Genres: comedy, science fiction, tournament
Number of episodes: 26 (TV), 6 (OAV), 45-50 minutes each.
G-Rating: 7/10 (TV) 9/10 (OAV)
Plot Summary: Akari Kanzaki has just joined an all-girls academy in hopes of entering the University Satellite, an elite sports training facility. She wants to win the title of Cosmo Beauty – a title held years ago by her mother. It’s not an easy task for her as fear, doubt and peer pressure get in her way, but friends, rivals and fans slowly encourage her to overcome her obstacles and become the best of the Battle Athletes.
It’s a pretty basic concept, an all girl Olympics style competition to determine the strongest woman in the universe, namely the Cosmo Beauty.
Lighthearted, with very attractive animation and a large (almost all female) cast of interesting characters. The series is split into three main arcs which can be categorized by the following:
-1st Arc: Qualifier tournament
-2nd Arc: University Satellite/Main competition. The most important arc.
-3rd Arc: Universal Conflict. Shortest arc of the series.
The 1st arc is sort of an elimination tournament whose main objective is to pick the top 3 ladies who will enter the University satellite and compete in the main competition. the reason I’m explaining this is that the OVA focuses only the 2nd arc, but more on that later.
The competition itself ranges from humorous events to intense, body breaking events that demand the strongest and healthiest physical bodies a woman can obtain through hard work and determination. I tell you doods, what you see these girls go through in order to become the best is simply phenomenal and admirable. It gives a viewer great respect for real life Olympic competitors and all they went through to show why they are the best in the world.
Animation: Old school glory. It’s pretty much 90’s goodness, when you didn’t ask much from the way it was drawn and could expect good things despite it looking dated today.
Music: Not much to say here except that each tune fits a corresponding situation perfectly. The OP and ED are decent.
Characters: This is one of those character driven shows where it’s the characters and their personalities, developments and interactions that will make or break the show for the viewer. Each one of the girls follows a different path to get to the top of the mountain and it’s the great sight of watching how hard they work to get where they are that makes it all worthwhile, although one in particular will resort to dirty tricks (Comedy relief character).
I do have some complaint though, First of all is the main character, Akari Kanzaki. First of all, she is a sweet and lovable character who I enjoyed watching her progress, but like I said there is one thing that bugs me about her. Now as mentioned in the plot summary, Akari goes through a lot of emotional problems in her quest to become the Cosmo Beauty. the thing is that it often becomes waaaaay too much. Sure I can understand the peer pressure due to the fact that you are the mother of a legendary Cosmo Beauty but this anime took it to the next level in terms of how mopey, depressed and self doubtful Akari can become. Heck, she even builds a sort of pitiful shield out of a cardboard box labeled “Akari’s House”
Trust me, it gets really bad sometimes. Viewers can easily sympathize with her but they just went a little overboard, that’s all. However, if you can endure her downer moments, the payoff is well worth it. Oh yes, it’s worth it.
The other characters, of course go through their own tough times but they are well handled and have reasonable resolutions. Thing is, the payoffs are worth it.
Secondly is the 3rd arc: Personally if it wasn’t for the finale, this arc would have been better off being excluded from the series. It’s so crazy, so out of place, so nonsensical that it blew my mind because of how silly and out of place in terms of plot flow. Sure there were early tidbits about the coming of this final battle but still…it wasn’t well executed in my opinion. Sure the show has its funny moments, which are awesome, but this last arc was just too much. It felt like they copy-pasted it at the last minute just to fill the 26 episode quota.
Now for the OAVs. the OAV series’ success was the main reason why Victory came to be.
First of all, Victory is a retelling of the OAVs, so there are noticeable differences in terms of content and most importantly, character personalities.
First of all, the 1st and 3rd arcs from Victory are nonexistent in the OAVs,
Some characters from the 1st arc of Victory are absent in the OAV. In other words only Akari, Jessie, Tanya and Grant Oldman are present from the 1st arc. Since the OAV series is the original, the main story focuses on the 2nd arc. After all, it is the most important arc. The main plot remains the same, an Olympic style competition that takes place in the Universal Satellite in order to determine which lady will become the Cosmo Beauty.
-Next difference: Compared to Victory, the OAVs are more focused and intense than the lighthearted TV series. Oh, but of course there are comedic and lighthearted moments present in the OAVs but the intensity and determination of the competitors to succeed and become the best is much stronger. the same goes for character interactions and music.
-3rd and most important: The primary characters that you see in the 2nd arc are much more different than their Victory counterparts. You could say that most of them were toned down in Victory while some gained a drastic change from their OAV counterparts. Heck, one character is “much more than she seems” in the OAVs.
The one viewers will notice the greatest difference in is Akari herself. She is much stronger and less doubtful of herself than her Victory version. Her struggles with self-esteem are one of the main conflicts of Victory, and while there is a little bit of that here, by and large she does not suffer from unreasonable self-doubt, which I consider very nice.
Kris Christopher is much more badass and beautiful in the OAVs.
Basically expect many differences in terms of character flow.
The animation is also different. It looks much better than Victory in my opinion. Stylistically and thematically, it’s a glorious old 90’s anime, the kind for which I have a great affection, and besides that it’s a great story with great characters.
Now even though I praised the OAV more than the TV series, both versions have their own unique charms that make you want to watch both instead of ignoring one and only view the other. In the end, I recommend checking both out and see which one you like best, it’s up to you doods and peeps in the end.
Last but not least: The dubbed version…hmmmm, it’s okay. It’s not great, but not bad either.
In conclusion: It’s not a show for everyone but trust me when I say that those who enjoy sports and tournament shows with great story and character development, don’t miss out.
P.S: I forgot to mention that since the main competition takes place in the Universal Satellite, you can pretty much guess that it’s in outer space. Yup, the Olympic games in SPAAAAAAAAAAACCCCEEEEEEE!