Region 1 DVD Cover of Vol. 1 released by Pioneer
(Battle Athletes Daiundōkai)
|Genre||Comedy, Science fiction, Action|
|Written by||Yūki Nakano|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||March 1997 – November 1998|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Kazuhiro Ozawa|
|Written by||Hideyuki Kurata|
|Music by||Takayuki Hattori|
|Released||May 25, 1997 – June 25, 1998|
|Anime television series|
|Battle Athletes Victory|
|Directed by||Katsuhito Akiyama|
|Written by||Hideyuki Kurata
|Music by||Yoshikazu Suo|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||October 3, 1997 – March 27, 1998|
Battle Athletes (バトルアスリーテス大運動会 Battle Athletes Daiundōkai) is a Japanese series produced by the AIC studio and released as an original video animation (OVA) and a manga by Yūki Nakano, and later aired as an anime television series on TV Tokyo in 1997.
Battle Athletes is a six-episode OVA set in the distant future where, after many years of war with an extraterrestrial race, a contest of physical strength between one representative from each race is agreed. Although the alien race is far superior to the humans, the human champion prevailed, marking an era of peace for humanity. A University Satellite is created where the greatest athletes of the age train with women competing for the title of Cosmic Beauty.
Akari Kanzaki, daughter of a former Cosmic Beauty, arrives at the University Satellite excited and ready to compete. After watching defending Cosmic Beauty Lahrri run faster than she ever has despite the artificial gravity being turned up, Akari realizes just how far she needs to go. Helping her are her fellow team members and roommates Kris Christopher, a soon-to-be priestess from the moon, and Anna Respighi, a shy girl with a secret so hidden even she is unaware of it. Kris is marked as a standout athlete and competes on a level near Lahrri drawing the wrath of another top competitor Mylandah onto the team as they prepare for the final competition.
Battle Athletes Victory
The television series is not a sequel to the OVA, but a complete retelling of the story. The basic premise of the series remain intact, as Akari still strives for the title of Cosmic Beauty, but the plot line and characterizations are often radically different. The characters and stories of this series tend to be more outrageous in tone than the first series.
The story begins with Akari Kanzaki at a school on Antarctica in the year 4999. There are a series of tests that she and her classmates must go through to determine who'll be the representatives to go to University Satellite, a satellite training facility. Living under the shadow of her mother, the legendary Cosmic Beauty Tomoe Midou, Akari, emotionally fragile in this version, struggles as the worst athlete at the training school. Eventually, with the help of her best friend Ichan, Akari succeeds in making it to the University Satellite where she competes for the title of Cosmic Beauty and trains for a mission that will decide the fate of the human race.
- Akari Kanzaki (神崎 あかり Kanzaki Akari)
- Voiced by: Rio Natsuki (Japanese); Bambi Darro (OVA), Lia Sargent (Victory) (English)
- Born in Hokkaido, Japan on March 23, 4983. She is the daughter of Tomoe Midou, a former Cosmo Beauty. She's determined to follow in the footsteps of her mother in order to be Cosmo Beauty. However; she is usually ditzy, clumsy, and sometimes a crybaby. In the TV series, whenever she is embarrassed she hides in a cardboard box called "Akari House".
- It is revealed later, however, that she is not truly inept, but had very little confidence in herself and was unable to cope with the death of her mother. After she was demoralized by top student Jessie and retreated to her home, Ichino visited her and she returns to school with new determination, and then demonstrated a rapid improvement in skill, even defeating Jessie in the final exam race.
- Towards the end of the series, after meeting several greater challenges and struggles, she becomes stronger and confident in herself, and successfully reaches the final race for Cosmo Beauty alongside her friend and teammate Kris.
- In the OVAs, as she becomes stronger and more confident, she cuts her hair short. Her hobby is to read.
- Ichino Yanigida (柳田 一乃 Yanigida Ichino)
- Voiced by: Aya Hisakawa (Japanese); Wendee Lee (English)
- She was born on December 31, 4982, in Osaka, Japan. She is the best friend of Akari. Like her, she also wants to become Cosmo Beauty.
