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Battle Arena Toshinden

TV Tokyo (ended 1996)


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User Score: 0

out of 10
User Rating
11 votes

By TV.com Users

Battle Arena Toshinden

Show Summary

The world's greatest Toshin fighters are being targeted and eliminated systematically, one by one. Eiji and Kayin, two Master Swordsman, find themselves possible targets. They must find out who is behind these attacks and put an end to them before it's too late.
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  • Based off of the game series by the same name, this Anime is average in nearly every aspect but may be worth a look for fans of the series.

    To say the Battle Arena Toshinden show was made simply to help generate and promote sales for the video games series doesn't seem too far fetched. The show was made shortly after the first game in the series was released in the United States and features all the game's fighters, as well as some original characters.

    The story is nothing revolutionary. An evil group, known as The Organization, is creating a machine that uses the techniques of all the world's best fighters. It gathers this information by watching them in combat and studying their style and moves. They call it the Man-Machine Project and plan on using it to punish a man who betrayed them, a traitor to The Organization. This story is told in two volumes and features a large number of fights. Unfortunately these fights are rather short, aside from the shows final showdown.

    The fighters are drawn well and some of the character design is nice. The scenery is nice at times but for the most part the show itself looks quite bland. The music is barely noticeable and the sounds, especially those heard during fights, is sub-par. Even the voice-overs seems lifeless and even laughable at times. If you see this on DVD, I suggest the original Japanese audio with subtitles.

    All and all the show comes off as being very average. It's not really all that bad but it could have been much better. For fans of the Battle Arena Toshinden game series, it's worth a peek, if not just to see these characters come to life. But if you're picky about Anime, don't bother.moreless
  • Visually a sucessful attemept to represent the world of Toshinden. But without depth.

    The anime does a very good job of staying true to the Toshinden world’s style. Nearly all the characters from the first two video games are represented faithfully in their basic personalities, visually and in their attacks (they even shout the name of their attacks).

    Now you might wonder why I rate the anime so poorly when it is so faithful to the style of its source material. The plot…

    The Toshinden video games have plots that initially appear simple, but once you scratch below the surface become considerably deeper. Sadly the anime doesn’t follow this tradition…

    The plot of the anime goes as follows…

    A powerful warrior appears to be targeting the participants of the secretive Toshin tournament, held approximately a year ago.

    Eiji Shinjo, one of the fighters from the tournament, accompanied by his long time friend and rival Kayin Amoh, head out to find this warrior… that it is rumoured looks like Eiji’s long lost brother, Sho.

    And so the stage is set for a tale globe trotting, suspicion and intrigue right… sadly no.

    The plot of the anime evolves poorly from its prologue. Almost every time Eiji gets stuck in his quest something or someone comes to him to give him the next clue. Though none of the things that happen in the anime are completely implausible some events in it seem designed to rush things along. Such as the somewhat miraculous way that Eiji finds out the location of the hideout. It’s almost as if the storywriters had a plot they struggled to squash into the anime' hour length and were ultimately forced to cut some of it.

    The anime assumes some prior knowledge (but it isn’t required) of the Toshinden video games since the relationships between the major and minor characters aren’t always very well explained. Things like Dukes (and his appearance in the anime) “good luck” comment to Eiji could go over the head of viewers who aren’t.

    There are also a couple of poorly translated lines that can be misinterpreted. For instance Gaia says to Uranus “Once I’ve killed you I will retake my place as its leader”. This suggests that Uranus is the current leader of the Himitsu Keesha, which anyone versed in Toshinden’s plot will know isn’t the case.

    The Toshinden anime will please Toshinden fans that will enjoy seeing their favourite character(s) moves represented in more detail than the video games. Indeed the fight scenes are perhaps by far the highlight of the anime. However the simplistic plot badly represents the franchise.moreless