Real Bout High School-Volume 4: The Final Battle (2001)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-May-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Notes-translator's notes
Featurette-Special End Corner (3)
Interviews-Cast-Ikue Kimura (part 3)
Outtakes-Dub flubs
Gallery-3
Credits-textless ending
Credits-Japanese opening and closing credits
Trailer-5
DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 71:05 (Case: 75)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Shinichi Toukairin
Studio
Distributor
TokyoPop Anime
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Takeshi Yasuda


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English
English Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, next episode teaser after closing credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

The worst part about short anime series is that they end just as we are really starting to enjoy them. Real Bout High School can hardly be described as out-staying its welcome, with just 13 episodes across its 4 discs.

If you haven't heard about Real Bout High School before, you better read my review of Volume 1 first. You can follow that by reading my reviews of Volume 2 and Volume 3.

This disc contains the last three episodes, being:

  1. A Maiden's Way Ryoko is at a crisis point, where she must decide which way she will follow
  2. Final Battle in the Arena the Daimon Festival is taking place, and Ryoko is taking a big part in a play with Tatsuya
  3. A Battle Against Fate Ryoko and Shizuma are fighting side by side against Willard Gates for the sake of two worlds

Episode 11 is filled with flashbacks, but it is important nonetheless, because our favourite Samurai Girl is being torn apart by her own feelings she must resolve them before she can go any further. The last two episodes are effectively a double episode, and they serve excellently well to draw this short series to a decent close, in some ways, full circle. I thought it quite a satisfying ending.

Watch out for the amusing appearance of the Hiro Sentai Observation Club they are fans of the Japanese shows that inspired the Power Rangers.

There's quite a lot of fan service in these episodes, and even more in the galleries, but it never gets worse than brief shots of female underwear as skirts flip up, plus the swimsuit shots from their trip to the beach. Sure, it's not the sort of thing you'd see in Disney cartoons, but it's pretty harmless stuff.

Almost all the questions that have arisen get answered, which is a relief. As I mentioned in my review of Volume 3, we finally discovered the meaning of the scene that preceded the very first episode, and now we find out a little more, including what Willard Gates (hmm, I assume that's Will, or maybe even Bill, for short?) is intending. It's also pleasing to learn why Miyuki is special.

I kinda wish there were more episodes and more K-fights, but they were probably sensible to close the story before it became tired. We can always hope for another series...

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. That is the original aspect ratio.

The image is quite sharp and attractive, mostly, but there are moments on this disc when the image becomes somewhat soft. There's no film grain, and no low-level noise.

Colour is used with great panache. The animation is coloured from a wide palette. No one can accuse these animators of avoiding a colour! There are no colour-related artefacts.

There are no film artefacts.

The aliasing and dot crawl is worse on this disc than on any of the previous, which is a shame. It's quite widespread on panning shots, but much less trouble on static shots, although it's never completely absent. Even so, I find it not too troubling. There's no moire, and no MPEG artefacts.

There are two subtitle tracks. The first subtitles only signs. The second provides full subtitles for the dialogue, plus the signs. The dialogue subtitles seem to be accurate, well-timed to the dialogue, and easy to read in the traditional yellow in an attractive rounded font that presents well.

The disc is single-sided and single-layered. With just over 70 minutes of episodes, and nothing too bulky in the way of extras, it fits easily onto the single layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The soundtrack is provided in English and Japanese, which is always popular for anime. Both soundtracks are Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded. I listened to both soundtracks in full. They are distinctly stereo, with occasional sounds directed to the left or right, but the majority of the sound is pretty much central. Even with ProLogic decoding, you'll find nothing significant directed to the rears.

The English dialogue is easy to understand. I really like the way that the translator opted to leave a number of words untranslated, like "senpai", because there are no adequate English counterparts combined with the translator's notes on the inside of the cover, this means we get a better rendering of the story, and we learn a little bit of Japanese culture. The Japanese dialogue sounds clear enough, but I cannot assess how understandable it is. Once again, the Japanese dialogue seems less well matched to the animation than the English; maybe the English voice director was more strict about this?

The score is excellent. Takeshi Yasuda is very good at writing music that fits with the on-screen action.

The straight stereo signal does not provide sound for the surrounds or subwoofer. That's fine the mains get a full-range signal, and it sounds very good.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

There are even more extras on this disc than on the previous ones the extras menu extends to two pages. The character on the extras page for this disc is Master Tessai.

Menu

The menu is animated with sound. It is constructed to imitate a coin-fed fighting game, and this theme is carried through all of the menus. This disc features Gates and Ryoko.

Translator's Notes

The translator's notes for this disc are mostly a repetition of notes from previous discs. Still worth reading, though.

Featurettes: Special End Corner

The last three of these sweet little pieces. There's one for each episode:

  1. showing the artwork for the Japanese VHS and DVD releases (it's different) they say they get six volumes, unlike the four we get (I think ours are better value) (2:27)
  2. interviewing Shinichi Toukairin (director) (2:27)
  3. a lengthy goodbye (1:13)

Interview (4:37)

Part 3 of the interview with Ikue Kimura, the Japanese voice of Ryoko. Lots of wind noise on the mike and fairly poor quality video make this less than compelling..

Outtakes (0:51)

Some flubs from the English dubbing, shown over the animation that was being dubbed. Very short.

Galleries

Textless Ending (1:32)

The closing credits sequence, minus the closing credits.

Original Japanese Opening (1:34)

The opening credits, in Japanese.

Original Japanese Ending (1:33)

The closing credits in Japanese.

Previews

Trailers, the full selection of which were on the second and third disc:

DVD Credits

A credits panel showing the DVD authors in the form of a high-score list. Same on all the discs.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 disc was released near the end of 2002. It is close to identical to this disc. The cover uses the same art, but with slight differences in layout. The extras are the same (except for the trailers). The transfer quality is pretty much the same. There's really so little difference between the two that you can be happy with either version. If you're in Australia you should probably buy the R4 to support the local product (and it is cheaper!).

Summary

The concluding volume of the series, with a decent ending, presented brilliantly on DVD.

The video quality is very good, save for aliasing that's pretty much unavoidable on this kind of animation

The audio quality is very good.

The extras are plentiful and not bad at all, but it would be nice to see some variation in the list of trailers between discs.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE