faithful readers were delighted and exited to see their favorite characters come to life. For me, the only thing that got me excited was when Zankan activated his body armor. The design was similar to the character of Danzaibar (which I always play) from the Play Station game "Eretzvaju
The dub is very well done, compared to other AnimEigo releases. All of the actors do a good job, avoiding the overly long pauses and wooden acting that plagued other OVA's like "Riding Bean and "Bubblegum Crisis."
While the video quality and audio were good, I felt that the extras were very weak. Frankly, the storyboards by Itano Ichiroo were not that great. While this feature may appeal to "curious fanboys and fangirls", for me, I just found them just okay. The "Riding Bean" trailer seemed out of place. I was expecting the trailer for Battle Royal High School.
I also don't get why they bothered including "liner notes" as the information contained was not very interesting.
If you liked Baoh, then you will love "Battle Royal High School". If your were hoping for school girls with swords, flirty dialogue and nude transformations, better skip it.
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