- She cares for Akari very much, and always tried to help her when Akari was struggling. But when Akari rapidly improved herself, Ichino felt threatened, and in their last race against each other, Ichino fractured her right ankle, losing her chance to compete for the prestigious University Satellite, much to both their depression. In the end, Akari went on to enter the University with blessings from Ichino. After her full recovery, she later helps Akari in defeating the Nerillians.
- Initially her feelings for Akari are ambiguous until near the end of the series where she confesses her feelings towards her. She likes playing Shougi (Japanese chess) and is a big fan of the Osaka Tigers. Her personality is more upbeat, positive than Akari.
- She does not appear in the OVAs.
- Tarnya Natdhipytadd (ターニャ・ナティピタッド Tānya Natipitaddo, Tanya in English dub)
- Voiced by: Aya Sakuguchi (Japanese); Brianne Siddall (OVA), Julie Maddalena (Victory) (English)
- She was born on May 5, 4984, in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is fourteen years old, enjoys hunting and fortune-telling, and has a voracious appetite; her personality is described as willful. She is very childlike, hyperactive, and even somewhat wild, and would occasionally run on all fours like an animal. She passes the Antarctica final exam in third place, and gets accepted into the University Satellite alongside Akari and Jessie. However, she could not enter the competition for Cosmo Beauty because her team was defeated by Akari's team. But she still remains good friends with Akari.
- Jessie Gurtland (ジェシー・ガートランド Jeshī Gātorando)
- Voiced by: Miki Itō (Japanese); Lia Sargent (OVA), Marie Downing (Victory) (English)
- She was born on July 10, 4981, in New York City, United States. Her parents died when she was young, leaving herself and her younger siblings. She grew up in the hardship of living in poverty, and trying to take care of her ill younger sister. She was then taken in by a priest and, with the encouragement of Tomoe Midou, she resolves to become Cosmo Beauty.
- She is very hardworking and was the top student of the school in Antarctica, and holds great admiration for Tomoe Midou, even wanting to become her. However, she is also a perfectionist and overachiever. Because of this, she strongly detested Akari, whom she views as weak and unworthy to be called Tomoe's daughter. The only classmate she felt any sort of respect for was her rival Ayla. She is highly critical of weakness, including her own. She is never seen praising or encouraging others not as good as her, and becomes embittered and even heartbroken when she is surpassed. And she ultimately resigned from the prestigious University Satellite after being unable to compete with top student Larrie Fel Donato.
- In the original manga story, however, she is a friendly rival with Akari and does not resent her; rather she views Akari as one of her best friends. Jessie enjoys dancing, motorsports and playing piano.
- Ayla Veverská Roznovsky (アイラ・ヴェフェラスカ・ロスノフスキ Aira Veferasuka Rosunofusuki)
- Voiced by: Yoko Soumi (Japanese); Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (English)
- She was born on May 8, 4981, in Moscow, Russia. She has a cold and distant personality, but she is actually quite nice and becomes friends with Akari, Ichino and Tarnya. She was one of the Antarctica school's top students, a rival of Jessie, and the only one Jessie showed any respect to. She joined the school of Antarctica in order to bring honor to her country. However, after finding out that her country was conquered, she decided to quit. She later marries her swimming instructor, Sergei, and they have a child together, whom she named Jessie, in honor of her former rival. Swimming is her favorite sport.
- She does not appear in the OVAs.
- Wong Ling Pha (王 鈴花)
- Voiced by: Takeo Kawata (Japanese); Bridget Hoffman (English)
- She was born on August 12, 4982, in Hong Kong. She uses various cheating methods in order to win, which always turn out bad for her and she loses. However, she sneaks in to the Satellite University, wearing a pink wing and going by the name "Marshall". She serves as the comic relief of the show.
- She enjoys bicycling. She doesn't appear in the OVAs.
- Kris Christopher (クリス・クリストファ Kurisu Kurisutofa)
- Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (Japanese); Dorothy Elias-Fahn (English)
- An agrarian priestess from the Moon and member of Akari's team in the University Satellite, born January 1, 4982. She is roommates with Akari and Anna at the University Satellite. She has strange habits such as walking around the dorm naked. She has a pet cow called Gyubei, whose milk Kris cannot live without.
