Real Bout High School

real-bout-high-school-enter-samurai-girl-dvd-cover-artMike Toole describes Real Bout High School as a “fighting game anime without the fighting game” – I had a similar, though more negative impression. Namely, I wondered why the hell I was wasting my time watching this crap when I could play Soul Calibur and actually enjoy myself. Had Real Bout High School been fighting scenes in search of a plot, it could probably be enjoyable on some level. Unfortunately, it has a plot. It happens to be the stupidest, least imaginative and most annoying story they could devise.

Our heroine is Ryoko Mitsurugi, a Samurai girl who engages in constant battles at her high school. One day she finds a magic amulet that glows, and when it does stuff happens. This is as sensible a synopsis of the story as you should seek to find, for it this show is as abitrary, stupid and stereotypical as it can manage.

Everything about this show rubs me the wrong way. The designs look stocky and strange, and each character is overly familiar, like I’ve seen them a thousand times before. The funny characters aren’t funny, and the heroine is so empty and thin that I never cared if she won or lost.

The only thing to recommend this show are the fight scenes, and even they aren’t thrilling enough to sell the package. There is an element of tastelessness to them that I found distracting: namely, a focus on panty shots while Ryoko is fighting. With her short skirt, high stockings, and tendency to jump a lot, Ryoko looks two steps away from a hentai doujinishi character. That the stocky designs make the character pretty unsexy makes these failed attempts at fanservice all the more distracting and annoying.

Come on, friends. There is so much wonderful stuff out there, you don’t need to buy this. Or even rent it. Have you ever seen Fritz Lang’s M? One of the finest movies ever made. You can buy that for just a couple dollars more than this first volume of Real Bout High School and count yourself way ahead.
Rating: F

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