Monday, September 19, 2011
In conclusion: Battle Athletes Victory is loads of fun.
My previous review of this show left off with the beginning of Akari's training with Kris and Anna at the University Satellite.
Along with Lahrri, the most recent Cosmo Beauty winner, Akari's team faces Mylandah, a psychotic, bloodthirsty bitch who's willing to crush anyone who stands in the way of her competing against Lahrri in the finals. (When Anna plays tennis against Mylandah, she winds up unconscious from being slammed into a concrete wall by Mylandah's serves.) Incidentally, Mylandah is incredibly entertaining.
Of course, Akari makes it to the finals and wins the title of Cosmo Beauty against...Kris. I adore Kris for being willing to give up the right to be a priestess for one last race against Akari. All seems well, but Kris has to return to the moon. Boooo. From this point on, the TV series becomes infinitely better than the OVA by bringing Kris back instead of leaving her and Akari separated with the promise to meet again.
The Headmaster of University Satellite reveals that the Cosmo Beauty Competition was founded 3,000 years earlier so the Earth could produce increasingly strong athletes to compete against a race of alien invaders, the Nerilians. The Nerilians move from planet to planet, challenging each planet's inhabitants to a series of athletic competitions. If the Nerilians win, they enslave the planet that lost. I knew about this plot point before I started watching this series, but its execution was still consistently "wtf"-inducing. Akari's new team consists of Icchan (who apparently, after recovering from her broken leg, thinks that the best way to greet Akari is by jumping up and down on the Tokyo Tower until Akari grabs her while riding a helicopter; even though I prefer Kris x Akari over Ichino x Akari, it was great to see Ichino return), Jessie, Tanya, Mylandah, and Lahrri- with Anna as an alternate. They train with all they have again under Mr. Miracle. Kris, with her excellent gaydar, instantly identifies Ichino as her rival. Ichino denies it despite the jealous fit she flies into whenever Kris hits on Akari. Thus, a delicious, but ever-unresolved love triangle is formed. (Not unlike Ayeka and Ryouko's rivalry for Tenchi. But with only girls. ^^)
The Nerilians who compete against Akari's team all look and act like villains from the later seasons of Sailor Moon, and are just as easily defeated. Realizing that they underestimated Earth, for the second half of the competition the Nerilians send out a clone of Akari's dead mother Tomoe at the age she won the Cosmo Beauty competition. I love how Tomoe, who had been depicted as a gentle,Virgin Mary-like figure until then, turns out to be a complete brat. (Akari and Jessie's reactions to her are priceless.) And of course, the Earth team still wins.
We get a cute epilogue of everyone's post-Nerilian lives- including Ichino and Kris, who are still vying for Akari. (^_^)b
I really enjoyed this show. It's entertaining from the beginning, but it really takes off after the University Satellite arc begins. I like the anything-goes insanity (or stupidity, depending on how you look at it) that drives the story and its cast full of weirdos striving to be the best at what they do.
For some reason, I liked Anna a lot more in the second half. I don't know if it's just me, or if the writing for her character really did improve. While Jessie's back story felt overwrought, I quite liked Anna's. It was fun to see her personality do a 180, although I like sweet, well-adjusted Anna also. ^_^; Even Akari improved. As the show went on, Akari spent less and less time in crybaby mode and more time in competent mode- although her old crybaby tendencies flared up again during the alien arc. Nevertheless, she did become noticeably more confident and gung-ho about competing over the course of the series. I also liked how Mylandah and Lahrri's relationship developed beyond a simple obsession on Mylandah's part. They became my two favorites after Kris and Ichino.
Battle Athletes Victory does have some problems and hand waves, but as a whole, it's definitely worth watching if you like yuri or competition-themed shows.
Art: B- (But very good animation for its time.)