- She falls in love with Akari at first sight, much to Akari's shock. But as Akari bonds with her teammates, they become close friends, and competed with each other in the final race for Cosmo Beauty.
- She becomes love rivals with Ichino.
- Anna Respighi (アンナ・レスピーギ Anna Resupīgi)
- Voiced by: Akiko Yajima (Japanese); Bridget Hoffman (English)
- A girl from Satellite Colony 7, born August 7, 4982. In the OVA, Anna is enrolled in the University Satellite by his mother. Eventually, it is revealed that Anna is a boy and was raised to be a girl. Because of this, Anna transfers out of the Girls' satellite and moves into the Boy's satellite.
- In the TV series, she is a girl, de facto. She becomes Akari's and Kris' teammate and friend in the University Satellite. She is a cute girl who enjoys cooking. However, her psyche possesses an inner rage that occasionally makes her more hostile. In the past, she and her twin sister Elaine fought for the attention of their mother, which led to Anna injuring Elaine in an act of jealousy during a game. By the end, the two later make up and become sisters again.
- Miranda Acker Valder (ミランダ・アーカー・ヴァルター Miranda Ākā Varudā, Mylandah Arkar Walder in English dub)
- Voiced by: Akemi Okamura (Japanese); Debra Jean Rogers (English)
- A senior student from Satellite Colony 3, born February 10, 4980. She is one of the top students in the University Satellite, but also the most brutal, aggressive, and dangerous, which led her to continue her training in the school's detention prison away from the others.
- She was once friends with Larrie, up until the final round which resulted in losing the Cosmo Beauty title to her. This caused her to become obsessed with defeating Larrie, which was more important to her than even the title of Cosmo Beauty.
- During the Cosmo Beauty competition, she cruelly injured Anna during their tennis match, knocking Anna out of the competition and earning Kris' anger. Both Miranda and Larrie were defeated in the semifinals by Akari and Kris, just one match away from racing against Larrie in the final race for Cosmo Beauty. She and Larrie continued their rivalry afterwards, on friendlier terms.
- In the OVAs, she gets expelled from the satellite.
- Larrie Fel Donato (ラーリ・フェルドナント Rāri Ferudonanto, Lahrri Feldnunt in English dub)
- Voiced by: Yuriko Yamaguchi (Japanese); Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (OVA), Mimi Woods (Victory) (English)
- A senior Mongolian student, born June 30, 4980. She was the top student at the University Satellite, and the winner of Cosmo Beauty for two years in a row. She is so powerful that she is the only student (alongside her rival, Miranda) without a teammate, defeating all other three-girl teams by herself.
- She is devoid of emotion, focuses only on being the best, and is dismissive of everything and everyone else. Despite already holding the title of Cosmo Beauty, she remains unsatisfied until she can break Tomoe Midou's universal running record. She initially had no respect for the cheerful and friendly Akari because she believed that the only way to succeed and win is to be completely machine-like and devoid of emotion. But after seeing how happy and fulfilled Akari was during their semifinal match, Larrie realized what she had lost, and was defeated by Akari, finally losing her title as Cosmo Beauty.
- In the past, Larrie was more friendly and sociable and loved sports. When they first competed with each other, she noticed how unhappy Miranda was and suggested they become rivals and compete with each other, so that Miranda can see how fun sports can be. Sometime afterwards, she focused only on winning and nothing else, and adopted her machine-like drive to succeed. This caused her to break up her friendship with Miranda, and the two became more bitter rivals since. But after the two of them were defeated in the Cosmo Beauty competition, they continued their rivalry with each other, this time, on friendlier terms.
- Grant Oldman (グラン・オールドマン Guran Ōrudoman)
- Voiced by: Kouji Nakata (Japanese); Steven Blum (English)
- The headmaster of University Satellite. He possesses super strength, and was once a top athlete who brought Earth to victory against the aliens. He is very friendly and encouraging to his students, and supportive of Akari in her goal to become Cosmo Beauty.
- In the OVA, he is a pervert who sneaks in to the Women's dorm and bath.
