The plot of this rollicking comedy-adventure appears to be careening out of control: eerie scenes of sorcerers invoking unexplained magical rituals and objects alternate with the activities of the strange characters linked... more » to the alternate world of Solvania. But these matters remain mysteries to martial arts champions Ryoko Mitsurugi and Shizuma "Nagi" Kusanagi. To help two children in trouble, Ryoko once again dresses up as Magical Waitress Oyster Lulu in an outrageous spoof of Sailor Moon ("In the name of oysters, I'll teach you a lesson!")--with Nagi joining her in drag as Lobster Coco. The growing but grudging affection between Ryoko and Nagi gets a boost when she realizes that her crush on shy kendo captain Tatsuya is hopeless. The misadventures of this nutty crew remain entertaining, even when they don't make too much sense. Unrated; suitable for ages 12 and up: Violence, minor profanity. --Charles Solomon« less
An enjoyable series goes thud right before the finish line
Steven Myers | SF Bay Area | 11/22/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Up until this final volume, I really like Real Bout High School--the characters were silly but engaging, the story line much the same. Unfortunately, the show couldn't finish the race. This volume is an utterly unsatisfactory way to end the show.First, out of the three episodes on this disc, there's probably a full episode's worth of flashback. That is inexcusable on a 13 episode series like this, and even more that it is all on one volume--a third of this disc is flashbacks. Bleh.Second, the storyline falls completely apart. The battle promised in Episode 12's title never occurs, and the real climax of the series is all but off-screen. There is also no resolution to the (admittedly silly) romantic subplot.Finally, nothing which does happen on-screen makes much sense. We never see the connection between Miyuki's mystical powers and the events around her; we never see what Gates really is (mafia boss or demon or both); we never learn why Ryoko suddenly gets some magical powers of her own. The explanations, such as they come, are in almost nonsensical one-liners--you just can't put them together to assemble anything.Ryoko's adventures thus come to a disappointing ending. The standard anime excuse for a failed ending--you can go read the manga (comic)--doesn't even help here: the comic tells an entirely different story, which has none of the supernatural elements of the anime.I guess if you like the show up until now, you probably want to see the end, but beware: you'll be disappointed. If you haven't seen it, perhaps you'll want to pass it by--up until volume 3, I would have recommended this series, but not now."
Cassidy Knight | St. Joseph, MI United States | 05/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I heard about the arrival of Real Bout High School, I was skeptical at first, because of the fact that it was centered around fighting. While I am a huge fan of Street Fighter, most fighting animes don't have any plot, and don't do well at all. I had heard good things about the series, and I had happened to go shopping a day or two after it came out, saw that there was only one copy left, and decided to give it a go."Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School" is about a girl named Ryoko Mitsurugi who is titled as the best fighter at the school, and Is always being challenged by different teams or people -- and these fights are actually encouraged by the school board. In the first episode, Ryoko finds a necklace that transports her into an alternate realm to defeat monstors. She later returns and tries to figure out what she had just experienced. Ryoko's rival is Azumi Mitsurugi, and they're always arguing over a guy named . Although they are rivals, Azumi tells Ryoko that she can learn to advance her skills by becoming the apprientance of a mysterious man named Tessai Onizuka, who teaches her to use her weapon as a sword, and as a stick.The animation is extremely good for a television series, and there weren't any noticable jumps or rainbows around charectors. Shading is done wonderfully, and colors are bright and brilliant.The sound is just your classic TV stereo sound.The menus were done very well and creatively. The menu looks like an actuall fighting video game match going on between Ryoko and Azumi. The sub-menus look like options menus and select-a-charector type menus.There are four episodes on the disc. "Enter the Samauri Girl", "The Strongest Man Joins the Fight", "Enter the Way of the Swordsman", and "The Girl with the Deep Black Eyes".Some of the english voice actors on Real Bout High School have worked on previous shows like Cowboy Bebop and Rayman Earth, so they should be recignizeable.Some extras include four "Special End Corners", which are little extras hosted by the two main Japanese voice actresses.The first four episodes are very good, and the show is promising. We just have to see where the series takes itself."
Amazing! A fighting anime that doesn't stink!
Nowhereman | Boston, MA USA | 05/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I came into this with pretty low expectations, and left suitabily surprised. While the basic plot is rather hackneyed (super-skilled kendo girl fits in the school league, but also finds a pendant that makes her punk demons in another world from time to time), the characters are actually pretty likeable, even if they are common anime archtypes. The show does a good job of keeping the mood light without becoming completely flippant, and the episodes really fly by. The fight scenes are the definite standouts, with great choreography and pacing, but the other scenes of character and plot building are also done well enough to hold your interest.The dialogue is actually pretty fast and witty, and the translation is pretty good, which certainly helps matters. Visually, the show has nice production values, with well-articulated motion and vibrant, clean colors. Character designs are also very well done. The fight scenes in particular are very well done, and the motion in these scenes is easy to follow.If you're looking for a lighthearted and fun anime with some really well done fighting sequences, you really should check this out. It's certainly worth a look."
A review that may help you decide
animelike | Clarksville, Tennessee United States | 11/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"---------------------------------------------------------If you like anime with lots of fighting in it--this is it. This anime is a fighting based cartoon animation that uses incredible computer animated fighting effects in some also very incredibles battles for some extreme eye popping visuals.
The main character is Ryoko, a student at a private school that has traditional k-fights with wooden weapons used as substitutes for real weapons. They are tournament like, and the fighting is what this DVD is all about. Fights are remarkably well done.
OF course, the plot involves more than that. The main character is drawn into another dimension, where she has to hone her fighting skills even more and face even tougher opponents while she also tries to live life in the real world.
This DVD starts you off in her adventure that is just beginning."
A step down from the first disc, but still pretty good.
cheezman89 | Duluth, MN | 08/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As I was halfway through this disc, I was thinking to myself "What happened?!". The first disc of RBHS got me seriously hooked on this series. The colors were solid and vibrant, the art was clear and detailed, the music was catchy and appropriate, and the characters were cool and likeable. The most important thing about the first disc was that the episodes had an enjoyable plot. On this disc you find only three episodes (four on the first) and I must say I thought the quality of not only the story, but the artwork has decreased since the first disc. The video quality is still great with vibrant clear colors, but the first two episodes artwork looks like a rush job. The third episode makes up for them, and I recognized the great looking anime style that I loved so much in the first disc. Everything just seems a little bit more detailed. I'd recommend this only if you really liked the first disc, and want to stay loyal to this series. Everything else about this DVD is fantastic. The keepcase I got was clear but I heard they released a limited edition colored case. Inside are some translators notes, and the disc itself is coated with a really nice glossy material, and features some sharp line art of Ryoko. The menus are simply the best I've seen on an anime DVD, with the idea of two characters fighting it out like a video game whil you select your choices. When you buy this DVD you're getting a real beautiful piece of work, but be warned you may find the overall content to be less than satisfying."