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Samurai Girl Real Bout High School Review

Genres: Drama Action Supernatural All
Series' Year of Release: 2001
Number of Episodes: 13
Review Date: 18-11-2009
Review Language: Dub
Review DVD Region: R4 Available in Australia
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Review By: Bradley Beeck

Ryoko Mitsurugi is the current K-Fight (street fight) champion at Daimon Highschool, a school dedicated to martial arts. She fights with a sword and adores Samurai. Prior to another K-Fight she discovers an amulet which transports her to the world of Solvania. There she must defeat monsters before she can return to her own world, where she can be recalled again at anytime.

real_bout_highschool018Real Bout Highschool or Samurai Girl is an anime adaption of the manga series of the same name. It supposedly takes place after the events in the manga but Iíve never read the series so I canít say for sure. If this anime adaption is anything to go by itís probably not worth my time. Thereís a distinct lack of explanation that runs through the entire show although thatís not the showís only problem.

real_bout_highschool002Ryoko is supported by the cast of Azumi Kiribayashi, Shizuma Kusanagi and Keichiro Nagumo. There are other hangers-on characters but they contribute nothing to the show. Shizuma at first seems like he is going to be the obnoxious loudmouth type but he manages to remain tolerable. He used to be the K-Fight champion before Ryoko beat him and he helps Ryoko in her Solvania battles. Azumi is Ryokoís love rival and Nagumo is an ex student of Damon High and turns up every now and then. Heís central to the plot and is connected to the Solvania side of the story. Even so his role is not well explained and I question why any of it is in the series in the first place. Ryoko herself regularly battles other students in K-fights and easily brushes them aside. This is no Tenjho-Tenge; the fights are mostly fluff with no meaning or feeling behind them and the Solvania monsters are lame. If that wasnít bad enough there are almost no character arcs in this series save one, which involves Ryokoís love interest. Thatís hardly enough for a thirteen episode series.

real_bout_highschool028Thirteen episodes donít give a lot of shows enough time to fully explain everything so when a show wastes three episodes on filler itís heading for trouble. And they werenít good filler either; they were decidedly boring and silly. In the mean time the Solvania plot line, which sees Ryoko shift to some another world to fight demons, went no where. It introduced the amulet, the Priestess who does something in Solvania, and the monster of the moment. Thatís pretty much it and even the characters themselves say they have no idea whatís going on. The whole plot thread seems extraneous to Ryokoís life as a K-Fighter/Samurai wanna be. The series did try to wrap things up in the last episode but the damage was done - the show was sunk.

real_bout_highschool011The character designs are a mixed bag. Shizuma looks like he escaped from the eighties, complete with head band and electronic keyboard. Lord knows what they were thinking with that one. While Ryoko is a tall solidly built girl who actually looks like she could be a sword fighter. The animation is inconsistent with Ryokoís eyes changing size. The first fight scene between Ryoko and Azumi is very nicely animated but it quickly falls apart when Shizuma takes to the ring. Thereís an eighties feel to a lot of the music although itís not exclusively so. I like it, Champ is a particular favourite of mine and embodies that eighties style. The OP is Aoi Shuumatsu by Ikue Kimura and the ED is Makenaide...Kataomoi by Sakura Nogawa. The former didnít appeal to me immediately but it has some good sections and the latter is quite somber with a nice underlying sound.

Samurai Girl is an action drama series that lacks any decent action or drama. The fights have no feeling, meaning or impact and the storyline contains about one character arc. The Solvania side of the story is extraneous to Ryokoís life as a K-Fighter, offering nothing of any value, and is never really explained. The music is one of the shows only good aspects and not everyone is going to like its mixed style. Samurai Girl is a series that looked like it might go somewhere but ultimately never did.