At first, the creation of the franchise was set for a public radio drama at start of 1996 on "Orikasa Ai's Moonlight Cafe". When the end of 1996 approached, a video game of the same name was released for the Sega Saturn system. It was followed up by the OAV series (the first video adaptation) and, some months later, by the TV version. Two more games were released eventually ("Alternative" in 1998, also for the Saturn, and "GTO" in 1999, for the PlayStation). There was also a comic adaptation, subtitled "A.D. 4999".
A manga adaptation also exists. The story is very different from the anime series which involves Akari being a new candidate in the Antarctica Academy. There she meets her male instructor aa he helps her improve her skills. Akari meets some of the athletes as some become her good friends and some as her sworn rivals. There is a few differences with most of the characters:
Akari: In the anime series, she is hardly an athlete who believes she shouldn't be an athlete like her mother Tomoe Midou and believes she should quit. In the manga, she wanted to improve herself to see if she is worthy of being a true athlete like her mom.
Ichino: In the anime series, Ichino and Akari have been friends since they were twelve years old and Ichino is helping Akari to keep going of being a worthy athlete. In the manga, Ichino first met Akari when Akari enrolled to the academy and become friends right away. Ichino still acts hot-headed sometimes.
Jessie: In the anime series, Jessie acts kind to everyone except to Akari because Akari is the daughter of Tomoe Midou, for Jessie's goal is to become the next Cosmo Beauty Queen and surpass Tomoe Midou. She wants to be the best to everyone including Akari. In the manga, Jessie is a lot more cheerful and is nice to all the athletes which she doesn't see Akari as a rival but a friend. She sees all sports as her favorite hobby to do and have fun.
Tarnya: In the anime series, Tarnya has darker skin and acts all funny. She looks like a cat and acts all childish. In the manga, Tarnya is close to resemble her OVA appearance has less childlike personality and likes to do fun stuff.
Ling Pha: In the anime series, Ling Pha is a princess of China and has a selfish personality that she would do anyway of becoming the new Cosmo Beauty Queen even if it means by cheating. In the manga, Ling Pha is much kind to her friends, has a ponytail, and doesn't cheat. Her father is a very rich merchant who sells special medicine which Ling Pha gives some of her medicine to her friends to help them out, in which case the medicine backfires of that cause side effects for which Ling Pha doesn't know much about the medicines she gives out. She is close friends with Tarnya.
Ayla: In the anime series, Ayla's hair style is a wrap of pigtails and has calm personality. Ayla likes to remain calm and never losses her cool. In the manga, Ayla's hairstyle is a well groom pouf fashion and has a dark personality. She watches on all the athletes to learn of their skills and to know of their weakness as she gathers information (data) on them and take them out.
- 1. Mission 1: Chronicle Beginning
- 2. Mission 2: Oath Entrant
- 3. Mission 3: Screaming Advance
- 4. Mission 4: Match Unexpected
- 5. Mission 5: Objective Tension
- 6. Mission 6: Stage Yonder
Battle Athletes Victory
- 1. Ready Go!
- 2. Kwoolon's Attack!
- 3. The Night of Woong-A-Ji
- 4. My Rival
- 5. Arrogance
- 6. The Return Home
- 7. Lamentation
- 8. The Sinking Talent
- 9. The Thing on the Other Side
- 10. The Promise Resurrected
- 11. Girl Meets Girls
- 12. There Go the Three!
- 13. There Go the Three Again!
- 14. There Go the New Three!
- 15. Light
- 16. Shadow
- 17. I'm Sorry
- 18. Reason to Fight
- 19. From Heart to Heart
- 20. Friend
- 21. Save the Last Dance for Me
- 22. Farewell & Introductions
- 23. Day of Resurrection
- 24. Cultural Catastrophe
- 25. Oh God! The Evil Trap of the Nerillians.
- 26. Goal!
- "マウスプロモーション公式サイト：所属タレント" [Yoko Soumi Talent Profile]. Mausu Promotion (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-02-25.
- Marc Marshall (2005-01-23). "Battle Athletes". Anime Reviews. Akemi's Anime World. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2009.