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Samurai Girl Real Bout High School
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 01/12/2003

Synopsis:
Welcome to Daimon High School, where virtually every single dispute or conflict is settled by a K-Fight. Ryoko Mitsurugi is a fledgling samurai girl who happens to be Daimon High's reigning K-Fight champion. Thus, Ryoko gets challenged on a daily basis -- which makes her student life much more eventful than she'd like. One day, Ryoko finds a mysterious pendant in the locker room... which later transports Ryoko to another dimension... a dimension where she has to fight powerful demon beasts to survive!
 
Review:
Real Bout High School (the full title is actually Samurai Girl Real Bout High School) is about Ryoko Mitsurugi, a teenage girl whose exceptional sword skills have earned her the title of K-Fight champion in Daimon High. A K-Fight is a bout between opposing sides with which arguments, disputes, or just about anything that needs a decision is settled. K-Fights are fully endorsed by the school, with the school principal serving as the official commentator during the bouts.
 
Real Bout High School's twist lies in the mysterious blue pendant Ryoko serendipitously finds in the locker room. As soon as she dons the pendant, weird things start to happen. Ryoko finds herself getting transported to a strange world and slaying monsters from time to time. I initially thought that Ryoko had some sort of mission but after the first volume, any semblance of a solid plot goes out the window. I couldn't understand what the series was trying to focus on -- whether it was the demon beast world, Ryoko's love life, or K-Fights in general. In one episode, all the characters did was frolic on the beach and show off their bikini-clad bodies. In another episode, the magical girl genre (ala Sailormoon) was parodied. There are definitely entertaining moments, it's just that everything that happens don't fit together very well.
 
The visuals are generally crisp, clear, and vibrant -- as is the usual case with Studio Gonzo's works. Fight scenes are executed with a vast array of fancy attack moves that would rival those found in an arcade fighting game. For all the positive points I've cited however, I noticed that the art and animation lack consistency. There seemed to be a less-than-average number of frames in some scenes. There were also times when the characters would stand out of the backgrounds too much, looking quite unnatural. Those who've watched "Martian Successor Nadesico" and "Gate Keepers" would find the character designs all too familiar, since they are by the same person -- Keiji Gotoh. I wasn't particularly fond of the way Ryoko is drawn though. In some scenes she looks anywhere from okay to cute, while in others she can come off as really Amazonian with bulky legs and the works. Real Bout High School also offers fan service in the form of boob, panty, and leg shots.
 
Real Bout High School had a pretty interesting start, but the series loses steam after the first three or four episodes. Sure, everyone is happy in the end... but there are just too many ambiguities. It's a bit more than your average anime series, but it's very far from satisfying.
 
Miscellanies:
This series is composed of 13 episodes.

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Samurai Girl Real Bout High School
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Review Title:
Samurai Girl Real Bout High School
Type:
TV
Episodes:
13
Duration:
325 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Aired:
2001
Suitable For:
Teens
Genres:
Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
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